I refer to myself as a Romantic Minimalist. It’s a term I made up to describe my feelings towards my own minimalism. I decided to reach towards minimalism after a serious illness. The experience of coming close to death brought to mind what is important in my life. My thought wasn’t so much about getting rid of things as it was keeping only what meant the most to me and what I truly needed. What you choose to keep is much more important that what you choose to get rid of when you take inventory of your possessions.
What do you choose to keep?
No one else can give you a list of what to choose to keep. It is an individual decision that only you can make. I had a trunk full of keepsakes that I never looked at. When I cleaned it out I chose to keep only pictures and letters that were important to me. When it came down to it, the old prom flowers, endless cards, and scraps of memories didn’t hold me. It was my own decision and it felt right. I had held onto some of it thinking it would tell my children the story of who I was. Reality struck when I found that they weren’t the least bit interested. They are happy with who I AM.
I found that my closet was full of practical clothes that were of various sizes and colors. It felt good to minimize by letting go of the things that didn’t fit. I kept just the size that currently fit me knowing that I could buy clothes rather inexpensively at the second-hand store to replace them as I lost weight. My mind considered that there was someone out there now that needed them. Then I chose the clothes that I loved to wear. These clothes that I wear often reflect the inside of me. Bright colored tops and black pants dominate my closet now. They all mix and match to make dressing easy every day. It’s freeing to look inside my closet and know just what to wear every day. It’s never a hassle to decide what to wear. I feel good in clothes that I love and it shows.
After going back and forth on beauty items I decided to ditch most of it and go minimal. It’s an extreme for a woman that has spent a fair amount of time worrying about makeup, nails, and hair. I went back to basics in skin care because it feels right to take care of my skin with natural products. I decided to cut my hair short and color it at home. These are all too much you might think, but I have enjoyed the time it allows me for other things that mean more to me. The extra money in my pocket makes me smile.
I do these things because it makes me feel good not because I profess to be a saint or I enjoy deprivation. Romantic Minimalism may benefit the planet but it is really just for me. The freedom that having less stuff has allowed me is priceless.