Call us crazy, but Trevor and I spent this past holiday season spending time with family, relaxing and going through our entire apartment as a final push to eliminate all the excess items we could easily identify. We shared this journey over on our Instagram page and are going to provide a recap today, along with what we’ve learned about ourselves and minimalism.
We headed to a local nature preserve in order to film this video. It was cold, 40F, but we had the best time!
Not a Challenge
We want to stress that #Minimalist2017 was NOT a minimalist challenge, but rather a follow-along thing. Doing things to meet challenge goals doesn’t really make sense in terms of minimalism because you’re trying to find the items that hold value to you. Minimalism isn’t about reducing a certain number of items a day. It’s about learning what matters most to you and why. Take your time!
It’s so important to go through your items slowly and give them the respect they deserve in the decluttering process. You’re re-training your brain to think a new way (instead of buying and keeping everything and being highly subject to marketing, you’re becoming more selective and thoughtful). Everyone embarking on this journey will move at a different pace, so be patient and make sure you go slowly. Don’t make rash decisions to make a quota!
As we’ve mentioned before, using a Packing Party or the Kon Marie Method are great places to start. Keep in mind that these methods don’t actually change your mindset and that you’ll have to put in a lot of work yourself to actually eliminate items from your home. Remember: The Kon Marie Method isn’t a guide for Minimalism, it’s simply a teaching tool for tidying your home better.
How We Found Our Items
W’ve been moving towards a minimalist home for two years now and we’ve adopted a mindset of constantly reviewing the space around us. Every object we encounter we’re subconsciously asking ourselves: is this item useful and have I used it recently? As we find items we haven’t used, or don’t need, they go into a box.
This is a method we learned from LightbyCoco, who we highly recommend you check out. She has been an amazing resource and inspiration for us on our journey. I find a lot of value and inspiration in her words and enthusiasm.
Our Brand of Minimalism
Now, part of the reason we do things this way is because our particular brand of Minimalism is Essentialism. We can talk more about this in the future, but we edit our belongings down to what we need and then we have a few things that are purely around for joy and happiness purposes. These are extra things that aren’t required for daily living. Like…oh, I dunno…cats. 😉
We Didn’t Remove Excess Items from Our Home
Although we went through all our things, we didn’t remove them from our home. Honestly, December probably wasn’t the best time for us to undertake this endeavor as a lot of our time was devoted to family. However, that’s kind of a lesson worth sharing.
Stuff isn’t the priority, what lies beyond your stuff is the priority. We chose to value and prioritize time with family instead of prioritizing our lofty goal of eliminating ALL the remaining excess from our home during the holiday season.
We are very proud of ourselves for going through all our things, and we definitely don’t consider the project a failure. Make sure you check our Instagram for the final photos of us donating the remainder of our excess in the weeks to come!
You Cannot Lie to Yourself
Lying to yourself during your culling process is severely detrimental to the timeframe it takes you to complete the task, and how completely you are able to remove the items that don’t bring value to your life.
You Can Change Very Quickly, and You Can Change Very Slowly
We’ve had a lot of growth this year and realized we need a lot less than we thought we did last year. This phenomenon is actually par for the course on this journey towards minimalism, so don’t be afraid of it! Trevor explained the process of becoming a minimalist absolutely perfectly:
“It’s kinda like getting a boulder moving. It takes a lot of energy and effort to start moving it slowly and then once it gets moving you can get it moving a little faster.”
We truly hope you guys find value in this project; we had a lot of fun doing it!