I sometimes wonder why we become so attached to materialism. Materialism did not come with us when we came into this world, and surely will not go with us when we leave it. Yet much of our time here on earth is spent thinking about what more we can accumulate.
Over the past four and a half years that I’ve been writing Minimalist Beauty, I’ve been redefining my perspective of what material things I feel I need to have in my life to fully enjoy it. The maintenance of material possessions that we keep is very time consuming. Even the process of decluttering and releasing items that I did not love and need over these years has been extremely time and energy consuming. Keeping everything in its place, organizing, fixing, mending, cleaning, consolidating, releasing, replacing, etc. takes valuable time and mental consideration. It’s almost as if our materialism begins to dictate how we spend our time and energy unconsciously.
The art of simplicity and living with less is truly a gift that we can give ourselves. With a ludicrous world distracting us to define our worth through owning many possessions, and using success for validation, I’ve been reevaluating these false notions to find my own personal balance. Here’s what has been coming up for me.
1. Simple Beauty & Chic Styling Works
When I first began my minimalist lifestyle journey, my focus was to pay off $20,000 in debt which I did, and shared my process here. My financial weakness like some women revolved around beauty products and clothing. I was curious if it was even possible to be a chic minimalist.
Through making so many of my own beauty products over the years, I also learned that I did not even need to use as many beauty products in the first place. My once extensive skin care regimen evolved into a high linoleic oil cleansing regimen, and my once high maintenance curly hair care regime turned into water only hair washing with a few other tips and tricks. My daily skin care and makeup routine now takes 10 minutes, and my daily hair regimen takes about 15 minutes. I still pamper myself with more luxurious beauty treats on occasion, yet I’m not feeling like I need to follow long beauty regimens to create the look that I desire.
My problem with having a closet full of clothing but nothing to wear dissolved when I started creating capsule wardrobes twice a year. I began to pay attention to what pieces really made me feel good, had versatility, and created a polished look effortlessly no matter where I was going. Shopping consignment and thrift stores allowed me to learn from my styling errors without guilt so I could create the best capsule wardrobe that I desire on a very small budget.
With a very specific small wardrobe with 15 key pieces and a few extras, I no longer own frumpy clothing so looking put together is my only other option. I will admit that I do spend a lot of time preparing my capsule wardrobe mainly because I am sharing it with you online. Definitely check out examples of my capsule wardrobe. With my beauty products and capsule wardrobe pieces, I always seeks the best quality that I can afford.
2. Less Items, Less Maintenance, More Time for Myself
The maintenance of our possessions can be a big distraction from doing what we really want to do. You could take the opposite approach and ignore the clutter in your home, yet deep down you may not be truly content. It is almost impossible to ignore the amazing feeling of entering a gorgeous hotel room on vacation which is clean, clear, and ready for new beginnings. Having a beautiful decluttered home feels undeniably good. A decluttered home also creates an energetic opening for new abundance to come into your life.
My home is no where near perfect, yet I honestly now spend less time cleaning up since there is less to clean up. I will admit to being the “queen of consolidation”, and I do have more things that I would like look through again. As time passes and I realize what I actually use and what I don’t, it provides more clarity on what to keep and what to let go of. By living more simply, it is easier to enjoy your surroundings, and focus on what is really important to you in life whether it is spending more time with family and friends, or learning something new.
3. My Focus on Consumerism Switched To Dreaming & Life Purpose
Without constantly needing more beauty products, seeking a better wardrobe, desiring an elaborately and ornately decorated home, as well as not striving for success through the validation of others, all I am left with is thoughts of what I truly desire my life to look like on a much deeper level. What do I really want to contribute to the world? What would bring me lasting joy in life aside from circumstances which I can’t always control? What is my life purpose?
Women are great multitaskers, and we also have a lot of responsibility in our families. My focus on living simply is to provide myself with the space and time to dream, and also think about my life aside from the other titles that go along with being a woman. I can’t spend my time trying to keep up with what others are doing, or only doing what everyone else wants me to do. That is a waste of my own valuable creative energy. It sometimes takes time to figure out things for yourself, but in the end that brings more joy than following a perceived life criteria which was never written specifically for you anyway.
What have you learned from the journey of simple living?
(Image by D Sharon Pruitt)