I feel like minimalism is having a moment lately. Like, everyone is ready Marie Kondo and doing things like donating or getting rid of one item a day, or trying to create a Spring Capsule Wardrobe.
Hi, my name is Sara and I’m on the minimalist train.
But I’m also a huge hoarder of memories, so here goes.
The most hilarious thing so far about purging my wardrobe is this: Ok wait, some disclaimers first.
I work from home, and I don’t have lots of formal meetings or events. So the need for me to have pantsuits, cardigans, twin sets (god, remember those? ick), or anything that I wouldn’t wear like, to be comfortable, is basically nonexistent. I had saved a couple of my old skirts I used to wear to the office, until recently I discovered that a) I hate them, and b) my ass doesn’t fit into them anymore. Cool. They went #byebyebye.
And before you get all upset that I’m being self-deprecating, let me share that I’m only being half self-deprecating. I have gained weight since 2010 (shocker, metabolism sucks) but also I do lots of squats. So. *hair flip* Anyways.
Back to minimalism. I’ve done a couple clothing + closet purges in the past couple years, and recently I was discussing this and the general minimalist trend with a gal pal and realized something:
You have to be REALLY into it to be a TRUE minimalist. Like, yes, I have only x number of tshirts, tank tops, and sweaters/layers and everything coordinates and goes together so I have like infinite possibilities. I no longer buy things if they don’t go with at least like 12 other items I already own, or meet some other kind of multi-use criteria.
Like, I don’t even go shoe shopping unless I absolutely need a pair for a very specific reason. [Whereas the only previous reason I needed was Oh I Have a Lunch Break Now to hit up DSW and wander the aisles, choosing 2 or 3 pairs to give happy homes to. I was like, such a humanitarian, you guys.]
I’m not even IN to shopping in general anymore. *hair flip* again, nose in the air.
But! Level that nose back down kid, because…
I have like 25 pairs of leggings. More than one “little black dress” situation. An entire drawer full of tank tops – the old or gross kind you wear to work out or to sleep in. And as mentioned previously in a discussion about boobs, I have at least 30 sports bras.
And any time I’m on Pinterest looking at minimalist / capsule wardrobe examples, they definitely have like 4 of each item, and live happily ever after, The End.
Here I am, unflipping my hair, if there is such a thing.
And where does the minimalism stop? It can’t be just clothing. What about the kitchen? How many casserole dishes does one truly need? Literally everything on a standard wedding registry makes me scratch my head. Do I need monogrammed napkin rings? Am I not a minimalist if I have place settings for 14 people, when the number of times I’ll have need of all 14 place settings at one time is probably zero? Or at most, once? Every 4 years?
And FURTHERMORE. Please tell me what I’m supposed to do with all the printed photos of my college friends, memorabilia from previous Disney trips, the movie ticket stubs I’ve saved because obviously I remember every movie I’ve ever been to just by seeing the stub, every birthday card I’ve ever received, and all 1,045 wedding invitations, engagement party invitations, save-the-dates, and baby announcements sent to me since 2009?
So here I am. The minimalist. Who isn’t a minimalist. Minimalist wannabe? Aspiring minimalist? Regularist? Just someone who doesn’t want to be buried under piles of stuff I don’t need or use or want? Why do I even care if I call myself a minimalist? Or if other people think of me as a minimalist?
Maybe we don’t need to cling to the word itself, as long as we don’t feel uncomfortable, and as long as we don’t let THINGS take up emotional space, or be excuses, or replace meaningful people / experiences in life. Right?