5 simple lessons for the beginner minimalist

1. It’s okay to make mistakes. We all buy things we don’t use, start hobbies we don’t suit, try trends that don’t work for us. That’s part of the human experience. So accept it, and move on.

2. People change and grow in our lives. That’s normal, and it’s just fine. That guitar sitting in the corner you never use? It’s part of the dream of who you might be, not the reality of who you are. Sell it, or give it to someone who will actually use and appreciate it. Be the person you are now, not the reflection of someone else.

3. Just because you bought it doesn’t mean you have to keep it. You bought some skis but now they’re sitting gathering dust in the shed because it turned out you didn’t enjoy skiing. If you don’t use them, get rid of them, and free yourself from the burden of owning them.

4. It’s in your home now, but that doesn’t mean it has to stay there. There’s art on your wall but you don’t really like it. Whose home is this anyway? Sell the artwork, and enjoy the lack of clutter.

5. It’s okay to pass gifts and heirlooms along to others. It is not your responsibility to use, accept and take care of gifts for the rest of your life. If they are of no use to you, you don’t like them or you have nowhere to put them, let them go. Your love for your great-aunt is not the least bit diminished by your inability to store and use her full bone china dinnerset! 😉

reflection

4 thoughts on “5 simple lessons for the beginner minimalist

  1. Thank you so much for these, especially points 3 and 5. I’ve just started out on this journey to a more minimalistic and less cluttered life and it’s so hard throwing things away sometimes, especially when I think about how expensive they were at the time even though I don’t use them! I am having lots of fun blogging about it too! So if you have any pointers for a money saving student, I’d love to hear them. I’m at http://www.laminimum.wordpress.com Thanks 🙂

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    • I know what you mean on throwing away stuff that you spent money on. It can be really hard, and for a long time I grappled with this, until I realised that the real issue wasn’t the money, it was the fact that I’d been foolish enough to spend it! And getting rid of mistakes meant having to admit that I’d MADE the mistakes in the first place, and how costly they were!

      If possible, sell the stuff you don’t use. EBay and even garage sales are a great way of dealing with excess stuff. When you can’t sell stuff, donate it – I do a lot of this, and figure that it’s building good karma for those times when I can’t afford to donate money. My favourite charity for donations is the local Hospice shop – they really appreciate everything I give them, and the money helps people in my local town that I actually know.

      Another thing to do is have clothing swaps with friends. I did a wardrobe swap with a group of girlfriends a few years ago, and it was wonderful to see my unworn clothes get a new lease of life with my friends. In the end, I didn’t swap my clothes for other clothes – instead, I swapped for food they weren’t using, and in one case swapped items for a friend to do some housework for me 🙂 So think outside the box about ways you can get value from things that currently hold no value for you and are weighing you down.

      Above all though, don’t blame yourself. Everyone makes mistakes, and lots of them. The key to happiness is accepting your mistakes, and learning from them 🙂

      Cheers 🙂

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      • Thank you so much! I sold a lot of stuff on gumtree (I live in Australia) and have been giving away old uni textbooks and books through book exchange groups on fb which has been a lot of fun.

        I totally hate that feeling of regret when you’ve spent way more than you should’ve. I’ve spent so much on clothes and things I don’t need which has prevented me from saving up for things such as one day being able to move out of home or travel overseas! So I’m really working on reducing my spending and wastage. 🙂

        I’m thinking of donating a lot of clothes to St Vincent’s de Pauls. Is Hospice in Australia? I’ve never heard of them before! Swapping clothes for food is a great idea, at least I’d use that haha!

        I’m thinking of starting to blog about my easy but yummy recipes with less ingredients too. I often feel like we can have way too many spices and canned/pickled foods that we never use. Also another thing that’s common here is donating food to the local church for the homeless- so maybe they’d accept clothes and things too, I’ll check it out and let you know!

        Thank you so much for your advice! I will keep you updated on my blog how everything is going. Hopefully as I learn new things, I can return the favour and have some of my own tips for you haha 🙂

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