This coming Winter is going to be all about restructuring and refocusing things in my life. I've been talking about downsizing for quite awhile, and I've finally started taking big steps in getting rid of things. I'm not sure what was holding me back before. I guess in some ways, letting go of things feels a bit like we're letting go of a part of our identity.
I almost always get a small twinge of anxiety this time of year. There's just too much STUFF. Consumerism goes into high gear, people get crazy and start salivating like animals over all the "deals" they're getting, and it feels a bit like being on a speeding train that's headed towards a wall.
And I'm just done riding. Absolutely done. I want to live lightly and independently. I want to be surrounded only by things that are useful or beautiful to me. I want to stop tending things and put more effort into tending relationships and taking care of myself. And even though I have been doing those things, life will be a lot more simple with less of the "tending stuff" part of the equation.
Starting Project Small Living was a little intimidating. I read a few books on the subject, but the key for me was to just jump in and start DOING. I could read as much as I wanted, but this is not something accomplished by sitting back and doing a lot of planning. If you're struggling with starting something like this, my advice is to just start. Anywhere. You just have to dig your heels in and go for it.
The one small bit of planning that I did do before starting was to create my Ideal Closet. I used the strategy suggested by Erin Depew over at Pixel Perfect. I can't stress enough how helpful her instructions were. It really helped me define my style (minimalist, edgy, structured, detail oriented), my colors (black, white, and steel grey with yellow, red, and turquoise serving as my accent colors), and what my essential pieces of clothing are. I then was able to build a moodboard on Pinterest, which helped me to visualize all of the information I had generated, and create a shopping list.
Other than that, it's been toss and donate. So far, four grocery bags of books are gone, with more books coming off the shelves. I've sent bags of clothes to donation bins. And tonight I came home and got my clothing (with the exception of lounge wear, underwear & pajamas) down to 40 items. My goal is to have my clothing for all seasons consist of no more than 50 pieces. I also took some time today to create minimalist packing trips for travel - one for trips a week or shorter, and another for longer trips. (Hint: it involves only taking a carry on, regardless of how long I'm away...)
I'll be going through each little corner of my apartment and throwing away, selling, or donating as much as I possibly can. My goal is to have a relatively clean slate by the time spring rolls around, and live a minimalist lifestyle from here on out. I'll be sharing my journey here.
What about you, have you ever done a big downsizing project? Would you ever become a minimalist?