The not so Minimal Guide to Minimalism

by Niza Metoyer

My wardrobe got to a point where I was pretty much living in a walk-in closet, a bed a desk and clothing spilling out of every corner. I realized I could not live in excess forever, so I turned to the first source of information I could think of, youtube. My first thought was trying to find out the quickest way to declutter but the more I heard about minimalism, and ethical shopping the more inspired I became. A couple days later I dove in following the Konmari method for decluttering. Which centers on the idea that if the item of clothing does not spark joy get rid of it. My goal was and continues to be to create a wardrobe consisting only of items of clothing that I truly love. With this method, I was able to cast aside a quarter of my closet in a few hours and organize everything in a way that at least functioned a bit better. The shoes were the hardest part and I still have way too many but it is not about a number it is about simplicity and being content with the items you own. In the end, I hope to create a sustainable lifestyle and rid myself of habitual decluttering.

Step One: Look into different decluttering methods find one that is the most geared towards your goals. Use youtube and Pinterest to create a vision of what you want things to look like in the end. Look into the best places to donate your clothes, or sell them so that once the decluttering process begins you are not left with boxes of clothes you do not want.

Step Two: Set guidelines for yourself. For me I want this to be a long-term commitment and due to the amount of clothing I own I decided as somewhat of a new years resolution I would stop buying new clothing for 6 months. At the end of 6 months, I will reorganize and look through my clothing selling and donate what is not working. Since I do not have control over my mom and brother who love buying me nice clothes for every item I bring into my wardrobe I will get rid of two from that category. I am saying get rid of two because of how big my current wardrobe is, this is what I know will help balance out what I own and help me live a little more of a simple life. As part of my guidelines, I am requiring myself to fold and put all my clothes away properly. This is a very important step. Putting clothing away, the process of folding and hanging the clothes gives you the chance to make sure there is no damage and allows you to appreciate the stuff you own and take care of it.

Step Three: Set aside a whole day to throw yourself into decluttering, and put things away properly, have three boxes prepared for the clothes you are not keeping labeled sell, donate, and gift. Some of the items you may not want anymore a family member or friend might set those items aside for them. Do not hold on to gifting or selling items for too long if your family and friends do not want them or they are not selling either online or in consignment donate them. The longer you hold on to something the more you will convince yourself to keep it.

Step Four: Decide how far you want to go. Now that you have a taste of minimalism through your wardrobe decide if you want to bring it into other aspects of your life. Such as makeup, hair products, shower products, jewelry, books, kitchen, desk. There are so many things that add clutter to your life; inspect every aspect of your home and decide how far you want to bring minimalism into your life. It is not an all or nothing situation, personalize it to your needs.

I view fashion trends a little, okay, a lot differently. Not just on a need versus want level but on based on functionality, and how many times I would actually wear something; as well as quality over quantity. The process of really going through what I wear and do not wear made me more aware of the type of clothing I like and the colors I am drawn to. The process has given me a means of defining my style more. I now understand that I prefer my high-waisted jeans over mid-rise and 90% of the time I stick to a black, white, and gray color pallet avoiding tan, browns, and navy. I can see the way things work together in my closet, and know what clothing items I will not be purchasing in the future no matter how trendy they may be. I am just at the start of the journey and already have a deeper appreciation for the items I own.

I will be the first to admit minimalism is a trend that does not suit everyone. For me, it has provided me with a way to balance my work and my lifestyle. Allowing me to simplify my life and make it more functional for my current mindset. Six months from now I do not know where I will be in the process, or my mindset but the best thing is I am allowed to change my mind and adopt the rules as I go to suit my life. There is an idealistic perception of minimalism and then there is the reality of simplistic intensional living, embrace what works for you and your lifestyle.

Cover Image via Love-Aesthetics