It all started because I was too good at wedding planning.
You see, I’m the type of person who needs an obsession. For a long time, last year, that obsession was wedding stuff. We were talking about getting married, I was way too involved in TLC bridal shows and Pinterest, I was designing whole wedding schemes day in and day out. Then we got engaged, and within two months I had procured a date, venue, photographer, caterer, and outfit. I had even written a ceremony and a personal vow template. By October 2014, a full year before our wedding, I was well and truly out of things to do.
I don’t remember where I first read the word “minimalism.” I do know that I read an article somewhere that recommended the book Lessons from Madame Chic. I bought it on Kindle and stayed up late into the night, reading starry-eyed about Famille Chic’s glamorous way of life. Something resonated in me about rejecting the new materialism and having a capsule wardrobe. The next day I searched for “minimalist blogs,” discovered Unfancy, and started my journey toward reducing my stuff.
This wasn’t necessarily unprecedented. All my life I’ve had periodic frenzies of cleaning out and getting rid of stuff. My parents implanted that seed in me by having me occasionally deep clean my room and put things into piles: Put Away, Give Away, Throw Away. Coupled with my devotion to a charity called Babies in Need, where I gave all my outgrown stuffed animals, I grew up with a strong affinity for donation. Once I was old enough to take care of my own stuff without nagging (mostly), I would still perform this rite every once in a while, usually when I was anxious, upset, or feeling out of control. Especially as I got toward college, I got rid of more and more.
Back in October 2014, I had another contributing factor other than the need to latch onto a new hobby: I was moving soon. In January 2015, I’d be done with college and moving out to Kansas to join my fellow in a 630sqft apartment. The less stuff I had to take, the better. So I started purging my clothing relentlessly. Over the next three months, I donated about 75% of my wardrobe, designed a 37-piece capsule a la Unfancy, and got rid of many of my possessions. I found joy and peace in sparser surroundings and was able to let go of a lot of residual guilt by removing half-finished projects and stuff that reminded me of someone I wasn’t going to be. I’m an extremely sentimental person, but even I was able to let go of a lot of stuff I was holding onto only because someone gave it to me or it reminded me of something.
In January, I switched to a new capsule—completed by five new pieces of better quality clothing than anything I’d purchased before, which I was very proud of—packed up, and moved. When I got to Kansas, I got busy decluttering and organizing our shared apartment to make room for myself, much to my fellow’s chagrin. Turns out people don’t like when you show up and start tossing their stuff. Who knew?
Once I got to the point where I could no longer make any big changes to our space, I changed my focus to learning more about minimalism. I learned about the zero-waste lifestyle. I read more minimalist literature and blogs. I started simplifying my life in other ways, and I continue to purge where I can. And now I’ve decided to start a blog, to share what I have discovered and observed in the past 14 months of my minimalist journey. I hope you’ll stick around. There’s so much to talk about!