If you’ve been following this blog for long, you know my motto is, “It’s not about perfection, it’s about making better choices.” My unofficial motto is probably, “Why dirty another dish?” Which we talked about in our smoothie post last week.
In case you missed it –you can freeze smoothies! But, this post isn’t about smoothies. It’s about minimalism.
What is minimalism?
Crazy – there’s no real definition.
I haven’t always been attuned to simplifying. Organization was something I craved, but I was very sentimental. A sentimental minimalist. I adopted that name for myself several years ago. I love the idea of empty spaces but always felt disconnected because of my insane sentimental connection with things.
I did a lot of research on minimalism and was disheartened. I found most things to be very, very critical. “Oh, you have three shirts!? You’re not a minimalist.” “You own a TV!? You’re not a minimalist!” It became a numbers game. You can only have two spoons, three shirts, one book, and a plate.
I’ll always have too many wooden spoons, too many mason jars, and too many clothes. At the time, I had over 200 dresses ALONE. I would never be a minimalist.
But, minimalism isn’t about numbers – it’s about enough.
Only you can decide. It’s individual. It’s much like my perception of zero waste. You’re never going to be perfect!
And, that’s OK.
We need to stop idealizing perfection. Because, even those beautiful, perfect pictures don’t always show reality. It’s one of the reasons, I wanted to start a blog. It’s one of the reasons I love my name! I’m GOING zero waste. And, I will always be in the process of going. I will always be improving. I will never be perfect. I want to be super transparent with you because I don’t want you to hold yourself up to an unrealistic expectation. It’s why I write posts about "What I Recycle," and how to "Reduce Your Waste When You Don’t Have Bulk Options."
It’s why I want to write posts about even smaller steps like, “What to do when you forget your reusable bags,” Or “How to Cut your Meat by 50%.” I think we’re all just doing the best we can to make this place a little less wasteful. And, a part of zero waste is taking care of our things.
Minimalism and zero waste go hand in hand; because their core principles align.
Refuse what you don’t need. We have to stop impulse shopping. In the heat of the moment, there’s pressure to buy something. The first step is to remove yourself from the pressure. Don’t make any purchase immediately. Let 2-3 weeks pass and then ask yourself these questions.
- Do you need it?
- Will you use it more than once a week?
- Does it serve more than one purpose?
- Is it unique?
- Will it enrich your life?
Clutter places unnecessary stress on our subconscious or conscious depending on your personality type. Organization isn’t the answer. The answer is letting go of unnecessary stuff. Focus on the stuff you truly love, and donate the rest. By having less stuff you have more time to focus on the stuff that matters. It’d be pretty impossible to keep up repairs on all 200 dresses. But, by whittling that number down you can focus more on the ones you truly love. You can make sure that you can focus your attention on keeping those items in the best shape possible.
Now that your space if full of items you love, you’ll want to take care of them. You’ll want to make sure they stay in great shape! You’re investing instead of buying into a throwaway culture. You’re no longer impulsively shopping; you’re curating.
This isn’t a short process. It takes a long time. I’ve been on this journey for over two years and I’m still not “complete.” I don’t know if I’ll ever be complete. But, I am definitely getting there. Cleaning out, simplifying, and finding your “enough” is a journey.
In the future, I want to talk more about “enough,” about decluttering, and about simplifying life. My blog has become very “How to,” and while I love that aspect of it, I want room to address these important topics too. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section. Would you like reading more posts about minimalism and simplifying your life?