Before delving into posts on cozy minimalism, I thought it might be good to start with an introduction to how I began my own cozy minimalist journey. For the past three years, I have been captivated and influenced by the concept and practice of Minimalism. Originally introduced to the movement via the film “Minimalism: a documentary about the important things”, I have slowly been paring down my belongings and simplifying ever since.
I used to be a frequent shopper who had anxiety over parting with things I had paid “good money” for (or gotten for free or super cheap at estate sales or flea markets). I was also a “serial returner”, happy to spend loads of under-valued time waiting in winding cashier lines at TJMaxx and Marshalls or walking to the UPS store with my arms full of Amazon boxes to get my “good money” back from impulse purchases I had made as a stress coping or celebratory mechanism.
I remember a time when a corner of the bedroom in my and my husband’s 700 square foot Williamsburg, Brooklyn apartment was cluttered with storage bins piled with hand bags packed full of other handbags and barricaded with trash bags full of clothes to donate or sell “someday”. That “someday” never seemed to come and the visual clutter that surrounded me daily seeped into my peace of mind, wearing me down slowly. My clutter would give me nightmares about unannounced visits and creepy crawlies and leave me waking up feeling tired and grimy with the unrelenting task looming overhead to vigorously clean, a chore that always left me exhausted and irritable at the end of the day because it involved rearranging so much stuff throughout the process and also piling all the stuff back where it started before the vigorous cleaning.
Minimalism presented a lifestyle without clutter, one of reduced stress, more clarity, and more space. It presented room for possibility, self-growth, and creativity. I was so attracted to the idea of a living space free of so much stuff and of distractions that continuously drained me of energy. I was tired of moving piles of stuff around whenever I needed to get to something. I was fed up with frequently misplacing my belongings that seemed to somehow get swallowed and digested by all of the existing clutter. I was done with wasting my time, my life, and my money with my shopping addiction. It had to go. I needed to change to find the things that are truly important. And change I did – slowly.
My journey into the world of Minimalism helped me to reconnect with former versions of myself, ones that cared less about how people perceive me on the outside, and helped drive me to reflect more introspectively. I learned that the things I enjoy most are not for sale at TJMaxx, Marshalls, H&M, Target, Zara, or any store for that matter. The things I enjoy most do not email me advertisements for “our biggest sale of the season!” and they certainly do not enter my life with just a few clicks of the mouse and entering my credit card info.
No, the things I enjoy most are not consumer things at all, but rather are people, practices, and activities that make me a more mindful, loving, thankful, and present human being.
With that, I thank you for joining me on this new adventure on which I am embarking. It is exciting, thrilling, and a little bit scary and will prove to be a little (or a lot) soul bearing, but I am glad to have company along for the ride.