I, like many, was inspired by ‘Minimalism: A Documentary about the important things’ on Netflix over the Christmas holidays and its message: Love people, use things. The opposite never works. https://minimalismfilm.com/
What a relevant time it was as consumer culture was in full swing! Boxes and boxes of chocolates I was forced to give and eat and re-gift (The horror! The horror!) and mountains of wrapping paper, cards and envelopes.
On arrival home after a season of excess, I began to de-clutter. I started by getting rid of the DVDS I never watch (now Netflix is upon us), the books I was unlikely to re-read and the clothes I rarely wore. As I only have a small place, I was amazed at how much stuff I had and never used.
The more I bagged up for the Op-shop, the lighter and clearer I felt. I turned my eyes towards the kitchen. When do I use platters? How many saucepans do I actually use? And how much easier would it be to find things if I streamlined the utensil drawer? Does this mug spark joy?
I was getting high on the minimalism train so decided to set myself a Feb-fast challenge. No buying any new things in the month of February which has but twenty-eight days clear and twenty-nine in each leap year. See Grade 3 wasn’t a total write-off! Of course, I’d buy food and hygiene things but try to be a more intentional consumer. What I did…
Books: I love books. I love bookstores. I love bookmarks. Buying self-help books is like my crack. The sniff of hope. A better me at the end of 289 pages. I already have so many hopeful titles on my shelf unread or partially unread so I was able to steer clear. I did hit the library though and borrow heaps of kiddie books for Kinder. I love library and there are also plenty of 2nd hand bookstores where you can get store credit for the books you donate. I’m trying to maintain a one in, two out policy for books. Sweet sweet books.
Clothes: I pretty much Steve Jobs it anyway. Not a black skivvy but mainly a denim skirt! Summer geek chic. One who works with children must always be ready to roll in sand, play dough, paint and do the hokey-pokey. This helps with decision fatigue and leaves my mind free to contemplate the big questions…who will next be evicted from the jungle on ‘I’m a celebrity… get me out of here!’
Other things: I used gift vouchers for movies, made cards for birthdays and unsubscribed from many mailing lists. I actually enjoyed the challenge and think I’ll buy less as a result of my intentional intentionality. I’ve also been more mindful with materials at Kinder. Kids can benefit from having less too. They can use their imaginations and play with sticks in dirt and their button collection like we used to after walking 5 miles in the snow to school. A day without an i-pad killed no one!
I’d love to hear from you! Are you an intentional consumer? A minimalist? A cat lover?
Love and love and light xxx Yvette