Like most people, I found myself watching a Matt D’avella video explaining the pros and cons of minimalism and feeling inspired. Afterwards I vowed to throw all my things away and start new. Then reality sunk in. I didn’t want to simply throw everything into the trash, that wouldn’t be environmentally responsible. I’m no saint when it comes to being environmentally conscious but I’ve made huge efforts in the past year to reduce the amount of trash I leave behind.
I also realize I can’t live like a Buddhist monk. I like fashion and makeup way too much for that. What I really loved about how Matt explained minimalism was that it is focusing on being intentional with our purchases and making sure the things we do spend our money on we genuinely love rather than spending money jut to fill the void. I am someone who is especially vulnerable to the capitalist call to always want more. This is especially apparent with my 36 pair collection of sunglasses.
Some mornings I wake up and all I want to do is shop, even though there’s nothing I need or even want. I’ve found myself looking around stores just trying to find things to buy rather than leaving because there just isn’t anything I want. A few years ago I began to realize that whenever I would feel sad or disappointed, I would go shopping. It took a long time to make this connection but it made perfect sense. I’d go to the mall in search of something I couldn’t put my finger on. I’d buy my 15th shade of red lipstick that I probably wouldn’t wear more than a hand-full of times and for about 5 minutes I’d be content. Quickly the thrill of buying something would wear off and I’d be left feeling empty again. I must be a slow learner because I continued to do this even though I started becoming aware of what I was doing, and how it really wasn’t making me feel any better.
I decided to slowly incorporate the ideals of minimalism into my purchasing. I have a billion clothes, which I have now donated more than 2/3’s of my entire wardrobe to local charities. I’ve begun making sure to use up all my hair products that I don’t love to make sure they don’t go to waste, and then I will only be repurchasing the one’s that I genuinely love. I currently have about 20 different bottles of hair products, I have all of 2 that I actually enjoy using. I don’t want to be wasteful so this really slows down my process by trying to use everything up. If I had it my way it’s get rid of everything right this second that I didn’t need, but it’s just not a responsible way to do things.
Taking this slow does have it’s perks, though. By having to wait between recycling pick ups and using things you’re not crazy about it really makes you think about what you like about certain products you do love and what you don’t want when you do need to make a repurchase. It also has a financial benefit too. I would spend an insane amount on clothing that I wouldn’t wear or didn’t like. I was also spending so much on weird home decor that after a day or two I would decide I hated. I bought it because I thought it was cheap, but in the end i was buying a lot of junk I didn’t really love.
By not purchasing things unless I LOVED them, I found I could afford nicer things and stopped experiencing buyer’s remorse when I did decide to buy something. I’ll never be the poster child of minimalism and only own like 50 total items, but I’m really excited about the idea of only owning things in my home that truly excite me. I’ve only just begun this minimalism journey but so far I really like where this is going. I’ll be sure to provide updates on my process to compare how I’m doing now to how I’m doing in the future.
Would you consider yourself a minimalist? or is the thought of living with less absolutely terrifying to you? Let me know your opinion below!