minimizing

death, minimalism, changes

Death and minimalism can really change you. And maybe they shouldn’t mix. Or should they? This is probably my most rambliest, pointless post ever. Don’t read it.

I found out about the Minimalism Game ages ago. At that time I didn’t really need to do it. I was on top of my shit so I figured I didn’t have enough stuff to toss. It seemed like a really good idea though and I wished I had discovered it sooner.

And then a best friend suddenly passed away and I lost all will and motivation to continue with my morning and evening routines. I lost my cleaning routines as well. The apartment kind of went to shit. I went to shit. (it’s been over a year, I still haven’t picked these things back up)

And then I had a hot, rough summer (shut up, I can never get used to a 100+ degree apartment with no A/C, I’VE TRIED). It was so hot last summer that I complained constantly on FB. I’M STILL COMPLAINING ABOUT IT. So I was a slimy lazy woozy blob for months and months. My wardrobe expanded as I collected cool alt fashion items, including lots of Lolita stuff, thinking “maybe it’ll be cool enough to wear this next week”. It didn’t get cool enough until this past monthish. Now I’m seething mad, I feel like most of my clothes I can only wear for a short period of time during the year. That feels like a waste of money, time, closet space, and sanity.

And then another friend died. I wasn’t as close with that one but it slowed me down a bit as I was trying to ramp back up. And then at the end of last month… a dear friend was, well… it’s been ruled as a homicide. This destroyed me in a way I had never before felt. I didn’t even realize I was capable of feeling like this.

The next day was March 1st. I was somehow reminded of the Minimalism Game and figured… now would be a good time to do the game. I gotta keep my mind busy. I’m dead inside so it’ll be easier to get rid of things (totally not concerned about “Better” Future Me, as usual). I felt like doing the full 31 days wasn’t as important as doing as much as I needed to, and I’m happy with that choice so far. And I figured I wouldn’t do day-to-day because I know me: I’d lose motivation, I’d get horribly depressed, I’d forget, I’d fall behind. So I did the first 15 days on day 1. This past Friday I did day 16.

I like to take advantage of my motivation when I can and this time I think I got a bit carried away because I think I accidentally did days 12 and 15 twice.

In the next days I’ll be seeing how much more I can knock out. I’m saving my wardrobe for last. I have some kitchen stuff I can ditch. I have some tarot decks I’d love to give away so I’ve got a growing pile set aside until I can do that.

The Minimalism Game really actually started feeling like a game after only a few days in. I’d start a pile for whatever “day” I was working on and my reward for finishing would be getting rid of the pile so it wouldn’t be in my stupid fucking life anymore. So finding things to add to it was fun. It made me search harder for things to toss. It made me throw out things that would have been “maybe” before. It’s been pretty fun!

I haven’t felt the need to “cheat” yet, which feels good. For example, I saw people counting individual items in a set as individual items instead of as a set. I threw out some old stitch markers but counted them all as one item because I didn’t want any of them. But when I threw out a ton of crochet hooks I counted each individually because there were plenty of hooks I needed to keep. Does that make sense? If I threw out a deck of playing cards, I’d count it as one item, not 52. When I declutter dishes from my purple dish set, each one I toss will be an individual item because I will keep a few. Every little decorative paper bat that falls off the wall is counted as an individual item because there’s still some hanging onto the wall that I went to keep. I did it this way because I knew it would force me to really dig into my junk and clear it out.

I feel like all these personal losses have made me think about possessions in a different light. I also feel like my style is toning down, changing, taking on a simpler version of me. I’ve rediscovered my teenage/young adult joy of wearing the same outfit for “too long”. I love all sorts of styles of clothes but I think a part of me has lost most of my interest in my really cool clothes and in exploring alt fashion with the same passion I had before.

I feel like I can finally let go of stuff that’s been haunting me this past year. Sure I could shove all those things away and get them out when the weather is right (a couple months a year?), or until I move to a more reasonable place… but naw. Fuck it. It could be years before we escape.

I’m trying to be careful and rational about all this. “What if you toss that awesome dress/ball of yarn/incomplete project/platform boots that’s awesome and you love and then you start feeling better and you realize what you’ve done and you regret it?” is constantly on my mind.

But I remind myself that I’m uncomfortable with the number of clothes I have right now. I was in such a good place with my closet last year and I miss that. I’ll keep some Lolita, some gothic, some etc. But I have to remind myself that I can’t wear a lot of it as much as I’d like to and I don’t mind wearing the same outfit for several days, so why live with that nagging “too much” feeling?

I know I could live with an “ultra-minimalist” wardrobe. You know, one of those bare bones, 20, items or less wardrobes. I love seeing people show off those types of wardrobes. I’ve experimented with that concept. I really like it. But if you asked me a few months ago, I would have said I didn’t want to do it because I was having fun experimenting with outfits. Now I feel like I don’t care. I had my fill. It doesn’t feel important anymore.

Maybe I’ll have a change of heart before I get to my closet during this game. Or maybe I’ll go all in and I’ll be able to fit my entire wardrobe in one suitcase like I once did when we moved here 3 years ago. But I’m usually really good at knowing when I’m actually done with something.

Well, that was a heck of a ramble. I think I’ll sign off here. I’m thinking about getting back into blogging more. I’ve been discovering awesome new (to me) music, maybe I’ll start Music Mondays again.

If you read all this… wtf is wrong with you. I love you for your tenacity and admire your attention span… but wtf is wrong with you.

 

 

What’s in my Bag #3: minimalist +options edition

 

Last week I put together a minimalist wallet. What I wanted was something compact, no extra trimmings, easy to grab, minimal. The only thing I could find in my possession was a mini tin housing a tarot deck. I moved the deck into a little organza bag, and decorated the tin with a Kat von D flier, and some spooky washi tape. I loaded it up and have revised it twice since. Here’s what I’ve got as of today:

Option 1: Bare Minimum Wallet

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Perfect for just running errands, going to the movies, anything where I’m not planning to just chill somewhere for awhile. I usually don’t have my phone when I just have this.

Tin Wallet Pros: Super lightweight. Pocket-friendly. Can’t get carried away packing things in there. Super minimalist.

Tin Wallet Cons: Hard to carry if you don’t have pockets. No room for entertainment/just-in-case items. It’s hard to find when I want to grab it real quick.

But.. what if I want to carry a little more with me? Like if I’m going to the bar, want to have my phone and some combination of Just-in-case-I’m-bored objects? Enter: my Heavy Red drawstring purse.

Option 2: Almost Bare Minimum

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Bare Minimum tin, tarot deck, a book, (phone).

Drawstring bag pros: Easy and comfortable to carry. Compact, I can put it in a larger bag/purse. Gothic design.

Drawstring bag cons: This particular bag doesn’t have any pockets in it. If it did I’d probably ditch the tin, simply because it’s so much easier to carry. Doesn’t go with many of my outfits (jfc, do I really care?).

I love this thing. I got it during a special sale where if you spend X amount you get the purse loaded with goodies, all free. The goodies were awesome and I can’t see myself dumping the purse anytime soon but I’d certainly use it for other things.

But then we have my beloved black and white purse

Option 3: Moderately Minimum

 

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Bag + it contents, a small crochet project, hand sanitizer I only used once, floss, yet another backup pad.

 

It’s a step or half a step roomier than my drawstring bag. I absolutely love it for its beauty and quality. I could stash the hand sanitizer and floss elsewhere.

Pros: Lovely sophisticated gothic look. Simple. Pockets. Works with most, if not all, of my outfits. Easy to hang up near the door.

Cons: It’s almost redundant. Sure it’s more useful than the bag because it has pockets but I don’t know. Seems unnecessary to have.

I could simplify by just using the bag for something completely different and only have my purse and backpack to choose from.

 

Last Thoughts

I’m not going to get into my backpack because I don’t think it really fits here. There’s something else going there that needs it’s own post.

Anyway, I’m fairly content with where I am as far as everyday carry items. It’s a bit weird for me because I don’t go out very often so in some ways it’s easier for me than an average person. But in some ways it’s harder.

I’m trying to figure out how to fit the Zero Waste lifestyle in with mine so I suspect I’ll soon be carrying some extra things: reusable food container for leftovers, a reusable straw, travel cutlery, reusable napkins, not sure what else. I’ll probably save those things for the backpack though.

My biggest problem is really stupid: figuring out what to bring when I go out. I’m about to head out to the coffee shop so I’m wondering… do I want to work on my laptop, or just bring a book? Maybe I should bring my backpack so I have all the options? A better, less-purse-addicted minimalist than me would probably just have the backpack.

Oh well. Nothing is set in stone. We’ll see what happens.