It’s been a while since I last updated and a lot has happened since then… A LOT (Ok, not that much in general, but quite a bit on the minimalism front!).
In the beginning of 2013 I had resolved to not buy anything for the whole year of 2013, while simultaneously getting rid of my stuff through sales. The first two months went swimmingly, but once March rolled around, everything went to pot - and I learned a few things in the process.
1. Clutter really does attract clutter! I was dead-set on selling every little thing I owned (as opposed to donating/trashing), but it got so overwhelming that my stuff just sat there, giving the illusion of no change whatsoever. This tricked my mind into believing that things were just the same as they’ve always been, and before I knew it I made a purchase here, and a purchase there - and it didn’t seem to matter, because adding a few things here and there to my pile didn’t make a huge difference in scenery.
Take-Away Lesson: It is really important to purge everything all at once, no matter how much $ you think you can get for that sweater, or those vintage greeting cards. Just pick out the cream of the crop to sell and donate or trash the rest. Otherwise you will end up right back where you started - if change doesn’t happen now, when will it?
2. Ask yourself “Do I need this?”, then ask yourself “Do I really really need this?”. As a newb to minimalism, I realized my definition of “need” was very loose, allowing unnecessary items to slip through the cracks, right back into my desk drawers/storage bins.
Take-Away Lesson: Set aside a moment to really define what it means for something to be necessary to your lifestyle. Do you need 10 pads of paper if you have a smart phone? Even if you are an avid list-maker, probably not (switching to digital saves space and is better for the environment). Some things seem necessary, in a very general way, but when you get down to the nitty-gritty, the odds are you need a lot less than you think.
3. Make minimalism your own. A few months ago, with the help of minimalist blogs/websites, I had a pretty good idea of what I was looking for in a minimalist wardrobe - and I still believe the majority of it was spot on (for me), except for a very key thing that I had overlooked: I never wear dresses - just skirts with fancier tops. The little black dress is such a key piece in nearly every minimalist wardrobe, that I seemed to forget there is never actually an occasion in my life to wear one! Or at least not one where a skirt/top won’t do just as well…
So I made a few changes to my minimalist wardrobe: I nixed the dress, switched out the flat retro sneaker for a more functional athletic shoe (because likely that’s what I need when I need any sneaker) and instead of a messenger bag, I opted for a clutch - when there are times I need more space than a clutch, I’m usually traveling, in which case I would just put everything in a backpack:
And as far as accessories go, I am more in the mindset of keeping it simple, now.
Take-Away Lesson: Make minimalism your own by really tailoring it to your lifestyle.You might need things that other people don’t need, and vice-versa. It is good to get ideas from other blogs or websites, but once you have the general method down, it’s important to figure out how to use it to suit your life (not someone else’s).
4. You are not what you own, and it’s OK to be afraid (but it shouldn’t stop you). Before I was afraid of “losing my identity” through minimalism by giving up a lot of the items that I closely associated with my personality & interests. Now I realize that stuff does not make you who you are - your actions, character, values, hobbies, interests, what you choose to do with your time, the way you treat other people, etc. make you who you are (not useless status symbols).
Take-Away Lesson: Sometimes it’s hard to let go of your former lifestyle, when you feel like certain material possessions reflect “who you are”, but be confident in knowing that you are the same person with or without your “stuff”!
So, that’s what I’ve learned in the past few months - I hope it might help anyone who is also new to the whole minimalism thing. I’m back on the tumblr train!
@1 month ago with 8 notes
#minimalism #minimalist lifestyle #minimalist #organization #spring cleaning #frugal #frugality #thrifty
@4 months ago with 8 notes
#minimalist wardrobe #minimalism #minimalist #budget #saving money #frugal #frugality #minimizing #spring cleaning #wardrobe #fashion
My Idea Of A Minimalist Wardrobe
It’s only been two weeks since I’ve committed to the minimalist lifestyle and decided to go without buying anything for the year 2013, and already I’m getting a clear picture of the consequences of my purchases - especially when it comes to clothing.
I have over 10 pairs of high-heels, but not one pair of comfortable flats. I have many colorful vintage dresses for every occasion, but not one simple black dress. I have industrial snow-ready boots with fur trim, and thigh-high suede stiletto boots, but not one pair of simple black boots!
I’ve had some terrible outfits just in the two weeks I’ve stopped buying clothes - and I’ve learned a lot from it! When you don’t think-through your purchases and give yourself free reign to buy whatever it is you think you need in the moment, you end up with a bunch of random garments that don’t go together at all.
Although my wardrobe has been pared down for the most part, I now have a clear idea of how I want to rebuild my wardrobe once I’m back to buying things again. Based on my past experiences with a minimalist wardrobe, here are some ideas:
- Find your signature cut - the fit that not only flatters you, but also expresses a part of your individuality. Mine happens to be the fitted, feminine cuts of the 1950’s-1960’s, with a modern twist (pencil skirts, cigarette jeans, natural-waist tops, etc.).
- Decide what your core color is (mine is black), then add in a second or third neutral color (mine is nude) - a minimalist wardrobe doesn’t need to be all black. I like black, but as long as you stick with similar core colors, any palette should work!
- Start with basic pieces like pants, a simple dress and skirt in your core color.
- Add a casual top, and a dressy top, that can be worn with both the skirt and the pants. The casual top should have sleeves that fit all seasons (1/2 or 3/4 sleeves can be worn in most weather!), and should incorporate your core color with contrasting neutral (so you’re not wearing all one color - at the moment my casual top is like the one pictured, but in black with thin nude stripes) - you might want 2 or 3 casual tops. The dressy top should be where you let your current mood come out - do you like funky colors and geometric shapes at the moment? Soft florals? Sexy sweaters? Something cool & trendy? This is the piece in your wardrobe that you should allow yourself to replace often, in any color or pattern - Have fun with it!
- Speaking of “having fun”, the other area of your wardrobe you should have fun with is your accessories! These are the items that give all the personality to your simple pieces. Turn your little black dress into a wild tropical number with a vintage chunky fruit necklace and tiki handbag. Feel fancy with a small velvet bag and rhinestone necklace. Be cute with a pink lucite box purse and 1960’s pink plastic necklace! These are just specific examples to prove how easy it can be to change up a wardrobe with 1 or 2 items; the sky is the limit! Like the dressy top, you should only have one of each of these items at a time, but feel freely to replace them often. *You might not want any accessories at all, or a more classic style that never rotates, but I find this to be a good outlet for self-expression if you miss that part of consumerism.
- Try to get away with as little outerwear as possible. I live in an area with mild weather, so I can’t give advice on extreme-weather clothing, but I have always done alright with one leather jacket that goes with everything and a sweater or hoodie.
- Shoes: Pumps, flats, boots, sneakers & flip-flops.
- Have one “lounge” outfit to wear around the house or to run errands in, so you don’t mess up your good clothes. Again, I live in an area with mild weather, so I can easily get away with this!
- One decent-sized messenger bag that can triple as a casual purse, day-trip bag or carry-on.
- One pair of pajamas (not pictured).
That’s it! I’ve written this little guide for myself to remember later, but I’d be happy if anyone else got anything from it.
Today I went on the “returning spree” I’ve been planning for a while and brought back anything I could find with tags still attached. I mostly received store credit, which is going straight into my “gifts for other people” fund! I came away with:
- $43.18 to TJ Maxx, which will go with the TJ Maxx gift card I found the other day (unsure of the balance, but I know at least $10).
- $53.42 to Ross
- $23.74 to DD’s Discounts
- $12.96 to Payless
- $27 to Macy’s
- $11.71 cash from Target
I also found a gift card to Michael’s with at least $10 on it, and one to Ann Taylor Loft with around $30.
I also made $87.22 by selling 3 new VS panties, a 20 piece lot of used clothing & 2 CD’s, bringing the total earned from selling my stuff to $168.78!
@4 months ago with 5 notes
#budget #cheap #frugal #saving money #minimalism #downsizing #minimizing