MINIMALIST PH 101: 5 THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND

By Teresa Gueco - May 18, 2019



THERE’S NO SINGULAR FORMULA IN BEING A MINIMALIST

The common misconception of other when they hear that someone is a minimalist is the fact that they either wear same clothes and that everything is black and white. While this is partly true, I want people to know that being a minimalist is not limited to a certain color palette.

Using certain color palette does help but it’s not a must. As I’ve said, there’s no singular formula or rule to being minimalist. The goal that you have to mind is that you have to limit your belongings only to those that makes you happy. The goal of minimalism is to lessen distraction that hinders you to have the peaceful life that you deserve.

I don’t have a certain color palette in my clothing but I consider myself practicing minimalism in terms of clothing since I don’t spend that much with branded clothes. As I’ve said, no singular rule as to how to adapt minimalism.

Back then, I tend to hoard clothes since I always buy cheap ones and it has accumulated along the way and some ended up not being use at all! Now, I think I only have less than a 90 pieces of clothing (I know it’s still a lot but I’m still working on it, don’t worry!) and for some I might not have done proper purging but I am proud of what I’ve accomplished.

I learn to accept and realize that not everyone is the same and that’s fine. I don’t have same shirts that I use every day and I don’t have a color palette that people associate with minimalism.

IT IS A PROCESS, IT DOESN’T NEED TO HAPPEN IN A SNAP OF YOUR FINGERS

As I’ve said on my previous post about my journey to Minimalism it took me some time before I jump to it and even more time to be on the process. I said to myself ‘Okay, enough reading and researching. Do it now!’ but it didn’t happen in a snap of my fingers. It took me three weeks before I achieve a lighter room. To be fair I only did the work during weekend since I have a day job during weekdays.

During the first week I went and throw all the unnecessary items inside my and Lola’s room (we share a room). My Lola is a hoarder and you can only imagine how dusty it is underneath our bedframe where she keep stack of filmsy Tupperwares, the pasalubong containers, and I was even shocked to find planks! I also started purging clothes this week and I already purged a luggage full.

During the second week, I decided that I still have a lot of clothes and so I purge once again. Yes, it took me majority of the day since I also clean the cabinets. After purging I ended up with additional box full of clothes.

I was pretty proud of myself knowing loads of stash are going to be discarded.

Third week was hard, I decided to give my attention to my books and papers. After I clean my bookshelf I separate the books into three category, the one I’ll surely keep, maybe pile, and let go pile. I told myself that I need to be brutal about my books since it takes up too much space and it’s not healthy since I don’t have time to read that much. I let go of the books that mostly just pick my curiosity but is not my genre and the one that I bought because I thought I’ll be able to read it.

As of writing, I folded my clothes just earlier and upon doing so I purge ten more pieces. Minimalism is a journey, not a race to discard all your belongings.

IT’S NOT ABOUT HOW YOU ORGANIZE, IT’S THE HABIT YOU DO AFTER EVERYTHING IS ORGANIZED

For the past weeks I realized something and it was so simple and yet I was blown away by how it can affect my current state, a make or break deal to be honest.

It’s how you put the things after you use them.

Pretty simple right? Indeed, it is simple but it does make a lot of difference. I notice that half of the reason why our room is a mess is because of how I put my stuff after I used them. For instance, after I went home from work I discard my uniform and put it on a corner pile (not proud of it but it’s true) and then the next thing I know is that I have bunch of mixed clean and dirty clothes.

It’s also the case with my desk. One moment everything is organized then I need to write something so I’ll get a pen and a paper, then the next days I can’t see a single pen anymore because I didn’t put it back to where it was placed.

We’re not done with shoes yet. So technically most of my shoes have boxes and it’s not that I change the kind of shoes I use very often so I keep them under my bed at the end of the day, and then when a certain shoes wouldn’t complete an outfit I have to use another and the next thing I know is that all my shoes are now under our bed while their boxes are carefully stacked and empty.

You have to keep telling yourself that certain things must have a certain place to stay with. In doing so, you wouldn’t just improve your organization skills but it’ll also help you ease daily struggle in terms of finding pieces of belonging that you needed.

And I know it’s hard but trust me when I say that it’s all worth it.

RESPECT SOMEONE’S PLACE AND BELIEF

As I’ve said earlier I’m with my Lola and she is a hoarder. It is hard on my part because she keeps putting back the things I wanted to let go. Even though I’m 110% ready to let go of things she just keeps on getting it from my pile and carefully hide it together with her other clothes.

I’ve seen a video of a girl tidying up her mom’s place, a certified hoarder, who went out to do some errands. The caption says that her mom keeps accumulating things and she wanted to help and so she tidy her house for her. But I think it’s not right. Being a hoarder ( a little bit haha) myself and growing up with Lola who typically keep all the things that she think that she’ll be able to use someday is a lot of work. For me, what the girl in the video did was way out of the line and uncalled for. If you wanted people to respect the way you live then you should also practice respecting their way of living. You don’t go throwing people’s stuff away just because you wanted to help, you can help them but at least as for a permission to do so.

Now, in our room there is a corner full of clothes of my Lola (we used to share that corner) but even though she went on a vacation for more than a month I didn’t try to discard her clothes or belonging even though I know that half of the clothes were not even used for years because if that will be done to me I’ll be pissed and will probably spit fire.

Just because we life a minimalist and meaningful life doesn’t mean you are right and that everyone will follow suit. It just doesn’t work that way.


IT’S HARD UNTIL IT WASN’T

This, I can attest to. It took me months of reading and being curious to the world of minimalism and I keep asking and wondering if I can pull it until I decided it’s time and just jump into it geared with knowledge from my reading.

To be honest, it’s really not that easy. It’ll hurt you and make you doubt if you are still doing the right thing. You’ll contemplate if letting go your things will all be worth it or just a crazy phase that you’ll outgrow in the couple of months.

But the only thing you can do is to move forward. Keep purging and hopefully you’ll feel the lightness lift off from your chest and the next thing you know is that you are regularly purging through your belongings.

After 4 major weekend purging I was surprised when I realized that I was getting good at this. Every rest day I go through my belongings and declutter one or two pieces. My books that is under my ’maybe pile’ keeps on decreasing while my ‘to-go pile’ keeps on accumulating. I realized that I crave the lightness I feel when I maintain the space of our room.

It is indeed hard until it wasn’t anymore.




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