by Daria James — Right about now, spring is trying to fight its way out of winter, like Ace Ventura trying to escape that rhino. But do not fear folks, it’s a fake rhino, like global warming (just kidding, that is serious business), or whatever other metaphorical fight and escape scene you prefer in your head.
With spring time comes spring cleaning. We put away our coats and winter attire. If you live in California you just stop wearing socks, I guess. Nonetheless, if you have access to online movies and shows, you probably have bumped into Marie Kondo. She is the newest American obsession… for most. I knew about her before she was mainstream (yeah, yeah, hipster blah, blah) and with the KonMari Method she is tidying up, cleaning up and minimalizing the lives of many hoarders. Look if you do not need it, you’re hoarding.
Her philosophy is simple. If the item does not spark joy in your life, you need to let it go, both physically and emotionally. Then scratch goes the record in the soundtrack of your life, for skeptics are saying Konmari is for the Gwyneth Paltrows and her elitist friends, since they can afford to get rid of items the deem “unnecessary.”
Look I get it, you spend your hard-earned dollars and you are keeping those shoes, jeans, hats, bags and other artifacts. Well, what about NOT purchasing unnecessary items to begin with? Minimalism was here before Marie. When I left the nest, I only had one bag of clothes and two pairs of shoes. Then whatever came in my duffel bag when I joined the Military. It’s not that I was a minimalist before it was mainstream (seriously, that hipster thing is old. Get out of here). Back in the day we just called it balling on a budget. I was not broke (unless, you count emotionally) but I was not living above my means. Thus I did not have a lot of stuff. Can’t have clutter if you do not have stuff. Work smart not hard.
When I got married, I knew we were going to move frequently and I did not want to carry junk around with us. So, we furnished our home with the basics, and once the baby came along, she too had the bare necessities. We saved our money and did not care what people said. Jokingly, but seriously, I referred to us as Gypsies. We pack up and go. It was a process to discipline ourselves into not falling for consumerism.
?Today, not when but if, I go shopping I remain focused. I need shoes. I have an idea what kind of shoes I want and go to the shoes store. I stopped going to Target because I know I can have weak moments. I’m not perfect. I am human and I need to feel good wearing my clothes. Oh it’s half price?! Well, who would want to lose on a great deal?
As a favor to you and the world, research where your clothes are coming from. Develop a conscience. Do not waste your food not only because kids in third world countries do not have it, think about how a cow lost her life so you could eat that burrito. It will help you make a decision next time you feel like upgrading your smartphone and wearing a shirt twice before disposing of it. The clutter takes care of itself if you don’t acquire it in the first place. Hey don’t get me wrong, I do not live in a cave. I like the finer things in life, but I have minimized unnecessary spending and our waste. My husband has no idea how welcomed he is. We have made little changes and gotten big results. You just have to star somewhere.