We’ve done a lot of shuffling, reshuffling, organising, and decluttering over the past three or four years (five house moves in as many years will do that for you), which resulted in an intense interest in minimalism for me.
Decluttering has become a pretty regular feature in my life: I’ve whittled my wardrobe down to the bare minimum, and our lounge currently consists of a sofa, four pillows, a throw, a small TV stand, and our TV. Oh, and two curtain drops. No coffee table with collectible trinkets, no pictures on the wall, no DVD or CD stands, no rug. Much of it is out of necessity (some of our furniture is still in storage in Johannesburg and will be arriving in a month or so), but a lot of it is also out of choice… but after living with only the essentials for so long, I’m starting to crave things. More pillows, a gallery wall, our beloved rug, and some books on a shelf. Things that will make our lounge cosier, and a little more me.
See, something that’s come to my attention since moving to Greyton and living with only about half our furniture (we weren’t exactly sure where we’d settle when we returned to the Cape, so only bought the necessities along with us until we’d decided on a home), is that I may not be a minimalist after all! I’m all for simpler, slower living, but I’ve realised that I love seeing beauty all around me, and that I’d really rather not get rid of all my books and candles and trinkets! I love a cosy home filled with lush throws, pillows, scented candles, old photographs, and fresh blooms, and the bare, minimal space we’ve been living in these past few months doesn’t feel quite as homey as I’d like it too. As an only child, I find that Beanie needs a wider selection of toys, books, and puzzles to keep him occupied, because as much as I’d love to, I simply can’t spent all my time entertaining him!
I’ve done a lot of thinking on what this means for us, because our home is considerably smaller than we’re used to, so we will need to get rid of quite a bit of furniture once the moving truck arrives. I’m definitely no fan of a cluttered, over-filled home, so I’m going to be doing another epic decluttering session over the next few weeks. I plan on tackling my wardrobe, my collection of books, my (somewhat ridiculous) beauty stash, and Beanie’s bedroom. I absolutely love my book collection and my beauty and skincare stash brings me so much joy, so I don’t plan on culling these massively – I’d just like to pass on those few books and products that aren’t absolute favourites, so that others can benefit from them.
I’m going to donate old towels and linen, and will only be keeping two or three sets of each – and the most beautiful, luxe sets at that. Although my approach to our new home is more hygge than minimalism, I really don’t see the point of hanging on to things that don’t leave me feeling excited when using them. Living with less has taught me that I truly do appreciate the finer things in life – marble dishes, beautiful vases, scented candles, and other bits and bobs that may be considered useless fluff by some – and that a bare, open room feels somewhat unfinished and unlived in to me. I’ve learnt that it’s ok not to be a minimalist – and that the opposite of a minimalist isn’t necessarily a hoarder! Instead, I’ll be focusing on living a more intentional, thoughtfully curated life in our new home. This doesn’t give me full permission to buy all the things, but rather, encourages me to look for the beauty in my surroundings and to appreciate them on a daily basis.
What are your thoughts on minimalism? Are you a fan, or do you find yourself yearning for a beautiful shelf full of books as well?