To me, becoming a minimalist isn’t just about owning less. I enjoy spending less and getting a good deal. Like the Clark’s shoes that I recently bought at the thrift store for $6.99. Originally they sell for about $74 retail. I know this because I have bought them before for that. I could have sold them on eBay for $21 plus shipping but they were my size and just the right fit. They didn’t look like they had even been worn. These are the things that bring me joy. Getting just what I need for so much less than what I would have paid retail and I get to save something that still can be used from going in the landfill. There were other bargains there but I walked away with just what I needed. Thrifting does make becoming a minimalist harder sometimes because there are so many good bargains at times but I remind myself that most of the time I can find just what I need when I need it and I leave the rest behind for someone else to love.
When I buy less I cherish it more. I don’t like the “Hauls” that everyone seems to want to post on the internet. It’s great that you get some great bargains but then we worry about where to store it, how to pay for it, and remembering to use it. Hauls seem to imply that we just grab and go and there is less mindfullness about the whole thing. I find that when I buy less and I am more choosy about what I buy such as buying used whenever possible, buying handmade or authentic when I can, and buying only what I need in the quality and quantity that I need it, I am able to put a higher personal value on it. Each item is cherished because of the story that goes with the find or the fact that it’s exactly the right thing for the right place in our home. These cherished items speak volumes about who we are and where we are going. The fact that they embody our spirits by their tones, textures, and style and are happened upon by chance fills me with a joy that I couldn’t get by simply ordering them on the internet. I don’t object to the simplicity of that but there is simply something about the slim chance of finding exactly what I wanted or needed amongst so many other different things.
Whenever I come home from the thrift store I always look around and wonder what I will let go of. Sometimes I do it gradually right away by exchanging the new shirt for the old one and donating it back if it’s still good. Other times I wait and the urge to let go of too many things gets the best of me as I look through what I have and decide to release what I don’t need and what I no longer value so much. It does happen. I find myself coming home from the store simply thrilled with my find and six months or a year later I realize that it should go to someone else that would love it more and use it more. There are times when I buy a shirt simply for practicality and end up falling in love with it or I buy it and never end up wearing it because I don’t love it. Although I would rather keep everything a long time and have just enough, I don’t stress if I misjudge. Sometimes the chances are worth taking. Most times.
If I had it to do over again I would have become a minimalist sooner. I would have sought out a mate that loves it as much as I do and I would seek out friends with similar interests more. I can’t imagine a life with so much stuff as I had when I was 25 but I had to go through that. I’ve always enjoyed the fact that old things tell a story and even if I don’t know what it may be, I still enjoy the idea. I value the things that used to be even though I don’t live in the past. I wish that more people did. There’s no judgement there , just a longing for others to see what I see and not be in such a hurry to just get more stuff.