Hi my name is Tiffany, and I have been sucked into The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and while I never managed to finish reading the book, I can jibe with the basic premise of ridding your life of too many possessions and seeking out less tangible, but worthwhile things…you know, like happiness, peace of mind, etc.
Last year, the term minimalism was tossed around in health and wellness culture, as much as the words “self-care.” If you have been out of the loop, minimalism, according to Merriam-Webster is “a style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity.” Picture living with only two pieces of furniture or maintaining a 33 item capsule wardrobe; the mission is to focus more on acquiring positive experiences and less junk that serves you or you 300 sq ft apartment, little purpose.
I’m all for the principles behind minimalism, but I’ve raised an drawn-on eyebrow or two at most of the imagery surrounding the lifestyle. Stop reading this and go watch the documentary Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things, and you will see a self-proclaimed “homeless,” man who is actually a nomad traveler who has no permanent address, because he travels to a new country every month, and two authors who live with one chair and two shirts…and nothing else.
Depictions of minimalism tend to be very extreme and very whitewashed, but that’s for another post. If you find that you can’t afford $300 loafers instead of a closet full of cheap shoes in the name of quality versus quantity. Or that you very much like the comfort of your own bed and room of one’s own then here are five smaller, more practical ways to integrate minimalism into your daily life.
Try a “dry” month
I remember the thrill that came with turning 21 and being able to partake in an adult beverage or two, and while at 23 my liver ain’t what it used to be, I still enjoy a nice glass of wine. Which can run anywhere from $7 to $10 on a good day, and if you go out for drinks often, the damage is probably reflected by your nearly empty bank account. Try not buying alcohol for a month or if you can’t do without liquid courage buy a bottle of your favorite brew and skip the happy hours.
You’d be amazed at what reveals itself when you round up dust bunnies and bust out some Clorox wipes. I found tons of DVD’s that I haven’t watched in years, note: I do not have a DVD player. I also found dryer sheets and three tubes of muscle rub…what was I doing that required that much pain relief? When you eliminate duplicates of things and tidy up old thingamabobs it changes the energy of a space.
While meal prepping is currently en vogue, so is saving money by planning out your meals in advance and only buying food that you need. Stop ordering five rolls of sushi and get you the biggest slab of salmon you can find. Voila! Dinner for the week.
Pick out your most worn pieces of clothing
What do you wear on a daily basis? Now mix and match those pieces, donate everything else.
As in neutral colors…with clothing and decor, find a color that feels clean and crisp, now integrate that color into your aesthetic, something about grays, whites, and blues just feel more peaceful and offer a certain calm.
Tiny plants and lone vanilla candles are optional, but minimalism really is less about a look and more about a feeling. I know that when my outside feels crowded and disorganized then my mental peace is compromised, so trying to narrow down everything in my life from people to possessions is a conscious effort that helps me feel like I am living my life with more purpose.
Have you heard of minimalism? What principles have and have not worked for you?
Let me know in the comments, and as always may you #findsometlc.