How I Minimised My Possessions (and Feel 10x Happier!)


I’ve always been surrounded by things. As long as I can remember, as soon as I could start buying my own items as a teenager, I obsessively bought and collected everything from clothes to ornaments to notebooks (you name it, I bought it). My wardrobes at my parents house are floor-to-ceiling and have a huge amount of storage, but they were always jam-packed full of things (along with my 3 desk drawers and an 8-drawer cabinet, a 4-drawer ikea unit, underneath the bed, plus two 5-shelf shoe racks). I genuinely can’t remember half of the items in there, all I remember was feeling it was both suffocating and simultaneously never enough.

I remember I would have clear outs and huge blog sales with over 100 items a time, yet I was still absolutely surrounded. They were never things I was absolutely in love with either, I always liked an item enough to warrant the space in my wardrobe yet didn’t love it enough to actually wear it more than a few times (or ever). So, as everything was nice but not perfect, I kept buying more and more (and developing attachments in the process) in the hopes that I would find items that I would tick all of the boxes while not actually addressing the issue at hand. In short, I had the mentality of a hoarder.

I carried this attitude along with me when I moved in with my boyfriend and I think it was then I realised I had a bit of a problem. First of all, I left a wardrobe of things at my parents house (who needs that much stuff? I actually sorted it out yesterday and threw out five binbags of things. Five!) and my items took up both the spare bedroom and most of our bedroom in our flat. It was even more evident when we moved into our smaller flat last year and I had to cram everything into one bedroom – it just looked so messy all of the time and, despite clearing out bags and bags of items, I still moved into my current flat with far more than any normal person needs.

So, I eventually read the cult book that’s been sitting on my shelf for a year – Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying – and it completely changed the way I thought when it came to my possessions. I realised how my wardrobe and beauty collection were filled with items that I could pick fault with. That shirt that was a little too tight, those jeans I swore I would wear more but never did, that coat I liked but didn’t touch at all last season.

As instructed, I piled all of my clothes on the floor and asked myself as I picked each one up ‘does this actually bring me joy?’. I repeated this process for my beauty collection, the stash in the bathroom and all the way down to my underwear and I was surprised how many items I placed in an bag to be sold (don’t worry, my undies were kept separate). I now have three large Ikea bags filled with clothes and two huge tote bags of beauty products that I don’t need. My wardrobe is more streamlined, my flat seems to be 10x cleaner than it was because everything has a place and I actually have space in my wardrobe for the first time in years.

I’m going to carry on this attitude and only pick quality pieces that I’m head over heels for. The concept of the book is not about reducing everything to a minimal level (unless that’s what you want to do), it’s about having possessions that you actually love and want to use or wear. For the first time ever, I’m actually struggling to suggest Christmas presents this year as I just don’t need anything, whereas I would be able to think of fifty things I thought were ‘ok’ just off the top of my head previously.

I know this probably seems like such an odd little piece to write about, as it’s hardly groundbreaking, but it’s something I’ve struggled with for a long time. I’m so glad that I took the time to address the issue I had, as I’d brushed it aside for years, and that I’m eventually in a place that I feel mentally happier with what I have.

Sidenote: I am listing a lot of things for sale on my Depop throughout today so please do check it out as everything needs to go asap. Username: thelovecatsinc.

Helen x