a los angeles girl in new york city

A STYLE, MUSIC, ART, AND TRAVEL JOURNAL

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

MINIMALISM and the KONMARI METHOD: WHAT IS IT? HOW DO I START?

For the past couple of weeks, I've been reading about and watching a lot of videos on Minimalism. When I say "Minimalism," a few things probably go through your mind: black and white, the minimal aesthetic, maybe even a nomadic hippie lifestyle. While these can all be part of minimalism, they don't have to be. From what I've discovered over my last few weeks of research, minimalism is really whatever you want it to be. It's not about a magic number of items you are allowed to have. It's not about never buying another piece of clothing ever again. For me, minimalism simply means living without excess. Again, you can define excess for yourself.


I also recently read Marie Kondo's book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, and I must admit, it has been a bit life-changing. Basically, the book explains the KonMari method of decluttering: if something you own doesn't "spark joy" when you touch it, let it go.


(an old photo I thought embodied the minimal aesthetic) 

What I'm currently trying to adopt is a hybrid of the KonMari method and the Minimalist lifestyle. I'm getting rid of everything that doesn't "spark joy" in my life, as well as anything that I really don't need. For example, on the KonMari side, I recently gave away a bunch of clothes that had sentimental meaning, because those sentiments (I realized) weren't really positive. On the Minimalist side, I threw out items in the "memory box" in my closet that I don't care about/will never look at again. By combining these two methods, I'm clearing my life of both negative feelings and excess, and it's been quite a freeing experience.

Still, becoming a Minimalist can be a tough process. It's not something that happens overnight. Also, it's not something that should make you more anxious than you already were; obsessing over having less and less is the exact opposite goal of Minimalism. Minimalism, in my eyes, is a way to let go of emotions tied to physical possession, freeing up space to just live. I might sound a little cheesy right now, but that's truly how I feel. 

If you're intrigued by Minimalism, here are some great Youtube videos/channels I've watched over the last couple of weeks that have been very informative:




My goal is not to end up with a wardrobe of fifteen items. My goal is, before I head off to university in about six months, to pare down my possessions so that I never feel guilty about owning something ever again. Guilt comes in many forms. When I see a sweater shoved in the back of my closet that I never wear (but spent a lot of money on), I feel guilty. When I find a "memory box" that I never look at, I realize it's just wasting space. When things aren't organized and in their places, I feel guilty. If any of these statements resonate with you, please do a little research on the KonMari method and/or Minimalism; I guarantee they will improve your life. Even after these past couple of weeks, I feel lighter, happier, and more at peace. Trust me, it's worth a shot.

xx Alyssa

2 comments:

  1. Minimalism is... hard at first. It's one of those communities where people can either be incredibly helpful or super judgmental. So I always recommend anyone looking into minimalism to remember that it is NOT a contest. I think you said it best when you mentioned not feeling guilty about items you own. I used to do that all the time, but, like you, the KonMari method worked wonders. Now, I buy so much less, when I do it is because it is something that truly sparks joy. I hope you continue to find that sweet spot in your life. It feels like power and control!

    aroseisinbloom.blogspot.com

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    1. Yes, exactly! I'm trying to remember all of this as I start out paring down my possessions. Thanks so much!

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