Just wanted to sit down and share some thoughts on settling and why I won’t settle for good enough when it comes to stuff. It’s a minimalist win for me.
It’s a little more than 3 years since I decided to adopt a simpler, more minimal approach to life and consumption. I was already interested in green initiatives, but, naturally, this led to an increased interest in low waste, DIY, conscious consumerism, curated collections, and introspection. Like many, I started with a copy of Marie Kondo’s Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up and took off from there. The book really was life-changing, altering my philosophy on home, spending, and happiness in general. My initial goal in reading the book was to inspire my mom to change some of her own habits and overcome her fear of letting go, what I found was a new outlook that resulted in a happier, simpler me.
I filmed a few videos describing my early experience with “sparking joy” (I’ll be restarting that that series soon, re-titled “minimalist transitions”), but here are 5 things that facilitated the process and/or inspired me to think about what I consume.
5 things: minimalist transitions
This is the book that started it all for me. I borrowed it from my library and learned so much, I wanted to share it with everyone. I still apply KonMari’s philosophy and strive to surround myself with things that spark joy — in life, work, and home.
I have a coffee habit, and while I’m still working on minimizing my use of disposables, this was a start. KeepCup has since become the cup du jour among the cool kids.
I am not a cool kid, just a posh nerd.
Fjallraven Kanken (classic and mini)
I have two of these – the classic in red and the mini in brick. I work at a university and I have a lot to carry. I also travel for work and love Swedish design. These bags hold EVERYTHING and don’t make my back hurt (joy all around); they also helped me re-evaluate what I carry, and learn that I value comfort and practicality above all. I wear a Kanken on most days and have gotten sooo much use out of them. Fun fact, I used my amazon reward points to purchase both of them. I paid $0 for each.
Lesson: use those credit rewards!
I’ve talked about these before (here, here, here, and here). These were the 1st big, well-researched fashion purchase I made after re-evaluating my spending and shopping habits. Purchasing a pair of $175 shoes is an investment and not one I made lightly. This purchase forced me to re-evaluate my relationship with fashion, and appreciate the quality and durability of well-made shoes. Two years on, my first pair is still one of my most-worn items.
Another happy side-effect, I was able to let go of all the shoes that made my feet hurt. I reach for tieks whenever I’m not wearing my Lotta’s (another purchase made for comfort and durability).
Note: I have the luxury of being able to afford these. This is a luxury that I did not have once upon a time, but one that I am aware of. Buying secondhand, quality items that live up to their value is always an option. Quality does not always = $$$.
project use it up
Not a thing, but a concept – “project use it up,” or tracking my empties, has resulted in a greater understanding of what I buy and use, which leads to fewer impulse buys and more selective purchases.
Do you need these things to adopt a lower waste/minimalist philosophy? No. Do they help? Sometimes, but you can find your own joy sparking alternatives. The items listed are items that I love and appreciate for their style and purpose; they have a classic, timeless style and will serve me for years to come.
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Firstly, a long overdue empties featuring a few items from Project Use it Up 🙂 (success!)
I also used up two fandom tea samples from Adagio Teas (decaf rooibos blends that were great for after dinner), and a pen(!). Being a pen hoarder, every pen is an accomplishment.
And, since I was on vacation, I decided to give my closet and makeup collection another cull. The result, 1 bag of clothes (mostly winter and workwear) and a few products that were lackluster or caused irritation (or both).
However, as it was my birthday on Tuesday, I did receive some newness, and made a few additions to my summer wardrobe.
Presents from the boy, new teas and a teapet (also Adagio), new treats, 1 tank, 1 blouse, 1 long-sleeve tee, a flashy necklace for flashy days, and a pair of strappy Crocs (my version of rain boots for work days).
Also, a travel size lippie from Milk makeup in O.G. Red (love it!), a tissue mask, and my birthday gift from Sephora; plus, a tube of Kosas lipstick in Royal (these feel so soft and nourishing, with brilliant color).
I filmed this at the end of February, so this is technically not part of March’s shopping fast experiment. However, it’s still part of an effort to remain accountable and track my spending.
Better late than never.
No video last week because life was a whirl…
This week, I’m reviewing my scents and analyzing my current collection. Two of the scents mentioned are part of my “project use it up“, so those will be in constant rotation during the coming month. My plan to is to use up what I have, cull what I don’t wear, and curate a minimalist scent wardrobe to match my mood. Baby steps. This is an edited collection and one that will be curated with time.
In an effort to make better use of the things I buy, I give you my second Empties video 🙂
Lots of products mentioned here, including health stuff, bath stuff, and some general lifestyle bits. I intended to list them all, but life happened and I lost track of time. So just watch for details and feel free to leave any questions in the comments. 🙂 I’m happy to share my thoughts on all and any products mentioned, or feel free to leave a recommendation.
Apologies for video quality issues, I noticed some blurring as I was editing, but I recycled all the products before I watched the video. Lesson learned.
Happy post-binge/consumerist-frenzy day! You’ll have noticed no video yesterday. Why? Because I bought the one thing I had been hemming and hawing over for months… a new laptop! At last! I can do things at ludicrous speed! Seriously. My laptop was 7 years old and feeling it. Now I have a fancy new HP envy and it makes me feel all kinds of feels. I was briefly tempted to upgrade my camera, but I decided to hold off. My current cam is not the greatest, but it’s functional and serves my needs for the moment.
So what I’m trying to say is… yesterday’s video will go live on Monday with lots of bookish goodness.
In the meantime, bask in my excitement
I’ve been thinking about the things I buy — the things that add to my life and the things that make me cringe at the waste (mostly of space and money). I’ve been making a concerted effort to shop mindfully and really think about the things I bring into my life. Where will they fit in my home? How will they add to my state of being? Will they last or will I regret the purchase in 6 months? It’s a challenge, particularly because I have no one to answer to but myself (part of the reason I decided to document this process in the first place is to hold myself accountable). I’m learning and growing. There are some things I’ve purchased recently that I should have checked myself on, but I bought them anyway. I’ll try harder next time.
Now that I’ve rambled long enough, watch the video to learn more about the things don’t buy anymore and the things I’m working on as I move towards a more conscious lifestyle.