Thursday, 1 October 2015

I Am Not A Minimalist

I realize when reading my posts, where I'm talking about decluttering and "not buying" or well, "buying less", the idea could come up that I'm a minimalist. And I've pondered the question to see how I feel about it. Am I a Minimalist? Yes and No. I certainly have found that I am happier with less things, but that doesn't stem exactly from wanting to make rigid lists like "XY hanger/items closets" or "I only own 100 items total" or "Etc" work in my life at all costs.





My philosophy is simple. I only want to surround myself with things I truly use or cherish so that my energie doesn't get hooked onto things that are outdated, attached to either unpleasant memories or guilt, not useful or that desperately want to be put into some kind of order. A note on useful. If, let's say, a painting gives you the good vibes, then it is most assuredly useful. And a note on outdated. With that I mean everything that does not reflect anymore who I am now. For example, that could be books I totally digged 10 years ago, but which are not resonating at all with the current me. I am with Edna Mode on this one:

"I never look back Darling, It distracts me from the Now."

So, I strive to have only things that I love. If that means three of the same item because I love and use them all, then I won't force me into having to toss two because "I am a Minimalist". Labels that make you feel forced to stay inside the parameters suck. No matter how good or shiny the label is. Unless, it actually is truly in alignment with your heart.

The idea of keeping only stuff you love isn't new at all and I don't claim it to be my own. Infact it's also at the base of the very viral book about decluttering by Marie Kondo "The Life Changing Magic of Tyding Up". Only that she calls it "things that spark joy". Admittedly, I've never read the book, even tho it does sound very interesting. But after reading so many reviews and summaries, I just felt like having already read the book. Does this ever happen to you? She does supposedly have some cute ideas about socks tho.

I've started my own journey towards a life with less things about two years ago I think. Give or take, it was around the same time I started this blog. At first I only went after my clothes. Mostly to bring my wardrobe into alignment with the person I was becoming. I had lost not weight, but a full clothing size as a result of regular excersize. My body shape was entirely different from before pregnancy (for the better) and my style taste had changed too. And I felt the rut you get into when you have a closet full of stuff you don't really like and thus always grab the same items, which you don't like all that much anymore either. The process I used is summed up in this post here. But in the end it always boils down to "Do you love it."

After the clothing, I went to eliminate other things. Household items. "Just in case items". "I'm going to totally repair this" items. Things I kept because I had this great plan of starting a craft. Now the latter two are major guilt hogs. Because when you never start, they'll remind you of this everytime you see them. And they'll whisper "fail fail fail". So I gave away all the fabrics to my sister who actually does sew. Now. Not some day in the future.

I'm not done yet. There's still too much of what I perceive as items that do not really need to be there. So every now and then I do another swoop. It's not easy actually. A lot of times I still feel that pang of guilt over throwing something away (well actually, most items are being donated, but still) that maybe was a gift. Or expensive. Or is supposed to be kept as memorial item. But asking myself if deep inside  I really cherish the item usually solves that, And so bit by bit I'm getting where I want to be. A place where I'm not encumbered, tied down and held back. Only I know when enough is enough in regards to downsizing. Not an artificial rule of what I can or cannot have because "I'm a Minimalist"

So I think it would be more apt to call myself a "Have-only-what-you-love"-ist. Or "Don't-amass-crap-for-the-wrong-reasons"-ist.





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