Minimalism challenge: what I struggled to declutter

Ciao, welcome back to my blog.

Today I will share with you what I found very difficult to get rid of since I started my minimalist journey.


Decluttering has been a cycle that I went through for the last year or so when I fully embraced a minimalist lifestyle.


How to declutter your house


I didn't discard all my surplus at once, I took my time to decide what I really needed and what I could keep in my minimalist life. To do so, I tested if I could live minimal by hiding certain items out of sight for a while.


If during this time I would look for them and actually use them regularly, then they will come back to their usual home and I would keep them.


I hate unnecessary waste, so I didn't want to throw away things and then regret it and buy the same item again.


On the other hand, living with less means that anything "forgotten" in the maybe pile, has to be donated or sold. I usually sell my stuff because I have waste and I just want to get rid of what no longer serves me in a responsible way.


Now, I have to admit I didn't have the "minimal house" I think I did. There were still many things I had accumulated that needed to go. Minimalist living is a process that has its up and downs so when I realised that I was still a true maximalist for some categories of items, I understood that the concept of minimalism is quite broad.


My weakness is digital clutter: pushing that delete button is always a struggle for me!

Below I am listing the things I struggled to get rid of when I decided to be fully on board with digital minimalism:


Emails


As a good minimalist person, I am usually very organised. Let's say that I am a bit of a control freak.


I am always afraid of losing important information and proof of purchases I might need later on. For that reason, I tend to wait a very long time to sort out my email box, which results in a jammed email box.


Decluttering tips to avoid digital accumulation:

First of all, I spent some time unsubscribing to brands newsletters and promotional content I used to receive.


Secondly, I created some main labels to sort out the majority of my emails easily and effectively.


I now sort my emails straight away by moving them into subcategories such as "Action" for something that needs to be figured out immediately like bills and things I need to do as soon as possible so I won't forget about them.


I also created a sub-label called "Later" where I store non-urgent emails.

When those urgent matters are dealt with, I will either delete them or if important,


I will move them into the main categories they belong to such as "Personal", "Receipts", "Work" and so on...


Then every month I would go through those main categories and declutter anything that is not useful anymore.

I found this method really helped me to be more selective with what I receive every day and to be tidier without having tons of emails in my inbox.


Digital minimalism declutter

Pictures


I have the terrible habit of taking 2000000000 pictures of the same person or thing or landscape from every possible angle (especially when I am on holidays) just in case they are out of focus.


I then used to keep them all saying to myself: "Oh need to check which one is the best out of them" which will never happen.


I recently got a new laptop, kindly gifted by my lovely boyfriend for my birthday, and there I realised how much crap I had on my computer.

To be fair, I have been sorting my files and documents months ago, but I kept adding stuff every single week which is quite disappointing.


Now that my laptop has been decluttered, I swore to myself I would sort my pictures immediately and I would keep only the very best ones.

Why do I need the same pic of me in basically the same background???


Quotes


I like to collect inspiring or funny quotes.

That's the most inconvenient since I decided to be minimalist. The thing is, I save them and then I forget I did so I never have the chance to use them or to re-read them again which is pointless. So now I decided to delete them all and to stop saving them in the first place.



Physical clutter:


Shoes


The bedroom and in particular the wardrobe is where to start decluttering.

Despite I managed to create a capsule wardrobe, I still have a fair amount of shoes for a minimalist.


If you want to know how to declutter clothes check this post


Shoes are my downfall. I just love them. I spend most of my time on my feet because of my job and I really need them to be smart yet super comfy.

While decluttering clothes was an easy task for me, getting rid of a worn pair of shoes has always been a drama.


I recently found out that I suffer from severe nerve inflammation in my legs so my doctor told me to throw all my old shoes as they have lost their support making my problem worse.


Apparently, you are supposed to change your shoes frequently if you spend a lot of time standing or walking and that's why I never buy second-hand shoes.


I regularly sell my stuff online, however, I don't usually try to sell worn shoes.

declutter wardrobe

Medicines


In every home there a box of medicine, even in a minimal house.

They don't take much space but sometimes the box where I store them is packed because I never check the expiry date.

Need to be more careful with that in the future and stop buying loads of pain killers "just in case".

Sentimental items: declutter tips


Letters and gifts

I think most of your reading this will agree with me. Everyone finds it hard to be selective with sentimental items. Getting rid of things your loved ones gave to you, even if you are not using them, always feels wrong somehow.


For example, I received some candles as a gift from friends and even though I don't use them and that I don't like decorative pieces on my shelves, I still felt I couldn't get rid of them.


Solution: taking a picture of the gifted items to save on my computer.

At the end of the day, the present has already fulfilled its purpose after it has been given.

declutter your life

Food


I love to experiment in the kitchen and I cook my meals every day so my pantry, fridge and freezer are always full. I definitely don't have a minimalist kitchen yet.


I like to have all kinds of ingredients available when cooking in case I want to add something special or try a new recipe. I have tons of spices, dry herbs, jars of pickles and homemade food. It gets a bit out of control at times, especially when we receive food parcels from my parents in Italy or Nick's parents in Romania.


This winter we literally had to store some crates of food in the living room as we ran out of space in the kitchen.

My biggest regret is that being only the two of us, I had to throw some food away with that I didn't realise it was going bad and there I decided I needed to downsize my collection of spices and homemade food in general.


I also started to display them into glass jars with labels and dates on them so we won't forget in the general mess about that item and then go to the store and buy the same just because we just couldn't see it.


Apart from tidying up, I am now buying less and storing less to avoid waste.

The below picture is not my kitchen, unfortunately. But I kind of liked the vibes and I found it inspiring, it motivates me to store less and keep only the essential.

That's one of the main benefits of minimalism: it makes you a better person and adds meaning to your life without the urge to showing off things.


minimalism in the kitchen

Thank you for reading my post, I hope you find it interesting.

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What are you struggling to let go of?

Let me know in the comments below!



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