I am almost 12 months into my journey of transitioning to minimalism and living sustainably. It’s been a somewhat slow process, more tortoise than hare and I can often be a bit impatient. However, so far I’ve managed to:
– overhaul my wardrobe
– replace many items around the home (see here for tips)
– switch to using a menstrual cup
– successfully stick to a zero new clothing ban and zero makeup ban
Over this period, I really feel that I have changed mentally and grown as a person. What I am doing does not make me better than another person, I do not want to be preachy. I’m simply saying that the changes I have made, have made me feel good. On paper, that list may look rather small, however that list has taken a lot of getting used to. It can be mentally challenging to let go of things that have been part of your routine or life for so long, but my God does it feel good! For me, my biggest challenge was getting used to the menstrual cup. I’ve been using it for a few months now and it’s been a love/hate relationship but I feel like we’re on the love side more so.
I struggled with the clothing ban. After I let go of so many unused clothing items in my closet, I felt like it was bare and I had nothing to wear. Which is silly, because I still have a good selection of clothes. It took some adjusting to and I had to use my imagination more, but I’ve learned to love my wardrobe. At the beginning, I banned myself from buying ANY item of clothing for 3 months (this was part of my resolutions in the new year). I was really good and stuck to it. In month 4, I felt like I needed a couple of key spring/summer pieces to replace items that I’d fallen out of love with. So rather than shopping brand new, I gave myself a budget to source these items second-hand. I had fun looking through Depop and eBay for items and finding things that were in budget and amazing was really rewarding.
My next focus is the bathroom. It’s been ongoing since I started transitioning but it’s also been the biggest challenge. Typically (before), I had minimum 3 sets of shampoos and conditioners; loose hair products; moisturisers; creams; mini’s; show gels; bath bubbles..the list is long! A lot of it, opened and barely used. Maybe I didn’t like it too much, maybe I forgot about it. But it was there and in some cases I had moved house a couple of times, taking the same crap with me. Doh!
So, I’ve started with a mini sort out. Stuff that I knew I didn’t like or was well out of date, I disposed of (responsibly!). Stuff that was unopened, I have placed in a box in my bathroom. My ‘to be used first’ box. The idea behind it, is to look in there before going out and buying potentially the same thing again. Even now, months after I began my journey, I still have a lot left!
Once these items are gone, I would like to source eco-friendly, cruelty free products to replace them. Only having what I need.
All in all, this journey has been so rewarding. It’s certainly opened my eyes to how much we don’t need in our lives and I really am starting to appreciate the phrase
‘less is more’.