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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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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Mental Cleanse Challenge: Week 3

Another week has already come and gone! I feel that these challenges are coming and going so quickly and that February is flying by. It doesn’t help that this month has been very busy at work, which makes the days seem very short.

If this is your first post catching up on my 30-Day Mental Cleanse Challenge with Erin, stop and go back to the beginning. Read the first post in this challenge series about the collaboration for creating self-care challenges and a review of my first week of the Mental Cleanse Challenge!

Are you caught up to speed? Good, now we can move on to reviewing last week’s challenges and where I struggled!

Feb. 6: Try a new workout you’ve never done before.

I knew this would be challenging for me because I’ve done a lot of different workouts. But I decided to go out of my comfort zone and not cheat, so I tried a cardio ab workout I found online.

Feb. 7: Keep all three meals “phone free.” No social media scrolling!

This isn’t ever an issue for breakfast or dinner, but lunch at the office is filled with social media browsing. Instead, I got my coworkers on board to keep their phones away for lunch.

Feb. 8: Do a yoga for beginners workout to give your muscles TLC.

I needed this. I have been going hard on the leg and cardio workouts, so some yoga was exactly what I needed this day. I only did a 15-minute, but it’s better than nothing, right?!

Feb. 9: Make two of your three meals meatless. Need inspiration? Check Pinterest!

I typically don’t have an issue with this because I love to eat a lot of vegetables, fruit and salads to begin with. I had a huge salad for lunch and a veggie pasta for dinner.

Feb. 10: Meditate for 5 minutes and focus on your breath.

I was able to do in this in the office. I was feeling overwhelmed and took the opportunity to calm myself with breathing and relaxing for 10 minutes. Breathing works wonders for stress, friends.

Feb. 11: Take your workout outdoors even if it’s for 20 minutes! 

We were happy to see a little warm weather this day, so I took a walk outside for 15 minutes. It’s still winter here in PA, so we didn’t want to go overboard with the outdoors.

Feb. 12: Go vegan for a day!

What was I thinking with this challenge? Not having eggs, cheese or any other animal products was challenging, but achievable. I ate lentil soup, salad, fruit salad, and rice with veggies throughout the day.

How did you do with these challenges? Make sure to share your wins and losses from this week! Don’t be shy, it’s okay if you had a slip-up or two!


The Third Week of Challenges: Digital Cleanse

  • Feb. 13: Clean out your inbox and sort your emails into folders. Delete all spam.
  • Feb. 14: No social media before 11 a.m. Take the time to be productive!
  • Feb. 15: Unfollow people on social media who don’t inspire you.
  • Feb. 16: Organize your desktop accordingly into folders. Delete unnecessary items.
  • Feb. 17: Go through your phone and organize your apps into folders. Delete apps, old notes, contacts, etc.
  • Feb. 18: Have a phone-free night with family or loved ones!
  • Feb. 19: Unsubscribe from email marketing you’re not interested in keeping up with.

How have you been loving the challenges so far? What challenges were the easiest/most difficult for week two? What challenges for the third week are you most concerned about? Make sure to share in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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Decluttering Challenge For Beginners

 

I believe that decluttering can have a positive and powerful impact on our lives. One day, I decided to declutter my closet, which lead me to pursue a more minimalist lifestyle. Now, almost a year later, I can confidently say that taking that initial leap and decluttering my space set the tempo for my decision to continue to a more simple and more minimal life.

It’s the first month of a new year, which is the perfect time to set aside a day where you can tackle some spaces in your home and make a difference in your mindset, outlook and more! There are so many benefits to taking on a more minimalist lifestyle, and it all begins with the decision to try.

I created a simple, decluttering challenge for beginners who are looking to free up more space in their homes, simplify their life and potentially look into pursuing a more minimalist lifestyle. The challenge is simple: you have 30 days to go through and complete the challenges. You can take several days to complete one challenge, and you can do as much or as little as you’d like. The purpose is to keep the challenges open-ended for each individual to interpret and make those decisions for themselves.

1| Remove everything from your closet you haven’t worn in over a year.

We all know there are a ton of things in your closet right now that you probably haven’t worn for several years, so why keep them? Go through your closet and carefully edit your wardrobe. Does it fit your personal style? Does it fit? Do you love it? If you answered no to any of those questions, then out it goes.

2| Recycle/donate old magazines and books you won’t read or reference.

Unless you know you’re going to reread the book or reference the magazine or textbook, there’s no need to keep it in your home. I have several books that I love and plan to keep for years to come. But if it’s a book that can be donated, make sure to donate as much as you can. You won’t believe the space you’ll save.

3| Sort your mail, bills, etc. Toss what you no longer need and file important documents.

Make sure you go through mail anytime you receive it to keep from paper clutter catching up to you in your home. Pay your bills as soon as possible, sort any files you know you’ll need for long-term, etc. If it’s trash, or direct mail marketing, toss it unless you plan to use it within the next week.

4| Clean out all other closet spaces in the house. Donate old/outgrown items.

Go through your spare closets, guest bedroom closets, and coat closets, and organize when appropriate. Do you need to keep the coats you haven’t worn in years? Donate them to a charitable cause like a coat collection for local homeless shelters in your community. Do the same with boots, winter scarves, hats, and anything else lingering in those spaces.

5| Donate all kitchen/dining room items you don’t use or need including: old tupperware, utensils, mugs, plates, gadgets, appliances, etc.

No matter what you say, you don’t need 15 mugs when there are only two people living in one home. The same can be said for excess utensils, dishes, tupperware, and anything else in these rooms that you feel you won’t need. Do you really need five tablecloths even though you only use one of them twice a year? Be ruthless when it comes to these spaces in your home.

6| Go through beauty products, makeup, etc. and toss expired items.

Similar to the unnecessary mug collection, you can get rid of a lot of things from your beauty closet, makeup collection, and bathroom storage areas. Go through your linen closet and toss anything that’s old and expired or you know you won’t use. Then organize the remaining items into baskets putting similar products together.

7| Organize your office space and digital space. Unsubscribe from emails, delete old contacts, unfollow people on social media, sort through emails. Shred old files you no longer need.

Create an organized filing system for any important documents at your desk. Keep your desk area minimal with only the essentials on your desk. Organize your digital files into folders. Sort through emails until you have none in your inbox. Unfollow people that don’t inspire you on social media, unsubscribe from any email marketing, go through your contacts and delete those acquaintances from high school you haven’t heard from in five years.

8| Toss expired food from your fridge or pantry.

Remember those small jars of mustard from your Hickory Farms gift from two Christmases ago that you said you were going to use, but never did? Yep, toss those whether you had promise yourself to eat it or not. Do the same with anything in the pantry or fridge that may be expired.

9| Miscellaneous items throughout your house in the garage and basement.

The garage and basement can be huge targets for keeping old items that you don’t use or want. Whether it’s old furniture or home decor items you’ve never used, or equipment you know you will never use ever again. Donate/toss or sell anything miscellaneous from these specific spaces.

10| Get rid of anything that makes you unhappy or stressed.

Are you one of those people who has kept clothing in storage for when you lose those final 10 (or 20) pounds? Donate it and remind yourself that if you ever do lose the weight, you can treat yourself to a new wardrobe. Don’t old on to items that can trigger stress and unnecessary expectations. If it brings you stress or sadness, get rid of it.

With the beginning of a new years comes an exciting time of new opportunities for yourself and a time of self improvement. With this challenge, you’ll be able to take the first step in decluttering your home, and simplify your life for 2017.

Do you think you can complete this challenge? What have you been decluttering lately? Make sure to share your thoughts in the comments below! 

Ki Signature

 

 

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