To further my commitment to the ever so trending lifestyle of minimalism. I decided to get rid of some clothes.
As social media de-cluttering was an electronic manifestation of applying the principle of minimalism, I have progressed to a more physical representation. Starting with the evaluation of what clothes I had, seemed only natural for a first step.
If I was to remind anyone who forgot or has not been reading my blogs what the true principle behind minimalism is, I would say that minimalism is not simply having less things, but rather, surrounding yourself only with those things that add value to your life and disposing of the things that do not. It is a simple principle that can alter anyone’s life if properly applied.
What is truly beautiful about it is that everyone’s life is different and it is completely up to the individual to decide what adds value or not. My terms of value is going to be different than a lot of people’s and the same goes for you.
What I would really like to do is share my most recent experience with this way of living, this experience being the minimizing of the clothing that I own or rather owned at this point.
I took all my clothes and set them on by bed. My thought process in what I would get rid of and keep went something like this; What have I not worn in the past couple months and what clothing do I find myself wearing every week?
These questions were primary to what I should keep and what I should throw out. Most things were an easy decision. However, I had to try on some things to compare them and determine which clothing I held more valuable.
Ah, which takes us back to the “value of things” aspect of minimalism. Have you ever thought of the clothes you have as things that can add value to your life? Of course they are!…or are they?
I am an individual and I see myself as a valuable being. This esteem I have is rooted from an internal perspective of myself but I would like for my external being to be seen by others as valuable as well.
There are a couple different philosophies regarding clothing out there in the world. I will express two of them that I feel are the most common. Hopefully these thoughts will ignite within yourself a self evaluation on how you perceive clothing.
One philosophy goes something like this; I don’t care what clothes I wear, it’s what’s inside that counts and therefore I will buy the cheapest clothing. This philosophy can lead people to apply it in a number of ways. One way includes buying a lot of cheap clothing because expressing oneself in apparel does not matter.
Another philosophy could go like this; I am uncomfortable with myself and do not have high self esteem and so will buy only expensive clothing that will make me shiny on the outside.
Do you see why I choose these two philosophies as an example? Because these two are the assumptions made by either side of the margin justifying to themselves why the other person looks the way they do. Can I invite society to not think in this manner? It reminds me of the common driving expression that anyone slower than you is an idiot and anyone faster is out of control.
This judgement is quickly placed when viewing others who are on another side of a spectrum from you. If they dress bland, then it is assumed that they don’t care. If they dress nicely, then it is assumed that they care too much.
I want to advocate the full dismissal of such ideas and introduce a new way of thinking regarding the clothing you and others wear, which brings us back to minimalism.
Remember what minimalism represents? A minimalist lifestyle is surrounding yourself with only that which adds value. People have different values. What I am going to dispose of and what I am going to attain are going to be different from what my neighbor chooses to dispose of and attain.
For example, I value the clothing I wear. I see what I put on my body as an external representation of my internal perspective of myself and therefore I am going to have clothing which might be on the expensive side but I will have less of it. If I were to spend money on five outfits for each day of the business week that were of good quality material, I would venture to say the amount of money would be close to or the same as how much it cost for a greater number of outfits of lesser quality. That puts both sides of the philosophy in the same boat price wise, does it not? It is only a matter of personal value.
Any clothing I don’t wear I have already disposed of and any clothing I am going to attain will be that of which I know I will wear but if I already have enough for the days of the week then I simply will not buy more.
Well, that’s enough of my ranting. Everyone has different values and those values are manifested in what we choose to get rid of and what we choose to be surrounded by. Some people just don’t find clothing valuable and that’s okay. They will have other values in which to surround themselves by and that is the true beauty of a minimalist lifestyle.