Do you have things in your living space that you want to use, but never do? This could be something like a coloring book because you’ve read all about the benefits of mindfulness coloring and are someday going to sit down with a cup of tea and color for hours. Or a set of ice skates that you bought because you took one ice skating class and decided you were going to be the next Olympic skater (or just thought you’d be good). Maybe makeup, because you just know that one of these days you will start waking up with a smile on your face and putting on a full face of makeup every day! Yes, these might be (slightly embellished) things I have or used to have that my fantasy self would use.
Phase 1 – Minimalism
February through August 2016 was a whirlwind of self-help books, trash bags, and trips to the GoodWill. I had heard a lot about minimalism on YouTube (the ever growing new Google), read a few books (most notably The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up), and threw myself into minimalism. I’m sure my dad thought I was crazy. I was at a point in my life where I needed a change, so I decided to get rid of almost everything. When I say almost everything, I mean almost everything. Sure, I kept a few things that, by the words of Marie Kondo, ‘sparked joy’, but those things that I kept were few and far between.
The largest areas of decluttering were my bathroom and my wardrobe. So many bottles of lotions and body washes were thrown in the trash, along with my multitude of impulse-buy makeup palettes. With my wardrobe, I really wanted the 10-item wardrobe (that I read about in Lessons Learned from Madame Chic), so skirts, shirts, and even jeans went into the boxes and boxes that I donated to GoodWill. Now, this was a mistake, as I wear jeans almost exclusively at my jobs. I got down to 2 pairs of jeans, about 10 shirts (not including my work shirts), 1 pair of leggings, 7 pairs of underwear, and 5 pairs of socks. You can imagine, I was doing laundry several times a week. Now, this wardrobe did make it easy to move to college, however, it was not at all practical for my lifestyle.
I learned my first mistake with the 10-item wardrobe around then, when I wanted to explore my personal style and leave behind the style I had in high school: I was trying to be someone I was not. Yes, a chic life of all monochrome colors and only 10 items in the closet is great for some people, but it was not practical for me, and it did not spark joy in me every time I went to get dressed. Continue reading “I failed at minimalism?”