Wannabe Minimalist

I’m usually not one to follow trends. I kind of just go with the flow in life and see where it takes me. But one idea I’ve seen more and more recently really intrigues me. So much that I want to implement the mentality in my own life. Why does a life of simplicity seem so complicated?

If you couldn’t tell already, I’m talking about minimalism. Rather than owning and buying lots of possessions, minimalism focuses on only keeping things that you truly love and use. The lifestyle saves you money, time and space to focus on more important things. But coming from a conventional mindset of buying clothes and makeup whenever and writing lists of things you’d like to buy (even if you already have several of the same thing) is challenging. Definitely not something you can jump into overnight.

I first stumbled upon minimalism when I saw a post on Pinterest about capsule wardrobes. I was shocked to see people who only wore 30-40 pieces of clothing a season, rotating between different pieces. At which point I looked back at my own overflowing closet of clothes, some of which has been resting idly for months.

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I definitely just searched “minimalist wardrobe” and used the first picture I could find. But adopting more minimalism (even if you aren’t fully dedicated, which is completely fine) can feel like a breath of fresh air if you feel suffocated by having so much stuff around you and provide more freedom to really enjoy life.

It’s almost overwhelming at first to realize how many objects we truly own. I feel like that can easily be an aspect of life we are not so mindful of, especially when we place sentimental value in our possessions. When we think of typical image of success and wealth, we generally think of walk-in closets jam-packed, or drawers full of a vast makeup collection. All of which lives in a large, updated home. Can’t you just smell the commercialism in the air?

So when you consider the meaning and value behind owning lots of things, those objects become much less important in the scheme of life. Sure, going to the store and buying a bunch of new clothes gives a kind of rush (retail therapy, as they say), and it’s fun to browse through stores, but if you’re buying items just for the sake of buying them rather than out of necessity, you’re forming a strained relationship with consumerism. If we reward ourselves with spending money on things and get pleasure out of it, whenever we feel down, we know that that can help alleviate negative feelings. And the cycle begins. I’m not saying it’s a major shopping addiction, but in a way, it’s devaluing your purchases. It’s becoming less mindful of your actions.

In life, I want to travel. I don’t want to be grounded in one spot for the rest of my existence. This world is far too vast to not explore it. So the thought of keeping my possessions simple makes sense. I would much rather buy lifelong memories and experiences than temporary objects. And the less things you have, the more I can appreciate those and focus more on quality and less on quantity.

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Now I see all of these shows of people buying practically a shed on wheels to live. Kudos to them, but that’s a little too simple for me. I think there is definitely a healthy balance of living simply but realistically in a consumer society.

I’m not saying to just throw away all of your things and go live in a van. (I mean if you want to, I’m not judging.) But I want you to slowly go through your living space and the materials in it. If you have multiples of something for no solid reason, keep the highest quality or your favorite one and get rid of the rest. If you have something you don’t ever reach for to use or wear, get rid of it. If you’re like me, taking time to declutter and reevaluate your possessions is very relaxing. Only do one area at a time to not become too overwhelmed. For me, I’m looking through my clothes and makeup to see what is just taking up space and I’m just lugging around with me. It brings me joy knowing that anything I do keep truly makes me happy, that I appreciate its value.

This journey of minimalism is a long one. I may never reach a point where I am fully satisfied. I know I still have a habit of looking through clothing and makeup websites (guess who is a Sephora VIB Rouge member), but I’m learning. I notice myself seeing things of potential interest, but taking the time to consider how much I actually need them. Baby steps. Especially in a society where shopping is a common pastime, any progress toward finding ultimate fulfillment without closets and drawers full of stuff is huge. I was never a huge “hoarder” to begin with, but now I find simplifying my life very refreshing.

Obviously I don’t consider myself an expert by any means. I believe minimalism looks different for everyone, depending on how they choose to approach it. But I definitely notice my mindset changing. Maybe it’s just maturing in general, or trying to grow more spiritually, but either way, I think the changes I’m making have been very beneficial to my overall well-being and outlook on life. It’s not easy, but I am believe so strongly that my effort will be worth it.

Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie

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