Hi my name is Piddlewick, and I am not a minimalist. I am a Mindful Minimalist. And there is rather a big difference.
I am also not a maximalist or hoarder. Though there are tendencies. Or rather I love when people wish to get rid of things and I forever hope I will find a use or re-purpose for them. So yes, things do collect.
Every now and then I have a purge of those items I have grand ideas for, but have never come to fruition. One thing age (and wisdom?) has taught me is to realise your limitations on repurposing everything. There is just not enough time, no matter how hard I wish it.
In fact, I have discovered it’s rather therapeutic to be minimalist in repurposing concepts. What exactly does that mean? It means deciding on having a select few projects, a minimal number of projects if you will. And thus actually completing them.
By only having a few projects, if things come along that need saving and they fit in as a use in one of my projects I do get to keep it. If not, I am learning to be harsh with myself and find it a new home or even say no to the taking it in in the first place.
As a mindful minimalist, there are no new projects until a current project is completed. That’s a biggie. It’s weirdly incentivising. Inspiring ideas have to remain ideas until something else gets done.
In this path of discovery has come the light bulb moment that by having less and focusing more, items I do keep and/or repurpose have a stronger meaning. I can now look at everything in my house and not only does it have a function, it has a special meaning. It’s not just a ‘thing’.
Of course moving house a few times does help to declutter the clutter. Boxing up stuff to move is a sure fire way to determine if you really need it. Especially if you have to move it physically yourself.
Another way is to follow the adage, ‘if you haven’t used it in x amount of time…’. I particularly do this with clothing. I change my wardrobe over (spring summer to autumn winter) twice a year. It makes me feel like I have a whole new wardrobe, stops me buying what I don’t need, and especially highlights what I honestly don’t need to keep or should re-purpose. Though there are of course exceptions. Life needs to have exceptions. They are generally linked to meaning something special.
And then there are the items I use almost daily. One item I use regularly is what prompted my thoughts here. I have a fleece and waterproof (ish) side little blanket. Bought many many years ago on a weekend walking trip with a very good friend. It has been used for picnics, naps in the garden, reading in the duck enclosure and currently protection against wet outside chairs. Each time I use it, the memory of that walk, and friend, comes into my mind.
And speaking of blankets, on my napping bed (doesn’t every one have one of these?) is my beautifully warm, felted wool little quilt made for me by another dear friend. Whenever I wish to have a cosy moment, feel a euphemistic hug or simply want to nap I get on my bed and under my blanket. Usually I am joining one or more cats as this is a happy place for them as well. That’s what I mean by special items.
Having only items that mean something in my home brings a very real awareness. So although I am not a minimalist, by being a mindful minimalist everything in my home makes me happy. And who doesn’t wish to be surrounded by happiness.