I was listening to Fumio Sasaki’s audio book ‘Goodbye Things’ the other night and while I admire his lifestyle, as a woman who loves beauty and fashion, I feel as though I will never be the type of minimalist he is. Having said that, I know that I should never say never because we don’t know what the future holds. Maybe one day I’ll end up with just five dresses, one coat and three pairs of shoes. Who knows…
The thing with minimalism is, I’ve always known it’s a personal lifestyle choice for everyone which means we need to do what’s right for us; not what’s right for other people. It’s not a competition on who can own the least amount of stuff. It’s not about getting rid of things for the sake of having the minimalist aesthetic. It’s all about getting rid of the unnecessary excess and if that means that out of 10 bottles of perfume, you feel like you only want to get rid of 2 bottles which you’re not using, then that my friend is okay. Don’t feel the pressure to get rid of everything you still love just so you can call yourself a minimalist.
I’m still trying to figure this whole ‘Minimalism’ thing out to be honest and I still feel like a rookie even though I’ve been living this minimalist lifestyle for around two years now. I still struggle to let go of my stuff now and then and I’m still finding it hard to not purchase unnecessary things. I still keep up with my ‘One In, One Out Rule’ and I still try my best to make sure I don’t over accumulate but I’m only human and I do fail sometimes. Like the other day, after I sold my brand new nude suede pair of heels (which were too high for me), I bought five sweatshirts (from the sale) for the gym. Yes, you heard that right. I said goodbye to a pair of shoes but said ‘Hello!’ to five sweatshirts. FIVE!
But the thing is, I needed five sweatshirts because in the winter, I’m going to need them everyday for the gym. I’m not just trying to justify the whole act of buying them but I honestly felt like I needed them, so I bought them.
As I navigate my way towards a more minimalist lifestyle, I’ve realised that minimalism is not about depriving yourself of the things you need and want. It’s about making sure you have what you need. If you need fifteen different lenses for your camera to take amazing pictures with, then keep the fifteen lenses. If you want to have twenty pairs of jeans because they make you happy and they go with twenty different jumpers, then keep the twenty pairs of jeans.
Minimalism can mean different things for everyone because it’s a personal thing.
I still have multiple lipsticks in different shades. I still have five black jumpers that all look very similar sitting in my closet and I have the same jumpers in grey. I’ve also decided to keep three yoga mats even though I only really need one and honestly, I still have some unused clutter in my house. I just don’t feel like I’m at that stage to let go of them just yet and I’m sure that I’ll get there in the end. I’ve learned to let go of the pressure to declutter just for the sake of calling myself ‘a great minimalist’ (what does that even mean?). Now, I understand that I need to define what minimalism means for me and I need to set the bar for myself.
The other day, I was looking around our house and I asked my fiance whether or not he thought I was ‘minimalist’ enough. We both looked in the spare room (closet room), he paused and then, he had a wonderful response.
‘You did a great job of removing the excess.’
I started with six wardrobes full of stuff (plus the other two at my mother’s house) and now I’m down to two and a half. Yes, I really think I deserve a pat on the back for that.
Removing the excess is what it’s all about in my opinion. I admire the minimalist aesthetic and I am working on removing the other stuff that I no longer need in the house but I’m not putting too much pressure on myself to get rid of everything because I feel like ‘I must be more minimalist now!’
It means so much more than that to me and for each and everyone of us, the word ‘excess’ can mean different things. I may find that 100 magazines in my home seem excessive but for a magazine collector, 100 magazines may not seem enough. It’s important to remember that we’re not competing with each other. We’re merely living a minimalist lifestyle to make conscious and personal decisions which will eventually lead to us living a simple and much better lifestyle.
You can define what minimalism means for you. You can label your lifestyle how you want and remember that no one is judging you.