^ if you haven't tried adult colouring books, you must.
So, it's been about 3 weeks since I blogged about my first steps towards a "gently minimalist" life, and no one is more surprised than I am (apart from my husband, perhaps, who knows me better than I know myself!) that this "makeover" that I embarked on is done and dusted. Well, I don't believe that it's ever truly finished, but the initial drastic decluttering and re-organising? We nailed it.
Honestly, it has been an eye-opening, cleansing and - dare I say it - life-changing (to quote Marie Kondo) experience. I think that all in all, we threw away/donated enough bin bags to fill over half of our living room, and I have no idea where all that stuff even fit in our flat in the first place.
Here's a list of things I ticked off since my first post:
✓ Decluttered our kitchen.
We have a teeny tiny kitchen, but we still managed to pile it up with so much! We now have more counter space than we thought possible, and it just feels so much better.
✓ Downsized my wardrobe.
I think that here are probably a few more pieces in there that I will eventually get rid of, but I've done the best I can for the moment.
✓ Unsubscribed from people on Facebook.
I'm not a huge FB user, but I realised that part of why I always gave up after scrolling down a couple of times on the newsfeed was that there were so. many. updates. So many from people that I'd like to stay in touch with via FB (you never know, it's definitely come in handy in the past!), but I don't necessarily need to see photos of them at a birthday party or a random thing that happened to them on a Tuesday.
✓ Organised our sheet music in alphabetical order.
We own a lot of sheet music for our work, and it feels amazing to have it all in an order that I can understand and remember!
✓ Sorted through and only kept printed photos that I truly cherish.
I'm yet to put them in photo albums, but I was ruthless and only kept those that I loved and knew I wanted to keep forever. It also served as a reminder to finally make a photo album with photos from our wedding!
✓ Threw away 90% of our random documents and filed the rest.
It's honestly quite amazing how little you need to keep, out of those piles and piles of paperwork. The only things we kept are things related to tax, marriage, educational certificates and driving licences. We had so many old bills and statements that were of no use whatsoever.
E was completely on board and decluttered a lot of his things, too (although he started with a fraction of the amount I had!), and now we are almost addicted to downsizing even more. I think that if we went through the flat one more time, now, and then a few months from now, we would still have things that we missed the first time around.
But for the moment, we are so happy with the result - I've always been a pretty messy person (everyone is surprised when they find that out about me...), but having less belongings that all have a space to be put away makes tidying up a breeze. I know, it sounds so logical but it's never been easy for me to think this way!
Also, all of this is helping greatly with my spending ban for the year - I definitely don't want to be undoing all my hard work by adding things to my life that I don't absolutely need or love. It's also made us realise what we actually do need (two purchases include a new hoover - I'm incredibly excited about this, which is so unlike me - and a small bar cart/table, which I am over the moon about), and more appreciative about everything we already have.
I hate to be this person, but if you're thinking of doing something similar, I am begging you to believe me when I say, if I can do it, so can you. And it's important to remember that putting a minimalist spin on your life doesn't mean that you have to follow any rules. If someone came into our flat today, they wouldn't look at it and think that we were minimalists in any shape or form! But to us, this balance right now makes sense to us and brings us joy, and that's really all that matters. There has been a slight shift in our daily routines - nothing major, but noticeable to me - that has definitely been a result of all of this, and I feel our days are simply happier for it.
I thought this "journey" would last a little longer, but I suppose it's always ongoing - no doubt I'll keep you updated and I'll be cheering you on if you're going on a decluttering adventure yourself!