Well, the planned 60 day challenge turned into a 6 month challenge. With two successful job applications, family visits, Campnano, fitting in extra time with grandchildren, and general procrastination in between, but I got there in the end.
I have been successful breaking lots of old habits when I have energy and time to focus, though occasionally slip up when my mood is low, or when I panic about an unexpected set-back. I am getting better at identifying when I’m not being productive, so I can get out of that mindset.
Sometimes what seems like treading water is progress; I need to rest before I can move onto the next task. Small things like watching youtube or a horror movie, having a lazy day, playing a video game (rather than buying/ hoarding stuff), keep me motivated.
Looking around my house it doesn’t look like I’ve achieved much; the house is looking grubby again after months since the deep spring-clean, there’s still random clutter in boxes and on shelves (though much of it isn’t mine), and I haven’t touched the outdoor areas. The garage and shed are currently a dumping ground as I still need to make a few trips to the recycling centre. I’ll need to be brave with all the giant spiders lurking in there!
I am feeling positive about continuing to chip away at decades of clutter, and I have found it gets easier to throw things out I don’t want or need. Identifying that much of the clutter isn’t mine helps makes things seem more achievable. I plan to tackle my things first then try and then let other people sort out their belongings that seem to have found a home here.
I plan to go through the house top to bottom again as I had set aside items ‘just in case’; six months later I realise I really wont miss them. Even if I do need to buy replacements in the future, the small cost of having to buy again is worth the peace of mind and saved storage space from not having them knocking about unused for months/ years on end.
I was pleasantly surprised when I went into a charity shop recently and managed to buy work clothes to replace some worn-out items. Normally buying clothes would send my stress levels through roof; I’d have sensory overload, get confused and angry, then walk out without buying anything. Taking what I’d learned from the challenge, helped me find what I wanted, as I looked at what fitted with my style and if it was on my list of items I needed.
I have learned that minimalism is a mindset , rather than just throwing everything out and having few belongings. I do feel freer and less stressed without all the detritus. Once I got over the worry that my future self might need some things-overall it’s been worth it.