…declutter and be minimalist to keep it that way

Jackie Wilson Asheeke

Last year, I wrote about my decision to de-clutter my life. After a year, I can report that I have reached most of my goals. I have taken up minimalism to keep from sliding back into the bad ‘ol days of consumerism and directionless living. I have saved lots of money; I feel free of ‘stuff’; and I feel that everything near me is what I choose to have in my life. You can achieve that too.

My previously jam-packed storage rooms are neatly organized and nearly empty, with the remaining objects ready for sale or give-aways to family members. I’ve sent three huge suitcases of my clothes, shoes and handbags to my sisters-in-law in the North with more to come. I have another dear sister-in-law that will receive my excess kitchen stuff and linens.

They can’t wait to get the rest of my stuff and I can’t wait to get rid of it.

As a writer and editor, I choose to work mostly at home instead of schlepping to the office like I used to before the lockdown in March. The savings in petrol, depreciation on my old car, buying food to eat at the office and buying work clothes as well as less risk in driving home after dark and being around people during a pandemic, runs into the thousands per month. I get the ‘tip’ of increased peace of mind.

Check out these tips below – declutter and minimalize!

Rediscover your priorities

When you remove some physical clutter from your bedroom, sitting room or wardrobe, your mind gets clear too. Have an ex-living partner or ex-spouse – are your kids grown and gone? Get their crap out of your living space! It is wonderfully liberating. As you sort through piles of stuff deciding what to let go, your state of mind follows suit. Many people have less anxiety, more clarity, and overall better mood as a result.

Be creative

The creative process is a fantastic outlet for suffocated feelings and lingering doubts, but even better, for joy. What you make doesn’t have to be spectacular. It can be as messy as you like. The cool thing is, you made it.

Everyone is born an artist. Just give it a chance. Let yourself surprise yourself.

I use tough stitches to crochet blankets and sweaters and I am almost finished writing my first novel. I have no time to go out and about spending money that is not associated with the things I like doing. I meet friends on Messenger, Facebook, and an occasional cocktail get together.

Let it go

A lot of us tend to be obsessive about planning every single detail of our day. If we’re not busy enough, something’s wrong. Sometimes we just need to let things roll on their own.

If you cannot make it to a family event, so be it. The world won’t stop because you missed someone’s wedding or funeral. If your peeps think less of you because of it, then perhaps you need to re-evaluate your family life.

It’s ok not to be busy

If you’d rather read, or take a walk or roam through Pintrest or Instagram, or play a computer game, just do it. The world is not going to stop turning because you didn’t fix dinner tonight. It isn’t lazy to watch a beautiful sunset, meditate/pray on what worries you, or take time to call your parents or a good friend you haven’t seen for months.

RELAX.

Doing what you enjoy regularly restores your mental energy to deal with real responsibilities. Trust your judgment. You know what’s truly important.

Watch what you buy

These days of pandemic and economic crisis, very few things are more important than watching carefully where your money goes. Cut back everywhere and spend only on those few things that you believe are absolutely vital to your health and happiness. Blueberries are too expensive; you can live without blueberry muffins. Eating out is too expensive; having intimate fun sharing the cooking and eating in is cheaper.

Buy local when possible. The local economy thrives when people choose to support SMEs, communal conservancies with domestic tourism products and places like the Namibian Crafts Center. Use family businesses and visit open markets.

Minimalist ideas based on Martina Doleckova at medium.com/the-ascent/10-minimalist-habits