Me and Minimalism

I've had this vivid image in my head, maybe it's a reoccurring dream. I'm running around my apartment, packing a carry-on bag and flying out the door, passport in hand. I don't know where I'm going, but I'm going with just one bag. 

If you're a Netflix fan you must have heard by now that the newly added documentary 'Minimalism' is all the rage. Minimalism stresses quality over quantity. It sheds light on simple living and the many personal and economic benefits as a result. I watched as the minimalists packed all of their belongings into two carry-on bags, as they cooked full meals in their 'tiny houses' of 1,000 sq. feet or less, and opened their closets to reveal no more than 33 items of clothing... including shoes and accessories! 

I was astounded and intrigued. These people were happy! They loved owning one pair of jeans (one pair of jeans, can you even imagine?!). They loved their tiny houses. They seemed to have less, but live more. The minimalists explained how thinking less about what you'll wear in the morning, less about what you want and don't have, brings you closer to the people around you. Instead of spending time thinking about material items, you pay more attention to the people in front of you. You gain a new insight of what's really important. 

I looked at my closet overflowing with sweaters. I pulled out the box under my bed filled with clothes that don't fit in my dresser. I looked at my shoes... so many shoes. I thought about who and what's important to me and how I want to spend my money. Do I need new clothes every week? Would I rather own a lot of cheap shoes or one pair of nice shoes? Do I want to support companies whose clothes are produced in sweatshops at the expense of human lives deemed less important than mine?

I grabbed a few trash bags and got to work. If I hadn't worn it within the past year, trash bag. If it's worn out, trash bag. If it doesn't fit and I've been telling myself that someday I'll suddenly be two sizes smaller, trash bag. When I was finished I had filled two bags and had no regrets. I dragged them to the nearest Goodwill, dropped them off, and didn't look back. What was this feeling I was experiencing? Relief? Ease? My heart felt light and my mind actually felt more clear. 

It's been almost a week since I cleaned out my closet, and I want to get rid of more if you can believe it. I want to be able to fit my essentials in a carry-on and catch a last minute flight to wherever. I don't know if I'll ever downsize to 33 items of clothing or live in a tiny house, but minimalist living is definitely a mindset that I admire and want to work towards. 

* Are you interested? Do you think you may be an upcoming minimalist? Do you have a lot of shoes and no intention of wearing them? 'Minimalism' is still on Netflix, and a simple Google search will tell you what brands use sweatshop labor (but if you have to ask, you can probably assume). Good luck!!