When I’m considering something for my apartment, I’ve found it helpful to vet the object in question:
First ask: is this object truly worth the real estate that it will take up?
Next, imagine the physical space around this object in your home… Continue reading “tips for maintaining a minimalist home”
I haven’t been writing as consistently as I would like to because my schedule has been pretty jam packed lately (despite my efforts to do less ~!). Over the weekend, I stumbled across a few like-minded blogs (here and here – I just love finding new blogs with great content!) and felt inspired to write more! So I thought I’d share some ideas I had in the works for the future of this blog:
- sharing my capsule beauty kit
- editing a style wishlist – I’m not sure why, but I’m interested in other bloggers’ wishlists and enjoy reading about how they ultimately decide to buy or not buy something.
- sharing my ‘style story’ – a survey that looks into how your life story influences what you wear. Very interesting idea!
- taking better photos – I’ve been learning to do more with my DSLR. Still a work in progress though.. with time.
- taking you on a tour of my apartment – We did a lot of re-arranging and can’t wait to show you!
- more outfit posts, of course! including some new athleisure – loungewear items I just got.
Stay tuned. Let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions for me down below. Thanks!
I recently read a thought provoking OpEd article in the New York Times on when it’s ‘cool’ to have nothing. It referenced Simply Fully’s blog post on minimalism and class privilege. It’s authors highlight how the image of having very little is shaped by where one begins. A rich man who sheds all his belongings gets praise, admiration and cool factor while one who has very little and started out that way is looked down upon and considered lazy; he is the ‘involuntary minimalist’. I personally think this criticism is a narrow point of view and ultimately misses the point. I have definitely met plenty of people living below the poverty line and been inside their homes and saw closets full of clothes and spaces full of clutter. In the U.S., we need not be rich to have a lot of stuff. But I do think there is value in talking about this. Definitely had me take a step back and critically think about my own lifestyle choices in a way that I wouldn’t have otherwise. As always, I find the reader comments section the most interesting of all. Here are some of the comments that resonated with me:
ohura writes “This article and comments make much of motive– are you minimalist because it’s fashionable or because you can’t afford more. Irrelevant. Having more than you need is waste, isn’t it? Why should we waste? Why should we have what we don’t need regardless of age or socioeconomic status?”
D writes: “Minimalism is just something else to sell like the extremely expensive modernist homes in magazines which no one I know can afford. The selling of minimalism utilizes the same angle of channeling desire, or more to the point, creating dissatisfaction with what you ‘have’.”
and my favorite comment of all, from mead1: “This article misses a generational nuance. For the young, minimalism is not “getting rid of stuff” – it is choosing not to acquire much in the first place. This is a far less morally ambiguous choice than middle age minimalism, which generally requires off-loading decades of acquired belongings, a process which in itself has detrimental environmental consequences even when one is recycling or donating belongings. Conscious initial consumption, as opposed to conspicuous deacquisition, is a choice that can be made — and applauded — at any end of the socioeconomic spectrum.”
For me, the hardest part about decluttering was letting go of gifts and sentimental objects that I know I don’t need/want. It’s easier with little objects but harder when a gift is large (and more obvious when it’s no longer in your home). The struggle is an emotional one. What will they think? That I’m ungrateful, that I don’t care, that I’m a callous bad person? But don’t they say it’s the thought that counts? After the moment you’ve shared your genuine appreciation, shouldn’t you be free to do what you want with the gift? I felt conflicted, so I searched the internet to see if anyone else has ever wondered about this and found a great essay “on getting rid of gifts” from the guys at the Becoming Minimalist blog. Their conclusion was that most people would not notice or care and one should go ahead and let go. And so I did, and instead of guilt, I found relief.
(relief: your mind’s way of letting you know you did the right thing)
I will probably only ever be a ‘mild minimalist’ or a ‘minimalist in progress’. I’ve been trying to let go of things that don’t add value to my life, to ‘declutter’, so to speak.
My progress so far has been good. I’ve donated/recycled 5 bags of clothing and reduced my wardrobe by 40%. I donated 8 pairs of shoes, reducing my shoe collection by half, I only have 3 shoes on heavy rotation now, while the others ones are for winter or special occasions. Continue reading “considered living: minimalist-in-progress report”
I’ve been looking into the reasons people choose minimalism and found an interesting opinion article by Graham Hill that was in the New York Times in 2013. It details how this super successful tech entrepreneur shed a life of luxury to live a more simple life in a tiny 420 square foot studio. It got me thinking about my own reasons. I came up with 6:
Continue reading “considered living: good read”
These past few weeks have been a whirlwind of traveling and a whole lot of partying. It sure is nice to finally be home and get back to my normal routine again. Yesterday I felt inspired to finally get rid of 4 bags of old clothes that were just taking up space in my closet. In these bags were 5 brand new shirts/dresses with the tags still on them, as I put them in the donation bag, I just kept asking myself “seriously, what was I thinking?!”. I’ve come a long way from my old shopping habits though, I no longer buy things simply for cheap thrills and because it looks uber cute in that moment. I’m more thoughtful now and really have to be convinced that I will wear something over and over before I commit. Proud to say that my last 5 purchases have been on heavy rotation. So, if you need help getting rid of all that junk too, check out these instructions from mnmlist.com. Another life issue I’ve been struggling with is how to invest my time in doing only things I truly enjoy. With so little time in my schedule, I can feel pretty overwhelmed by invitations from friends. Sometimes I feel guilty and feel like a broken record that says “no, no, no” over and over again. But one of my mentors at work once told me “you are the only one who can protect your time.” And he was right. I needed to read this article on how to protect your time to rationalize my guilt away. Now looking forward to a more productive month ahead, cheers!
This week’s 2 good reads are about the joys of staying in (apartment therapy: 4 terrific habits of a homebody) and on how our generation is abandoning nostalgia to live lighter simpler lives (WP: Stuff it: Millennials nix their parent’s treasures). Happy spring weather everyone!