To change your habits you need to make them routine by building them in to your daily life gradually. June marks the last month of my six month project to work towards a more conscious, minimal lifestyle and the commitment to make conscious living a habit.
The Declutter Project has helped me to make some gradual changes and by sharing them on my blog I feel I’ve been kept accountable and this has enabled me to continually review my goals. The effect is that coming to the end of the project, I feel that the mindset of living a more simple and deliberate life has started to take hold.
Initially I started with a general clear out which led to a house move which enabled me to do an even bigger clear out. I started really questioning my belongings and whether I truly valued them. This led me to sell some things that I had been carrying around for years and telling myself that they were important to me. This snowballed into getting rid of more and more things which I had previously thought added value to my life including souvenir items that I bought when travelling which actually felt like a relief to be rid of rather than something to treasure. Such items, I realise now, were not providing me with prompts for happy memories so much as providing me with something that I felt I couldn’t let go of for fear of not being able to get one again. Of course, it was just a ‘thing’ and didn’t inherently hold any memories or nostalgia that I don’t carry with me anyway.
I then started to look at my wardrobe and tried the Project 333 approach to a capsule wardrobe which I found much more difficult that expected. I have now pared down my wardrobe and continue to do so regularly. I operate a one in one out policy and generally say no to buying new things.
I have decluttered my kitchen and I am currently using up items in my cupboard rather than buying new ingredients. I have reduced plastic consumption and recycle jars to use as storage rather than plastic. I have decluttered my cosmetics and again I am using them up and choosing to either not replace items or to replace them with more renewable items. The result of my month on minimising my cosmetics is that I have used up my cleanser and I have replaced it with a konjac sponge. I use a microfibre cloth to remove make up and I use coconut oil as a moisturiser, body lotion, foot lotion and really anything else I can come up with. I am replacing plastic packaging where possible with minimally packaged products such as solid shampoos.
Finally I have wherever possible opted to choose experiences over things and the company of positive and supportive people over destructive associations. Since starting this project I have continued to work on learning new skills, self care and compassion, read and listened to a plethora of information and got outside as much as possible. I have booked another surf trip, climbed two mountains, been track cycling, tired boxing, weight lifting and self defence, started teaching two new Pilates classes and taken several dance performance opportunities among many other things.
In conclusion, what I’m trying to say is that the approach to life that I have learned over the last 8 months or so which is to live deliberately, only allowing into your life things that serve you and to live with a feeling of abundance rather than scarcity had started to get under my skin. I still buy things, but I buy less and want less. I still waste sometimes but I am more aware of this waste. I still make bad decisions, but I am also still human.
The project has been exactly what I hoped it would be- a transition into a new way of thinking. I haven’t done anything drastic but I have felt the benefits. I haven’t thrown away all my possessions and commitment to a life of asceticism but I have committed to live in a way which I am much more able to align my values with. I believe I am wealthy, on the whole, and I can do the things I want to do and I am not talking about money. I recommend giving a Declutter Project a go for yourself. Even just for a month.
For my final post I will be sharing with you a simple plan for your own declutter project and some resources to help you on your way. Why not see what it could do for you?