Lately I've been reading a book that was recommended by Tina Bumblebee. From reading her post and a bit of the book, I was really inspired to start de-cluttering my life, as they say, "a de-cluttered space reflects a de-cluttered mind."
I took away quite a bit from reading "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up", and I understand the author's insistence on the importance of decluttering once-and-for-all, but I soon came to realize that my idea of "Minimalism" is a lot different than those I've seen on Pinterest boards and tumblr pages. I don't want to live in a whitewashed room with one chair and a sad plant. I need color. I need texture, and I need to keep my personal style intact.
When it comes to "minimizing" your stuff, it all boils down to keeping the things that make you the happiest. The art on my walls makes me happy. My shelf full of books makes me happy. My perfume collection makes me happy. BUT when it's time to de-clutter it's all about purging the things in those collections that aren't quite your favorites. For instance, I love my perfumes, but I realized I was only holding on to Miss Dior Cherie because it was Dior, so I sold it on eBay (more on that later.) Then I realized that I wasn't using a lot of my makeup products, so I gave some of them to friends. I realized that a lot of the books on my shelf weren't things I would ever re-read, so I passed them on to the local used bookstore.
This being said, I will always be "free spirited" with my mess. My bed will more often than not be un-made, my desk will probably always be a catch-all for scattered homework and art supplies. I can keep less junk around, but still find ways to make a mess. I can still be happy without keeping everything pristine and spotless. My version of minimalism is "Lived-In" Minimalism. "True to Myself" Minimalism. As you can see above, not perfect, but comfortable.
This being said, I just finished up what I like to call "Phase One - The Big Purge." During the past week or so, I managed to donate three large boxes of stuff and throw away two and a half kitchen-sized trash bags. "Phase Two" will involve looking over things I may have missed or may have reservations about getting rid of. "Phase Three" will be putting it all in its place.
Even after just donating and tossing a few things, I've started to feel a lot more relaxed in my room. I can plainly see almost all of my belongings and know where to find almost anything I need at a moments notice.
What I take away from this experience so far is that it really does put you at ease to only keep the things you need/love. Extra possessions just bog you down. I really recommend taking a look at the The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, but use it as more of a suggestion than a rule. There are some things I'll just never throw away.
Next step - the living room.
What do you think about (attempting to live) a clutter-free life?
What are some things you could never throw away?