Why Minimalism Isn’t “One Size Fits All”

 

If you’re someone who has been considering living more minimally, you’ve probably heard some blatant lies and assumptions about this lifestyle like:

“I heard those people only wear neutral-colored clothes.”

“You’re going to live in a tiny home?”

“Are you only going to own 30 things?!?”

“But you can’t have makeup/jewelry/anything non-essential…”

“Well your home isn’t ‘minimal’ like *insert person here*”

“You have WAY too many clothes to be a minimalist.”

Let’s set the record straight for anyone who is confused. Minimalism isn’t, and shouldn’t be, a one-size-fits-all concept.

There, I said it.

While I love that people are jumping on the bandwagon of simplifying their lives and pursuing a more minimalist lifestyle, there are some problems that come with popularity of a trend or lifestyle in general.

Personally, I don’t feel comfortable identifying as a minimalist because people assume I live in a tiny home, only own 30 items of clothing, only have black, white or grey furniture/clothes/anything a person can own, etc. The things you see on Instagram and Pinterest when you type in “Minimalism” isn’t the only version of how a minimalist can live. There are minimalists who also live in a house. There are minimalist who have an extensive wardrobe or makeup collection. There are minimalists who don’t wear black or white.

Like all other roles in life, identifying as a minimalist can place you in a box that people unnecessarily place you in, which is not only wrong but it also gives people the wrong interpretation of what minimalism is.

Like everything else, minimalism is dependent on the person and their lifestyle. 

A mother of three who identifies as a minimalist will not have the same lifestyle, or home as a 18-year-old student who identifies as a minimalist. There are no set boundaries or rules that “The Book of Minimalism” shares with its most dedicated followers. (If you couldn’t tell by my sarcasm, that book isn’t real.) But rather, it’s about understanding the key concept of minimalism and how you can appropriately apply that concept to your life. And what is that concept, you ask?

Discovering what’s essential and non-essential, and being able to focus on the essential while removing the non-essential. 

If you realize that condensing your wardrobe from 400 pieces to 200 pieces is minimalist enough for you, that’s great. If you’re getting rid of your TV because you simply don’t watch it, awesome. If you’re in love with cooking, and can’t part with your cookware because you use it every day, keep it! The point of minimalism is to find what’s important to you and find what you truly love and need in your life. Minimalism is also about being able to remove all of the things you don’t love and don’t need in your life. It’s a process and a journey, but it is definitely worth it.

Minimalism is a wonderful thing. But with social media, people are under the impression that there is only one way to live a minimalist lifestyle; and I’m here calling shedding some light on that myth. Minimalism can change to fit the needs of your lifestyle and your home. The way you view minimalism can be completely different than how other person views it. It’s all still minimalism.

What does minimalism look life to you based on your life? I would love to read all the different responses based on your lifestyles, so make sure to share in the comments below!

 

Ki Signature

 

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Minimalism is More than Decluttering

I don’t want anyone to think that I’m not giving props to the people who donated/tossed/sold more than 50 percent of their wardrobe. (Seriously, that is something to celebrate because it’s a HUGE achievement in your minimalism journey.) But, I think it’s equally important to know that your journey shouldn’t end with your closet and your belongings.

At first, I thought my experience with minimalism was going to begin and end with my closet. Once I began to practice minimalism in my everyday life, I realized that I craved to live a more simple life altogether. I wanted to have more time, more happiness and less stress or worries. I wanted to practice mindfulness and simplicity in a busy, hectic life.

It took awhile to learn what would be the best way to achieve my desire for a more minimalist lifestyle that went beyond my closet. Here’s how I took my minimalism journey to the next step:

1| Practice conscious shopping

Stop unnecessary shopping. We have all been in that situation where we haven’t been shopping for a few months, so we treat ourselves after spending freezes on good deals, etc. Instead of treating yourself to a jacket or makeup, treat yourself to an experience like a nice dinner, a spa day or an overnight trip with your friends. These will mean much more than a sweater you found on sale that you don’t need. Also, ask yourself if you truly need that item you’re looking to buy. If you don’t, be strong enough to walk away.

2| Practice saying no

“Ma’am, would you like a free gift with purchase today?” If you don’t need it, say no. If a friend offers an old handbag, say no. If a store is offering free, trial samples for beauty products, say no. The more you practice saying no, the easier it will become. The goal is to be ruthless of what you allow into your home. Your sample-sized beauty products are going to sit in a box and you’ll forget about them within a few weeks. If you truly don’t need it, say no.

3| Practice mindfulness

Instead of rushing with a cup of hot coffee in a travel mug to get your breakfast sandwich, wake up 20 minutes earlier to enjoy your coffee and breakfast at home. Instead of rushing your morning routine altogether, set your alarm for an hour earlier than you normally would. This way, you’ll give yourself enough time to get ready in the morning without forgetting your lunch and presentation information. Enjoy the little moments of each day. This makes a huge difference.

Although decluttering and getting rid of anything non-essential is a huge component of minimalism and practicing a minimalist lifestyle, it isn’t the only component of that lifestyle. It’s about working toward living a simple life where there is less stress and more time for happiness. That is why this lifestyle is appealing to many people.

Are you on a journey toward living a minimalist lifestyle? What has been the easiest or most difficult part of that journey? Make sure to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

 

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10 Questions to Help Declutter Your Closet

Are you ready to tackle your closet?

Don’t be overwhelmed. You got this, girl! Today I’m sharing some of the questions I ask myself when I’m decluttering my closet and what I find to be the most helpful. All it will take is a little time an patience to work through your closet and ask yourself the following questions.

1| Do I need it?

Be real with yourself! If you don’t need it, don’t keep it. It’s seems simple to say, “Of course I need this.” But dig deeper. Why do you need it? Are there other reasons why you want to keep it? Do you truly need it? Be honest about your answers. Then decide if you need it.

2| Do I love it?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve kept something even when I don’t truly love the item. This is no bueno and you shouldn’t do this. Make sure you’re only keeping items you truly love and that bring you happiness to wear. You’ll love getting dressed when you have a closet of clothes you love.

3| Does it look good on me?

We all that one top that doesn’t fit right or a dress that doesn’t flatter our figure. But you don’t want to donate/sell it because you feel like you’re wasting the item. Remove the idea of waste from your mind. If you’re keeping an item in your closet and not wearing it—you’re wasting it. So, grab your BFF, husband, or mom and get a second opinion from someone else who won’t steer you wrong.

4| Does it fit my style?

Y’all, I know you have some clothes that don’t reflect your personal style lying around in your closet. And you know you’re not going to wear them anymore because your personal style has changed drastically since high school. This was also me. I held onto clothes I LOVED in high school but they simply weren’t my style anymore. “But I LOVED it back then,” I told myself. Well, you don’t now and you won’t wear it. So get rid of it.

5| Can I pair it with 5 other pieces in my wardrobe?

There’s nothing worse that having a piece of clothing that you can’t ever wear because you have nothing to wear it WITH! AKA, several skirts with awkward colors and patterns that truly didn’t look good (even with neutral tops). Yet, I held onto those skirts for years without wearing them because I felt guilty. So they collected dust before I finally decided that it wasn’t worth keeping them anymore. I know they probably have found a better home now.

6| Do I wear it regularly?

There are some articles out there that can break down how often you wear an item to see if you’re truly getting enough value out of an item based on what you’ve spent and how often you wear it. But, you know if you’re getting the wear and use out of an item. If it’s past its prime, or damaged—toss it. If you wear it a few times a year, note it as a special occasion item. Remember to consider your lifestyle when you’re asking yourself these questions.

7| Am I keeping this out of guilt?

Because you don’t want to get rid of your bridesmaid dress from your cousins wedding from seven years ago even though you’ll never wear it again because it doesn’t fit. Don’t keep something out of guilt. Donate to a good cause like a Prom Dress Drive or a similar charity. Someone will be able to use it and love it. That reason alone should be enough for you to donate it!

8| Have I worn it in the last year?

To keep myself in check on this, I set all my hangers facing the opposite way of how I would hang them. Once I wear something, I make sure to turn the hanger the right way. It works as a check mark saying, yes I wear this piece. After six months or a year, see what items are still facing the opposite way. Do you love these pieces? (I mean…clearly you don’t.) Run through the other questions and see if it’s an item you can donate or give to a friend.

9| Am I saving this “just in case?”

But let’s be real for a minute. Saving it just in case of what? You might find that after three years of not wearing the sweater, you might fall in love with again if you keep holding onto it? It doesn’t work that way, girlfriend. Donate or sell those items, and you won’t have to worry about keeping anything “just in case” ever again. #amiright

10| Why do I feel like I can’t get rid of it?

Sometimes, I’ve been stuck after asking myself the above questions. And I find that I always come back to one of the above answers: feeling guilty about getting rid of it, keeping an item “just in case,” etc. You’re only human. This is why I will sometimes default to the 3-month box. I’ll keep a small pile of items I’m not sure about and if I try to go looking for that piece, then I know it’s time to get rid of that item. But make sure you don’t keep adding pieces to that box and not doing anything with them later.

When is the last time you took time to declutter your closet? What questions would you find the most challenging? What other questions would you ask yourself if you were decluttering your closet? Make sure to share in the comments below!

 

Ki Signature

 

 

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5 Things to be Happy About: April Edition

I’ve always been a little biased about April because it’s my birthday month, so naturally I love this month more than some others. Raise your hand if your birthday month is April!? There is a lot that I am especially looking forward to this month, so I’m not too sure how I’m going to keep it to five things, but we’re going to try!

1| Travel

I find that I get to travel in April and May whether it’s for my birthday or I’m able to take time off from work because it’s not the busy season for us yet. This month, I’m going to Boston for a week for the first time with Josh, and we are both so excited to take time off from work and get a chance to explore a new city. We have been trying to schedule one city trip a year so we can explore new places every year. Needless to say, there will be some exciting travel-related content coming your way on the blog!

2| Treat Yourself

It might have to do with this month being my birthday month and the Easter season, but I find that I’m always more comfortable to treating myself to anything whether it’s dessert, wine, or an experience (like a trip to a new city)! After the holidays, I get pretty strict about eating healthy, working out and saving my money. After three months, I’m ready to give myself one (or several) treats!

3| Easter 

Easter has always been a holiday I look forward to because it’s a time for family, food and it’s overall a relaxing and enjoyable day. We always celebrate the holiday at my parent’s house with a big brunch. We even still color eggs as a family and get chocolate treats from my mom! But hey, it’s a tradition my family has and loves, and it’s something I look forward to every April.

4| My Birthday 

I’ll actually be in Boston on my birthday, so I think it’ll be a great way to ring in 23 years! Stay tuned for a post coming up soon on 23 lessons I’ve learned in 23 years. I think it’s something you’ll enjoy reading. When is your birthday month? Make sure to share in the comments below!

5| Spring Outfits

For those who don’t know, I’ve been ready for spring since January but the weather here in PA hasn’t been giving that to me. We had a snowstorm in the middle of March, and all I’ve been wanting is to have warm enough weather to wear spring dresses and outfits. I’m hoping April is when I can finally bust out my spring clothes since I haven’t been able to yet!

What are you looking forward to this month? Make sure to share in the comment below!

 

Ki Signature

 

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4 Tips to Help Stop Unnecessary Shopping

We’ve all been there when we are excited about tax returns and feel that spending money to #treatyoself is completely justifiable. TBH, I’m all for treating yourself if you’ve been working hard achieving all your girl boss goals and saving money to buy something you wouldn’t normally spend money on otherwise.

But, what isn’t justifiable is dropping hundreds of dollars every few months on clothes, shoes, and everything in between that you truly don’t need or love.

I can relate in some ways because I loved having things. I loved having things even if I didn’t love that particular item. A pair of shoes sat in my closet for two years because I didn’t love them. Even worse, I would still buy other shoes if they weren’t practical and if I didn’t love them. The stuff piled up.

Why do we buy things unnecessarily? There are a ton of incredible articles on this topic that could be an entire blog post in itself, but I’ll that’s a different story for a different day, y’all.

So, how did I stop shopping unnecessarily?

I changed my mindset. I had a little heart-to-heart with myself over a year ago when I decided to get rid of more than 60 percent of what I owed. Today, I want to share some of those mindsets and ideas I incorporated to my lifestyle and how it has helped me even more than a year later. If you’re looking to add a little bliss to your life, wallet and closet, keep on reading!

1| You can’t take it with you when you die

Okay, Kiara…we’re starting off a little morbid here. But when you think about it—it’s true! You can’t take anything with you when you die, so how important are those pair of shoes or that handbag you want to buy? This also applies with minimalism because there are so many things we have in our closets that we never use or wear. Instead of having those pieces collect dust, you can sell them or donate them so they can go to someone who will love them. You don’t need to buy another pair of jeans when you have 10 pairs in at home. Use what you have and use it as motivation to remove what you currently don’t use or love in your home.

2| The things you own don’t truly matter

Picture yourself when you’re 70 years old. Are you really going to think about all the fabulous clothes you bought (and most likely haven’t had for more than 40 years) or are you going to think back on the important things in life like your family, where you’ve traveled to, your career, and what you’ve done on earth? I promise you won’t remember a dress from your 20s. So when you’re out shopping, think about the simple questions first like: if you need it? Do you love it? Is it versatile? Is there anything similar to it that you already own? Etc. Then think about the actual wear you can get out of that item over the years. If it’s a classic blazer you know you’ll wear for 10 or more year, buy it. If it’s a trend that you think won’t last for more than a year, skip it. Remember that you’ll be spending a lot of money on clothes over the years, so everything you buy at this point in your life is temporary. It’s best to save or invest where you can.

3| SO. MUCH. WASTED. MONEY

Going off that last sentence…can we think about how much money we spend on clothes in our lifetime? I can’t even imagine that number, but I know that I want to decrease that number by the time I’m 80 years old. When you shop, think long term. Don’t want to buy something that you’ll only love for a year or two. Invest in pieces you can keep for 10 years or longer. There’s this idea we’ve learned that buying trends is normal and that fast-fashion is inevitable. But it doesn’t have to be. We can invest in high-quality items that we will wear and love for decades rather than spending $10 on a top that we will only wear once. I would rather spend $100 on the perfect LBD that I’ll wear for years than spend $10 on 10 dresses than I will only wear a handful of times. Think about the money and time you’ll save yourself when you stop shopping unnecessarily.

4| What can I do instead?

Instead of buying a pair of trendy shoes, what can you put that money toward? Whether it’s a house, travel, your child’s college fund, retirement plan, or an investment for your business—there are so many more important things you can do with your money than spend it on clothes, shoes, accessories, and ALL. THE. THINGS. You have goals you want to achieve and you have plans for yourself, so think long term about your money and what you’re spending it on. I don’t know about you, but there are a lot of things I want to do with my money rather than see it wasted on things I don’t love in my closet. Next time you’re out shopping, think about what you could do with that money instead down the road.

 

 

I hope this inspired you to think about your spending habits and how you stop unnecessary shopping! Make sure to leave a comment below on other tips that help you stop from spending money when you’re shopping! P.S. what’s something that you almost bought, but were happy you didn’t spend the money on? 

Ki Signature

 

 

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