I am a self diagnosed recovered online shopaholic. That was a mouth full. What does this mean exactly? Well, I felt a rush anytime I ordered something new, and once it arrived, I was briefly happy (I’d gotten my “fix”) but like any addiction, it wasn’t long before I needed my next “hit”.
I remember when on-line shopping was a new idea, going back to my early 20’s and my very first purchase was a bikini from Victoria’s Secret for an upcoming trip to Mexico (remember travelling? Ahhh). Waiting for my package was exhilarating, as was opening it once it arrived. Thus, my addiction began.
The problem with relying on “things” for happiness is, you are never truly happy or satisfied by them. Sure, you are briefly, but that dissipates quickly. Happiness does not come from a full closet or home decor or drawers of makeup.
I stumbled upon the idea of minimalism about a year and a half ago, by accident, when I started googling about purging. My closet was a complete disaster and it gave me immense anxiety.
I had assumed that minimalism was about having an empty home or living out of a backpack. It absolutely can be, but what I had completely backwards was thinking it was about deprivation. Minimalism isn’t at all about depriving yourself of things you love; it is the exact opposite. It is about eliminating anything and everything in your life that does not bring you joy or serve a purpose. The idea brought forth by Marie Condo who coined the phase “spark joy”.
The idea of this intrigued me immensely. I began binge watching videos on minimalism and became more and more inspired. I began with my closet, and after many weeks, I got my wardrobe down to items I actually loved and wore. It is a surprisingly emotional yet therapeutic experience. I created a capsule wardrobe, which I will go into detail about in another post. I donated and sold the rest of my items. I felt amazing, and so light.
That was just the beginning. The next thing was our linen closet, followed by the dining room hutch, and then slowly I worked through my entire home; every drawer, every cupboard, every closet (except my 8 year old son’s as he was not inspired to purge any of his 400 stuffies) – they all sparked joy!
It has now been a year and a half and my entire home is filled with only items that we love, or that serve a purpose.
I now shop consciously; rather than filling my home with items I don’t need.
I also adopted the one in, one out theory; pretty self explanatory, if I want something new to come in, I donate or sell something (necessities being the exception of course, and for the record I consider plants a necessity).
I love fashion and that won’t change; with the one in, one out rule, I am able to still shop, but I need to be willing to remove an item from my curated, beautiful closet. It makes you think twice.
My home is not cluttered anymore and neither is my mind. This trickled into all aspects of my life; like my digital minimalism (leaving socials) as well as removing toxic people from my life. That is a whole other story and very easy to do without social media.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, try to simplify things. It is a long process but it is addictive and oh so good for the soul.
There are many things in life that we cannot control, but we can control what and who we allow into our personal space and our head space.
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