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Minimalism as a lifestyle means conscious renunciation in order to create space for the essential. I consciously encountered this topic for the first time about half a year ago. At that time we had to move and there was a condition attached to it – namely that we had to part with many things that we had accumulated for years in our dressing room. I knew that apart from a large closet, I would have no other option but to deposit my things. I would lie if I wasn’t a little afraid of failing in this task, but the more I became friends with the clean-up, the happier I got.
In this context I saw the Netflix documentary minimalism, a little later I saw Marie Kondo clean up and yesterday I happened to hear Luana’s podcast Platz für Neues – Ordnung schaffen im Leben (Room for New – Tidy up your Life). Quite different approaches that have one thing in common: Consumption consciousness, letting go and order have a positive effect on our mental health.
But letting go of things was very difficult for me. I saw a possible reuse in every pretty box, wanted to wear every dress again next summer and kept uncomfortable shoes, because I liked them optically. Thereby naturally enormous quantities of unused material objects accumulated and this small chaos provided regularly for tension in my relationship. Sven was annoyed by my disorder and I was overwhelmed because I felt I had too little storage space available.
The closer the move came and with each cardboard box I became aware of how much stuff had accumulated in this small room. There it “clicked” and I developed some small strategies for the big tidying up.
These tips could also help you to become minimalist within a few weeks and hopefully to stay a minimalist.
1.Create a pleasant atmosphere to tidy up & reward yourself
I have tried to make the hours in which I intensively deal with letting go as pleasant and “fun” as possible. Relaxed music, a large infused water carafe and a relaxed coffee break were part of my little routine. After a successful stage I cooked something delicious or we ordered something to eat and ended the day together.
With time pressure, I often feel overstrained and easily irritated. That’s why I really tried many weeks in advance to make a stage in my apartment every day. So I didn’t have to make all decisions at once and could work my way up bit by bit. Another advantage is that you can separate yourself from things better and better and get faster every time.
3. The KonMarie-Method
Marie Kondo is a lifestyle expert and is considered an order miracle. She explains how to clean up successfully and has developed the KonMarie method in this context. It says that you only keep things that give you pleasure.
I didn’t pick up every object and wonder if it would make me feel positive, but the basic idea accompanied me throughout the process. I also started with the less important things, such as pots or cleaning utensils, and gradually worked my way through clothes, books and memorabilia.
4. Take or Toss – These decision aids help with cleaning up
In each room there was a moving box in which all the parts I wanted to keep were sorted and three big garbage bags. One was for the parts that couldn’t be used, the other was for the things I wanted to sell, and the last was for items that I wanted to give away or donate. This classification made my decisions much easier.
I even went so far with clothing that I re-dressed older items to see if they really fit me. I also said goodbye to trend pieces and sold things that made me doubt. Because these doubts would always make me reach for my favorite parts when I’m standing in front of the wardrobe.
5. Sort out, but please sustainable
As already indicated, there was the category “give away” and “sell”. So at Christmas I packed a small package with cosmetic products for all my girlfriends, which I haven’t used yet. Of course, we receive an above-average number of products that we simply can’t use permanently in our everyday lives.
I put decorative articles and other things with a sign “To give away” on the street and within one day all objects found a new owner.
I donated old clothes and sent 7 moving boxes to the Mädchenflohmarkt (girls flea market – an online second hand shop). Here you can find our accounts, which are regularly topped up with new items:
6. Long-term minimalist living
In my wardrobe there is a rule: When all the hangers are full and something new is added, I have to part with something else. So almost every month I go through my clothes and send away a box or give away some of the pieces.
It also helps that we have a closed wardrobe. It used to be my dream to have a walk-in wardrobe with open fronts. Nevertheless, it was always the case that the room never looked neat and one quickly fell into the old mess of overfilling the drawers and shelves. Since everything is stored behind closed doors, this has had a really positive effect on my well-being and it seems to be tidy.
For cosmetics there are only two small boxes (formerly there were two complete drawers) with make-up and shampoo, body lotion etc.. In these I store the products I use when the product I used up to now has been used up. Both boxes are in the attic and it is a conscious step every time I replace something old with something new. So there is no chaos in the apartment because I have 7 eye shadow pallets in use at the same time.
There is a fixed place for all objects: decoration, documents, stationery and food. As soon as the storage space is occupied and something new is purchased, it has to be mucked out. Even when it comes to food, I only try to buy things that are no longer in stock and that I use constantly.
This changed attitude has also had a little effect on my fashion style, because I now have much more simple basics and timeless parts that I enjoy for a long time. A garment like this jumpsuit is enough for me to create a cool look.
Minimalism as a lifestyle is a kind of counter-movement to consumerism and materialism, which I was able to adapt to my behavior. This minimalist life can be the solution to the material stress that many people suffer from, consciously or unconsciously. Because if you own less, you don’t have to worry much about less, but you have more space, time and money. That can make you happy – give it a try!
SHOP MY LOOK:
Jumpsuit: & Other Stories (here)
Bag: Saint Laurent (similar here)
Shoes: Shoppisticated Collection (here)
Sunglasses: Kapten & Son