I’m throwing stuff out and simplifying my life. Roughly 70% of my stuff is in the charity pile, and it feels amazing.
Something has been happening inside me for the last year – a shift. It started when I was living in London and really struggling with the overwhelm of.. well.. everything: Information overload. Being at the beck and call of technology 24/7. Taking on too many commitments. Trying to be all things to all people. Putting an insane amount of pressure on myself to be a better, more productive person. Aspiring to a pinterest-worthy life.
It was all with the best of intentions, but it got too much and I ground to a screeching halt.
The chap and I call this ‘bluebottling’. You know when a fly is throwing itself against the glass of a window in a frenzy to get out? The window next to it is wide open. Rather than taking a minute to chill out, locate the open window and leave in a dignified manner, it persists. I was bluebottling against the windowpane of life (I can’t believe I actually just wrote that. I am genuinely embarrassed but I can’t think of a better way to describe it).
The changes I’ve been making have been incremental but I am seeing a difference from simplifying already.
I still have a lot more work to do to get to where I want to be. I find myself moving more and more towards a stripped back, simple and minimalist life. I’m at my parents house now at the tail end of a clear-out of 31 years worth of ‘stuff’ that has been held on to for no good reason. I am sick of drowning in a sea of pretty notebooks I don’t use, clothes I don’t wear, beauty products that make me feel immoral and food that doesn’t make me feel good.
I’m looking forward this whole fandango being completed and getting all the piles of ‘donate’ and ‘sell’ cleared away. I’m looking forward to getting rid of shelving I no longer need as a result of simplifying, because I no longer have a million DVDs I don’t watch because I don’t have a DVD player. And I’m looking forward to getting rid of all the paper I’ve held on to for seven years because the tax office told me I needed to.
I’m digitising everything. Two book cases and a DVD rack which took up a ton of space now fits neatly into a little hard drive the size of my palm. Simplifying my stuff makes choices easier and decreases the amount of clutter I have. I no longer have clothes I don’t wear in storage or spread over several rooms. I no longer have beauty products that make me feel guilty because they are tested on animals. I no longer have 20 rolls of wrapping paper for ‘just in case’ presents. I’ve donated books I have no intention of reading again, so someone else can enjoy them.
I’m working on whittling my wardrobe down even further over the coming months using project 333 as my inspiration and spending more money on fewer clothes that are higher quality and made ethically and sustainably where possible rather than throwing hundreds if not thousands at supporting ‘fast fashion’ industries that exploit people and resources to make rubbish clothes that don’t last. I have already replaced my makeup collection with cruelty free products. Even my beauty regime has been simplified by making my own bath products and skincare which is natural and cruelty-free. I’m even gradually transitioning towards a plant-based diet because I feel better and less sluggish when I don’t eat animal products.
It still looks pretty chaotic at the moment and I’m not going to lie, it has been a massive faff.
I never want to look at a scanner or DVD burner again, but I’m hoping that it will come together in the next few days. I can’t wait to feel lighter and clearer and be able to focus more on what really matters rather than being distracted and bogged down by ‘stuff’.
There are a couple of great books, videos and podcasts I’ve been reading, watching and listening to lately and I’ll go into those in more depth in another post – so stay tuned for those!
Till then, I will leave you with a couple of quotes from The Minimalists while I head back to my bin bags!