I want to be a minimalist . . . but I am a dreamer. My ideal self is a minimalist, and I savor photos of homes, closets, and shelves that are nearly-bare. I am drawn to websites like Zen Habits, and The 100 Thing Challenge. I love to explore Apartment Therapy and see how couples live comfortably in 400 square-foot homes, untethered to mounds of possessions.
As far as home decor, I am fairly minimalistic. We don’t own a lot of furniture, our home is small by modern American standards – about 1500 square feet – and we don’t collect or accumulate much. We like to think of ourselves as on the lower end of consumerism. Living through the Years of the Hurricanes taught us that it isn’t wise to become too attached to our stuff; it could all be gone in a strong gust or tidal surge.
Wardrobe minimalism, however, has intrigued and eluded me. I have followed with great interest the various wardrobe challenges across the blogoverse. I contemplated, but quickly rejected as impossible, the Six Pieces or Less concept. That’s just too spartan for me (except as a travel capsule). I have tried some varieties of the 30-for-30, and it’s fun to try to live on a limited wardrobe, but here’s the truth — I get bored! I like change.
So I try to balance my love of simplicity with my drive for novelty. Here are some of the strategies I am using now:
- I am pretty strict about one wardrobe item in, one out. It makes me a better shopper, as I must contemplate the exit of an existing piece . . . who’s it going to be?
- I shop at and donate to local charity stores. I have seen my wardrobe coming and going! This makes me feel good, as I get to experience novelty and trends, while keeping my total possessions at a manageable level.
- I focus on high quality for certain categories of wardrobe items: shoes, bags, blazers. I find I am content with two or three “good” purses in my inventory. I have about 12 total pairs of shoes, boots and sneakers, and I really, really love them and wear them to nubs.
- I am less concerned with longevity for tees, casual skirts, jeans, and accessories. I rotate through these more quickly and I don’t need a big stash.
- I have a staunch vow to not pay for extra storage space for clothing. Even if Sandy and I move onto a boat, I am determined to live with whatever clothing fits in my living space. My clothing is not going to have its own apartment.
- I have also determined to love what I keep and keep only what I love. Life is too short for just-good-enough.
Where are you on the minimal – maximum scale? I don’t think there are “better” or “worse” ways to live, just lifestyle preferences and comfort zones, and budgetary constraints. Do you crave the simpler closet, or the more-is-more?
“Be someone who has nothing. Then everything you have will feel like a luxurious gift.”-Shunya
Stay fabulous, xo
Wear what you love, always. Here are some goodies to browse: