Will minimalism make me happy?

2016-07-10 14.52.30

I’ve been considering starting a capsule wardrobe for some time, and I thought I’d write about it to get advice from other capsule wardrobe bloggers and minimalists.

Before I begin this post, I’d love for you to read this article from The Toast (R.I.P.) about “How To Get Rid Of Clutter And Live Abundantly.”  If you read it, I hope you laughed as hard as I did.  If you didn’t, I’m going to share one of my favorite excerpts to get my point across:

“Have you ever owned anything? This is why you cannot forgive any of your former lovers. Things like ‘having chairs’ is preventing you from living your best life, and also you should throw away any item of clothing you’re not currently wearing. If it’s not on your skin, you don’t really love it, do you?”

This article speaks to me so much because it’s over-the-top but really not too far off from what a lot of minimalist, capsule-wardrobe-wearing, yoga-instructor hippies will tell you when you ask them why they are positively glowing with genuine happiness all the time (it’s really just an Instagram filter).  “You have too much stuff!  It’s weighing you down!  Get rid of everything you don’t need and surround yourself with the ocean and only people that you love and stop drinking coffee because caffeine is a drug!  Drink tea!  Then you’ll be really, truly happy.”

And I get it.  I really do.  When I’m stressed out, I can feel all of the clutter in my room looming over me, taunting me, so that I can’t do anything until it’s all cleaned and organized.  But that’s just an excuse, right? A slightly positive form of procrastination.  Someone who has an immaculate home down to their color-coded sock drawer, please tell me if you have reached maximum productivity.

I think there is danger in looking for happiness in material possessions—or lack of them—and that getting rid of my things is not going to magically cure the discontent in my life.  Getting organized does not solve the underlying issues that keep us from happiness.  I also think “minimalism” has evolved into something of an aesthetic movement, rather than a lifestyle.  Everything on your desk looks pretty for Instagram because you just swiped everything into the junk drawer, right?

But, as someone who has very little space and too many clothes, I am looking forward to embracing mindfulness when it comes to shopping and blogging.  When I was younger, I took a “more is more” approach to clothing and surrounded myself with trendy fast fashion so I could always try a new look and be a new person every day.  Now that I am starting to understand what style of clothing I like, feel confident in, and flatters my body, I feel that at least half of my clothes don’t “work” for me.  I wear them because I have had good times in them (“I can’t get rid of the skirt we wore on our first date!”) or because I think they might look good in the future (“when I lose ten pounds and have bulging biceps but still want to look feminine”).  It’s not doing me any good to lug these clothes around through countless moves where they are actually, literally, weighing me down.  I also feel bad about the waste that goes on in the fast fashion industry and would much rather buy fewer items of higher quality made by women and men that I would love to support.

So I am selling some clothing on Poshmark, putting out of season clothes and special occasion dresses in storage, and paring down my day-to-day wardrobe to include the essentials.  I’ll write a follow-up post on what my idea of a capsule wardrobe actually looks like when I am further along in the process, but for now I’d love your advice if you have a capsule wardrobe!

Xoxo

– Hannah