A Messy Attempt at Minimalism

Well hello there.

It’s been a while.

The last time I was in this space it was 2015 and I was working on my capsule wardrobe and minimizing the amount of clutter in my closet. I’m happy to report that things in that realm are going pretty smoothly. Around that same time, I read Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” which advocates a life where all the things you own are either useful or beautiful. So I suppose it was just a matter of time before the ideals I held for my closet spilled out into the rest of my life… and that’s why I’m here. It’s the beginning of a new year and I’ve decided to embark on a new challenge just as many of you may be doing. You could consider it a new year’s resolution, although it makes me nervous to make “resolutions” as it seems anything labelled as such is doomed to failure. But maybe that’s just me.

So what exactly is this challenge, you ask? Well, I’m embracing minimalism… It sounds scary even to me when I say it like that. You may be picturing blank walls and super sparse, ultra-modern furniture. Or at least that’s what I used to think minimalism looked like. But then I watched “Minimalism- A Documentary About the Important Things” with my husband just a few days after Christmas. When he asked if I wanted to watch it, I told him right away that it would probably make me want to get rid of a bunch of stuff. Luckily, he loves to get rid of things almost as much as I do so on our way we went. First let me tell you… If you need a kick in the pants to start packing away holiday decorations then queue this one up. The next day I had taken all the decorations down and packed them away in their boxes. {Those boxes may still be sitting, waiting to be put in the attic, but hey at least I got most of the way there.} But this is about more than holiday decor… It had me thinking about all the other stuff in our house and the misconceptions I had of minimalism. So let’s start with the latter.

As previously mentioned, I pictured minimalism in its most extreme form. Minimalism with a capital M, if you will. But maybe it doesn’t have to be. Maybe it’s just about thinking… actually thinking hard… about the things in our lives, what we choose to buy, and why. Advertising is such a force in our culture that most of us barely notice that we’re being perpetually inundated with signals telling us what things we need to make us happy/successful/fulfilled/etc, etc… And because most of us (especially us millenials) have been bombarded with these signals since we were very young they have become ingrained in our way thinking. Success = money = fancy cars/houses/stuff = happiness. Now, there is no denying that a certain amount of money makes life infinitely easier. But is more than that better? I don’t know. And is more stuff always better? I really don’t think so.

Now, as for all the other stuff in our house… Obviously it’s going to take time to go through everything in our house and decide what to keep and what not to. I plan to use this space to help me reflect on the journey to come. I’m honestly not sure where it will lead, but it feels like I’m headed in the right direction. I don’t know what the end result will look like, but it certainly won’t be bare walls and ultra-modern furniture. Not that there is anything wrong with those things, but it wouldn’t be true to my aesthetic or my needs, and in the end I believe that’s what minimalism is – learning what things you can’t live without, whatever they may be.

That being said, where to start?

Well, I have some ideas and in the coming days I plan to share my thoughts in this space. I hope my reflections will be useful to others out there. If you’re somewhere along this journey, or have thoughts on this undertaking I’d love to hear what you have to say!

 

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