THE PURGE – PART 2 – CLOSET

Based on Marie Condo’s recommendation I started The Purge with my clothes. I did not follow her method entirely tho because talking to my clothes, thanking them their service and saying goodbye is a bit too much to my rational brain. But I did my best to get rid of all the unnecessary, useless items, I just did it in my own list-charts-table obsessed analytical way.

I started off by collecting all my clothes on the bed. First I was shocked how much it seemed everything in one pile. I felt overwhelmed and I was sure I’m going to get rid of at least half of it.

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Then I counted and it turned out that I own 139 items. This number still seemed HUGE but when I started to break it down to seasons\function I realized it is not extremely lot.

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After this I touched them one by one and thought about the function, how often I use them, if I feel comfortable in them, if I want to wear them more often, if they fit the other items, if they bring me joy. I got rid of all the items that did not pass the bar. It was surprisingly few items but I’m quite satisfied with the result. Now my closet contains only items that:

  1. I really like and use every day
  2. I really like and use less often, but when I wear them I feel excited\confident\happy
  3. Are suuper comfortable
  4. Are easy to mix and match
  5. Seasonal items that I might not use the whole year but I need them in a specific season (snowboard gear, winter coat, boots, etc.)

What I got rid of is:

  • Rarely or unused items, that just sit in my closet for no reason
  • Damaged items that I love but unable to wear any more (like the green pants on the pictre. It used to be my fav pants for 3 summers, but it also used to be closed)
  • Items that I would love to wear but I know they are not my style. so most probably I would wear them once a year and even then I would feel uncomfortable. (like the white dress. I mean seriously…it is literally ante-me.)

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Even though I didn’t get rid of half of my clothes as I expected I feel confident about my closet now. I have plenty of comfy and simple outfit possibilities and also some items that can give an edge to the look on rainy days. Also, all the excess items that took up space and made me frustrated are gone.

I honestly recommend a thorough purge for you too guys. I can tell you I feel much lighter, less stressed and more organized. The order around me makes me calm and relaxed and knowing that I don’t own more stuff than I need makes my conscience\mind peaceful.

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And because I like structure and order I made some etxtra charts.

The final result:

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At first I was surprised how much underwear I have. Then I realized that I can easliy go 1,5 – 2 weeks without washing, so this is amazing. Not only beaceause I tend to be lazy with washing but also saves a lot of water.

 

 

My sustainability index:

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Doesn’t look that good at the first sight. But let’s see what happens if I take out all my underwear (becaue those are all new).

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Looks much better right?

 

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THE PURGE – PART1 – MY APPROACH

In my previous post I promised you a follow up on my minimizing process. However, while I was writing about my big closet Purge I realized that I have my own interpretation about minimalism and conscious consumption. I decided to dedicate this post to define (or at least outline) my approach because I don’t only want to show you how I do The Purge, but I also want you to understand the whys behind this whole cleaning process.

I found out that I have 10 pairs of shoes. 4 sneakers that I can wear any time from early spring until late autumn, 1 winter boots, 1 summer sandal, 1 flipflop, 1 hiking boots, and 2 high heels for my ‘pretty’ days. 10 might seem fairly huge number, but if I think about it, all of them has their function. Even though I don’t use each of them every day, I use them often enough not to throw them away and get a new one when it is needed. For some minimalist this is too much. Why do I need 4 sneakers when I could survive with only one?

My answer is simple: because I’m not going for survival, I’m going for balance. I want to find the point where I own just as much stuff that makes me comfortable. Comfortable in my own skin, comfortable in my environment and comfortable with my conscience.

Comfortable in my own skin. As much as I don’t want to admit it, I’m vain. I care about what I wear, how I look, how I feel when I look in the mirror and what others think about me. Having options in my closet makes me comfortable. I can mix and match, find an outfit that matches my mood and\or the activity of the day. I don’t need 40 shoes, but I like to have different alternatives and the freedom to choose. As long as I use them every other day I don’t feel a moral remorse to keep them.

Comfortable in my environment. I don’t want my staff to own me. I don’t want to feel overwhelmed or anxious in my own space. What I want to achieve is to have a clean and organized space around me where the things support my inner peace not disrupt it.

Comfortable with my conscience. As you know sustainability and environmental concerns are the main reasons why I chose to reduce my consumption and amount of stuff in my life. It is extremely important for me to keep the amount of stuff I own under control for the sake of environmental protection.

There are many different interpretation for minimalism. After I tried to define my approach, I’m not sure I should call myself a minimalist. Yes, I strive to live with less and not to own excess, but I don’t pursue austerity. I want to live a SIMPLE life where I CONSCIOUSLY invite things that has PURPOSE or EMOTIONAL value and instead of material possessions I focus on EXPERIENCES and the PEOPLE around me. I don’t want things to define me but to support me to live my life to the fullest.

Confessions of a struggling minimalist

Better start with the question: am I a minimalist at all?

When I got familiar with the minimalist lifestyle I was on board immediately; I adjusted my habits, reduced my consumption and minimized the amount of stuff around me. I’ve been calling myself a minimalist since then but I feel I have to revise this statement.

When I moved into the room where I live now, I had only one suitcase of stuff. Including clothes, shoes, toiletry, and basically everything I needed to live a full life. My room was clean and tidy all the time and I felt relaxed and calm in my room.

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Something on the way went wrong, I lost focus, started accumulating stuff, I got less mindful about my consumption and lifestyle. Today my room is a mess all the time and I feel anxious and discontent in my own space. I tend to be lazy with cleaning and organizing. Most of the time I leave my clothes lying around on the floor, my drawer is covered in books and papers and well… stuff. Stuff I don’t even know why or how I have them.

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(BTW I’m infinitely ashamd by these pitures, but sharing them gives me even more motivation to get my shit together like…immediately.)

This is extremely terrifying for two reasons. Firstly because it shows how much I can change in a short period of time. A year ago I was so sure about my minimalistic life I never thought I could start hoarding again. Does it mean I can’t live by my own values? That scares the shit out of me.

Secondly because it happened unnoticed. I started buying more deliberately, invite excess stuff in my life without any further consideration. I haven’t even realized what I’ve been doing until the pile of clothes on the floor and that messy drawer made me frustrated.

On the bright side: I’m still mindful enough to realize (after a while) what is happening around me, within me and I have the determination and  self-discipline to change it. My mission for the next few days is to get rid of all the stuff I don’t need and get back into the real minimalist mindset that made me so happy and carefree.