Minimalism and I

Minimalism is the concept which I got completely wrong from the word go. Heard about it last year and dismissed it after reading few experiences online and what it entailed. Though for some reason it stuck in my mind for God knows what reason. I feel I kept comparing it with the Marie Kondo concept of keep only if it sparks joy thingie which we need to do for all things in the house. Now Konmari didn’t work out well for me, I started with the folding clothes method and it stayed all pretty in the drawers and wardrobe only till until the next morning rush. I accepted I could never have an organised kondo-fied area anywhere in the house and moved on.

With the packing of the apartment looming over soon after getting the house and me starting to declutter left right and center, I came across the minimalist life page in Instagram tagged in a story I was watching. Intrigued by the handle name I saw few of the posts and was hooked immediately. The more I went through the grid the more I saw understanding the concept clearly. I am still learning to implement minimalism fully, haven’t been completely successful yet, but reaching there.

In simple terms – only have things you use.

If you have 50 shirts and use all of them then keep it all but if you use only 10 out of 50 it’s time to dispose off the rest 40. That’s minimalism.

I started decluttering to start living the minimalist life at the new home. Spoke about it to Moo and Zack and they came on board pretty soon to my surprise. While both have started giving me a hard time off late by accumulating stuff I am confident I can get them both back on track 😈. Once I figured out what we will actually use I saw the number of boxes going drastically low. The irony of it was we had more stuff in the small apartment while we have much less stuff in the competitively bigger space in the house.

The biggest benefactor of minimalism has been my kitchen. Takes so less time to put utensils back in its place once dry. We have sufficient cutlery and plates for entertaining which are kept aside in a drawer. For daily use what all is needed is at easy reach with a designated place for each item, right from the ladle to the pan. Makes time in my kitchen very efficient.

The only area I haven’t been able to do anything is the gardening and tools section. Zack has heaps of stuff of all kinds – seeds, manure, fertilisers, pots, soil, watering cans ( 3 ), spades, etc which are SO important that we can’t live without him or each other for even a single second. The fact that I have zero knowledge in anything related to greenery is making me keep my nose out of his business.

Let’s talk small goals

One of the realisations I had due to everyone being home all the time last year was just how much mess we made at a daily basis. I kept on saying that once we get a house we should start living in cleaner spaces for at least half of the day. We had 10 weeks between finishing up our lease in the apartment and moving to the house. There was a lot going on during that period which on retrospection gives a sense of achievement. More on that later, today I want to write about the one short term goal I had –

Get rid of mess aka declutter

I started packing the house when our move out date was six weeks away. With a 5.5 month old I knew I can’t do all in a day so started really early. I could dump everything in boxes but who wants to wade through junk while opening the boxes in new house? So thus started the journey of decluttering.

It went on for two weeks. Heaps of broken toys, mismatched puzzle blocks, stationary junk, coloured paper, discoloured paper – I got two garbage bags and hung them on Moo’s door and started filling it. Emptied it twice. Finished packing her stuff into 4 boxes – books, arts and crafts, stuffed toys and her doll house. Kitchen declutter took the shortest time, probably three hours. Trips to the garbage chute took longer.

Clothes declutter took the longest. In the end we had two boxes for each of us and six boxes to donate. It was hard to let go at initial weeks – to even put it away in a box, the mind making multiple attempts to slot a use for a piece of top or pant. Zack would sway between shock and despair when I threw away his worn out shirts, Moo couldn’t be bothered because all she wanted was her doll house to be safe in the box.

We didn’t own lots of furniture and had zero decor items barring indoor plants so packing the living room was a breeze. The primary mess which used to be present all the time was Moo’s stuff and our heaps of clothes all around. That taken care of, it became clear that keeping a small target to finish in a limited time span gives a competition to self. I treated myself with the yummiest sheera towards the end. This decluttering would also be the start of my minimalism journey, the biggest lifestyle change in my life! More on that tomorrow 🙂

It’s a five!

Today we complete five years in this beautiful city Down Under. Five years sounds a long time ago, I mean it’s half a decade!! But as cliche as it sounds, it feels just like yesterday when we landed in a balmy evening with 11 bags and a toddler under 2. In a new country with no jobs or home on a brand new adventure. I clearly remember the first few months, what with my memory and the many pictures I clicked with my first iPhone we bought here to look for jobs and applying for rentals. There are many, many firsts which happened and will always be fresh in my memory.

When today dawned I didn’t notice the date’s significance. It was a long working day yesterday and was tired in a good way to doze off to sleep as soon as I closed my eyes. I forgot to keep the alarm last night and it was super late when I woke up. It cascaded to everything getting late and when Moo was wearing her shoes for school she asked what day it is and then it hit – I called out for Zack and said it’s five years since we came here in Sydney!

I didn’t plan out today at all and probably that’s the reason it went well 😂 When I was hanging the laundry I said let’s do a takeaway for lunch. We ordered a Thai red curry and had it with leftover kurma from yesterday. Both coconut based gravies but so different! Every Friday Moo has dance classes in evening during school term, we went a little early to have cupcakes from a bakery and garlic bread from the pizzeria next to it for evening snack. Normally this would be the end of the ‘eating out’ quota for the fortnight but today we were on a roll. I was anyways outvoted by three, the youngest one bobbing her head to whatever her akka said. Dinner at a fancy restaurant was had and to my surprise they had a pretty decent menu with new items I hardly found locally.

Considering my fiascos with special days, today was a perfect celebration of the two anniversaries so far. Now I only wish I had this superpower of forgetting the big days like today 😄