Surprising Lessons from Decluttering

So I’ve reached the end of my first month of the Declutter Project and I’ve been surprised at how quickly I have felt a mindset shift towards a minimalist lifestyle.

I undertook the Minimalism Challenge this month and aimed to get rid of one item a day. Well, I ended up getting rid of far more than that. I have given away over 31 items of clothing alone. I have emptied my broken old sewing box and streamlined it into a more compact space. I have posted several items for sale, given gifts to friends, repaired items, reheeled shoes and thrown away items which can no longer serve their purpose or have a duplicate purpose. Seeing the space begin to appear reinforces why I am doing this. I feel liberated. But, the space, the stuff, the belongings aren’t really the key to all this. It is the shift in my mindset that I am really noticing and appreciating. I have been surprised to have learned some lessons already.


Lesson One: Many of the things I thought I loved and wanted I don’t really.

I own things that are not quite the things I actually want. For example, I have wanted a fitted black leather pencil skirt for some time. Being a supporter of the Leeds Community Clothes Exchange and struggling to find one in the shops that I like, I have instead a leather mini-skirt and a black pencil skirt, both from the exchange. Neither quite hit the mark. So, this month, during my minimalism challenge I actually ended up buying this skirt. I didn’t anticipate that I’d be making purchases but I have bought one thing to replace two- which have gone back to the exchange and a new home. And now I own the thing that I wanted all along and will treasure! I plan to do this with other items too- this will commence in earnest with the February Declutter plan…sort out my wardrobe! I also bought new climbing shoes and got rid of my old ones that don’t fit properly and make me less likely to climb. I bought a rucksack to replace one that I won’t use as often because it’s not quite big enough. This decluttering business has ended up in quite a few purchases!

Lesson Two: I want a new tattoo.

Yes, this seems totally unrelated. That is why it is a suprising lesson!  In starting to think more about owning what I want and so trying to establish what I really want, I realised that now is the time to get the tattoo I actually want. As an early 20-something I got several tattoos and I did this with the same attitude that I have now established needs to change. I cut corners. I went for something that wasn’t quite my vision so that I could get it sooner and cheaper. I didn’t spend enough money and I ended up with two tattoos that I don’t love. When you have something on your body for the rest of your life and other people can see it you need to love it. Being fairly wise beyond my years, I told myself that it was part of an important process for me to learn to let go and enjoy my youth. I told my future self not to have regrets or feel embarrassed but to appreciate that it felt right at the time. This has stayed with me and so I have these tattoos that I’m neither ashamed of or love. They are just, okay. In reality, I would rather do without.

So, in realising that I no longer want to cut corners I have started the process of getting one of them redesigned. I am putting money away and I will look to either start the process of removal so that I can have a different tattoo altogether or I will redesign the one I’ve got. It will be interesting to see if come the end of June, when the Declutter Project comes to an end, I have new ink on my body.

For February and month two of my Declutter Project I will be focusing on decluttering my wardrobe, my style and of course, my mindset towards my clothing. I am planning to begin the process of building a capsule wardrobe and replace the things I like with things I love.

This months inspiration- The Minimalist’s documentary:

What have been your experiences of minimalism, hoarding and decluttering? I’d love to know!


4 thoughts on “Surprising Lessons from Decluttering

  1. mylcce says:

    An interesting and personal response to your minimalism journey.

    I would like to see where you go with your Capsule wardrobe and look forward to hearing and seeing more about it!!

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