As 2016 comes to a close, it’s the fitting time to evaluate the year past. If you don’t know this about me, New Year’s is my favorite holiday. I love the hope for change, the goal setting, the planning, and the PA Dutch tradition of Pork and Saurkraut. This past year my new year’s resolution was to create an ethical wardrobe and live minimally. I started out by trying the capsule wardrobe thing, which I did for two seasons before giving up on the counting aspect and instead focused on making sure every new piece being added to my wardrobe was ethically made or secondhand. I am one of those strange people that likes to watch documentaries and the True Cost is a great video to check out on Netflix if you are curious about why I’m making every effort to avoid fast fashion. Let’s just say, it’s not good.
Another documentary I recently watched on Netflix was Minimalism. I’ve been dealing with different aspects of anxiety for the past year and I noticed that something that always makes me feel anxious is a messy home. I love a good purge and I am constantly purging at our house. It started with my closet during the capsule wardrobe challenge and then I moved on to other rooms of the house. Next was the kitchen, then the living room, and the bathroom. It’s fair to say I still have a little way to go, but I’ve probably rid us of about a third of our possessions so far. Turns out a lot of things that we collect serve no purpose. We hold onto items because we thing someday we might use that mini muffin tin that you received as a wedding present even though 4 years later you might have used it one time. I save things I think I will use for entertaining, like glass pitchers or cheese plates and I never remember to bring them out when company is over. Having less stuff not only makes our apartment feel bigger and more spacious, but it also allows me to spend less time cleaning and more time pursuing hobbies and enjoying time with my family.
I learned that shopping is an addiction. It’s something we convince ourselves we need to do but because we need this new coffee pot or that new cellphone that just came out, but in reality, we have just programmed our minds to become dissatisfied with what we already own because the new always seems like just what we need and our still working coffee pot is standing in our way of getting coffee faster. Shopping is great to pass the time when you are bored or when you are feeling down and just need something new to distract yourself from a tough week. It feels exciting in the moment and the new thing is great for a couple days, but then it becomes just as dissatisfying as the rest of the stuff you own. It’s a vicious cycle. I’m learning to be intentional about my shopping by making lists and sticking to what is on the list. If I go to the thrift store for sweaters, I don’t also look at the dresses, skirts, pants, and shoes. The temptation to buy something you do not need and might not like after a weeks time is too strong. If I still have a sewing project to finish at home, I try not to go to the fabric store until I finish what I already started. I can’t tell you how much fabric I have donated and sold over the past three years after I collected three plastic tubs and multiple garbage bags while working at a fabric store.
So, if you have some time to kill this weekend, definitely watch those two documentaries. If you have any questions on where to start or need someone to guide you through the process, I’m your girl. Contact me, I would love to help. Removing things from my home was seriously a weight off my shoulders. Everyone in my home is thriving from having less stuff. It will change your life, I promise you.
Words and Image by Katie Kline