Welcome back to DSG, this week I have been called to vlog about minimalism, one because I feel that the earth needs less man-made stuff and two because I have seen many people asking questions about how to minimize when going from full time home to full time van/motorhome life. So, this vlog is for you if you’re preparing to live the nomadic lifestyle, want to support the earth and wildlife or just want to create more space in your home/car/workplace etc.
Within this vlog I will show you the steps to minimizing which allows for a spaciousness not only within the physical realms but also the emotional, mental and spiritual realms.
We all seem to carry around stuff, within our minds, within our hearts and the one which everyone sees, in the physical! But how much of this stuff do we actually really need? I get it, we have sentimental values and of course there’s the ‘ooh I could use that one day or I could wear that at some point’. But have you used it or worn it in the last three to six months? A great deal of the time the answer is no and in this case this item may just be a prime example of what goes in the ‘see ya later pile’. Don’t get me wrong, I like to salvage as much stuff as I can, keeping old glass jars/containers and the likes as having a purpose for everything does wonders to declutter as well as doing our bit for the planet.
How much you minimize will all depend on your reasoning and what you aim to get out of this process so there will be multiple factors needing to be taken into consideration when starting the great cull. For me I needed to fit my home contents into my motorhome within a few months, for others it may be a van and some of you out there may just want to clean out a drawer to start with. There is no right or wrong and as everyone will have different needs but what helped me was a plan in moving forward towards my goal of getting on the road.
So how does one start the great cull?
Mentally reflect on the following:
· Do I have a timeframe in which to minimize?
· What time can I spend on minimizing each day/month?
· How much space do I have to fit my personal items?
· Where is the best place to start first?
· Will I need storage for excess items and where can I source this ie Family/Friends/Storage hire places?
Perhaps you prefer to start small with a drawer and work your way up? Or perhaps you have limited time and just want to dive in. For those of you who work well on deadlines, consider giving yourself a timeframe to smash it out.
Now, your items will usually fall into one of two categories. Practical living /essential day to day items and items which bring you joy / sentiment.
When you are ready to take that next step with your drawer/room/house etc, reflect on the following questions as you sift through your items.
Essential day to day/practical living items
· Is this item essential for my day to day living?
· Is this item essential for my monthly/yearly living? (Somethings may not need to be used daily however may be necessary in winter/summer months etc. Other things may need to be kept for repairs etc)
· Do I have two or can I use items as multipurpose?
· Have I used this within the last three-six months?
· Will someone else get better use out of this item?
· Where will this item fit in my new space?
Sentimental items and those that bring me joy
· Does this item bring me joy/love on a regular basis or when it is really needed?
· Will this item fit in my new space or can it be stored elsewhere with loved ones etc?
It’s important to keep the things that bring you great joy however many of us have multiple joyful and sentimental items, so do you need all of them? The memory is a great tool for keeping the things we may not have physical space for and most of us can tap in to these memories at any time. (if your memories work well, not everyone is so lucky).
When working through any sentimental items you’re not sure about, ask yourself:
· Has this item served its purpose?
· Does it still need to be kept with me?
· Is there something stopping me from letting this item go?
· Will anything bad happen if I let this item go?
Please keep in mind, this may not be an easy process for some, letting go is a real tester on the emotional and mental bodies however the results in doing so can be so freeing. In letting go we create space for the new. I recognized that by creating more space within my physical environment it allowed me to have a clarity within the mind, an open heart and more space for my spiritual practices.
Pile it up - Make three physical piles which will consist of the following
· I’m holding on for dear life
· I’m not so sure if it’s a keeper or not
· See ya later, it’s already gone
This is the moment in which you determine the next phase in your life. It may be a small pile or one that is large. Either way it’s a great step to this process as the I’m not so sure pile is a great way to allow the emotional and mental bodies to get used to the fact that much of this pile can probably go too! You want to end up with two piles remaining. A seeya later pile its and an I’m holding on for dear life pile.
I recognized after a few months with my new spaciousness that I didn’t even need all the things I had packed within my motorhome and I didn’t even miss the stuff I had said goodbye to.
Just a quick note on what you can do with your see ya later pile.
· Can I make any money off this and spend it on something else more essential to my health, wellbeing and happiness? I sold off many of my household items by having a garage sale and selling online. I also went through old gold pieces of jewelery and sold those too. This money went towards setting up for my brand-new life. I also had an interesting collection of sorts, cabbage patch kids. Around 150 of them and they brought me great joy but I knew they could not and would not be a permanent fixture in my motorhome so I had to cull. I am lucky enough to have kept some and have these stored at my partner’s house.
· Can I reuse or recraft this item to something that is needed or will bring me great joy?
· Could I give this item to another person/service who may need it?
· If all else fails, could I recycle this item?
There is so much more to minimalism and this is just one teeny weeny little vlog but I hope you got something out of it.