Web
Analytics Made Easy - StatCounter

A Move Towards Minimalism

Posted on 0 min read

So, because I am exactly the same as everyone else on the Internet, I’m absolutely determined that this will be the year I become a minimalist.

Yes, I’ve been watching the Marie Kondo show on Netflix. How did you guess?

To be fair, it’s not JUST Tidying Up With Marie Kondo that’s behind this decision. I’ve actually been trying my best to declutter for long time now: my closet is currently half the size it was a couple of years ago (Although still obscenely huge by most people’s standards…), and I’ve been using the KonMari folding method for a couple of years, at least. Regular clear-outs are a way of life for me, and my house is frequently described as “minimal” anyway, so it’s not like I’m starting from scratch here, or fighting my way out from underneath a pile of clutter, just to reach my keyboard.

What the TV show – and the discussions it sparked between Terry and I – has helped me realise, though, is that when I’ve tried to declutter in the past, I haven’t been nearly ruthless enough about it. Not even when I THOUGHT I was being totally ruthless.

Take my desk drawers, for instance. I decided to try to “KonMari” them a few nights ago, and, because I clear out my desk fairly regularly, I assumed it would be a pretty quick job, really – one that it would be totally fine to do while Max played on the floor beside me.

No, I have NO IDEA what I was thinking.

I mean, for one thing, randomly pulling things out of drawers is Max’s favourite thing ever, which meant that, every time I tried to put something back into the newly-tidied drawer, he just pulled it right back out again, shrieking with laughter the whole time. For another, though, there was just SO MUCH STUFF to sort through: even in my reasonably-tidy, frequently-cleared-out desk.

Like, I had something like five pairs of glasses in there. FIVE PAIRS. I wear only two of them (Not at the same time, obviously: I tend to keep one pair on my desk, and one pair downstairs somewhere, just so I’m not constantly having to run up and down the stairs, searching for glasses. Yes, I am very lazy. And I’m also STILL constantly running up and down stairs looking for glasses, actually, so, YAY ME! That plan worked out well, didn’t it? ): the remaining pairs have sat in my desk drawer for, ooh, probably around 4 – 5 years now, at least? Now, my prescription hasn’t changed in that time, so I could technically wear them – the problem is, I don’t WANT to. Because, although I liked them when I got them, and they’re a similar style to my other glasses, I’ve never really enjoyed wearing them: I just don’t think they suit me, so I keep on rotating the same two pairs, while the rest never see the light the day.

Despite this, The Unworn Three, as I think of them, have made it unscathed through countless clear-outs now. It hasn’t been a conscious decision, really (Which I guess is the whole problem…), but I’m guessing my thought process here has been something along the lines of, “Well, these are GLASSES. They’re expensive! And even although I don’t think they suit me, I should probably keep them anyway, just in case I change my mind, or lose/break both of the two pairs I DO like!” Which… probably ISN’T going to happen, is it? I mean, I know I’m clumsy, but not even I am likely to break two pairs of glasses simultaneously (Although, who wants to bet I’ll do just that, now that I’ve said I won’t?), and I don’t wear them outside the house, so they’re probably not going to get lost, either. The most important fact here, though, is that, even if I DID manage to lose/break both pairs, I STILL wouldn’t just start wearing one of the pairs I don’t like, would I? No, I’d go out and buy myself a NEW pair of glasses: ones I DID like. And the Unworn Three would continue to be unworn, and to take up space in my desk drawer for absolutely no reason other than that I couldn’t quite bring myself to get rid of them.

Or not until now, anyway.

Guys, I got rid of the three pairs of glasses. And also two of the three tape measures that had likewise survived every other desk cull until now. (Exactly the same logic here: I was keeping all three just in case I one day lost two of them, and this strange event also happened to coincide with a worldwide shortage of tape measures. Well, I mean, that would’ve been super inconvenient on the approximately two times per year when I need to measure something, wouldn’t it?) And so on and so forth, through all of the countless other items I’d been hanging onto, even although the only time I even look at them is during a clear-out.

They’re all gone now, though. My desk drawers are practically empty: and I’m honestly not exaggerating – like, I was going to take a photo of them for this post, but they’re literally just empty drawers, and I’m sure you can all imagine what empty drawers are like, right? Look, here’s a photo of my dressing table, instead:

Organised dressing table

Yes, I know there are multiple lipsticks and two mascaras in this photo, but when I tell you that, pre-clear-out there was something like 15 lipsticks, and about 5 tubes of mascara, it might be a little bit more impressive. Basically, instead of hoarding tons of products, I’ve kept only the ones that I actually use – and I’m absolutely determined to apply the same philosophy to the rest of the house, too.  It’s going going to be a long process, because it’s one I’m having to go through with Max in tow, but this time I think I’m much more likely to succeed in my mission of minimalism, because this time – and I’m still not exactly sure how this happened – I’ve somehow managed to persuade Terry to join me. Well, sort of:  I mean, he’s still steadfastly refusing to fold his underwear in the correct ‘filing cabinet’ style, but he’s been slowly clearing out his own desk drawers, wardrobe and other storage, and, earlier this week, he turned to me and uttered words I never thought I’d hear from him:

“Do you want to go to IKEA later this week to buy some storage boxes?” he said.

Guys, I have never loved him more.

So we’re going tomorrow. And then, when we get back, I’m going to empty my entire wardrobe into the middle of the floor, and begin the process of working out just what the hell I’m going to do with it all.

THIS should be fun…

MORE OF MY HOME ORGANISATION TIPS...

How buying a ton of pink boxes changed my life.
READ MORE

How I store my makeup in my IKEA Malm dressing table.
READ MORE

Alternative title: ‘Things I Bought While I Was Suffering From Sleep Deprivation’
READ MORE

How I use IKEA storage to organise my home.
READ MORE

WANT AMBER IN YOUR INBOX?

(Er, that came out a bit weird: what I mean to say is, enter your email below to be notified each time I publish a new post...)

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

13 Comments
  • Clara
    January 9, 2019

    I am really happy that minimalism is hitting main stream media – your make up draw looks BEAUTIFUL! I hope we’ll start seeing a shift in general consumer habits as well.

  • Linda Libra Loca
    January 9, 2019

    I am by far not a mnimalist myself, but I appreciate a clean house as much as the next prson. I just hope the whole minimalism movement will see pople actually buying less, not just throwing away more…

    Anne|Linda, Libra, Loca

  • Zoey
    January 9, 2019

    Likewise, I’m really in to minimalism too. Your blog has just reminded me that I need to go through every room and have a de-clutter and tidy. Perhaps I’ll do that today or tomorrow!

    Zoey
    https://www.zoeyolivia.com

  • stacie robertson
    January 9, 2019

    As a fellow eyeglass wearer, I understand. You may look into a program that uses your old glasses for people in third world countries who have no access to them. I like knowing that my “still good but no longer wanted” glasses are going to someone who will appreciate them and could make a difference in their everyday life.

    I to purge. I just wish I could get my husband on board. He gets sentimentally attached to things and can’t get rid of them. 🙁

  • Brenda
    January 9, 2019

    I love Marie Kondo and the new Netflix show. (She is so tiny!) . I did buy her books a couple of years ago and tried the folding method. It is totally true, by following the instructions, you can easily fit all your tops into a drawer. My problem was that I tend to only wear black, white and grey, so lots of times I had to pull out a few tops in order to figure out which one it was. So I found it to be not quite as helpful. I am always trying to de-clutter and get rid of stuff. I enjoy the process. However, there have been times where I have accidentally gotten rid of something (a beloved denim jacket, a diamond necklace) which definitely has made the zeal slow down a bit. Last night I watched the episode on Margie and it just broke my heart a little bit because she was clearing out “stuff” after her husband passed away. But at the end, when Marie opened her linen closet and looked in her daughters old bedroom, it was SO EXCITING!! And Margie said, I still have all the memories, just not all the stuff. Which would be a really important thing to remember when taking on that monumental task.

  • Myra
    January 9, 2019

    Loving your tidy drawer. Having moved house and location three years ago, I cleared out masses of stuff, but still need to clear more, especially as I’ve acquired more stuff in the interim. So, I guess I need to do more.

  • Selina
    January 9, 2019

    There’s a point in most people’s lives where minimalism is what they turn to and I’m ok with that. I refuse to get involved with Kondo because I prefer to decide whats what on my own but I’m finally at that point where I get it and am starting to understand why decluttering is so freeing

  • Maria
    January 10, 2019

    I’ve seen lots of people embracing this new current and be super happy about it: as for me, I don’t think I could ever become a minimalist… I like having stuff. I’m afraid to say so because it may sound materialistic, but what I mean is that I like having stuff that I use, that is beautiful, that serves a purpose in my life. But my definition of clutter/having too much is definitely not aligned with current minimalist standards lol. I like having a closet full of things I like, that fit, are in good shape and I use regularly. But I’m also ok with having things that I wear sparingly, or just a few time a year. I’m also ok with keeping things that hold sentimental value (I have the glasses I used when I was 7, and I’m not getting rid of them just because it’s the minimalist thing to do). I suppose it’s up to the person, but I think that minimalism is just one of the many ways of keeping our houses clean and liveable.

    • Amber
      January 10, 2019

      I actually think what you’ve said is pretty much in line with the KonMari method, though – it’s not about not having many possessions, it’s mostly about only having things you love and use, or, if they have sentimental value, that you’re making the most of that (i.e not just having photos buried away in the attic or whatever, but displaying them somewhere so they bring joy to your life when you see them). In my case, I have a ton of stuff that I don’t actually use, so it’s of no use to me – that’s the kind of stuff I want to get rid of!

  • Liz
    January 11, 2019

    I think the thing I’ve enjoyed most about watch the show is the fact that there is zero judgement in terms of what people choose to keep and what they choose to get rid of. It’s complete personal and if having 20 red shirts brings you joy well that’s cool.

  • Lou (whatlouwore365)
    January 11, 2019

    I’ve been doing this the last few weeks as we moved out of my parents house and into our house. I don’t want my lovely house cluttered up with crap, ha ha! I do need to go through my makeup and get rid of anything I don’t use but hang on to “just in case” but my clothes / shoes / bags / accessories / running stuff have taken a massive hit and it feels good. We have loads of storage as well, I just don’t want to fill it within 5 minutes of moving in and then have no room left to expand….

  • Me
    January 18, 2019

    In the words of William Morris ‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’ xx

  • Cat
    January 22, 2019

    Back in 2014 I went to see The Minimalists speak when they came to Glasgow, and they gave me a copy of their book Everything That Remains. I loved the book and really wanted to try minimalism as I felt I was being suffocated by all my stuff, but I didn’t know how to go about it. Then I read Marie Kondo’s book, and Karen Kingston’s, and I found a way of tackling it all. I think I got rid of about 75% of my wardrobe, but I still held on to some things that I was using as place holders. Just until I replaced them or found an alternative. After watching the first few episodes of her new show and loving it, I started clearing out again. This time I’m determined to curate a wardrobe I love and brings me joy. It is so freeing. You can see the joy in the faces of the people on Marie’s show. In the episode with Margie you can see her change before your eyes.

Previous
The Reality of Working from Home With a Baby
A Move Towards Minimalism