After successfully navigating my way through my first 7 days as a minimalist I begin Week 2 of my journey into minimalism and I feel enthused, I’m raring to start living a more meaningful life. Hit me with it Josh and Ryan….
Day 8 – Beliefs
Oh….I’m not really sure what today’s task was? Something about aligning beliefs with values. I played a gig in Bristol on Day 8 with my band Goodnight Berlin and so I don’t have too much time to think about minimalism. My phone battery died and I got a parking ticket but the gig goes well and we got free noodles and drinks. Swings and roundabouts.
Day 9 – Growth
Day 9’s guidance opens with the line ‘Visualise a plant’, now I’m getting worried. Why do I need to visualise a plant to have a more meaningful life? Despite my reluctance I give it a go scrunching up my eyes and thinking really, really hard about a plant. Gradually blinking my eyes open, I look across the room and I see an actual plant sitting on the windowsill, I think to myself ‘did I just visualise so hard that I made that plant appear?’ Wow.
Then Laura plonks herself down on the sofa next to me and says ‘do you like the new plant I bought, it has real lemons’. ‘Oh’ I say, ‘Yes it’s very nice’.
The Minimalists go on to ask you to think about something that you have wanted to do for a long time but haven’t been able to accomplish. This is something I think about all the time, I mean I have started a blog called ‘Self Improve Me’ to try and accomplish more. I read the suggestions provided by The Minimalists. Run a marathon – yep, if the good folk from the offices of the London Marathon ever give me a ballot place, travel around the world – yes please, start a blog – done that.
Self Improve me is all about accomplishing more in the next year and so I think I will have this covered. I feel like I can accomplish anything. I made a frickin plant appear just by thinking about it.
Day 10 – Everything
Apparently by day 10 Ryan of The Minimalists didn’t unpack anything and so he had discovered the sweet spot where he had identified everything that he needed. And this was true for me apart from some clothes that I hadn’t got round to unpacking. I hadn’t needed them up until that point but as the heating was on the blink I sure as hell needed to unpack those jumpers now. I unpacked my last few items of clothing, put a woolly jumper on and shivered slightly in the living room.
Despite the shivering I felt pretty content, happily sitting in my minimalist living room thinking to myself ‘yep I think that this is all I really need’.
Day 11 – Trash
Finally, the moment I have been waiting for! Today is the day that I get to throw out some stuff. To be totally open, I have already been doing this, but for dramatic effect I will pretend that I have been waiting for this moment. The Minimalists tell you to identify the items to Trash, Donate, and Sell. Miss Minimalist tells you to Trash, Treasure or transfer (if someone else use it) and Marie Kondo encourages you to only keep the items that ‘Spark Joy’.
I decide to combine approaches – my treasures have already been identified as they are the items that I have unpacked, I select a few items that I will ‘transfer’ including a record player that I no longer use after upgrading, a skateboard (yes a man in his 30’s had a skateboard) I decide to donate this to my friends 6 year old and I pick out the items that I will either donate or sell.
The rest I will trash. I get the roll of black bin bags out and start filling them with all my crap ready to drag down to the bins.
Day 12 – Donate
In my donate pile I have a few bags of clothes and shoes, a load of books and CD’s and a Slendertone. Electrifying my stomach didn’t have the desired effect of giving me a washboard stomach and so I’m thinking that the charitable thing to do would be to let someone else inflict torture on their body using electricity. If anyone has achieved any results from using a Slendertone I for one would love to see the evidence.
There are a number of charity shops on my local high street so I decide to evenly distribute the spoils between Oxfam, Cancer Research and Acorns Children’s Hospice. I can’t remember which one got the Slendertone but I hope that the cash does more good that the Slendertone has done for my belly.
Day 13 – Sell
Here’s where the fun begins, the part where I get to meet lots of new and often strange people, invite them into my home or meet them in car parks in order to get them to part with their hard earned cash for my junk. I become a familiar face in the post office and I make a ton of cash. You can read more about this part in my blog post – There is Treasure in That Trash (coming soon).
Day 14 – Digitise
For me this is where the real challenge begins, in most aspects of my life I have become quite good at getting rid of the things that I don’t need and my 3 weeks as a Minimalist will hopefully complete the exercise for me but… I am a hoarder of paperwork. It is everywhere, I put it ‘on the side’, in the sideboard, in boxes, on the table, under the bed, always thinking that I will sort that out later or that I will need it at some point. But guess what, I never really do.
Today’s challenge is about digitising photos, music and movies and documents. I have two problems with today’s challenge. The first one is the mountains of documents that I have to tackle but I am willing and ready to face and conquer that mountain and then there is the music. You see, I am an avid music lover and whilst I am happy to discard CD’s my vinyl is off limits for this exercise and I’ll explain why it a future blog post.
This one may take longer than a day to resolve.
Why not try out The Minimalists ’21-Day Journey into Minimalism’ for yourself. You can find it on The Minimalists website now.
If you want to find out more about ‘Self Improve Me’, you can read about it here.