I remember August 2016 very well. In just a few weeks I experienced all possible feelings – anger, frustration, depression, exhaustion, and then freedom, relaxation, happiness and tranquillity. That’s what decluttering does to you.
I was tired and took some personal time from work with the sole purpose of resting. So I was home, just hanging around and one day I got very frustrated that we had a pile of clothes on the exercise bike. I looked around and there were so many things. And the more I looked, the more things appeared. And so it started.
It took us about a month to declutter and we documented everything in blog posts. You can read about how we decided to do it, how we changed our closets, how we decluttered bedding and towels, books and DVDs and a few habits we adopted afterward. However, our most popular blog post is “The true cost of your unwanted things” and it’s the most popular for a good reason: it’s eye opening.
So with all the rules and new habits, what did we buy in the last year?
Of course, this is not about foods or toiletries that get used constantly, just things we bought and stayed. And now they’re in our house. I did a house tour and had a look around and I have to say I’m pretty proud of us.
A while ago I posted about our minimalist kitchen – how we manage to cook and prep food in a very small space using tools that do a great job. At the end of the post I mentioned that we’re thinking about adding a pressure cooker to our kitchen gadget collection once we move into a new home. Guess what, we didn’t! We kept the “small space essentials” and we’re just enjoying the extra space and empty counters (they’re much easier to clean). The only addition to the kitchen was a reusable Starbucks cup – I met a friend at a Starbucks and I just refused to receive a disposable cup, so I bought a reusable one, that I usually take with me to my Saturday morning yoga class. The environmentalist force is strong in this one!
According to the mighty internet, minimalists can buy or keep things if they spark joy. Well, this thing I bought makes me really happy, so that makes it ok, right? It’s a purchase I don’t regret and I make use of it very often. It’s an essential oil diffuser and the Yogi in me just lights up at the scent of Lemon oil or Ylang Ylang.
Oops, I may have slipped with this one, but don’t worry, I have an excuse for everything! Because I signed up for 2 Yoga Teacher Training programmes I had to purchase a fair amount of books and DVDs. I do intend to sell some of them after I get my certification – not just because I want to get rid of them, but someone else might benefit from them. By the way, I bought used books whenever I could.
Since the declutter, we took part in 2 half marathons and we kept the finisher t-shirts because we love them. The only other things we added to the closet were some pieces of underwear (I love getting socks for Christmas!), a couple of summer shorts and some Vegan Runners branded running tops.
Shoes & Accessories
Can I get a big round of applause here? No shoes or accessories were bought in the last 365 days. YEAH! Scratch that, I remembered Alin bought a pair of trail running shoes with spikes for his cross country race. Sigh.
When we moved from London to Hertford, we had almost no furniture and the house we moved into was empty, so we had to buy the essentials. However, we consider the experience a big win for 2 main reasons: all furniture we bought was second hand and very cheap (including a reclining sofa for 100 pounds) and we really stuck with the essentials: chairs to sit on (but no table, we sit at the kitchen counter), a mattress (but no bed), a sofa for the living room and beds for the dogs. We have plenty of room to breathe, play with the dogs and exercise. And cleaning is easier too.
Alin was the first one to break the spending ban and got a Garmin watch for his interval sessions. Not a new one, the cheapest he could find on eBay. But of course he’s forgiven, have you seen how fast he is now?!
Next in line, it’s me and my yoga again. I had my eyes on the Yoga Pro Wheel for a while before I decided to make a purchase. No regrets. And because it’s such a great product, I wholeheartedly recommend it and you can have 10$ off with code “greenzenfit” at checkout on yogaprowheel.com.
I also got some lights for my Yoga room, they add a bit of magic to my practice.
I bought some extra knitting needles to make Christmas tree decorations, but I also donated a few to a neighbour that wanted to take up knitting. I also made and gave as present 2 baby blankets, so the amount of yarn that left the house had to be replaced: I got 4 skeins of yarn recently because I’m adding items into my Etsy shop again.
Business oriented purchases
I became an Arbonne consultant in April so I got a lot of products to test and sell, so I have some stock in the house. I’m also experimenting with essential oils, so you might find some random empty bottles in my living room nowadays.
A note on gifts
We bought absolutely no birthday or Christmas gifts (except for the aforementioned socks, of course). We prefer to go out and enjoy a walk, a sport activity, a pampering session at the spa, basically experiences instead of objects. I spent my last birthday running the Great North Run half marathon and it felt better than any gift I could have received.
Looking back, it was a full year. We had some amazing times, but also some very stressful situations. And minimalism helped in many ways. Because it’s not just about decluttering, but also analysing every aspect of your life – how you spend your time, people you spend your time with, how you spend your money, how you eat and so many others. We have more time for the things that matter after we threw away the non-essential things and activities. It took the stress out of a burglary. The house move was stress-free because we didn’t have to sort through stuff, we just packed. And it made the house a real home – a space where we can relax and enjoy the presence of living loving souls.