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drawing, dancing, and all the fun stuff in between!

Month: October, 2014

A Minimalist Approach to Dressing Up

Or ok, maybe it should be dressing down.

There was a period in my life when it took so much time and effort to figure out what to wear every morning,  and double the time and effort for special occasions.

And then I read an article about willpower and decision-making. It said that we have a finite amount of willpower that was renewable everyday. Meaning, if you use it up making small decisions early in the day, you probably won’t have any left later on which can result,  among other things, late night snacking and other bad decisions.

So the goal was to make the little things as routine as possible to reserve decision making skills for the important tasks.

It sounded a lot like minimalism to me– take away the non-essentials to focus on the things that matter.

So I streamlined my wardrobe. (Concrete steps on how to do that in another post.) Everything is black and plain and cotton. So that whatever I pull out from the closet would match. I have black dresses for dressier occasions. I have tops and shorts and pants. They all go together.

I won’t have ootd posts because I wear the same things every 2weeks on rotation.  But it’s very liberating. Wearing black makes me look dressed up,  I don’t need to be so careful about dirt, and it has a slimming effect. 

Most of all, I can get dressed in 5minutes or less and use my time for other things. After all, life is for living,  and not just dressing the part.

Dating a Hoarder

Several years ago,  as I was shifting to a minimalist life, I was also dating a hoarder.

I’m far from being a super minimalist,  and I drown in consumerism sometimes, and I don’t mind when people aren’t into minimalism, but hoarding! Hoarding is another level.

He was super smart and talented and funny. He also loved spending money. on things. that he did not need or use. He had a room full of books that he never read (but I did, thank you), a room full of shoes that looked alike to me (except for a green kermit the frog adidas which was really cute), a living room full of toys that were gathering dust. Whenever I’d sleep over,  I’d always just stay on the bed– because that was the only place that was empty. Even the space around the bed was crammed full of things.

(I don’t mind things– especially things that make us happy. I dated a guy who loved music so much; he had cds and records and musical instruments and he enjoyed them all.)

After some time,  I decided that I can’t live with someone like that. It was just really obvious that we had different values.

I guess it’s the same for any kind of relationship– you find people with the same values and everything else is just white noise.

How to Keep Things From Overtaking Your Space

I have a simple rule: 1 for 1.

For every thing I buy/receive as a gift, I give one (or more) thing away.

I try to make the trade in the same category so that I don’t end up with say, 30 shoes and 1 pair of pants. Although why any one would need 30 pairs of shoes is beyond me.

Of course I try not to buy fluff in the first place. But that’s another thing.

So there, easy. 1 for 1. That should keep my life manageable.

Getting into Minimalism

Nearly a decade ago, I looked at my stressful life and decided to turn to minimalism.

My life was a mess, and I decided to move to my own place so I could live my life the way I intended to. 

Moving from a house to studio unit meant I had to leave most of my things behind. I brought a small suitcase worth of clothes plus a box worth of art materials and that was it.

It was great to be free of all those things that needed organizing and cleaning. I had no stuff so I did not need to organize.

It’s funny though how our habits, if we are not careful, can ruin or lives. I grew up buying so much crap. and soon enough,  my condo filled up– oh another pair of shoes won’t hurt, some candles would be nice, I need that coffee table.  It’s these little thoughts that add up to not-so-little-things.

Two steps forward, one step back. I call my life a work in progress.

I decided to be more intentional about my life– not let impulses and objects control me.
There are a lot of benefits to a minimalist lifestyle. Oh and when I say minimalist I mean figuring out what is useful and meaningful and beautiful in your life and getting rid of the rest. one of the biggest benefits is it has freed up so much of my time– I hardly shop, I don’t do obligatory occasions, I don’t need to work so much to buy stuff I don’t need.

So much in my life that is not real anyway. What things do I really need to make me happy?  to make me a better person?

I still have a long way to go, and just so I don’t revert back to my old non-thinking ways I will write about my progress. A meaningful minimalist life is the road less travelled, but I like this road that I am taking.