I have been thinking really hard lately about what do I really need. Who am I and what does that translate into for needs. Minimalism isn’t about living with less than 100 things to me. It’s about living with the right stuff, for me, to make my life comfortable, happy and easy.
Today I went through my bathroom and went through a lot of my hair, nail, face and skin products and tools and did a super quick and dirty gut. I didn’t throw anything out but sorted into bags and the put in a closet. I have already done so much pairing down that before I do any donating or tossing I like to keep things out of sight for about 3 months, especially if its stuff I might use, to make sure I won’t have to go buy it again. There are some things I can part from without worry, but as I am simplifying I want to make sure I don’t OVER simplify. I am not a huge makeup or product user, to begin with, but it still seems like somehow I have more than I think I need!
I am also trying to be more realistic. I am not a high maintenance person with a timely daily routine. I keep makeup and nails fairly plain and always have. But over time there is an accrual of “things you think you need.” As I grow and become more comfortable with just being me and not trying to be like everyone else, I find there is a ton of product I don’t actually use. I have had it for months or years and was probably bought for some special occasion and then not looked at again.
I think a big part of minimalism is being realistic about what you need and being selective about your wants. A good example for me looking back: I used to take a large suitcase on trips with me because I needed to pack “all the things.” The whole suitcase was a contingency plan for “what if” and in the end, I would wear the same shorts and two tops the whole trip anyway, therefor lugging around 40 lbs for nada.
I have been starting to relay this into my home and daily life. How much stuff do I keep “just cause” or because “what if” only to hang on for years and never use it? Oh, hello snowboard, I haven’t used in seven years and still don’t want to part with. What is the cost of the storage? I now need a larger house to keep things that living in a smaller space I would easily have the cash to rent a board once a decade and be rolling in dollars the rest of the time.
A lot of it is a contingency. I could borrow a dress from a friend, but instead, I buy a new one for a wedding. Now I have a dress I may or may not use again, because I am simply not a dress person. This comes back to knowing oneself and being okay with whatever that is. Don’t buy things because of the expectation. Buy things because you need or fucking love them. For reals. Be you. Live for you. Just what you need – nothing more nothing less.
Hang loose friends, and be real with yourself.