Are Your Principles Serving You?
Updated: Sep 28, 2020
I am in love with minimalism.
There's nothing more inspiring than gorgeous blogs showcasing modern apartments with sun-filled, clean, and spacious rooms. I relish side-by-side images of an overstuffed closet vs. an artfully hung capsule wardrobe.
The pursuit of minimalism has sent me on several packed car trips, hauling donations to the thrift store. After all, minimalism saves money, reduces pollution, discourages fast fashion (& sweatshop labor), clears the mind, and opens up time for intentional pursuits over compulsive consumerism. Perhaps the most appealing benefit is the promise of a clean home with minimal effort.
That said, I've wasted money getting rid of things only to repurchase them later. Clothing is the best example. Because we live in an older home, our closets are pretty tiny. But I also really like clothes. Not casual, everyday clothes... beautiful clothes. Clothes for the life I want-- not the life I have. Storing these clothes is a challenge because they don't get a ton of use in my daily rotation.
Thus begins the cycle: My closet is loaded, I read a minimalism blog and decide to PURGE. I don't want to purge the good stuff, so I end up getting rid of my regular clothes. My closet is perfect! The next day, I have nothing to wear. So I run to Target and buy some "regular clothes" (not unlike the ones I just said goodbye to).
The minimalist ideal of owning a tightly restricted number of items ("never organize what you can discard") wasn't serving me. Last night, this familiar dilemma resurfaced as I struggled to find space for clean laundry. Rather than making another donation pile, I decided to set aside some clothes to store in the basement.
Does that make me a "bad minimalist?"
However, I am the master of my domain.
Whether you extol the virtues of veganism, marathon running, or even a daily reading habit, take a step back to evaluate if you're benefiting from your convictions or if they're dominating you.
Distinguish between the tools which improve your life and the self-imposed rules that end up ruling you. Therein lies the key to freedom.