What has been happening in the Oh Waily world a month and a bit after throwing off the social media shackles?
It has been a wonderful time of not scrolling, checking-in just in case there’s something new, or thinking about every day events in terms of being possible “posting material”.
Surprisingly I have suffered absolutely no withdrawal symptoms, no jitters or urge to rejoin the social media world. The only issue I have found is just how ingrained the habit of entering “Face….” in to my browser address bar was.
It took a few weeks for the finger hovering, almost typing of the address to die down. It’s a testament to just how frequently and habitual my choice of junk browsing was.
If you are thinking about abandoning the social media world in favour of gaining more time, more interests and more sanity, then I can highly recommend the DELETE option. You will likely not miss it, except in a mindless, habituated way. When bored you might find your fingers hovering over your browser address bar, ready to type the dreaded “F” or “T” to start your journey back to scrolldom. But you will soon catch yourself and realise just what sort of grip the habit has had on you, and what sort of automaton you have become to the infinite scroll and other people’s lives.
WHAT HAVE I DONE WITH ALL THAT EXTRA TIME?
My original goal once I hit the final delete was to resurrect my hobby of cross stitch. That hasn’t totally eventuated yet, but an interesting sideline opened up as a result of that aim. I spent some time and went through patterns, books, fabric and threads in my stash. I threw out a bunch of items that were no longer “my taste” or which I had no use for. Then I set about re-arranging the remaining items in to more user-friendly storage. This set in motion a train of clearing out and cleaning my areas of our bedroom.
In the past month, following that initial effort, I rediscovered and fully embraced an old interest in minimalism. And thanks to the weird, voyeuristic, yet inspiring, world of YouTube minimalism and home cleaning channels I have used my free time to begin to transform our home.
I am the person in our home who has the lowest tolerance for mess, clutter and did I mention mess? So for the past month I have taken the metaphorical bull by his horns and have begun going through the house area by area. I have reorganised my clothing storage and finally donated items that were long, long overdue to leave the house.
I have also been a good little Minimalist-in-process, so far, and haven’t attacked anyone else’s areas or their belongings, just my own.
Recently though I stepped in to our main shared area – the open plan living, dining and kitchen. I removed everything that wasn’t furniture from the living and dining areas and all manner of items from the Expedit bookshelf between them; cleaned everything down and then carefully brought only a few items back on to the shelves. The change was nothing short of wonderful. Like opening a window and letting in gusts of fresh, fragrant air.
Right now I am about two thirds of my way through the kitchen. In a burst of energy I have removed a bunch of unused utensils for donating, cleaned out all of the drawers and a few cupboards. I’ve also re-arranged how we store things. It has only taken three plus years but I think our kitchen storage may now match up with how we use the space. There is still plenty left to do in the kitchen, and around the house, but the gains are coming. Incrementally the house is beginning to feel lighter, cleaner and easier to live in.
At this point I can clearly see the connection between my digital decluttering and my physical decluttering. In fact, in yet another interesting sideline that has happened since the beginning of the year, I have also decluttered my diet and removed many unhelpful options. Unsurprisingly this has had as good an effect on my body as SMExit has had on my mind and the resurgence of my interest in minimalism has had on our living space.
Perhaps I should have chosen “Declutter” for my 2019 word theme instead of “Mindful”.
The only Minimalist-Bully behaviour I have allowed myself to indulge in, so far, has been an insistence that folk clear things up in a reasonable time after finishing with them. My aim in this is to instill the habit of completion in all of us.
How have you been spending your time lately?