About Me

I'm a newbie minimalist who loves art, design, fashion and shopping. On my blog I journal my efforts to break away from consumerism and into contentment while still being me.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Please Throw It Away

I found this on awfullibrarybooks.net , and I just thought it was funny. I could write some post about the true meaning of "objects of lasting value", but I think this really speaks for itself.

What is that yellow lamp thing, anyway?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Minimal Girl Considers Black Friday

Today my husband sat down next to me.

"Now, I know we both dislike Black Friday," he said, "but I was just thinking: if there's something we need, maybe we should see if it's on sale on Friday."

I agreed. So we sat there thinking about what we needed.

Nothing. Zip. We needed nothing.

The only thing I came up with was a Microsoft Surface Tablet - which I have been coveting for several months now - but we agreed that was more of a "want" than a "need," and could wait until later.

When I decided to become a minimalist, I was worried that I would feel constantly deprived and sad about not having new things. But instead, this realization that we need nothing was incredibly freeing! Here we are, a pair of freelance artists, making an average income, living in a single room - and there's nothing we need.

So what will I be doing on Black Friday? Sleeping in and eating leftover pumpkin pie. Maybe my husband and I will go for a hike, or maybe we'll go for a date at a cafe. I dunno. All I know is that we already have everything we need.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

When you love what you have...

"When you love what you have, you have everything you need."

A nice minimalist statement in beautiful typography!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Confessions of a minimalist

When my husband and I moved over six weeks ago, my attitude towards stuff radically changed, and I realized that I had far, far more than I wanted or needed. I started learning about minimalism and started this blog.

One struggle I have been having is learning to live with friends and family who are...um...not minimalist. In fact, the family members we're living with now are the most materialistic people I have ever met - shopping constantly and keeping everything. When they run out of room in their house, they take the things they don't want and put them in a storage unit. It's the opposite of everything I'm striving for in my own life.

My attitude towards others tends to swing between self-righteousness and envy. Self-righteousness as I think, "thank God I'm not as shallow and worldly as they are," and envy when I see the pretty new things they bought, wishing I could have new things too. Hypocritical? Absolutely. I'm just being honest with you guys.

I know the answer, of course, is to simply accept people for who they are, and remind myself of all the reasons why I've chosen to live with less. It's just easier said than done.

Has anyone else struggled with this?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Learning to Think in Multiple Dimensions

Most of us, when we see something in the store, our default is to only ask one question:
  1. Do I want it?
For other people, their one question is:
  1. Is it cheap? (Or on sale, or a "good deal")
Ever look around your house and think, "where did all this stuff come from?" This is how it happens, because we're only thinking in one dimension when we shop. Becoming minimalist is learning to view things from multiple dimensions. When shopping, ask yourself:
  1. Do I have space for it in my house?
  2. Do I have one already, or something similar?
  3. Can I make this or something similar from what I already own?
  4. How often am I likely to use this?
  5. Is it difficult to clean or upkeep? (Has multiple small parts, needs to be dry-cleaned)
  6. Is it heavy or bulky? (Important if you plan on moving often, like me)
  7. Has a family member asked me to stop buying things like this?
Answering these questions honestly - and placing a product back on the shelf - is one of the most difficult parts of becoming minimalist. Advertisements and shiny packaging are designed to create so much desire that they totally override this questioning process. But once you become aware of this, I've found that asking these questions get easier over time, like strengthening a muscle.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Warm Minimalism: Rustic Entryway

I have a thing for Southwestern patterns these days, and I love the rustic look of the bench! Check out the whole enviable apartment here - every room is a perfect example of warm minimalism!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

You Are Not Your Stuff.

Today I was helping my grandmother with her garage sale. She was selling a lot of the junk that belonged to her deceased ex-husband. An older woman came into the open garage and was very talkative.

"I just saw a sign for a garage sale and dropped by," she said. She started flipping through the moldy vinyl records, talking to us about all sorts of things.

"I keep everything," she said. "My daughters tell me not to, but I say to them, 'when I pass away, you'll go through all of this stuff and then you'll know me. If you don't, you'll never really know me.'"

I felt heartbroken when she said that. This woman's identity was totally wrapped up in her stuff - to the point where she felt like she couldn't have true relationships without it.

But really, when one day she passes away and leaves a house full of garage-sale, thrift-store "memories," as she called them, are her daughters really going to go through each piece, lovingly, carefully, reliving each of their mother's memories? Probably not. They'll probably look at the cluttered house as a burden and a chore, and estate sale the whole thing - not because they didn't love their mother, but because stuff is just stuff.

You are not your stuff. I want to shout this message to the whole world. You are not your stuff. Be free.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

How moving into a dorm changed my view of stuff

I was a bit of an isolated kid in high school. My bedroom was my sanctuary, where I collected a lot of sentimental items, decorative items, and hobbies to keep myself entertained. They comforted me when I felt lonely.

When I moved into my first college dorm room, I brought boxes and boxes of stuff with me. Things like childhood books and momentos; I don't remember exactly what, just that it was a lot.

Those first few weeks of college were totally exhilarating. I quickly made friends and thoroughly enjoyed my newfound independence. I soon realized that I didn't need as many hobbies and books as I did before. I didn't need to surround myself with so many sentimental items, because my present was full of new friendships and memories and adventures. On my first trip back to my parents' house, I returned a lot of stuff right back to my childhood bedroom.

And on the next trip.

And on the next trip, until I probably returned over half of what I had originally brought with me.

I learned a few things from this experience:
  1. Whenever I focus on the present and the future, I find it easier to let go of things.
  2. If I'm feeling happy and confident in my relationships, I find it easier to let go of things.
  3. I never need as much as I think I'm going to need.
Does anyone else feel an inverse connection between healthy relationships and the need to keep things?