Minimalism: Living Minimally and Intentionally

In January 2016, I found this way of living named "Minimalism" from a YouTuber and I became interested in the topic. It is about living intentionally without all the clutter or being held down by stuff. Minimalism is about decluttering your life and living with the necessities. I was intrigued by the people who live like this way of lifestyle so I become researching more and more about this way of living. After researching from various blogposts, YouTube videos and TED talks, I was really inspired to give this a chance.

At that time, I was a student living in Singapore with the student visa and I was aware of the day that my student visa will expire. So , I started decluttering my life. I was not a hoarder but I was an impulse buyer on things that I thought I needed in one way or another. I was doing YouTube and blogging as a Beauty and Lifestyle blogger part-time so it made an excuse of me purchasing quite a number of makeup products, clothes and other nick knacks and it was really hurting my wallet for quite sometime.
After I had finished researching about the topic, I realized that I had too much things that I don't need. I started with my closet. I brought everything I had with me when I first came to Singapore from Myanmar. Everything means EVERYTHING that I own. It includes my clothes, my jewelry collection, my makeup collection and other things that I squeezed in my oversized luggage plus more things that I purchased over the course of three years that I live in Singapore.
I started trying to wear all my clothes and discard the ones that didn't fit me, the ones that are worn out and the ones that I don't wear at all during this 3 years. I had over 100 clothing items (close to 200), 13 pairs of shoes, lots of paper and other trinkets. Another thing that I keep in my room was my empty bottles of skincare and makeup. As a blogger, I like to do hauls, favorite items of every month and empties video where I give reviews of each product. However, I didn't have time to film videos during my trimester as I was busy with studies and assignments and the empties add up more and more.
February 2016 is the month where I started figuring out what I want to do and what are the things that are important in my life. I realized that I enjoy the time I have with my mother, my boyfriend and the fact that I am really passionate about my film-making, photography and my blog. After I had figured out what I wanted to do in life, I started editing out the things that are unnecessary in my life. I started down-sizing my clothes, my trinkets collection, my shoes and so on.
From the number of nearly 200 clothing items in my closet, I down-sized to less than 100 clothing items within one month. I scanned all the documents that I think are necessary and discarded the ones I didn't need. My room became much cleaner. Then I stopped for for a while since my schedule started exploding again with school and stuff. I made myself clear that I will purchase only the items that I needed and which are necessary for me.
I made myself clear that I will not impulse purchase something I don't need so if I want something, I left it for a week and think whether I still want the item or not. Ever since I made that decision, my impulse purchases decreased dramatically. I invest into more universal and timeless items that look good on me and in good quality. I realized the importance of "Quality over Quantity."
Today is the last week of September and I have started another decluttering process. I implemented this "Hanger Method" where the hangers are flipped to one way and whenever I wear a piece, I flipped to the opposite way to figure out which clothing items are the ones that I wear the most. I did that to every clothing items that I wore every single time. After 8 months, I had pretty much an pattern on my clothing choices. There were 25% of my clothing that I didn't touch over the course of 8 months. I had around 100 or so clothing at the end of February. I didn't wear about 25% - 30% of my overall clothing during this 8 months. So today, after I had downsized, I have around 53 clothing in my closet. I had cleared out more than 40 items from my closet that are just collecting dust. Those 40 items includes hand-downs from my mother, cousins and aunts which I kept for sentimental values and yet they didn't fit me properly. It was quite difficult to let them go since they are sentimental to me but if I want to live my life more minimally, I knew I had to let things go. I donated all the clothes that I own to charities to decrease my footprint and use sustainable resources.
I kept my sentimental items in this small box which includes the watch that my grandfather wore everyday before he passed away, a brooch that my grandmother gave me as my birthday gift (even though I rarely wear them), some of my bracelets that me and my friends buy as a pair, the very first present that my boyfriend gave me and so on. It is small but those items are very important to me in my life so I didn't discard them and I keep them very dearly. For everyday items like soap, makeup and skincare, I totally stopped purchasing completely and started using the things that I have until they ran out.
I started letting go of the time I spend on social media, reduce the amount of accounts. I implemented the inbox zero method where I reply and read the emails immediately so the inbox will be at zero. I deactivated all the accounts that I no longer use (my twitter account is one of the many) and I unsubscribe from marketing emails. I even deleted my Facebook app a while ago for a month or so. I stopped scrolling mindlessly on Facebook and Instagram (which I need to control these days) and I stopped watching all the media that makes me want to purchase things mindlessly. I stopped going to online shopping websites and I also tried to ignore sales both in stores and online.
I have never been so relieved in my life and I really encourage everyone to try removing the things that are cluttering your life and opportunities and try to pursue your passions and dreams. For myself, I have yet to figure out what I want in life, what I want to achieve for myself and how it will benefit for this community around me. I have yet to discover how I achieve my goals, how I manage my time and money and increase productivity at the same time take care of physical and mental health from living intentionally. I hope you take care of yourself and live happily and intentionally with the ones you love.
©Reyar Kyaw 2017 Handcrafted by pipdig