Are You a Closeted Minimalist?

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

Excessive consumerism is not a foreign concept to me. Back in school, I had  to have a wardrobe full of clothes. When I started my first job, I had  to buy a new shiny vehicle. When I bought my apartment, I also had  to buy all sorts of stuff to decorate my new home with. Not to mention the furniture and other home appliances I acquired when I bought my flat.

I have spent a couple of years living between London and my home country. I finally relocated to England in the autumn of 2007 to start my new job, leaving all of my worldly possessions behind. I received a nice relocation package from my new employer, but moving all  of my stuff to another country would’ve been impossible. I had two suitcases when I arrived in London and moved into a rented flat that was fully furnished.

Back then I made a promise not to  buy any more stuff because I was now renting and sooner or later would be forced to move. My plan didn’t quite  work. Somehow, over the period of six years, I managed to accumulate a lot of stuff. No furniture or home appliances this time around (well, apart from my 32’’ TV), but heaps of clothes, books, DVDs, a laptop table (not sure now why I thought I needed it), picture frames of all shapes and colours, lots of crap from my shopping sprees at IKEA… the list goes on.

Back in September, I decided to move to a cheaper place, and so I got rid of half of my belongings and packed the rest into five big boxes and two huge suitcases. It felt liberating to declutter. It felt awesome! My plan was to stay with my sister while looking for a new place to live, so I left all my stuff with my former flatmate while looking for a new place to live.

I moved into my sister’s place with one suitcase. I’ve been staying at my sister’s for over a month now, and I have the following things to wear/use: two office skirts, three office shirts, two office jackets, one office dress, one cocktail dress, three jumpers, one pair of jeans, one pair of boots, one pair of flat shoes, one pair of high heels, one trench coat, one puffer jacket and one leopard print scarf. Apart from my laptop, my hairdryer and a few other items that are of a personal nature, this is all I have with me.

Do I miss any of my other possessions? No!

Do I miss my telly, my DVDs, my laptop table? No, no and umm… no!

It is amazing but five boxes and two suitcases worth of stuff  suddenly seem like a lot  to be carrying around with me. Having just one suitcase of essentials is truly awesome – I can wake up in the morning and set off wherever I want to without having to worry about stuff. I actually shudder at the thought of having to go back to my old flat to collect my boxes (and a telly… and a laptop table… and a floor lamp).

I wish I didn’t have to.

It’s amazing how so many of us get attached to material things (including myself) and find it hard to let go. It took me many years,  but I’ve finally come to realise that I want to live a minimalist lifestyle. At least, while I’m renting.

So this is what I’ve decided to do. I will minimise my possessions. From now on, apart from food, personal care items and necessary items of clothing, I will not be buying anything else, until I am ready to settle down in one place.

Maybe in London… or Windsor… or Bath.
Maybe somewhere on a remote, exotic island.
Maybe back in my hometown.

I honestly don’t know where I will end up living. It could be anywhere. I am wide open to new exciting possibilities.

One thing for sure: possessing less stuff is liberating. Somehow I feel free… I can only imagine what it feels like to be debt free. I am sure it feels beyond awesome, and I cannot wait to experience this feeling first hand…

Would you consider simplifying your life and minimising your possessions? Have you done so already? Or is this something you have never been interested in?

Are You a Closeted Minimalist - Girl Counting Pennies

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32 Comments

    1. Aww thank you Wendy! 😛 It’s interesting you should mention about “having options”. I *still* have a wardrobe full of clothes (some items are still with labels), yet somehow I keep wearing my favourite items and ignore the rest. That’s why I don’t miss my stuff left with my former flatmate, I’ve got all I need here with me 😛
      Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies recently posted…Are You a Closeted Minimalist?My Profile

    1. I’ve still got a couple of boxes full of stuff back at my old flat. One suitcase is what I’ve got here with me while I’m staying with my sister. I think getting rid of one suitcase worth of stuff every month is a great idea! I should try it too: one box each month. A couple of months down the line I’ll be down to one last suitcase! 😛
      Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies recently posted…Are You a Closeted Minimalist?My Profile

  1. It’s amazing how much you don’t miss stuff once they’re out of sight, eh? I feel like that with traveling, especially ones lasting weeks. I tend to be more minimalist, as I don’t like clutter and dusting said clutter. I also moved around a lot, and hate all the unnecessary packing of stuff I don’t really use, so I’m minimalist through that, as well.
    anna recently posted…Wedding Update: Cupcakes and CoordinatorsMy Profile

    1. Totally! Out of sight, out of mind! 😛 It’s harder when you’re renting, I had to move a couple of times in the last 6-7 years and carrying all that stuff around wasn’t fun at all! It will be easier moving into a new place this time around and I want to keep it this way. The less clutter the better! 😛
      Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies recently posted…Are You a Closeted Minimalist?My Profile

  2. I definitely hate clutter and always try to keep that under control. I also clean pretty regularly. I like to have clean and tidy house. The one area I am not a minimalist in is clothing. I *love* clothes. I don’t go overboard but if I have a little extra spending money to my name I’ll buy a new shirt or pair of jeans 🙂

    1. I clean regularly too, and I feel so much better when my house is clean, so I know exactly what you mean. I used to buy clothes, bags and shoes ALL the time. I’ve gone 5 whole months without shopping now and I’m not planning on stopping. I have enough clothes to stop me from shopping for another year or so! 😛
      Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies recently posted…Are You a Closeted Minimalist?My Profile

  3. I’m fairly minimalist already – especially with clothing. I like an organised and clutter free home and I’m very ready to downsize when the moment comes.

    I like you all the places you might end up living! 🙂

  4. I’d really like to declutter…it’s getting pretty cramped in our small 1 bedroom apartment! Granted a lot of stuff is baby stuff…but we had a lot of clutter before the baby. My wife used to be really good with decluttering as she had to move often and it was either accumulate stuff and be forced to move it or get rid of it. We might be moving soon, so that will definitely force us to get rid of some things.
    Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted…A Farm in the Concrete Jungle and RoundupMy Profile

  5. I can imagine what an amazing feeling it must be to declutter like this! I wear only a handful of clothes but somehow I have a wardrobe stuffed full of out of date clothes from ‘before’. I need to get rid! My worst habit is collecting decorative items for home (like hanging hearts on door handles for example). My hubby says they are a load of tat!
    Hayley @ A Disease Called Debt recently posted…Keep Calm and Carry On! Part 2My Profile

  6. Am a renter, I certainly appreciate the liberation of minimalism. Moving becomes less of a hassle, its cheaper too. Beyond that though, its the awesome feeling that you are not attached to things, you can shape your life and go wherever the winds blow you since you don’t have to worry about where your stuff shall go. You are free to explore and attempt daring moves. Then there is the peace that comes with owning less…less to worry about, less to maintain, more time to pursue other interests.
    Am a minimalist and enjoying every bit of it 🙂
    Simon @ Modest Money recently posted…Scotiabank Gold American Express Credit Card ReviewMy Profile

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