Is it just me who gives away 8 black bags of clothing, feels ten times better for it and then three weeks later seriously regrets it because I can’t find any of the items of clothing I was gonna put on?
Minimal/frugal living is becoming a more & more popular concept and I was totally on board with the idea of it until I realised that I was actually very much content with all of my stuff.
I recently watched Channel 4’s Documentary Life Stripped Bare where the participants gave up all of their belongings including the clothes of their backs and were given back one item of their choice each day for 3 weeks. Some of them ended up giving away a third of their material possessions once the experiment was complete however one participant decided that her belongings did actually contribute to her happiness.
I think we can all take something from that. Possessions do contribute to our happiness, but only up to a certain point. It’s the same as money. They say that anything over a £40,000 salary stops contributing to your happiness and instead contributes to your greediness and I agree with that philosophy 100%.
So just because a blogger you love has raved about their super minimal lifestyle, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s for you too. I am very much an advocate for the slow living, a concept based on enjoying the things that matter in your life. Slow living is about taking the time to appreciate the aspects of your life that you enjoy, take care in making purchases that will be practical as well as frugal and being more conscious of how you use your time and money.
I used to be entirely the opposite. I splurged on anything and everything that I wanted and there was a long time where I had so much money coming in that I could sustain a lifestyle like that. These days I am in a much more stable career and although I earn less, I am using my money more wisely and enjoying being able to treat myself every now and again. Slow living promotes carefully thought out purchases, buying second hand and just generally buying less.
So instead of a minimalist, I am a slow liver. Instead of chucking away the many many items I own, I will put them to good use or donate them when they are no longer of use to me. I have been working to build a more styled wardrobe, one where almost everything goes with almost everything else but it’s proving fairly difficult as my style varies from Adidas chav to super goth. Maybe time I grow up a bit? fml.
I think what is important here is to remember that minimal living is a. not for everybody and b. not about having almost no possessions. The point of minimal living is to live within your means, live with more of what you need and less of what you want, it is about boosting your happiness by owning possessions that are meaningful and useful rather than having tons of the same thing and being spoilt for choice.
You know why you never have anything to wear? Because you have too many things to wear! It’s like when somebody tells you that you can have anything you want and suddenly you want nothing at all because you just cannot decide. When we limit our options for choice we find it much easier to make a decision. So by limiting yourself to buying second hand and things that only serve a purpose, we take away some of the business that makes our lives hectic and miserable.
Are you into slow living or have you made mistakes in throwing out clothes? Please leave a comment below!