A fresh start every now and then can only be healthy. Time to reflect, see things in a new light, explore new opportunities. It can happen when we look for a new job, when we end a relationship, when we decide to review our work-life balance. For me, it has recently happened as I decided to move back to Sweden, after 13 years in London and it meant new country, new city, new job, new life, and new living arrangements as my partner and I decided to move to a new flat together.
Although it is daunting to change your entire life around, I decided to see it as an opportunity to really consider what I wanted in life. Big things like where do I want my career to go, to, potentially, smaller things like what do I want to bring into our new flat. And it has truly given me and us a chance to reflect on what is important in life, and in our relationship.
Seeing as we were moving in to a new flat, we knew we could start afresh by bringing as little as possible into the flat from the start, with my partner selling most of his stuff and I was able to leave most things in my old flat share. What we didn’t sell, we gave to friends, donated to charity, or if it couldn’t be re-used, handed in at recycling stations. Ahead of the move, I also prohibited myself from buying new things, and instead using up things I already had. This particularly meant using up various beauty products and samples that were filling up drawers and shelves.
As you put your house in order and decrease your possessions, you’ll see what your true values are, what is important to you in your life.
– Marie Kondo
Whilst going through this process, it’s been helpful to get thoughts from others, exploring minimalism with The Minimalists and tidying with Japanese decluttering expert Marie Kondo. Although her ruthless process isn’t for everyone, her approach of asking yourself “Does this item spark joy?” when going through everything in your home, is sensible. If you end up answering YES all the time then you won’t be able to declutter, which wouldn’t be a successful outcome for Kondo, but I guess it will at least mean that everything you own means something special to you. And that is probably what’s most important here.
Knowing what you value, and valuing what you have.
But this will evidently be easier if you have less stuff as you’ll have a better overview, and it’ll be easier to remember all the things you do have, stopping you from buying unnecessary new things. I have increasingly become more aware of my wardrobe in particular, and agree with the idea that that if you have too many items, you’ll end up using the same ones anyway. Your favourite top, or your most comfortable shoes, or those jeans that can always be found on your chair close to your bed. Downsizing your wardrobe, and opening your eyes to all, loved, items you have left, will actually make you feel you have more clothes. You’ll be more aware of each item and you are more likely to explore your fashion creativity, maybe mixing items you didn’t think could be mixed.
Seeing your favourite things in a new light, by having less stuff that stops you from seeing your favourite things at all, not only makes you see a new value in them, but it gives you a chance to truly treasure them. Instead of getting forgotten about at the back of a wardrobe, they are used as well as looked after, giving you a reason to make sure they last longer, which also means you won’t necessarily need to buy new things as often. Saving money whilst saving the earth, and giving you reasons to value what you already have.