Embracing minimalism: decluttering your home
We spoke with Alyssa Mariano, co-founder and CEO of Bazaara, an app for buying and selling preloved clothing and goods. She outlines the benefits of decluttering before a move, and how minimalism can benefit you.
Moving homes can be an exciting yet challenging experience. As a transient country, the UAE attracts a diverse population, and with that comes the need to adapt and organise our lives accordingly. One action that can help is decluttering. By embracing minimalism and using second-hand fashion apps, you can streamline your moving process, reduce clutter and even make some money. Of course, your journey to a decluttered life may be fraught with internal and external battles, emotions and many big black trash bags, but it’s worth it for the peace of mind that it brings!
WHAT IS MINIMALISM?
While this ideology is currently enjoying its moment in the limelight, minimalism isn’t a new concept. In fact, the work of Henry David Thoreau explored self-sufficient living in the 1800s. Broadly described as ‘a practice of awareness and intention about your belongings, time and energy,’ the idea has its roots in religious and spiritual practices, but garnered wider attention and appeal in the 1950s and 60s, as the minimalist art and music movements took hold.
A SMOOTH MOVE
Moving homes is a great opportunity to look through your belongings and prioritise what truly matters. Minimising the items you carry with you when you move home or country saves time, effort and money, whilst decluttering before a move allows you to focus on the essentials, making packing and unpacking a much smoother process. We all know people who move with lots of old paperwork, clothes and other unused things, that then simply get pushed into a cupboard or storage space, never to be touched until they move again. Don’t be that person!
A FRESH START
Moving homes can be a fresh start. Let go of items that no longer serve you, whether they’re outdated, broken or simply no longer align with your lifestyle. Create three separate piles – recycle, donate and throw. Even things you plan to throw away might be useful to someone though, so declutter mindfully. Once you’ve created those piles, deal with them quickly, otherwise your declutter simply leads to more clutter! Embracing minimalism allows you to create a living space that reflects your current tastes, interests and goals. As you settle into your new home, you can start with a clean slate and surround yourself only with possessions that make you happy. What could be better?
In recent years, the importance of ethical consumption and sustainability has gained momentum. Parting ways with items you no longer need is an eco-friendly choice. Instead of letting your unwanted belongings end up in a landfill, consider selling or donating them to give them a second life. This promotes the reuse and recycling of goods, contributing to a more sustainable future, and it also makes you feel good. Moving your mind away from seeking happiness through buying things is a great leap towards mental freedom. Materialism is also associated with low self-esteem, based on the incorrect assumption that buying things makes us feel good. Most of us already know the feeling of a post-shopping ‘come down’ as dissatisfaction creeps back in – so why not avoid the cycle altogether?
When decluttering your wardrobe, you may come across clothes that no longer fit, suit your style, or are simply waiting to be worn again – a scenario which often never happens. Instead of just throwing them away, consider using a second-hand fashion app to sell them. Platforms such as Bazaara allow you to sell your gently used clothes to interested buyers. By selling your items through these apps, you not only reduce clutter but potentially earn extra money, which you could put towards your moving costs or towards investing in new wardrobe pieces.
THE LOVELY LOOP
The UAE has seen rising interest in the circular economy movement, which aims to reduce waste and maximise the value of resources. By taking part in the second-hand fashion market, you become part of this sustainable cycle. Someone else can enjoy and cherish the items you no longer need, while you can explore pre-loved fashion pieces from other sellers. Could there be an easier way to contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally conscious society? Author John Powell put it perfectly when he said “To live fully, we must learn to use things and love people, and not love things and use people.” With this in mind, let’s look at five easy ways to become more minimalist.
Adopt a three-month rule. If anything in your life hasn’t been used for three months, re-consider if you need it.
Pare down your wardrobe. Look for clothes with eternal appeal – even better if it’s thrifted. You can do so via apps like Bazaara. A minimalist might not be into fast fashion, but style is timeless.
Tie-in with technology
Those born this century are the first generation who can live without physical items like books, movies and music. Those shelves heaving with DVDs are a thing of the past. Keep your lifelong favourites, but re-consider keeping those things you never read, watch or listen to.
One week, one drawer. We all know sorting out our belongings is very much a ‘must be in the mood’ thing to do. So why not approach it gently, and task yourself with clearing out the contents of one drawer, cupboard or shelf each week?
Give it up, give it away. It doesn’t take science to remind us that giving makes us feel better than receiving, so enjoy double the benefits of decluttering by offering your unwanted items to family, friends and local charities. You could always sell your unwanted items, too – and use the proceeds to pursue a new experience or course.
With these tips in mind, you should be able to pivot towards minimalism in no time, making your next move, or even just your everyday environment, that much smoother and less cluttered!