ON MINIMALISM // 03: LIVING WITH LESS | Valentina Duracinsky: ON MINIMALISM // 03: LIVING WITH LESS

July 22, 2014

ON MINIMALISM // 03: LIVING WITH LESS

Valentina Duracinsky - minimalism
Things... Damn my possessions. I've written about minimalism a lot (I've probably just thought about writing about minimalism a lot, and then never gotten around to actually doing it. Goddamn, must I be so lazy?) Another day in a life of a wannabe minimalist. I swear, I will get there.

Maybe you're wondering why I care so much about becoming a minimalist. What's wrong with stuff? The way I see it, it's all about happiness. Isn't that what we all want? And all the crap I own is making me unhappy. I mean, I'm fine, I'm not depressed and crying at night "why, why is this happening to me!" It's just... stressful. When I was packing up to leave Smith in May, I was so angry at all the boxes filled with little things, things, things.

I have such a hard time getting rid of it all.

Have I bought anything new in the past six months? Indeed I have. I still enjoy shopping. Yet, there is a reason for everything I buy. That's not an excuse, just a semi-explanation... There's room for improvement, but there's also a lot to be proud of. I used to buy so much more than I do now. I never thought 'do I need this?' or 'will this add anything to my wardrobe?' or 'will this go with anything I own?' I was close to buying a black bikini top the other day and I just couldn't justify it. It made me angry for wanting it, angry for not being able to get it but now I'm happy because I know I didn't need it.

"to need" is used so freely these days. "I need shoes" I said to my mom last week, so we went off to look for a new pair. I bought a pretty pair of summer shoes that will go with a lot of my clothes. But in reality, I did not need them. All you need is to have something on your feet so you don't leave the house barefoot. Just like none of us need more than two pairs of pants and two or three tops.

Let's imagine that life... I get up, I have a pair of black jeans, a pair of blue jeans and some cotton shorts. I have a black button down top, a green tank top and a white t-shirt. I have some sandals, some rain boots and some sneakers. It's a summer day, it's an easy choice. I put on one of the three pairs of underwear I own and one of the three bras I own. I brush my hair, put on some mascara and blush and some lipstick. I don't need chap-stick because I use coconut oil. I have class so I need my big bag which fits my computer. I take one notebook and one pen. When I get home at night, I change into a nightgown and wash the shirt and the underwear so they're dry the next day or the day after. I take a shower and use the coconut oil as body lotion. It's natural and it smells nice. There's little clutter because I own few possessions. There's a lot of space and the room is peaceful.

Now in the real world, I'm nothing like that. I'm not trying to tell you that I'm some great minimalist that knows more than you or has succeeded in some way. This is my own journey; a journey I'm happy to be taking. I share my thoughts to understand myself better and to encourage others to change if they wish to do so. If anything, to incite some thoughts about minimalism, some kind of conversation, some self-reflection in everyone.

As far as jeans go... I have two black, three blue, one red, one yellow, one purple, one beige. That's almost ten pairs of jeans. And the funny thing is I can't get rid of them. I use this pair all the time. On a fat day or a normal day, they seem to always fit. So what now? Use them until they're so used, I have to throw them away, I guess.

As long as you use something, there's no need to get rid of it.

The best thing about having less and washing clothes at night is that you rarely have to do laundry. I use to think it was so cool I had so much that I could go without doing laundry for a long time. But every time I did do laundry, it took forever. For a bit, I started to wash my underwear, socks and tops in the evenings. I didn't always remember or have time, but I will definitely remind myself to do so when I get back to Smith in September.

It's going to be a great semester. I've already brought so many things back to Paris, that I won't have that much with me this semester – my last semester. I feel like every time I leave Smith, I've made some kind of breakthrough. Here's to becoming a minimalist. At a slow pace, at any pace. Vx



Q: What are the benefits of minimalism?

A: There are many. It’s lower in stress. It’s less expensive and less debt. It’s less cleaning and maintaining. It’s more enjoyable. There’s more room for creating, for loved ones, for peace, for doing the things that give you joy. There’s more time for getting healthy. It’s more sustainable. It’s easier to organize. These are only the start. [LINK]


“Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” - Lao Tzu



3 comments:

Sabrina said...

Great post. I have also been trying to go the minimalist route for a while now, but I always seem to fall off the wagon. I am getting better, but it seems like I take one step forward and 2 steps back. But, I figure that as long as I'm acknowledging where and when I fall off the wagon, I'm getting better because I know what to avoid in order to stay on track :-).

Bernadette Howell said...

I think that is great strategy. The less laundry, the less volumes of mess, the better, right? Though sometimes, the mess will be at the walls and the corners and in the air you've got in your area in general. One must be able to do something about that, too. Good thing there are lots of ways to do so.

Bernadette Howell @ Allergy Relief Store

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say I really love your blog - always find it interesting and inspiring

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