It’s a common misconception that minimalists are completely emotionally detached from their possessions because in actuality we’re probably more attached to our possessions than your average person. This is because part of minimalism is to take care of our possessions instead of allowing them to be disposable or worthless. Minimalists tend to purchase quality over quantity and consider their purchases carefully. We go for sustainable over fast. We value what we buy.
This also means that minimalism can tie in quite well with sentimentalism which again, people tend to think we’re against. Don’t get me wrong, I own nothing that I wouldn’t happily give up tomorrow if I were to travel the world, but I do have sentiments I’d be a little sad to see go.
But before I got into minimalism, I used to hold onto things just for the sake of memories. Take all of the band t-shirts from my teenage years that I’d probably love to wear for a night of nostalgia but wouldn’t want to waste a whole rail in my wardrobe on. They remind me of good times; of the nights drinking Malibu in the field behind the Cathedral, of the days in the skate park trying so hard to be cool, of the gigs I went to with the minimum wage I earned in my first ever job. But the memories are there regardless, they live inside me and not inside those possessions.
Sentimental clothing is a prime example because it’s something we’ll hold onto and not even put on display. It can sit untouched for years and yet we still make excuses to keep it. But these sorts of things can be captured in the form of photographs, and photographs bring back all the more nostalgia. Would you rather keep your 2005 Fall Out Boy t-shirt or a hilarious photo of yourself and your friends with your emo haircuts and band tees on?
It’s not just clothing we tend to hold onto. Trinkets, gifts and home wares clutter our lives and contribute to the never ending cycle of consumption that can lead to guilt and disorganisation.
How many times have you kept something you never wanted in the first place just because it was gifted to you? We’ve all done it out of politeness but realistically, we can’t hold onto things we don’t want forever. By making your family & friends aware that you’ve got into minimalism, you can encourage them to give gifts that fit into your lifestyle (digital books or music, days out or if you’re saving then even money too!)
Minimalism and sentimentalism can go hand in hand, it’s just about how we approach it. Make your photographs digital, create a small memory box for the really important things like that friendship bracelet your best friend gave you when you were 16 or the ring your first love bought you.
It’s okay to be sentimental. It’s when it leads to hoarding and storing and wasted space that it becomes an issue.
Are you in minimal living & minimal style? How do you organise your sentiments? Leave a comment below.
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all photos by Rebecca Claire, libfemblog.com (Sony Xperia X, edited with VSCO) // all rights reserved