Moving towards minimalism – who are you, and what have you done with Rebecca?

So for the last year, I think it’s been pretty clear that I’ve been wanting to move towards a capsule wardrobe (am I even close to getting there?  no.  will I continue to try?  Yes erm maybe?).  But the rest of my life seems to be following in the wake.  I’m pretty shocked to think that I pretty  much had a minimalist wedding (I mean, seriously, we did – no attendants, no veil, no decorations, no cake topper, no signs, no gifts for guests, no bows on chairs, nothing really).

Now D and I are currently prepping for an overseas move.  Ok, sure it’s only across the ditch to Australia, but still – we can’t drive there.  Everything we want to take has to either come on the airplane or be shipped.

We knew this day was coming.  Sure, I’ve been in NZ for 9 years, but it’s always been temporary.  Yes I’ve settled in and it is now my home, but I’ve always known in the back of my mind that I would leave.  This is a great incentive for not accumulating stuff.

Yet somehow, I have a ton of stuff.  So does D – well, mostly D has books.  I have “stuff”.  Just stuff.  Where did this stuff come from?  A lot of it I purchased my first couple of years here in NZ and have been hauling around ever since.  A lot of it is gifts from family and friends, which, though well meaning, I will never use but I feel too guilty to donate or throw away.

But now we’re at the point of no return.  Do I really want to pay to ship this item to my next destination?  No.

We are literally getting rid of everything.  Books, clothes, electronics, furniture, stuff.  Everything is going (apart from some books, some clothes, our tramping gear, 5 Otago diplomas, duvet cover and new sheet set [I finally bought bnew sheets with a briscoes voucher we got as a wedding gift!] and my 2 sewing machines).  God, it feels good.  No, it feels amazing.

We’ve been flatting for many years now and haven’t had a lot of space.  But we have a lot of crap.  Our bedroom has been full of stuff and constantly cluttered (especially my stuff – it drives D crazy).  It’s impossible for a space like that to ever feel truly clean – it feels more like the clutter and chaos is just shoved and hidden away (in our massive closet and under the bed).

But now, we are de-cluttering.  Paring it all down to the essentials only.  I’m so, so excited to move to Australia.  To start fresh and to keep things minimal.

This was one of my goals when I first came to NZ 9 years ago – to become less materialistic.  But it has taken me the entire 9 years (and a lot of influence from D) to get this way.  And lets be honest, it’s always going to be an uphill battle.  I’m just naturally a hoarder: I love stuff (I am an American remember, we’ve been raised/programmed to consume!), I love kitschy weird geeky stuff, I love giving presents, I love fashion, art and design.

But now, I’m more about function.  Is it useful?  Am I going to have to haul it around the world?  Do I love it?  Is it worth purchasing in the first place?  For example, maybe I spent $500 on a tent earlier this year.  But D & I have used that tent so much. So to me, that is a very useful item and money well spent.

Fun exercise: Try typing “minimalist living” into Pinterest.

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The caption here was “Omit needless things”  Seriously?  There’s a lot of needless stuff in this photo.  A hammock, really?  Tiny ottoman?  And what is that thing on the floor on the right hand side?

Minimalist doesn’t mean just your décor is all black and white or grayscale (Pinterest seems to think so).

living-room-white-themed-navy-living-room-ideas-with-dark-black-modular-l-shaped-fabric-sofa-on-the-gray-tile-complete-with-the-retro-style-pillows-and-traditional-brown-wood-rectangle-shaped-table-on

Apparently this is Rachel Bilson’s “Boho-Minimalist” home…

Though I shouldn’t be too hard on pinterest, as it lead me to this article on simplifying and creating a zero waste home which I found really inspiring!

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Now this is what I’d call minimalist

Ok, so maybe minimalist is just a fad.  And there is no way I’d ever do a white couch or white decor.  But I like it, and I think it would suit D & my lifestyle immensely to generally live with the least amount of stuff possible.

Have you tried to de-clutter or simplify your life?  What about the Konmari method that everyone is going on about?

Feeling inspired now?  I found these links helpful.

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3 thoughts on “Moving towards minimalism – who are you, and what have you done with Rebecca?

  1. Good for you, Becca! Getting rid of “things” is such a difficult task. I think people are naturally hoarders and there’s nothing like moving and starting fresh to motivate you to be more selective about what you keep.

    Though I am glad to say I haven’t reached the point of having a disease, I certainly have more things than I need or even want. Part of the task is figuring out HOW to get rid of items. Can I donate to a women’s shelter, consign, or haul to Goodwill. I’m taking it in baby steps though and counting anything that goes out of our house, big or small, as a victory. The struggle quadruples once you have kids!

    • I can only imagine! I worry that we’re being a little too ruthless, but I am not really sure there is any such thing. The world we live in today means so much stuff can just be replaced!

      I’m trying to sell and donate as much as possible. Though a lot of stuff is going straight into the bin! I have a lot of “sentimental” saved stuff, but I’m getting a lot better about deciding what is worth keeping vs. throwing (or just taking a photo and then throwing). E.g. do I really need like 7 synchro shirts? Probably I can keep 1 or 2, and bin the rest. Same goes with the suits. Keep the faves, the rest – throw.

      • You pretty much have to be ruthless when you literally cannot take all of the things with you. And you’re right, a lot of it CAN be so easily replaced if you really need it in the future! Oh, the sports/event participation t-shirts are the worst. I think I have a bin of them in the basement!

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