On Minimalism

I am interested in Minimalism. I like the concept, I believe in the benefits of adopting this lifestyle and want to go for it. I like that it is adaptable to everyone’s lives and self boundaries. What works for some doesn’t work for others and only each person is able to set the limits of how far they want to go.

When I moved to the UK I left most of my possessions in Portugal. I moved with 2 suitcases packed with a few Winter clothes, a pack of bed linen and some personal things, from hygiene stuff to 3 or 4 books. That was all that I had. Slowly I added to it some more books (left behind by my first flatmate) and more clothes and personal objects that I was bringing from each travel to Portugal. When I moved to this flat over a year ago, I was living in a room that literally could fit a double bed and a bed table. I was amazed with how many stuff I was able to keep in such a small space. Through all this time I kept things that were dear to me and due to the lack of space (and money) I didn’t acquired much but I had enough to keep me going. Going through this “forced” minimalism, made me actually readjust my priorities in regards to how many things I have and how many things I should get rid off. It is always difficult and there is no easy way to do it. We are attached to our things: first of all, they are ours. Then, there is a part of us that tell us that one day in the future we may regret having given them away, that we may still need it and want it, that we’re going to lose weight and that that skirt is going to fit perfectly again. That may be true but in the meantime it’s clutter, there’s no use to it.

This made thing of how much of this feeling is real and how much of it comes from a need for safety. There is a lot from the latter, I’m sure. Having realised this and reading a lot on the subject, I would really like to start decluttering my life. There are too many stuff around the house I don’t need: old laptops, old phones, old clothes, old shoes. Stuff I don’t want but unless I give them a better destiny they will just end up as a burden, wether because they occupy precious space – we live in a London flat, you know what that means, right?-, or because we will have to carry them with us when we move (news approaching soon!) taking unecessary space and time from us.

After a while thinking about this, I finally approached G. on it. I must confess that I knew it wasn’t going to be taken that easily. Although he is aware of the limited space we have, he – like me – is an avid consumer for certain items. I think there are too many gadjets around. He mentioned we didn’t need as many books as the ones on the shelves. We will definitely need to reach a compromise here. If getting rid of my clothes will be hard, getting rid of my books is clearly taking this minimalism thing to a higher level. One that I am not ready to reach yet.

But the cards are on the table now. We aim to move soon and – if not before – we will slowly start decluttering. One thing here, another there. A shelve at a time and we’ll get to a point where things will get out of our way. I don’t see myself in the future as someone who will live free from all possessions. I prefer this vision of myself where I have enough to make my life comfortable but without too much stuff rattling my way.

Whether I will ever be a minimalist or I have already been adopting this philosophy to my life (out of necessity rather than choice), I don’t want to get stuck in the label. Either way, wish me luck!


Image seen here.