Learning to live a more minimalist lifestyle, didn’t start off that easy for me.
I always liked stuff. Little things on my dresser, decorations and clothes. Lots of clothes, shoes, handbags and products. I am also very sentimental, so every card, every note, every book, every gift, and bag I would keep and store away.
When leaving for South Korea, I had a bunch of boxes in storage with books, notes, clothes and memorabilia from University. I could not let go and throw stuff away.
Once in Korea, I lived by myself for the first time, and suddenly I could buy things and hoard up even more unnecessary things. Too many clothes, too many shoes, too much stuff!
When leaving Korea after 4 and a half years, I had accumulated quite a lot of stuff that I needed to fit in 2 suitcases to lug back home to South Africa. This was a mission, but I managed to donate, sell and get rid of quite a few things and felt happy that I could let go of some of these.
I was in South Africa for only two months before heading over to Thailand. I had to scale down a lot more and only came over with summer clothes and some essentials.
Once here, it didn’t take too long before I was shopping away and buying way too many unnecessary items again.
The thing is, I felt like I always needed more. More clothes, more shoes, more things to make me feel good, to make me look good, to mask whatever I was maybe feeling on the inside.
During my health journey, I slowly started to realize that I am enough. I have enough. I don’t need so many things to try and feel better about myself.
Slowly I started to get rid of so much clutter I had in my life.
I also set a challenge for myself at the beginning 2018, to not buy a single item of clothing, shoes or anything else other than essentials, like food and toiletries until April. At first this was a bit of a challenge, but after a few months, I slowly started to realize that I don’t need, or honestly don’t actually want half the items I would have purchased.
Since April I have maybe bought 3 items of clothing (a new white T-shirt, an extra pair of black jeans for teaching and a new sports bra)
I also went through my closet and got rid of a few bags of clothes that I don’t wear anymore. Having only a few options of good, quality clothes is so much more simple.
I still have a long way to go, and can scale down even more, but it is a process, and one should take it at your own pace, and slowly simplify one’s life.
I have found it so freeing to not have so much stuff in my life! I am so grateful for what I have, and thinking of so so many people who struggle on a daily basis to provide and gather only essentials for them and they families, makes one really think about what you need. We are truly so privileged, and sometimes I think very spoiled with what we have and what we think we need.
Living a more uncluttered, simple, minimalistic life has taught me to enjoy the things I do have, to be grateful for the means to be able to buy what I need, and to enjoy the simple things in life.