This article focuses on me and my process of becoming a minimalist. I will share my past, but also some techniques and tips which might help you too.
The beginning – become a minimalist
To quickly sum up my object related life, I cite my first article ‘What is minimalism’: Let’s begin with a personal story: Back when I lived with my family, I always had a lot of stuff, but really, a lot. This probably explains my opposite reaction as soon as I got older.
I got then in touch with minimalism through YT and long story short, I liked it. However, I didn’t do much. It was later, while there were some family issues, that lot of things changed. With this abrupt change came my motivation to do something in the apartment. Therefore, I threw away everything that looked like trash and didn’t like. After a few days, I ended up with a lot less, but there were still personal things, books and more. Actually, you could say that it was ‘normal’, not yet minimalistic.
I also began selling online a lot of things, from trains to furniture. There were binoculars, old phones, fans, books, mickey mouse, hundreds of movies, games etc listed on Ricardo.ch, the Swiss Ebay. In addition, I scanned my important paper and then recycled them. Books were donated, as were clothes.
The beginning of minimalism
The dust settled and my ‘activity’ began to fade. Yes, I had a decluttered home, but I wasn’t all the way happy. Fast forward two months and I decided to move to a city with my university, so that I could reduce drastically the commuting time (from 1h to 20mins).
I had to move soon and I began to throw away more stuff again. Because I had time and the possibility, I decided to move by train.
You might think that I’m joking, but I’m not. I moved daily for a few weeks two bags of stuff to my new apartment by train. Luckily, this system is excellent in Switzerland.
Every trip I made wasn’t really painful, but it still bothered me. This is how I almost forced myself to be a minimalist.
The last trip was made with a car, since I had plants, a big PC, chairs and more. However, it was only one trip with a van.
I had reduced my possessions a lot, and when I looked around my little apartment, the shelves were a little bit empty. Actually, I still had furniture and more, but I could have stuffed everything I owned in my bedroom.
This is where I thought to be really minimalistic.
For convenience, I left most of my possessions in the cardboard boxes, which became my new furniture. I continued my system where I had a complete list with my things on Docs and the location.
I continued from time to time to throw a few things away, adapting in some form the one at a time method (How to declutter my home? 3 Methods), but generally I had really not much anymore and felt comfortable.
Although I moved to a new place, I knew that it was only for a few months, since I had to go to a foreign country for a year. For one month, I hadn’t decluttered much nor sold, but as the departure date came nearer, my activity rose again.
Become an extreme minimalist
The problem: I had to go away for a year and so no stay in Switzerland. I could store some things in the cellar, but that’s it.
Next, I started to really narrow down on my things. I sold my PC, furniture, screens and/or donated them like my toaster, sandwich maker, plates etc.
Then, I began to research extreme minimalism, watched videos, like the ones from Rob Greenfield, and when the day of departure came, I had my backpack and a big suitcase. I left at the cellar my rest, which was almost nothing anymore. Two pans, some electronics, some clothes and other utensils.
The packing method
During my trip I performed a double packing method, which I will explain shortly. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, take a look at my article How to declutter my home? 3 Methods and how to maintain a clean and decluttered home.
I had my suitcase with all my stuff, and I decided to only take out what I needed during this year. The rest I almost fully donated. At the same time, I had in Switzerland my “rest, which was almost nothing anymore”. Consequently, I thought about the One year rule and concluded that if I return from my trip, I could eliminate at least half of these items. (A pan, my microwave or the steamer will still be necessary if I return).
To conclude my article, I need to say that it was an amazing experience and I enjoy every day thanks to minimalism. Going from a cluttered home to an extreme minimalist (not yet extremely extreme) was an interesting transformation and definitely a good thing. Still, the journey never ends, and that’s what motivates me. Well, see you in another article
Until then, happy decluttering