Living With Less: The Series! Beginning My Minimalism Journey
This past year has been an incredible one. I met Jason, worked on a cruise ship for 6 months doing what I love, got engaged, visited 6 new countries and countless new cities, and did quite a bit of learning and growing on a personal level. 180+ nights at sea in a row really give you time to soul-search and contemplate your life's direction. It also requires you to pack your whole life up into two large, very overstuffed, suitcases. As you might have gathered, my minimalism journey began a bit against my will. But something incredible happened when I was packing up my cabin to return home: I realized I could have lived with even less than two suitcases worth for those 6 months. That I could have lived on FAR less. Maybe for some of you that doesn't seem like anything earth-shattering, but for me? That was a big deal! I've always had trouble letting go of things as I'm very sentimental yet practical (meaning I love the memories attached to material goods as much as their possible utility later on), so this realization surprised me. I lived out of two suitcases, a backpack, and a tiny guitar case for 6 months? And I could have done without almost half of what I brought? Me??
Shortly after I had arrived home to Toronto (and gotten engaged!!) it was time to pack again, this time for a month-long trip to Costa Rica with my new fiancé! This time, packing was much easier. We packed everything each of use needed in one of my two suitcases from the cruise, a small carry-on size bag, two backpacks, and two guitar case. And guess what? When we were packing to come home after our glorious vacation I had a familiar realization. I could have easily lived on less during that month. Easily. you'd think at this point I wouldn't be surprised, but I was shocked all over again. Maybe minimalism as a lifestyle wasn't as crazy as I'd once thought?
Jason has been a great support through all of these revelations, and a bit amused. He gave away and sold most of his belongings a couple years ago until everything he owned fit into 2 rubbermaid tubs, a backpack, and ten guitar cases (there are just a couple more guitar cases now...). His reasonable minimalism, which he talks about in terms of ridding himself of "life anchors", planted the seed when we first met. But I always thought that while living without life anchors was all well and good for him, I could NEVER just get rid of all my stuff. I was so, so wrong!
This shift in my thinking, and the actions it lead me to take, has inspired me to create a brand new series on the blog: Living With Less! This will be made up of weekly posts on the topic of minimalism every Tuesday on the blog for the next couple of months. I am so excited to share what I've learned with you and hopefully inspire you to give minimalism a try!
Are you interested in Jason's take on minimalism and life anchors? Let me know in the comments below! Maybe he'll be kind enough to write a guest post for the series! :)
Keep reading to get a preview of what's to come for the reminder of 2015!
This new way of thinking was a big step for me, but still just in my head. That's where Marie Kondo comes in.
I don't know when I first heard about this book, or how I was reminded at just the right time, but I purchased a copy and read it cover to cover in a day and a half.
The day after I finished reading I got started, and I haven't looked back since!
Look forward to my upcoming post on decluttering, the Marie Kondo way (and a book review)!
The next step after decluttering all of my things was organizing what was left. I wanted to find a place for every belonging so that I wouldn't have to spend any more of my precious time looking for misplaced things. At one point I was losing items daily and the amount of stress it was causing was astronomical! Once my physical belongings were starting to shape up, I moved on to my digital life. Documents, pictures, music, email; I sorted it all. I also devised a backup system so that I would never have to worry about lost data again, with valuable help from Jason! Look forward to a post on organizing your physical things and a post on organizing you digital life explaining all of the techniques I used to sort out my life!
This one is probably the aspect of the minimalism lifestyle that excites me the most. I have always been the one with a humongous closet and nothing to wear. I spent quite a few years as a shopaholic, but still struggled with getting dressed every single morning. I first heard about capsule wardrobes a few years ago, when project 333 became popular. I thought about doing it, but didn't believe I was capable of reducing my wardrobe so drastically. Then, a couple of months ago, I found Un-Fancy, and it changed everything! Caroline made starting a capsule wardrobe sound so easy, and so awesome, that I immediately wanted to do it. I made a quasi-capsule wardrobe for summer as a bit of a trial and really enjoyed the simplicity it was bringing to my life. Now that a new season is around the corner, I am SO excited to be going full bore into creating a fall capsule wardrobe to wear from October to December! I'm going to be writing a post on how to create a capsule wardrobe and a post showing you what I chose for my very first capsule collection for the beginning of October so that you can give it a try in fall along with me, if you like!
In the meantime, check out my Capsule Wardrobe inspiration board on Pinterest!
Buying less and more consciously.
The final step for me at the beginning of this minimalism journey has to be buying less things and being more intentional about the things that I do purchase. I have been working on this for years, but am now really taking the time to focus on strategies to help me reduce the number of things I bring into my home and being hyper aware of what those things are (how they're made, by whom, and with what). Look out for a post on how to buy less and, one I'm VERY excited about, a shopping guide for the conscious vegan!
I hope you are as excited about my Living With Less series as I am and will come back for each instalment! If you have any suggestions on topics I should cover, or questions, or personal experiences, please share them with me in the comments or on social media! I love hearing from my readers and want to provide content that you enjoy and find valuable.
Until next time,
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