Do More With Less
I’ve never been a hoarder. But I’ve been pretty close. For me getting rid of anything - anything - was a deep psychological dive into FOMO. What if one day I needed my high school t-shirt with the hole in the armpit? What if my best friend found out I threw away the birthday card she gave me six years ago? And let’s talk about the knick knack drawer. You know, that drawer where you throw all the odds and ends you don’t have a proper place for. Impulse purchases, fast fashion, random email newsletters. It was all a mess, to say the least.
Then I moved to Mexico. I packed all that I could fit into one backpack and left New York City - and all my unnecessary material possessions - behind. Once you live your life out of a backpack, it is very, very hard to go back to anything else. It’s amazing what you make room for emotionally when you free up tangible space. You learn to be present, to live in the moment, and that there are things more important than six pairs of shoes.
Upon my return to my old apartment, I was immediately struck with a suffocating feeling. Who needs all this stuff?, I asked myself in horror. What followed was a cathartic purge - of my closets, my inbox, and my life.
When you’ve grown accustomed to surviving (and enjoying life) on only the essentials, anything frivolous can seem overwhelming. This was my beginner’s introduction to minimalist living.
There are many ‘official’ definitions of minimalism. But essentially, it is doing more with fewer things. More than just the idea of downsizing, the minimalism lifestyle is a way of life that translates across the board into all aspects of living. Decluttering and reducing complexity allows for a calmer state of mind, which is true for both your physical living space, as well as your headspace. On a larger scale, this energy and mentality can be expanded to be better for the environment, as well.
Consumerism is an unstable trend, and this is reason enough to begin to adopt a more minimalist way of buying and owning. Questions to ask are, "Do I really need this? How much will I use it? Will I be able to recycle or upcycle it at the end of its life-cycle?" Think about the money you can save by asking these questions, as well.
There are many areas in a woman’s day-to-day life that can benefit from a minimalist mentality. Though we may not realize it, we tend to embody different personalities depending on the spaces we’re in - at work, at home, on vacation. This is all directly related to the environments we create. Living minimally, and learning to live with less, allows us to streamline who we are, to live in the present and be consistent across the board.
Note: A version of this piece will appear on HealthyWay.com.