Wait, what?! Well, not quite. I’m not done with minimalism as an ethos, but I think I might have reached what ‘my minimalism’ looks like in terms of my physical possessions.
I’ve spent the past couple of years decluttering, downsizing and reducing the new stuff that I bring into my life. After the initial purge, when I first discovered minimalism, I now do a ‘mini purge’ once every six months to keep on top of the clutter that creeps in.
During these mini sessions, I always try to challenge myself, to test whether I really want to keep items. I ask myself –
“Have I used this since the last clear out?”
“How many multiples of this item do I really need?”
“Am I ever going to get around to finishing this project?”
I try to be as brutally honest with myself as possible, which helps me slim down what I own. But sometimes pushing to be the most minimal that I can be, means I sacrifice being prepared or having options (see my post on minimalism vs frugality vs sustainability vs organization).
In the past few purges, I think I’ve found my limit on how minimal I can be for my current lifestyle.
I got rid of an item that I kind of wish I still had. Not a big thing – a straw summer hat that I purged because I have a practical bucket hat that it great for hiking but doesn’t look as nice. Looking back, I didn’t need to be as strict with myself and could have kept both this more ‘fashionable’ version and the practical version of a sun hat.
Of course, I can always re-buy it if I really need it, which is another principal of minimalism. There’s always a balance between being storing stuff ‘just in case’ and finding out that you later need something you threw out. The ratio doesn’t have to be perfect, and I think there are probably only a handful of items I’ve regretted parting with compared to the hundreds of items I no longer own. I haven’t even regretted it enough to re-buy them, it’s been the odd dress or piece of clothing that I felt I was a bit too strict with myself over.
But this sun hat tells me that I no longer need to stretch myself to minimize my items. I’ve reached a comfortable balance, where I can own multiples of some things to suit different occassions.
The trick will be keeping this balance.
Have you ever decluttered anything you wish you hadn’t?