Material -The Minimalism Project

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Day one…..This is not easy.

Or fun.

In fact, Day 1 was quite stressful. Overwhelming to be honest.

If you missed my last post, I’m on a self-auditing mission of Minimalism, where I aim to trim the fat in my life. Over the next few posts I am tackling three categories in my life:

  • Space (where we live and how we use that space)
  • Material (the things we fill that space with )
  • Financial (the way we spend my money, and how we can do it better, or less?)

This post is about the material things because I realised we couldn’t improve the way we used our space until we knew what space we had to work within the first place.

A good clean out often spirals out of control halfway, leaving you standing in the middle of the biggest mess you ever saw, wondering why the hell you started this. Today was no different, I found myself wishing I could press the rewind button!

The worst part I was only on room number 1, my kids’ room. My sneaky suspicion is that there are much worse places still to go!

Lets back things up for a second and get into some helpful tips before you start:

  1. Have some big trash bags, boxes and containers ready to sort the mess
  2. Categorize them (I had 3 piles going, Trash into black bags, donation stuff into boxes and Keep stuff into plastic tubs)
  3. Try not to fill the plastic tub up at all. the whole point of this exercise is to rid your space of things that you don’t need or use in your life. Stuff sitting in a tub in the garage or cupboard kinda defeats the purpose and means you didn’t push yourself far enough out your comfort zone.
  4. Start and finish one room at a time!

I’ll say this… the kids were amazing! I really thought they were going to struggle with letting go of their toys, but they were ruthless. I actually started stressing watching these barbie dolls I have spent a fortune on, getting disposed of so easily!

Before we knew it we had 4 full boxes and black bags of donations ready to go!

 

We loaded up Kimmy’s truck and headed off to iThembe Labasha, which is close to our home and our heart. Jess’s mom, Debbie, has been hugely involved since Jess passed away in helping organise and uplift this little center.

Ithemba Labasha means ‘hope for our children’ in Zulu and is an NPO run community centre in Shaka’s Head, just outside Ballito. They run a full day-care for toddlers who get fed breakfast and lunch daily. In the afternoons after school, local school children come to the Centre for a daily hot cooked meal, Monday to Friday.

This allows many of the local moms and dads to go off to work, knowing their kids are safe and well cared for, and earn a full days wages for their family. All parents can relate to the stress of balancing work and kids during the week. This little center solves that problem in the best possible way.

The kids went ballistic when they saw what we had for them, it was quite emotional to get hugs and squeezes and to see how excited they were. Kimmy was dive tackled by a very grateful little man who decided to show his appreciation by attempting to fly into her arms. Joel was super stoked to see old spiderman getting some love again, I think it was a good lesson for them. Perspective is something I’m really big on and helping my kids see how their old unwanted toys meant so much these kids were right on track.

 

 

Now that was fun! And worth all the hack!

Next up was the kitchen, lounge and my bedroom, which was not going to be easy! There is so much STUFFFFFF. I was ruthless in my cupboard. All those items I was saving “until I lose weight” …. OUT they go! All those items I use around the house because they have holes and are so comfortable, OUT! (okay I kept one comfy pant and one comfy shirt)

The linen cupboard! The secret cupboard under the stairs! It was madness! Kimmy spent hours cleaning that linen cupboard and figuring out what we will actually ever use again.

The pics below tell the story! it was the most amazing accumulation of STUFF. Most of the excess I offered to my housekeeper Lindewe, which she will keep or sell. There is always someone who is in desperate need of things we will never use again.

 

Then it was time to hit the garage and tackle my most emotional crutch.

MY SURFBOARDS.

Yes, I know that is shallow. But it is true. I started having these things out the rafters and from behind boxes and by the end of it, there were 10 surfboards lying on the garage floor. Of which I ride 2. Took a bloody long time to come to terms with it but the reality was I would never really ride them again, and I figured I could treat myself to a new one if I offloaded these.

8 surfboards for sale!

IMG_3351

I offloaded two boards to The Surfboard Agent, a new concept started by my mate Sidney Boulanger. The idea is he stocks demo models and second-hand boards, and you can pop in and try them out, decide what you like before you spend all your money.

I dropped two nearly new boards off to help kick-start the project:

  • 5’11 , 18 3/4 round pin with spinetek (4th from the left)
  • 6’3 pintail black beauty (far right-hand side on the skate ramp)

Rad concept, you can find out more here: https://www.instagram.com/thesurfboardagent/?hl=en

Okay so we have a few more places to neaten up around the house, our AirBnB guests are coming next week so that’s always good motivation to trim any unnecessary fat.

I’m loving the feeling of letting go of all this stuff. I want to have a life of practical things that are well used. Anything extra money can be spent on experiences! If it collects dust, then it must move!

I want 2019 to be the most productive of my entire life, so I’m creating a space mentally and physically that will allow it. Part of that is being honest about my shortcomings, which is why this blog is more like confession or therapy for me! Still to come on this journey is my Financial and Space Audits. which will come in the new year. 2018 was a really tough year on my cash flow and grew up a lot when it came to taking control of my spending.

I’ll share some of the good the bad and the ugly soon.

Merry Christmas and happy new year!

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