MINIMALISM, SORT OF
Today, we are going to talk about things. Material things. I have been hearing a lot about minimalism recently. From suggestions in my Netflix queue to recommendations at the book store. It seems like minimalism is very in right now. It makes sense with all of the things we are inundated with on a daily basis, to react by pairing down our private homes with less stuff.
Over the weekend I was fighting off what I thought was maybe the flu. In my downtime, I met up with a friend who had recently decided to pair down things. She was selling all of her clothes (well, nearly all of them) in order to simplify her wardrobe choices. She had purchased Marie Kondo's book about "Tidying Up" It got me interested in the topic so I looked up a podcast on minimalism. What I found was called "The Minimalists" In their movie and their podcasts they go into what it takes to be a minimalist and how to "tidy up" your life.
I listened to about 5 of their podcasts as I cleaned out my kitchen (it turns out I have a lot of tupperware with mismatched lids that I could give away) I heard about their philosophies on wardrobing, and piled bags high in the hallway to be given away to the Goodwill. As I was debating if I needed to keep the 10 mugs in the cupboard, I decided to be a "kind-of minimalist." To those ardent believers of Marie Kondo, I bet you don't believe this is a thing. But for me, this is the only kind of minimalism that is realistic in my life. See I believe that somewhere between 10 shirts and 2 pairs of jeans and a walk-in closet stacked to the brim, there is a happy medium. In nutrition they are always talking about moderation. So I have decided to take minimalism in moderation. Here are a few things I am going to try to live by...
1. "Love people, use things. The opposite never works."
This is my favorite quote from the podcast. At a higher level, minimalism is about reducing the importance of stuff and increasing the importance of time with others, by yourself, time exploring and learning. I know that sounds a little fluffy but the idea is that if you aren't bogged down by always wanting more stuff, then you can spend more time (and money) on the things that are valuable in life. So, I vow to spend more time doing things rather than accumulating more stuff. I will use the gift certificates that I unearthed to buy things I truly love or go on adventures that will make memories.
2. Stop buying RANDOM things
This is a hard one for me because there is nothing I love more than going to the flea market or taking an hour or two to peruse Cost Plus. I always end up with a bunch of random things I didn't know I "needed." When I cleaned this weekend, I realized that so much of what I was giving away was that one plate I bought and never used, or that vase that I got when I had 5 others that were just as good. I need to stop putting myself in situations where I am going to buy random stuff that is just a version of what I already have. Oh, and I need to burn each and every one of the candles in my cupboard before I am allowed another one. Seriously, hold me to this one.
3. Minimalism isn't perfect
I gave away a lot of things this weekend. And the weekend before I sent a big bag of stuff to ThredUp (great company, check it out!). I probably have another 1-2 trips to Goodwill in my future because I still haven't taken a good look at the stuff under the bed and the hallway closet could use another cleaning and give away. I have totes upon totes in there (note to self, stop accepting totes) I wish I could just do it in one fell swoop but the truth is I'm tired. Taking trips up and down the stairs, renting the Zipcar, dropping off the clothes all takes a lot out of you. It is more manageable to take in waves. I also have noticed how much I appreciate the areas I did clean and how that motivates me to do it to every area of the house.
At the end of the day, I will probably have too many cheese knifes for a true mimimalist. I also have one too many striped shirts and pairs of jeans. The truth is I am not a minimalist. But I can consume things in a more respectful manner. When I buy something I will truly think about why I am buying it and how it will serve me, hopefully, for many years to come.
This ended up being a long post but I wanted to share because it was something that I really thought about this weekend and it had an impact on how I was looking at the things around me. Hopefully there is a nugget somewhere in this post that will inspire you to create your own kind of minimalism.
Have a good week everyone!