I love how people react when I tell them I have clothes to donate or storage space that needs to be cleared.
Yes. Yes, I still have clothes. Also, I am human — which means sometimes, I’ll purchase something I thought looked nice but in reality, suits me horribly. I also get bored or grow out of certain pieces.
Or sometimes, I buy shorts I think look great and my boyfriend ruins them for me by saying they kinda look like adult diapers.
Closets are emptied and items are donated, rooms are decluttered and material items are reduced. This is the ebb and flow of the reasonable minimalist; one who understands the basics and applies all the rules, but knows there is a line drawn before obsession.
The difference between them and someone who drowns in their clutter is that the reasonable minimalists have learned to organize their possessions and shop intelligently, within the bounds of sanity.
And most of all, they’ve fostered the willingness to let go.
That being said, here are the 7 commandments of the reasonable minimalist — the way of life I have chosen to abide by.
1. She downsizes material items.
Owning under 100 items of clothing sounds strict, but it is actually more than reasonable. A hundred pieces cover the needs for all seasons and occasions if you learn how to make use of your items intelligently.
2. She knows how to utilize.
Kitchen items with double-use. Pants that serve 3 different outfits. Two-in-one shampoo. She packs luggage like a pro and she owns no duplicates. Life: made simpler.
2. She thinks twice before buying.
Because she doesn’t own excessive stuff, making a mental inventory of her things is easily feasible. Therefore, she knows if she already has something at home that can do the trick. She’s isn’t necessarily frugal in excess — she’s just smarter about it.
3. She keeps her circle small.
And filled with like-minded people.
4. She keeps subscriptions to a minimum.
And automates bill payments. She knows which ones she can live without because she keeps tabs on her expenses and is aware of her monthly budget.
“Paying attention to the small money leaks, while they are still leaks, will prevent them from becoming floods.”
— Lama Farran
5. She unplugs.
She knows human beings are not designed to be continuously stimulated. And she knows regularly decluttering non-material items is a priority, too.
“The act of decluttering isn’t just something that clears the physical space. It helps you realize how much you truly have, and you need less than you think.”
— Hilary Barnett
6. She prioritizes experiences.
It’s not just owning less, it’s wanting less of the wrong things. She knows to experience something, no matter how small, will always be worth more than a physical item.
7. She takes baby steps.
She understands that minimalism (and life in general, for that matter) is not all or nothing. She knows that there is such a thing as having enough, but that sometimes, it’s human nature to crave for more. She chooses progressive lifestyle changes over mindless stagnation and doesn’t obsess over mistakes.
So yes, I have clutter in my basement.
Not a lot, granted — but some nonetheless.
Shocker, I know. Minimalists aren’t superhumans!
I have things that are seasonal and things in bulk that I need to store. I have things that I chose to own instead of renting season after season, and I also make the occasional unnecessary purchase.
I chose to live a life of less, to make space for more. More love, more friendships, more time, more space, more being.
More of less.