Take Only What You Need, and Never More Than You Need
“They're also waiting to makeyou want things. Everything we've grown up with—the stories on the feed, the games, all of that--it's all streamlining our personalities so we're easier to sell to. I mean, they do these demographic studies that divide everyone up into a few personality types, and then you get ads based on what you're supposedly like. They try to figure out who you are, and to make you conform to one of their types for easy marketing. It's like a spiral: They keep making everything more basic so it will appeal to everyone. And gradually, everyone gets used to everything being basic, so we get less and less varied as people, more simple.” - Feed by M.T. Anderson.
I hope this quote sparked some thoughts about the culture that exists within America today. In this crazy world where as a society, the meaning of achieving the “American Dream” has increased in terms of material things, we have been accustomed to always having the newest thing NOW! NOW! NOW! The pace of our life is affecting the quality of life. We have things we’re obsessed over and then the new version comes out and we no longer care about what we already had. We’re not going to get happier by consuming more.
Minimalism is inspired by Zen traditions of Confucius, Buddhism and the Yoga Sutras. According to these beliefs, minimalism can be essential to living a life of sustained joy. We can let go of our attachments to possessions because THEY DON’T DEFINE WHO WE ARE, because HAPPINESS IS NOT DERIVED FROM MATERIAL OBJECTS, because WE CAN BE MINDFUL, and because WE CAN SPEND LESS TIME CARING ABOUT OUR THINGS AND MORE TIME CARING ABOUT THE PEOPLE AROUND US.
It may seem impossible to pursue this ideology in modern America, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to embody the idea of minimalism. There’s a lot of different aspects to minimalism where we can apply this “less is more” mentality, for example; art and style, thoughts and actions, or physical belongings. We don’t have to not own anything to be a minimalist, we just need to own less than we do now, to toss things we don’t need and organize the things we do.
A little guide~
Before you start going through all your belongings, there’s one very important thing to keep in mind: If you haven’t gone out of your way to look for it in the past six months, you probably don’t need it! Usually when we start to go through our old things we find stuff that’s been misplaced or forgotten and start hoarding those items, I’m the queen of it! But if you’ve gone this long without it then you probably don’t need it.
- CLOSET COAT HANGER TRICK: hang all your clothes on coat hangers but hang them backwards! do that to all your clothes, when you wear each item of clothing, hang it back the right way, then at the end of 6 months you can see all the clothes you did and did not wear.
- BE SENTIMENTAL, JUST NOT THAT SENTIMENTAL: it’s difficult to let go of things that hold value and memories, but you really have to stop and think: is it really that important? I say go through that old memory box and only keep 5-10 items that hold sentimental value to you.
- NO DOUBLES: if you’re seeing doubles when you shouldn’t then you probably have too much, it’s okay to have more than one of certain things like socks or underwear but try not to have excess of things you don’t need!
- SOME QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU BUY THINGS: do you really truly need it and want it? when and how often will you use it? do you have something similar? if you find yourself going “hmmm” to most of those questions then you should probably set it down and walk away.
- STAY PRIORITIZED. Retail Therapy is real, trust me I’ve been there many times, but next time you’re in need of retail therapy use that time to buy things you actually need!
10 DAYS TO BECOMING MORE AWARE + MINIMALISTIC
- Define your personal style
- List 20 essential clothing items to own
- Write down 10 things you're grateful for
- from e-mail marketing
- Set goals for the next 6 months
- Clean + organize your closet
- De-clutter your work space
- Get rid of unused makeup, skin/haircare products
- Journal your day (discover what you're spending your time on)
- Organize the folders + files on your computer