New 100 Items! 57 to 64

A small exercise in tidying up my getting ready area led me to two big realisations on my minimalist adventures…

Probably one of my first minimalist exercises, before I even came to minimalism formally, was to sort out my makeup collection. I was (and am) a huge Sali Hughes fan – if you don’t know her she writes for The Guardian beauty pages, and is extremely sensible and basically amazing. Back in 2012 (5 years ago, god damn it time, stop passing s quickly!) her posts taught me everything I needed to know about how to put a good face on, after more than a decade of pretty much doing everything wrong. I slowly replaced all my brushes for a few decent quality ones, bought a expensive basics and mastered the art of the flicky liquid eyeliner.

But for some reason I didn’t get rid of that much of my old makeup; instead I hung on to it until 2015, when a fairly good chunk got binned as part of the Mins Game. And yet, despite my thinking that I had blitzed that whole section, when I properly looked the other day I found some more bits that I haven’t worn for years, and will almost certainly never wear again. Green eyeliner and some manky mascara anyone…

Which made me think two things. One, sometimes you have just got to bin stuff. Nobody is going to want it, and it is beyond saving or re-purposing. Don’t let yourself have excuses like targets for recycling which can stay your hand. Like the pirates code, treat targets more as guidelines…

Second, minimalism isn’t always a one-off. You have to keep going back over. One of my favourite sayings at work is “you can’t see the wood for the trees” (or more accurately since this is a Mancunian saying “you can’t see wood f’trees” – ‘the’ only really exists as an abstract concept north of Birmingham) and this applies when you take a longer term approach to minimalism. When you have so much stuff to start off with, you get rid of the big obvious items, but over time you start to see more and more that you really thought you needed 6 months ago, but which you haven’t touched since. As the wood starts to thin, you begin to see the individual trees.


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