Finishing The Minimalism Game

Day X – Finishing The Minimalism Game

Items Discarded:

0 – Yes, Zero.

Okay, so clearly I’ve come back from a long writing break. A very long break. So apologies to those whole subscribed and had been waiting for the finish, and thanks to those lovely bloggers who commented their support.

In my Minimalism Challenge, I had hit a wall. I was beginning to suffer from my lack of possessions.

Before I elaborate, let’s define the term minimalism… Minimalism, as a lifestyle choice and personal practice, is to remove distracting clutter from our lives. When we do this we appreciate the people, possessions and hobbies in life that truly enhance our existence because we have removed the distractions.

So I was not suffering because I had too little, I was suffering because I had begun to deprive my self. My bedroom and study had become a bland, stark environment with the basic furnishings that you’d expect in those rooms, but with no life, personality, or expressions. My life had dulled to greyscale and my wardrobe had changed to match the black and white of it. Everything I had was fine, but it was flat. Two-dimensional. Boring.

At day 27 of the challenge, my minimalising had changed from a journey of self-discovery to a personal martyrdom. I had become obsessed with the objects, not the goal of Minimalism. Minimizing had become deprivation and an emptiness. So I stopped.

At the time, I labelled the entire experience a failure and repressed it. I had wanted to do a follow post explaining why I had stopped, but until recently, I didn’t even know why I did.

Throughout my challenge, I had learnt a lot about how I personally interact with my possessions and conscientiously justifying items I decided to keep and remove. I learnt that as a creative individual, I need colour. I learnt that as an outdoor eco-nut, I need greenery around me. Wallet in hand I was off to the garden store and spotlight and bought half a dozen indoor plants and two colourful bedsheets!

“What? You’re a Minimalist. You can’t buy things? Hypocrite!” Yes, I understand it is contradictory. But let’s challenge that statement. Remember, Minimalism is about removing the clutter to appreciate what truly enhance our existence. After those purchases, my personal environment immediately felt more like home. The only one who needs to justify keeping, donating, discarding, buying any item is yourself.

Minimalism is important to me. It is a huge value that enhances my life in so many aspects. Stress, finances (less house cleaning!). One thing it does consistently bring is a sense of freedom. Personal freedom to do, be, create anything I want.

Without the clutter, I can live life!

Moving forward, I’ll be working on a collection of Minimalist and simple living essays around living and inspired and simply life. Neither of which is easy. If it was easy, everyone would do it.

Total Number of Items Discarded to date: 474

Challenge Finished

Beach, Travel & Dresses

Day 26 out of 30 – The Minimalism Game

Items Discarded:

6 x Books, 1 x oversized scarf, 1 x large handbag, 1 x backpack, 1 x hair towel, 3 x mini paintings from Italy (5 years old, never displayed), 1 x pair of leather black shoes, 1 x bikini top, 1 x bikini bottom, 1 x mini pink makeup bag, 1 x toothbrush, 1 x eyeliner, 1 x pink bracelet, 1 x skirt, 1 x maxi off-the-shoulder flowy dress, 1 x pair of red shorts. 2 x mini notebooks, 1 x bookmark
The Why…

Coming back after another pause in my Challenge today. I’ve been away in Fiji on Castaway Island for the last week for my Dad’s wonderful Beach Wedding and mini-holiday. We had a wonderful time snorkelling, tanning and eating local dishes. It was just wonderful to take a week off life and do nothing!

Obviously, I did not continue my challenge whilst on the Island (I would have had no luggage left!). So landing back in Melbourne fabulously tan, beach-waved hair and wonderfully energised – I dived back into the challenge in my hometown instead.

Whilst I was away, I did however still continue to get inspiration for Minimalism. I kept finding items, in my own little suitcase, that I wanted to throw out even before I had travelled home!

One of these was a beachy, summerly, floor-length, flowy blue dress. with a stretchy bandage top and off the shoulder sleeves. I had loved this dress! But even before leaving home, I had never worn it. It was in my cupboard for 4-months and I kept thinking to myself “I’ll bring it and wear it in Fiji, for a dinner night out, then I’ll recycle it when I get back home”.

Packing it preciously on top of my possessions to avoid crushing it, I was so excited to finally wear this dress I held on to, for so long. But, surprise surprise – it was not worn once. (I should have guessed that!)

So with the taste of disappointment still lingering, I sent it away. Still, it was an enlightening learning experience at how I can have emotional expectations of my possessions. Using “just for when” excuses to justify holding onto something, but never making the “when” happen.

Now at least I know that “just for when” doesn’t work for me, when I hear it pop up in my brain – I can stop holding on, before it even begins.

 

Total Number of Items Discarded to date: 474