For many years, I've been attached to stuff. For example, my high school days trying to wear popular designer items that showed some sort of "ballin' status" for me [on my parents' budget] or my college years where I became much more frugal and "balled out" in thrift stores and consignment shops to make one-of-a-kind outfits. Either way, I still enjoyed the variety of things.
After my college years and moving around multiple times, whether to a different state or within the same city, I became more aware of my stuff and the reasons I was attached to it. I realized that as much as I enjoy fashion, I really only wear about 25% of the clothes I own and maybe 10% of the shoes. As for accessories, I wear my gold Nefertiti necklace at all times and rarely add to it; I've worn the same two pairs of CZ studs all year (trick: paint with clear nail polish for lasting wear); and I wear the same gold Michael Kors watch for just about every occasion. Why do I have a three packed jewelry boxes??
I have my old faithfuls that I instinctually gravitate toward and there are one-off occasions when I can tap into the rest of my wardrobe. Even with all of that, I still experience the oh-so-common moment of standing in front of my FULL closet thinking, "Ugh, I have nothing to wear!"
Sound familiar? I'm sure. #FirstWorldProblem. This realization has made me ask:
If I'm only wearing a quarter of my wardrobe, why the heck am I holding on to the rest?
The only excuse I have mustered up is being prepared for the one time that one piece could be worn, but that's weak.
Another thought that has triggered an analysis of my things was the ability to move. I have dreams of traveling for vacations and potentially for relocation. The more I research and dream about it, the heavier my stuff weighs and the less free I feel. Something has to change.
So I made the decision to slowly coach myself into a minimalist mindset...
What did that look like? Follow me where I am going...
Step 1: In 2015, I moved into a one-bedroom townhouse-style apartment that was a total of 660-square feet. You hear "townhouse" and think, "Ooo," then hear "660-square feet" and think, "Wait what?" Yep, 660 sq. ft. split between two levels, so visually, it's approximately 330 sq. ft. on each floor...and I love my apartment! My time here has helped me get comfortable in smaller living quarters and limited how much I would buy to put in it.
Step 2: In 2016, I challenged myself not to buy any new clothes, shoes or accessories unless necessary and I'm proud to say that I only bought FIVE (5) new things this year...that's all, folks. Out of 365 days, I only made clothing or shoe purchases on four of them. It may not be zero, but it is nowhere near what I did in 2015 or previous years.
Step 3: Now in 2017...
I'm. Selling. Everything.
Well, not every single thing, but a good majority. Clothes, furniture, shoes, accessories, home decor... anything in excess and weighing me down, excluding my book collection (I'm just not there yet). Most of it isn't my style anymore anyway, so why keep it?
My goal is to seriously challenge myself to live with less, and have the less that I live with be of high-quality, serve a necessary purpose and/or bring me joy.
Ideally and eventually, I'd love to be able to fit all of my clothes AND shoes in two standard-sized suitcases. Is this drastic? Maybe. Do I mentally feel more peace and joy on the horizon knowing that I'll be:
- living well under my means comfortably?
- saving tons of mental energy on unnecessary choices that don't directly impact my ability to live, serve others or make money?
- serving my desires intentionally over others' or the popular trends?
In short, YUP...and my peace is what matters at this stage of my life.
Feel free to ask questions about minimalism, downsizing and organization in the comments or hit me up on my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Medium. Be sure to follow!
If you enjoyed the article, please hit the “like” button and share with your friends!
Until next time…
Y'all be great!