Minimising Our Possessions in Lockdown – The Brown Minimalist

Do you ever wonder about how you can reduce the number of possessions you have? Have you got some stuff in a draw that you have wanted to get rid of for a while but just have never got around to clearing it? Well today’s blog, written by the Brown Minimalist, is the blog for you!

Hello and Welcome to Sweeney’s Blogs!

Today’s blog is a guest blog by the Brown Minimalist! If you do enjoy this blog and would like to check out the Brown Minimalists blog, please do so! He covers a large range of different topics and questions and comes up with some really great ideas. So without further ado, here is “How to Minimise Your Possessions During Lockdown”:

The effects of the UK lockdown due to the Coronavirus is something that will leave a mark on us for a very long time… Its affected everyone in different ways, and many people are now having to change their plans this summer to try and get creative indoors instead. In today’s blog, I’m going to discuss how you can use this lockdown as an opportunity to minimise your possessions.

Often, when people think of minimizing possessions, they associate it with owning the bare minimum, never buying things, or even living in an empty room. But this is not the case at all. Owning less is all about getting rid of those items that stress you out, take up valuable space, and clutter your room. Once you get rid of these things, you will find yourself having a lot more extra time on your hands and you will be able to focus on the things that really matter to you, hopefully making you a lot less stressed.

Why Should we Own Less in the First Place?

  • Do you own lots of things, but most of the things are sitting in the corner of your room in a heap, or in that drawer you don’t use?
  • Do you really need more than one smartphone???
  • Do you want to save more money?
  • Is your work environment extremely cluttered with loads of things you don’t need?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, or you can relate to this situation in other ways, then you could definitely benefit from owning fewer things. Clutter can negatively impact our Mental Health and Wellbeing. Not to mention that it also hinders productivity too – it can be really challenging to work in a place where there are a lot of distractions.

Before lockdown, it was possible to avoid those unused drawers and that pile in the corner of your room by going to the office, outdoors, etc. However now, as many people are having to get used to working from home and are spending more time indoors, they now have to finally come face to face with all this clutter, and this can be very stressful. High stress levels and things that hinder productivity are not good for us at all, so it’s important to minimise them in the best way possible.

The biggest advantages of owning less are:

  • You’ll be able to think more clearly and you’ll feel less overwhelmed
  • You’ll have more time on your hands. This extra time can now be spent having new experiences, socialising, and increasing your productivity.
  • You’ll save more money

If you can think of anymore, please let us know in the comments below.

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

One drawback of owning lots of things is the sheer number of decisions you make in a day. For instance, if you own five pairs of shoes, you must decide which pair to wear. Making too many decisions wears you out, and it’ll become harder to make sensible decisions later in the day… This phenomenon is known as decision fatigue. It explains why you might impulsively buy that chocolate bar at the till, and even why judges may be harsher if a court case is in the afternoon, compared to in the morning.

The easiest way to prevent decision fatigue from occurring is to simply make fewer decisions. In the case with your many pairs of shoes, the solution is to ditch most of them! Chances are, you only wear one or two shoes most of the time. The shoes you hardly wear have got to go, so you’re only left with the ones you wear all the time. By doing this, that’s one less decision you must make in your day.

I Want to Own Less Things. How do I Sort Through my Stuff and Decide What to Keep?

Congratulations! You are ready to begin your journey to owning fewer possessions. Decluttering your room can be done in three steps:

1. Empty all of your drawers, tables and cupboards out

Drawers and cupboards are often the most neglected pieces of furniture in your room, and are the two places where the bulk of our unwanted items are found… Although your room may look tidy, often your drawers and cupboards will be the complete opposite. Luckily, the lockdown now gives you more time to finally get round to decluttering them and moving one step closer to owning less.

To do this, begin by emptying all your cupboards and drawers out, then organising them into piles. You should sort your desk and other tables too. Once you have done this, use cardboard boxes (or any box) to put the stuff in. This makes it more manageable when you come to sorting it in step 2. Plus, there won’t be a mountain of your things in the middle of your room.

2. Sort through your things, deciding what to keep and what to get rid of.

For this step, you need to sort through your things and decide what to keep, and what not to keep. Chances are that most things in ‘that pile’ In the corner of your room are things you don’t need. Thus, you can get rid of it.

But this can be the hardest step. It will take time to make decisions on what to get rid of, and this is perfectly fine. Working towards owning less is an ongoing process. You’ll have to overcome the barriers of sentimental value and “what if I need this just in case…”. Its these two factors that make trying to live with fewer possessions challenging and a potentially lengthy process, and that’s okay. But don’t give up so easily!

When deciding to get rid of something, consider the following:

  • Are the clothes still in fashion and do they fit? If answer is no to either- get rid
  • How often do you use it? If you haven’t used it for several months- get rid
  • Is it broken? If its damaged – get rid
  • Is it something valuable? If the item brings you satisfaction or is sentimental- keep it.

3. Begin putting all the stuff you do want back in your cupboards and drawers

Each drawer, and section of the cupboard so that they have a purpose. For example, one drawer should be for all your gadgets and their accessories, another can be for your office supplies, etc. Your desk should only have things on it that you use daily e.g. pen pot, lamp, computer, etc.

What to do with all this unwanted stuff?

Donate

This is a good way to get rid of old toys, books, and clothes. Most charity shops are willing to accept these goods, provided they are in good condition. Donations are a really good way to help causes you’re passionate about, plus giving makes you feel amazing afterwards!

Discard

Anything that’s broken or beyond repair is better off being thrown away.

Sell

eBay and Gumtree are good places to start selling things that are of high value such as gadgets, collectables, etc.

Tips for Shopping

Avoid your room going back to square one by developing good shopping habits for the future:

  • Focus on the quality of the items- would you rather own a pair of PU leather shoes, or real cow leather shoes?
  • If you don’t need to buy anything, leave your money at home when you go out
  • Never buy on a whim! That’s when buyer’s remorse kicks in
  • When buying something you think you need/ want, ask yourself “Do you though?”
  • Will owning the item make your life easier? For example, AirPods vs wired earphones or automatic watch vs quartz watch

Summary

If you feel you’re feeling stressed every time you go into your room or are constantly sorting through clutter, then owning less is definitely for you! Hopefully after reading this guide, you’ll be able to take advantage of the lockdown by using it to declutter your room. Plus, you can finally tackle ‘that pile’ in the corner of your room once and for all.

First of all, I want to say a big thank you to Sweeney’s Blogs for having me as a guest writer. Make sure you give this blog a read, as he posts some really interesting content on managing Stuttering, Stress, Mental Health & General Wellbeing!

The Brown Minimalist

Thank you all for reading today’s guest blog! What do you all think? Have you enjoyed today’s blog? Please feel free to visit thew Brown Minimalists blog by clicking the link on his name above. Are you going to try and sort through some things in your house now? Has this post given you the inspiration to sort some stuff out? Let me know in the comments below!

Thank you for reading and I hope you have a great day,

James Sweeney

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