How I Re-approach Minimalism

By Victoria Q

1. Declutter Room by Room

I started with my bedroom. I took everything out from the closet and lie them on the bed. I separate them by category – shorts, short skirts, long skirts, pants, dress, t-shirt, blouse, activewear, and home wear. I hold and feel every piece of the clothes. Feel the material it is made from, the quality and the design. I asked myself a few questions “Does this piece of cloth bring joy to my life?” “Is it worth taking up my space in the house and personal time to take care of?” “Is there anything to upgrade?” “Do I have a similar piece of cloth already?” After answering these questions, I will allocate each into one of the 3 piles called “keep”, “maybe” and “let go”. Then I hung back the clothes that I wear most of the time and absolutely love to keep, which is the “keep” piles. For the “maybe” piles, I will try each piece on and take the time to figure out if I would love to keep or let go. If I’m still unsure about it, I’ll keep it in a box of “maybe” for a certain period of time, which I’ll talk about it at the next point. The “let go” piles will go to donation, give to someone or sales.

2. Don’t Get Rid of Everything at Once

When I just started minimalism, I got too excited watching Youtube videos on how people got rid of their stuff and their spaces look so much cleaner and tidier. So, I also tried my best to get rid of everything and that also mean something I need later on. Instead of throwing everything out at once, place the items you want to get rid of into a box and keep them in the garage or somewhere unseen for 60-90 days. This way you can still get back the things that you accidentally get rid of. Also, anything left in the box must be gone after 60-90 days either by donation or sales. Be honest with yourself. A lot of people have the thought of “just in case I need this in the future…” and ended up adding everything back to their original places. I know it’s easier said than done. I’m being frugal for some time and it’s extremely hard for me to get rid of things that I know I’ll need in the future and things that I “think” I’ll need in the future. “Why would I want to get rid of this when I know I’ll need it in the future.” This sentence makes me hold onto too much of stuff that I felt suffocated. So, I made a rule for myself. I will only keep 1 of each important item I know I’ll definitely need in the future. This can be a light bulb, umbrella, or medication. Extra toothpaste, toothbrush, body shampoo and sunscreen are not categorized as important things.

3. Fill in Shopping Lists

I have an excel sheet on my phone that is used to fill in what I want to buy that aren’t necessary. I called this my Impulsive Shopping Lists. Whatever I want to buy, I’ll first fill in this list and come back and check again later on. So, for example, I was walking around in a shopping mall and anything that catches my eyes such as a beautiful dress, an antique home décor, 50% off makeup products or else, I’ll take a picture and fill in the shopping lists and let them sit there for a few days, let’s say for a week. So, after a week, I’ll go back to the lists and check if I still want any of them. There are also a few questions I’ll ask myself. “Where should I place this item?” “Does this item fit my current lifestyle?” “Did I think about this item for the past few days?” If I can confidently answer these questions, I can buy it and if I am still hesitant, I’ll just leave it on the list till I get the right answer. This is to avoid impulsive buying. Sometimes I found a beautiful dress that catches my eyes, but I barely wear it after buying. This may be due to fact that the dress doesn’t suit the lifestyle I’m currently in. Maybe it’s a long dress but the weather is so humid here, so I don’t wear it much. I found that this method is really useful especially when I’m indecisive about purchasing an item.

4. Keep Up with My Finance

“Being frugal makes things easy on keeping my finance well and there’s totally not an issue for me” I do wish to say like that, but I can’t. Okay, I do live a frugal life for quite some time now. I’m less likely to have impulsive buying on clothes, home décor, skincare, makeup, handbags, latest devices, or shoes. But I want to admit that I spend quite a huge amount on food expenses especially eating out and food delivery. I love eating and I love all sorts of foods. This can actually do more harm than good to my health because eating out some time, not every time, contain a lot of chemical flavouring. After I’ve decided to re-approach minimalism, I also want to pay attention to my health. So, I get back on eating more of home cook meals and cutting down on eating out and food delivery to twice a week.

5. Saying NO

Saying no to people that invite you to an event and engagement isn’t easy. It’s even harder to reject a present. At first, I accepted everything people give me – Christmas mug, perfume, notebook, phone case, body lotion etc. Stuff piled up more and more after some time. So, I told myself to explain to people around me that I don’t prefer a physical present, instead, I prefer a delicious meal. Not only did I get to taste the delicious food made carefully by the chef, but I also got to spend time bonding when having a meal with people. We can catch up with each other’s life and share memorable moments together. As everyone’s having their own life, it isn’t easy to spend more than an hour sitting down and chatting with somebody. So, take this time to really pay attention to them, listen to their stories and share yours too.

Figure out more of my journey to minimalism here:

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