When I last wrote about minimalism, I still had a drawer full of face creams, body creams, sheet masks I was not using. I still had a box full of crisp new notebooks I hadn’t cracked open. There were clothes I had brought and never used. A pile of books I had brought and not read. A dozen or so lip balms, and a zillion pens. Although I acknowledged that I had a lot to purge, I still felt fake, calling myself a minimalist. So I decided to act upon it.
Since that article, a sort of quiet, unannounced, personal goal was to get rid of things by using it all up. I decided to not buy more of what I already have and focus on using it all up. I would have been a terrible consumer and a disciple of minimalism had I thrown it all away in the name of Minimalism without using it. I have been slowly going through my lip balms, sunscreens, toners, perfumes. I now come home and read my books instead of waste time on youtube. I have been journaling most days and going through my pile of unused notebooks steadily. It has been a lesson in patience and mindfulness. It has also been a study of self – I go through circles of mindlessly entering a store, having an impulse to buy something that I already have, then talk myself out of it, and then walking out proudly empty-handed. I cracked a couple of times, but have largely stayed the course. It was like training myself – a “minimalism and mindfulness muscle” that I had to develop by practice.
I still have a lot to go through. But it is the most satisfying feeling when I am done using and emptying something and then throwing it in trash (or recycle bin). I thought of making an inventory, but then I saw no point in it. Why complicate something when simplifying is easier. Making an inventory would have just stressed me out and made me feel guilty. Also keeping a track would be another chore. I had no time-limit to follow, nor a number to achieve. I simply had to use everything I had before I buy it again, that’s all!
I don’t need to add that I have been able to save money since doing this. I wish I had kept a track of items I was tempted to buy but didn’t. But I have been saving over 40% of my monthly net salary which should say something. I did not even swipe my credit card since February since there was hardly any shopping to do.
I am going to keep going through things, using them, and then purging them, slowly and steadily. It is making me a better human – being conscious about my consumption, being caring towards mother nature and aware of my spending has helped me tie my personal goal to a larger picture, towards greater good. And it feels good.