a kinda-sorta minimalist


photo by me

I’m a “kinda sorta” minimalist.  In the past five years, I’ve pared down along the way as I’ve moved from a 3300 square foot house, to a 1400 square foot house and my current 750 square foot apartment.  By the way, let me just say that I love apartment living.  The stresses of repair and maintenance expenses, lawn maintenance, and housecleaning did not work for me.  I enjoyed home ownership for a very short time.

But  I’m ready to take my minimalism groove up a couple of notches.  I’ve started with my closet because this space felt the most cluttered.  It’s not a huge closet; it’s not tiny either.  It could be a perfect sized closet, but there is way too much stuff hiding in there that is totally unnecessary.  I was reading Courtney Carver’s blog about how limiting your wardrobe options reduces stress (taking away the hassle of “what do I wear today”) and saves money.  If I only have five or six outfits for work and I love all of them, then there doesn’t need to be any of that standing around in my closet looking for what goes with what.  I’m not quite ready for that stage of having a very limited number of outfits, but I’m making definite progess towards it.

I’m in love with the idea of having only the things I truly LOVE in my life which, to me, is a major tenet of  minimalism.  Why do I keep a dress I’m only “eh” about.  As long as “the thing” that I’m ambivalent about is hanging out in my living space, I will feel the pressure of using/wearing it more often.  Ahem … sewing machine.

My goal is to have my closet cleaned out by the end of this month.  Thunderstorms rolled in last night and are expected all weekend long, so it seems I have no excuse not to do at least a little this weekend.  I actually got a really good start a couple of weeks ago; here’s a list of what I purged and donated to Operation Kindness:

2 pairs of sneakers
3 pairs of black dress slacks
1 pair of jeans
3 pairs of black boots
1 pair of brown boots
4 towels
11 t-shirts
12 blouses
9 bras
2 cardigans
2 skirts
1 nightgown
2 dresses

Not closet-related but got scooped up in the frenzy:
Microwave rice cooker
Set of journaling cards
2 Water bottles
Small organizing bin
Handheld GPS
Digital voice recorder*
2 calculators*
GPS for car
MP3 player
3 blankets
1 yoga bag

*School supplies that I no longer need because I graduated!

As I’m boxing and bagging all these items up, the one thing that keeps running through my head is:  Look at all this STUFF I buy and spend money on, and look where it all ends – in the back of the closet never to be seen or used again. I really need to be more aware of impulsive spending.  I don’t need any more electronic gadgets.  I don’t need any more clothes.  What I need is more space.  What I want is to help more – children in Syria, homeless dogs, military veterans … This is where it starts.


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