20 Mar 2013

a minimalism update

I've mentioned the word 'minimalism' and it's variants quite a lot recently so it's no secret that I've been trying to decrease the number of possessions I have, the clutter in all aspects of my life and also lead a simpler life. In this post, I want to reflect on how successful this has been for me so far, and also what can be improved in the future. Hopefully, by documenting this on my blog, it will lead to me being more pro-active with regards to a more minimalistic future and life.


I have sold some stuff on eBay and there is still more to be listed in the coming months. This month, I am also doing a six items or less challenge. This is where you can choose six items to wear and you can only stick to these six items. Shoes, hosiery accessories and underwear are exempt (just as well!). For me, I've also made sports clothing exempt because if I were to include them, that would already be three to four items gone already!

The six items I have chosen are: a grey A-line skirt from Benetton (literally my go-to skirt. I have had it for five years now!), a burgundy dress with a peter pan collar from Boutique by Jaeger, a beige cardigan from H&M, black legging trousers from Mango, a cream pleated top from Reiss and a cream Mac from Aquascutum. All items in neutral-ish colours, so that everything will go together nicely.

All items apart from my Aquascutum mac. Also, it looks like I have stumps for legs... not true - I was just stood on a chair to take this picture.

I will evaluate this challenge sometime next month to see how much of a success it has been. Hopefully, it will allow me to see which items from my wardrobe still need to be purged.


I used to have too many handbags, too many pairs of shoes and just too much of everything. This includes stationery! I now have a few handbags and rotate the use of each, I still have too many pairs of shoes (something I am trying to rectify by listing some on eBay!) and still have too much stationery. It is hard to try and justify too much stationery - I will need it all at some stage as, for example, going back to university means I need to include colour in my notes for exam and revision time.

A picture from a guest post I did for Carou, over at Wandrrlust

One thing I can do is to not buy anymore stationery until I have finished a certain amount of it. At the moment, that amount is a half of everything I have, but even then, I have a feeling I will still have a lot of stationery. Hm, I think this category is still a work in progress!

Internet and Computer-Related Things

I have kept my Facebook friends to a minimum as usually, I don't log in for days and when I did, I was overwhelmed by status updates and 'news' on people I didn't really care about (no offence intended with that sentence!). Now, I can log in and see updates from the people who really matter to me and that has definitely made me less stressed at using this social networking site.

In the future, I would quite like to delete my Facebook altogether but I'm not quite sure if that will ever happen. This is because Facebook has come in quite handy in my first degree when we shared lab experiment results, write-up tips, etc and I think it will be equally handy for when I start university this autumn.

One good thing about my internet use is that my bookmarks are very uncluttered and I keep things there to a minimum. I only have eight bookmarks (three of which are folders) but the ISA Saver one you see on the far right is one that will disappear once I have sorted out my ISA.


Finally, I have been trying to declutter my diary and the way I decorate it. Here is one of my weeks pre-decluttering:

and here is a week where I have tried to declutter:

So, in conclusion, I think I have been making slow and steady steps in decluttering. It is hard to part with items accrued and I think that is the crux of this minimalism issue I am having. However, I will keep persevering with this long-term project of mine and hopefully, I will reach minimalism nirvana sooner rather than later!


  1. You seem to be on the right track, I however could never do this...I live in a world of organised chaos! Things jut don't seem to work for my if things are to neat. Good luck with your clothing challenge, I really like that idea :)

    1. Thanks, I am trying my best to keep up this project. I used to think that things didn't work for me when they were neat but I now know that not to be true. Less clutter = a less cluttered brain (at least, for me anyway!) x

  2. I love how minimal you are!!! I am trying to be more minimal only because having all the stuff I own makes me feel stressed, I hate seeing it all! I had a big panic attack when I moved in to my new desk as there was so much clutter left over, I felt really silly about this, but I just need to declutter!!! I am trying hard not to buy things!!!! I am doing quite well! but Stickers are dangerous!!!

    1. Ah yeah, I know what you mean about having too much stuff. I've had to pack away a lot of my clutter after this move - out of sight, out of mind... Until I open up another box and find more clutter! Hence why I'm trying to sell a lot of things on the internet.

      Stickers are very dangerous indeed, I quite agree :) xxx

  3. I just love the spreads, very creative... "Creative minds are rarely tidy." - Carl Gustav Jung

    1. Aw thank you! I find that my creativity is at its highest when most of the things in my life are decluttered (e.g. having a clean desk) x

  4. On April 2nd there are big changes to Royal Mail.

    Parcels will be priced by volume as well as weight.
    A parcel now £2.70 for up to 750g will be £3.00 for up to a kilo BUT, BIG BUT, parcels will HAVE to be less than 8cm thick. Parcels over 8cm will be £5.65 First Class and £5.20 for Second Class.
    This is a massive increase.

    So, if you are selling clothing, be prepared to get creative with large flat parcels which do not accidentally bunch up to be over 8cm, or sell things quickly!

    1. I did not know this! Otherwise I would have listed a more on eBay in recent weeks when they had free listing weekends. This is SUCH a pickle and a major annoyance. And as you say, it's not like it is a small increase, it is a HUGE one. Kind of unfair really, as the alternatives are Hermes or Collect+ - both of whom I've never used as a sender but have had problems with when being on the receiving end.

      Might have to learn how to vacuum pack my parcels it seems...

      Thanks for the heads up! x

    2. Box-sellers are already making less-than-8cm boxes, I expect they will be all over eBay soon.

      Details are here.


      Boxes can be quite long and wide, Like a large tea-tray, really, but not fat! So shirts and dresses will be OK, but not folded up small or rolled like you may have done before. Large mailing bags and perhaps clingfilmed to a sheet of card so stuff doesn't move.

      And if you want to sell shoes, I would get on with it quickly, no way they will be less than 8cm.

    3. I will have to keep my eye out for these boxes as I think I may well be purchasing quite a few (I have a lot to sell!).

      I can't believe that with these price changes, a second class recorded parcel could go from £3.15 to £6.30 - an increase of 100%. I wonder how they are justifying this. I am already on the look out for a cheaper carrier as I feel this is extortionate. Also, I wonder how these prices will affect the business for Post Offices around the country - I am sure it will cause a sharp decrease in people mailing their eBay sales due to other (now cheaper) alternatives x

    4. It comes in on 2nd April, so anything posted or with a sale ending after next Saturday morning will be affected.
      I think a lot of eBay sellers won't have noticed and will get caught out on Monday morning with doubled postage.

      It CAN be managed. Using a cardboard backing to keep the whatever-it-is flat for example, but you need to make sure you have larger bags which accomodate flatter items.

      You can also send a 16cm x 16cm x 16cm bog, like a mug sized box for the same price but that's the only exception.

      It will also affect "new" mail order, from shops which use RM rather than couriers. I would expect a lot of those which offer "Free Shipping on orders over £x just won't do it any more.

      Personally - and as you can guess from the fact that I am saying Be Prepared in some detail - I send a LOT of parcels and I will still use RM. The unreliability of the cheaper couriers is asking for trouble with eBay Feedback scores. I also want to support my village Post Office, so I will just get creative with my packaging.

      Just wanted to give you the head's up!

    5. I get that supporting your local post office is something you want to do, but what are the Royal Mail doing to support them (and us customers?)?! In a way, the bigger problem are these extortionate yearly increases in postage costs and these will ultimately deter people from posting things. I'm already deterred now and may have to resort to using Hermes (though I don't want to) as they would end up being cheaper for me (and they collect the parcels from my door!).

      It's a shame - I liked my local post office but I also have to bear in mind that in order to use it, I will have to hike up the postage I charge bidders on eBay. And this will have a knock on effect as I will end up getting less for an item or just fail to shift it... Frustrating but there is nothing we can do. x

  5. It's very beautiful! I like this pages ♥

  6. Your stationary drawer makes me so jealous! So many pretty things all together in one place :D
    And your weeks are looking so nice! Making me really want to join in on all the fun, although I'm thinking of keeping the filofax posts confined to a category of blog posts, which I'd keep track of by listing them on a page - so I'm not sure how/where I'd put the little button for 'My Week' - still thinking about it though!

    1. Hehe thank you! I think I will be introducing a smaller badge in the near future, just so people can pick which one they'd prefer to use. It's lovely seeing all the blogs taking part as peeking into someone else's planner is something I could never get bored of! And I'm pretty sure others share this thought too hehe x

  7. Love the Jaeger dress! Is it a new purchase or old classic? Love Peter Pan collars!

    Collect+ have seemed ok for me. Trackable! Royal Mail get worse all the time. Wouldnt mind if they were reliable :/ x

    1. Hiya! Thanks. It's from A/W 2012 I think :)

      Collect+ have been a hit and miss for me, I've found. Hermes are the alternative I'm currently looking at but i've had a bad experience (or two!) with me on the receiver end so I'm still weighing up the pros and cons. It's bad enough that eBay already takes 10% of your final sale value, and then Paypal takes some off too and now to have the Royal Mail ripping us off... It's frustrating! Mailing a second class recorded item, at £6.30, is at the same price as you'd pay for the current Special Delivery Next Day service! Ridiculous x

  8. You've done so well with minimalising your belongings, Angela! I'm notorious for my hoarder tendencies so I doubt I could do as well as you have, but I really must spring clean properly this Easter. (:

    1. Aw thank you! I've got rid of a lot of clutter back in January as I was moving house (that always forces a good old declutter!) but I'm still in the process of getting rid of more. Amazing how much crap one can accumulate. Good luck with spring cleaning :) x