The Effects of Minimalism

I posted an eco-friendly update here, but I wanted to write about the positive effects minimalism has had on my life thus far.

As I’ve said, I’ve always been a neat, organised person who doesn’t like clutter or mess, but even so I’ve decluttered further in the last few weeks. I wouldn’t call myself a minimalist, but I’ve definitely taken on some of the principles involved and enjoy life with less.

1/ Less time getting ready

I don’t have a capsule wardrobe, but my shirts all go with my skirts and getting ready in the morning is simple. I wear the same boots everyday (one pair of sandals for warm weather), take the same bag to work, and have the same makeup routine. I don’t have to try things on because I know that everything goes together and I feel good in everything I own.

2/ Not held back

The clothes I wasn’t wearing just made me feel guilty. I felt obliged to wear them even though I wasn’t comfortable in them, and I saw them everyday, stuffed in my drawers or hanging up next to my nice clothes. Even if an item you don’t like or wear is expensive, the way it’s making you feel isn’t worth it.

3/ Healthy hair

This is part of my eco-friendly adventures, but I only wash my hair on Sunday’s and Wednesday’s, which may sound like a lot to some of you, but last year I washed my hair every single day. Products last much longer, which is a great bonus.

4/ More time

I decluttered my phone. Already I didn’t have many apps (no games for instance) but still more than I have now. I’ve deleted my social media apps, google, music, etc; the only things I use my phone for now are to call and text (which is rare, let’s face it), listen to podcasts, and my alarm in the morning. I can’t just hop on my phone for lack of something else to do; I’m now forced to do things that require more thought and effort. I’ve been reading more (I reread the entire Narnia series, which was fantastic), praying more, and one of these days I’ll cook more (I can’t keep baking chocolate puddings without trying out dinners am I right am I right).

I also decluttered my laptop; now the only thing on my desktop is the recycle bin, which is an absolute joy. (Is that sad? It just looks so beautiful and clean.) I deleted a lot of photos, music, and documents.

5/ Less shopping

I didn’t used to just shop for the sake of it, but if I needed one thing I’d leave with extra bits. As I’ve said in previous posts, I’m no longer tempted to just spend. I have bought numerous eco-friendly products online (bamboo toothbrush, compostable phone case) but not excess items ‘just because’. Also because eco-friendly products are expensive and I haven’t married rich yet.

6/ On the road to zero-waste

Less shopping means less waste. No shopping, no plastic packaging. The products I bought online came with minimal wrapping; a layer or two of cardboard and no plastic. Since using hankies on a daily basis (I have enough hankies that I can use one a day and not run out for two weeks, yes boi) I rarely use tissues. My lack of rubbish every week is legitimately phenomenal. (This is also helped by my homemade reusable cotton rounds.)

7/ Travelling light

Linking in with decluttering my wardrobe, I can take less when I travel because I have less combinations of clothing to bring. Okay, I haven’t really travelled (I went away for a weekend which doesn’t really count), but I have a seven-day camp coming up, and I’m excited to not have to be responsible for a thousand heavy bags. Life is easier when you have less to carry, when your bag isn’t as heavy, when you haven’t over-packed.

8/ Neater

I used to think storage was always the answer, but my room has never looked as nice as it has now. I have lots of free space in my closet, on my bookcase, on my dresser, but it looks better this way. Things aren’t cramped, squashed, locked into place, but every item I have speaks for itself. What you can see, particularly in terms of decorative items, stands out more because it’s not crowded by lots of it’s kind. My room isn’t more spacious as I haven’t gotten rid of any furniture, but it feels and looks like it is.

I just feel more free at having decluttered. I like everything I own and I’m not distracted by things like I used to be. By decluttering not only physical items but digitally I have so much more time and space to focus on what I do enjoy, and I find myself turning to God quicker and more often because there is less of everything else. This morning when I ate breakfast (haloumi!) I didn’t go on my phone or laptop but read my Bible, and my whole morning felt less rushed and chaotic.

There is less to distract me, and it feels pretty dang good.

Sarah xx

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