Minimalism in an Society Obsessed with Consuming
Minimalism is trending in certain circles right now. From van-life to the tiny home movement, we've seen a lot of positive changes in the way people are choosing to consume less. It's hard to become a hardcore minimalist, and that's not a way of life for everyone, but we can all learn to make changes in the way we do consume.
I have recently purged through my clothes, decor and make up. I still own quite a bit more than any typical minimalist, but this way of life has increased my happiness. I'll be honest, I felt sad as I donated dresses that I loved but are just no longer appropriate for my age. But I realized, I have photos in these clothes and the clothes don't make me happy, it might just be the fun memories I had in them.
I forced myself to use makeup that was almost gone before I purchased replacements. I got rid of the makeup that never did any good to my face. I stopped buying the new and trendy makeup, like the ever-coveted Kylie Lip-Kit. I won't even link that because I don't want you to buy it. I have the lip colors I like, the brand doesn't matter, I like them and they get the job done.
I donated a ton of decor that I used in my dorm room and my first apartment. I had a different color scheme that I adored back then. I find those colors hideous now, but I still owned all of the decor. I decided it was best to let go. Besides, these items were sitting in a box in a closet. What good were they doing me? Someone else can get use out of them. I have read a lot about minimalism. The concept I've taken to heart most is to only keep the items that make you happy and find useful.
The strange and incredible thing is, I am feeling more free. When I open my closet to pick out an outfit, I'm not overwhelmed by what to wear. I guess I dress in more simple clothes now. I still own some of my super favorite classy dresses that I'll save for special occasions, but if I find I never wear them, I'll donate them next season. I'm going to make it a point to donate 5 pieces of clothing for every 1 new one that I buy.
I donated a bunch of my beloved books. That was a tough thing to do. I'll admit, I still own a lot of them, but I realize that if I haven't re-read them, then I probably never will. There's something so beautiful about a real book and my Kindle will never never replace the excitement of opening a new book, but I know that they are just taking up space.
I've also tried to minimize my time on the internet and phone. Which is partially why I took a month off blogging. Most full time bloggers might say this is a bad way to grow your blog, but honestly, it was important that I spent time with friends and family without being obsessed with my blog growth. I know my loyal followers will understand.
Digital minimalism is something I've been trying out for the last year. My computer is so full of crap that is just not important. I feel stressed as my computer boots up and takes far too long. So I deleted papers I wrote in college, kept a few of my favorites. I cleaned up my desktop so that I didn't feel overwhelmed. This has helped me keep a clear head and focused on the tasks that I have planned for the day.
Social media minimalism is also important. As mentioned in previous posts, I've gone through social media detox on the regular. As you may notice, I do not have a Facebook fan page for this blog yet. Although this does prevent me from even advertising on Instagram, I've decided I don't like Facebook, so I am not going to use it. This also goes for Twitter. I don't see Twitter as a platform that will bring readers in my blog right now, so I don't need the extra account.
I also un-followed most of the celebrities and Instagram famous individuals that I do not find inspiring or who are always trying to sell something. I know that I have affiliate links in this blog, after all, that is a way to make money as a blogger, but I never want to promote something I don't believe in. You can find some really great companies to shop from that make a difference in the world or useful products for traveling. If I ever promote something that isn't good, please let me know and I will definitely remove it!
I deleted all the apps on my phone that I haven't opened in months. I hated getting overwhelmed trying to find things and now I only have the necessities. I unsubscribed from multiple companies that send me emails every day, telling me to buy new products. It's not that I'm against buying new things, but I felt like I was drowning every time I opened my email. If I'm interested in a product, I'll look it up when I'm ready.
The reason why companies constantly push a product is because they just want you to keep consuming. You can save so much money by removing yourself from it. The whole point of advertising is to make you want more; to make you think you need something because it's new a trendy. Minimalist always preach about the fact that trends are meant to change on the daily so that you feel left out or not cool. You don't always have to feed into what society tells you. You don't have to have something just because a celebrity's name is associated with it. It doesn't make it better than the no-name brand, either.
You don't have to keep buying. You also don't have to donate every single thing you own. Just remember things don't make us happy, things don't go to the grave with you. Spend your money on trips and vacations and going out to a coffee with friends. (Maybe try that local coffee joint instead of Starbucks so you contribute to your community)
Find your own style. Embrace it. Confidence looks better than any trend.
Have you tried the minimalist lifestyle? Tell me in the comments what you've done!