Over the past five years or so, I’ve become what might be verging on minimalist. I don’t know what qualifies someone as an actual “minimalist”, nor do I care, but this is a topic that I’ve had on the mind quite a bit lately. I’m almost constantly analyzing my space and wondering what I need and what I can do without. Are my minifying habits unhealthy? Ungrateful? Irresponsible?
As newlyweds, my husband and I had a lot of stuff. Clothes, shoes, kitchen gadgets, clothes, books, shoes, more clothes… you get it. After several moves I started to feel silly about the large boxes dedicated entirely to things like winter accessories, and picture frames. Things that we didn’t NEED. I started to get rid of things. A lot of things.
At first, Rauland thought it was a little silly. So while I purged my un-necessaries, he hung on to his trinkets. Soon he started to see that maybe less really is more, and together, we made a lifestyle choice. If we didn’t need it or use it, we didn’t really keep it. Boy Scouts everywhere would grimace at how ill-prepared this mentality is. (That said, we do have basic camping gear, 72 hour kits, and a decent food storage).
The photos above show our clothes rack. What you see is both mine and Rauland’s entire wardrobes. That’s not entirely true, our jackets are in the coat closet, and we have a few items in the laundry, but basically, yes, that is what we wear. My personal wardrobe breakdown is as follows:
Pajama pants: 3
Pajama shirts: 5
Shoes: 6 pair (running, loafers, sandals, rain boots, 2 dress flats)
You think I’m crazy, don’t you? The truth is, I love having a simple closet. Getting ready is easy. I love the things I own. Laundry is never a real hassle.
But this trend extends farther than my wardrobe. For instance, we only have 4 dinner plates. We decided if we were ever going to be feeding more than four people we’d just assume use paper plates, because we’re lazy like that. I don’t want to wash more dishes than I have to. With the exception of a few wall hangings we got for our wedding, we don’t have decorations. We “decorate” with the things we use. I think it’s part of what drove me to open my shop. I see beauty in functional art. And to me, quilts and pillows are absolutely functional.
See, the way we see it we’re simplifying our lives by only keeping the important stuff. But I don’t think outsiders always see it that way. I worry that our friends and family find us difficult to shop for, because they know we’re particular about the things we keep around the house. This. THIS is the entire reason I ever question our lifestyle choice. I hate feeling like we’re ungrateful recipients.
So here’s my question: does downsizing make someone a big fat heartless jerk? Or is it understandable that we all choose to live our own ways?
And I’d love to know: are you a hoarder or a purger? What’s your story?