Oh, minimalism, how you have changed things. I’ve downsized everything in my life, including emails and the way I process social media. It’s truly not just about the number of items you own, but more about showcasing the things in your life that are most important. It’s different for all of us, and it pops up in weird ways. It started with my closet and garage and slowly, silently creeped into all areas of my life. And I love it.
I used to go through every closet, nook and cranny in my home at least once a year. I considered myself to be organized almost obsessively, but “going through” closets and underneath sinks didn’t really mean minimizing. It was more to clean and reorganize including making a list of Rubbermaid containers I needed to buy. Life seems like ten items in, two items out which over time predictably accumulates into a bunch of crap you own. Usually I don’t even know where it came from. And we all have little things we gravitate towards but when I really dug in and minimized instead of re-organized, I couldn’t deny my odd predilections.
Tea. I love it, I drink it daily except when it’s very hot outside. I seem to collect it – maybe tossing a new kind into the shopping cart here and there. Over time I had an entire cupboard dedicated to the stuff. Not mugs. They were housed in another cupboard. Just tea.
Soap & Lotion. Not just any soap and lotion. The good stuff. Homemade, beautifully displayed, with pieces of herbs, tufts of hemp, chunky dried orange peels in the soaps. Lotions that smelled divine. I actually bought a basket to display my lovely collection. That I never used. It sat looking pretty and occasionally welcomed a newcomer or got dusted. I dusted my soaps and lotions. I kid you not.
The same went for face wash, lotion, etc… Although I didn’t exactly collect it, I bought the best stuff and felt like my life would fall apart if I didn’t have the right wrinkle cream. It made me feel good to look into the shower and see my choices of shampoo, body wash, conditioner and face products. Several in case my mood changed or I wanted an invigorating scent or one that was more relaxing.
Samples. While minimizing, I found several suitcases and backpacks that we got rid of, but also travel cases filled with soaps, shampoos and lotions in cute little bottles prepared to accompany me on my next great adventure. What’s interesting is that they’re at the hotels already – which is where I collected the spares.
Cleaners. Was I planning on cleaning the Taj Mahal? I’m not sure if I wanted to start a cleaning agency or doing a TV show comparing cleaners (which I could have done), but I had tons. In the kitchen, each bathroom, the laundry room, etc… It was ridiculous.
While minimizing, because it was important to keep only what was necessary, I started using up what I didn’t donate or throw out. It took time to use all the soap and lotion – and we did smell divine. It took time to drink the variety of tea (actually, I think we still are), I got rid of most of the travel bags and luggage and the samples that we didn’t use went with them. I kept cleaners that I actually liked and used and donated the rest.
While sudsing up in the shower, I learned that I liked looking at all that stuff more than using it and I yearned for a more simple system. I started making our lotion (whipped coconut oil with essential oils), body wash, spray cleaner and switched to buying more eco friendly cleaners where I could. I buy only bar soap at a health food store (which is inexpensive and good for you) and we have one shampoo and conditioner. I no longer have special stuff for my face. I use our great shampoo to wash my face when I wash my hair and I use conditioner to get residual makeup off. Between making some of our items and making smarter choices on others, we have so much less, but we use it all.
As far as my closet goes, I’ve hit this great place where I like everything I have and use it. I put my hangers backwards a year ago and donated anything I didn’t use. I did a Marie Kondo experiment with my drawers (which was great). I have a “one in, one out” policy so if I upgrade anything, at least one thing needs to go. I go through everything every couple weeks now (fast and easy!), I toss anything that’s stained, doesn’t fit well anymore, shrinks, etc.. It’s gone. Donated. Out of here. It doesn’t happen often, but I am on it. It’s amazing how I can still find things I don’t use – were they hiding in the closet????? I also count which is odd for me. But I do it. Counting started when I read a blog over 18 months ago about someone who owned less than 100 things. So I wondered where I fell in that. I’m certain a numerologist would have a ball. I inadvertently have a trend of 7 or 3 items. As a matter of fact, if I have a category that isn’t 7 or 3, I find myself adjusting it. 9 sweaters?? Two should go. Weird.
How are you weird?