Uncategorized, minimalism

How to Have a Planner with Meaning

I’m a planner junkie. I love using my fancy Mambi Create 365 Planner, and write in it multiple times a day. While I may write in my planner numerous times within the sixteen hours I’m awake, my time is not overbooked. In fact, I have downtime.

My experience from owning a planner as a workaholic is that I saw time differently. Somehow it clicked that a planner isn’t supposed to help you cram time a task in every waking moment. Rather — it’s to rearrange my time so I can find time to just… have fun. This may seem like basic knowledge, but it was news to me.

That mindset also appeals to my minimalistic side of me. I don’t need to be sucked into the societal mindtrap that the more work a person does, the more value they inherently have. Nowadays with a planner, I analyze what truly needs to get done in order for me to be happy and achieve my goals.

With a planner, there has to be a bit of a strategy behind it. What are your priorities? What projects are you working on? Do you have miscellaneous tasks without a deadline? Do you have daily tasks that must get completed? Understanding these questions will prevent you from jam-packing your schedule.

What was stupidly hard for me to learn is that not everything needs to be scheduled in a single day. The tasks that have a time limit or are urgent need to get done first. Such as paying a late fee or an appointment. Meaningless tasks like “wipe down walls” or “brush cat” don’t need to fill up your entire day. Having too many to-do’s in a single day is the opposite of what a planner is supposed to do. Planning everything out smoothly should give you free time — not make you a overworked and stressed out.

Here are some tips of how I align my day.

Priorities are non negotiable. Put those write in your planner. Use exclamation points, a star, or a color to make it stand out. This needs to get done first, as the sooner in the day you get it done the less of a chance you have put procrastinate it for others things. Priorities should max out at three per day if possible to prevent getting double-booked.

In my planner I like to keep a “Project Page” separate. Having the steps to complete the project on each day of the planner can cause it to be cluttered. Also — projects are rarely completely linear. So you could plan each day for it, but get behind in one day, then have the following sequence of days incorrect.

Miscellaneous tasks also get their own sheet. You don’t need to plan “sort tupperware” or “put away scrap paper.” It’ll make people think you’re weird if that’s what most of your day consists of, and it also isn’t urgent enough to warrant planning it for a certain day. Thus, having a cheat sheet for all those random tasks can be better — just reference to it when you have a little too much free time.

Daily tasks are kind of up in the air of whether or not to write them down. My rule of thumb is that if you are always on top of the daily to-do’s there is no need to write them down. You got your brain for that. But, if you need help sticking to a routine of getting them done I recommend planning it until it becomes an unbreakable habit. It keeps you accountable by writing it down.

In the end, the actual planner section for the day show what it meaningful or what sets you up for future success. It doesn’t cause anxiety from looking at it. You see a couple priorities, and then a few normal To-Do’s. Once you get those done, you can work your project that you have a separate page for, or do misc tasks for a couple hours.

If a planner is implemented well, it organizes where your downtime is and merely is a tool that streamlines your day. It shouldn’t be a book that causes immediate stress.

If anyone else is a planner junkie, I’d love to hear of what others do to make their planners the most beneficial. Just leave a comment below.

minimalism

Minimalism: Do I Need to Give Up My Art Supplies?

Minimalism preaches to remove everything unnecessary to open up your life to better experiences. Normally, the unnecessary things are belongings. So what about art supplies that give you experiences? That help you create what you love? Minimalism doesn’t seem to say much about it.

My opinion is that if you have a hobby, then you need supplies. In art it’s tricky because any object can be used as medium. I use anything from scrapbook paper, to sand, to paint, to old baby toys in my art projects. The line is drawn when the amount of art supplies you have are hindering you. If the amount of supplies you have impede you from doing what you love, then you should donate or sell what you have.

I’ve never really had this problem, but I had an experiences similar to it. After a few days holing up in my studio it would be a disaster. Art supplies and papers would be scattered on every single surface. I would shrug, and say the mess is fine. Then I would keep going into my studio planning to create, well, art, only to still have no clear space to work with. I would be forced to spend a long time scrubbing paint stains, putting stuff away, and picking up tiny scraps of paper. Then I would be satisfied with the abundance of space I would now have to create in again.

I imagine people with too many of art supplies have this problem on a chronic basis.

My solution to this is rather simple, but kind of emotional because no artist likes to let go of art supplies. Supplies can be expensive and there is always the lingering thought that you will use absolutely everything someday. That isn’t true 50% of the time.

Ask yourself these questions about if your supplies are functional:

Do these pencils have an eraser? Are they broken in two?
Is this eraser too gross? Does it smear more than erase?
Are these paints old? Do the bottles always leak?
Are the paper scraps too small to work with? Do you really need a box full?
Is the glue not working perfectly?
Are the ink pads not opaque or shiny like they used to be?
Are your paintbrush bristles frayed or permanently crusted?

Ask yourself questions if you think you own too much:

Do you never have any room to do art?
Do you always have some sort of mess or pile?
Are your art supplies organizers crammed to the limit?
Can you never find anything?
Do you not even know what you own?

For the first set of questions, toss any of the items if they aren’t working anymore. You deserve not to use poor art supplies, and also they just take up space.

What I did when I sorted my art studio is go through every drawer. Anything broken was thrown away. If the object was covered in dust or stored away, then I donated it to children’s art groups. I had boxes of paper scraps, and I kept the ones that I liked while donating the rest to the art therapy group at my job. Liquids that were expired were happily tossed because they were frankly gross. I could go on about the process.

It took all day. But the results were amazing. I realized all the supplies I had, and then had fresh ideas of what art to do. Also, I was inspired with the challenge to use everything I own. With stuff like paints, pastels, and pencils, my new rule was to use them up before I would by more.

I highly recommend art studio decluttering, or at least organizing. You swear off from buying more, or at least get inspiration and motivation to be the best artist you can be.

 

minimalism

Dangers of Multitasking and Minimalism

Society has been caught in the mental trap that nothing can be accomplished if you aren’t working on several tasks simultaneously. Even if people try to do so, they have a hard time concentrating because they are used to the hecticness of multitasking. This is actually a bigger issue that most people would think.

People can’t truly focus when multitasking. Our concentration is flicking back and forth between tasks, and that comes slightly stressful over time. When a person is juggling numerous things at once, how can they possibly relax while working on a task? This frequently leads to feelings of being overworked and the feeling like nothing was actually accomplished.

This is where minimalism can tie in. Part of minimalism is removing everything toxic (people, clutter habits, ect) from our lives to make room for everything fulfilling and, well — meaningful. To work towards living a satisfying life. Multitasking and minimalism don’t go together for the following reasons.

  1. A person can’t be mindful when multitasking
  2. Multitasking creates more problems, such as stress and anxiety
  3. Overall levels of focus on productivity decline
  4. There are less positive feelings involved

Do you see the tie in? The level of happiness goes down when multitasking.

Minimalism encourages mindfully working on one task at a time. Unfortunately, multitasking can ruin concentration skills in the long run because it’s technically a distraction (you’re brain is switching back on forth). With a minimalistic approach, you would do your best to work on one task at a time until it’s completed — doing it mindfully.

If you struggle with focusing on a single task, try removing clutter and other distractions from your work area. Maybe play some lo-fi music, or work someplace absolutely quiet. Whatever instills a sense of peace and less urgency would probably put you on the right path towards quitting multitasking.

The two ultimate results of quitting multitasking are less stress and the learned ability to concentrate.

From my personal experience it was hard to do so. I wanted to change because the more I multitasked, the less I enjoyed things I used to love doing, such as drawing and reading. I didn’t have the capacity to focus on a beloved happy, which I found quite sad. So, to get myself to quit I would resist the urge as long as I could — or altogether –to also be doing something else. Overtime I can easily do the same task for 4-6 hours. It makes me productive, calm, and a valued member of society.

Are you up to the challenge?

Fitness/Health, minimalism

Minimalism and Health

Being healthy doesn’t have to complicated. All health really hones in on are two things: diet and exercise. With all the vast amount of information on the big, bad interwebz, it’s easy to blow the process to being healthy out of proportion. And that makes it seem…well…impossible. But it doesn’t have to be that way at all.

Getting healthy mainly requires just one goal from both diet and exercise: being consistent. You can’t expect to get results eating clean only 25% of the time, like eating a salad a day and feeling like the next fitness guru. Neither does exercising intensely six times a week for half a month, then not working out for a whole month won’t give you results. Rather, it’s doing a “‘minimalist'” routine.

This is my minimalist approach to diet. It’s basic knowledge to eat whole, unprocessed foods the majority of the time. I try to load my plate up with a variety of foods. A source of protein, some grains, and then a large serving of vegetables and fruit. For sanity, it makes sense to treat yourself to one thing every week. I decided to eliminate only one thing from my diet, and that is sugar. It would be too complicated to eliminate too many other foods if I don’t have a health condition. I do calculate calories for weightlifting, but I use apps to make tracking easier. That’s all there really is for eating clean and getting lean.

My workout routine is very simplistic too. Six times a week at four a.m I do yoga and Piyo. Four times a week I go to the gym at 5:50 am on the dot. I follow a weightlifting  program that I pay for every month that has been giving me great results. Since the weightlifting program only takes me around thirty-forty minutes, as everything is superset, I like to push myself with Crossfit for the remaining ten minutes. At Crossfit I pick the same basic exercises because with consistency, as then I will get very strong with them.

The balance part is a gentle activity for a greater frequency of training, and a hard activity for a lower frequency of training week. I highly recommend paying for a workout program that will last you for at least four months. If you can’t afford it, get ideas from Youtube or Pinterest. I like to print out the exercises from online resources so I have ideas if I can’t do my program for whatever reason. Like a back-up. Being prepared helps you stay consistent and saves you a lot of time and doubts of picking exercises tailored to your needs.

If you want to make additional changes to improve your health further, here are some recommendations.

  • Oil-pulling. This is swishing coconut oil in your mouth to help eliminate the bad bacteria in your mouth, plus whiten your smile.
  • Herbal Tea. Different types of tea have different effects on your mood and body. I really like green tea to boost my energy, and dandelion root tea to help with bloating.
  • Excellent Skin-Care. I consider skin-care to be part of general health, as the skin is your largest organ after all.
  • Volunteering. Doing volunteer work is an excellent way to stay on your feet. In the warmer seasons I walk the dogs at the local animal shelter, and in the past even did some gardening or split wood.

This isn’t so complicated overall. Or at least I don’t feel it is. A shortened idea of what a minimalistic routine would be the following.

!!!CONSISTENCY!!!

 

 

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat protein, grains, fruits, and veggies for most meals
  • Don’t eliminate or restrict too many things–it gets complicated after a while
  • Find a ready-made routine to take the guessing out for you
  • Set a specific time, and a certain amount of time, you exercise. Stick to it. Many years later it will become habit.
  • Pick a hard activity for a few times a week
  • Pick an easy activity for most of the week

This is the gist of how minimalism can be applied to healthy living.

minimalism

Updated Capsule Wardrobe

The other day, five days ago in fact, I rehauled my entire capsule wardrobe into an even smaller one. There wasn’t necessarily anything wrong with how my capsule was. I just felt like I still had too much of certain pieces, in addition to having several pieces I still barely wore. I’d much rather have a smaller, well-used wardrobe full of everything that looks good.

Since this is my third Capsule Wardrobe change, it went by quickly. The longest ordeal was figuring out what style I wanted to have, and how little I can get away with. My style only changed slightly: a more grown-up casual to suit how I’m a 21 year old who doesn’t care much about fashion. So threw out certain grungy shirts and kept polished tees, blouses, and blazers. The point is that whatever I put on I will automatically like and it is versatile for different outings. Just simple.

So here is my current wardrobe:

(Note: This is a year-round capsule wardrobe, thus it has more pieces that are seasonal, and it bigger overall. Also, I plan on not buying any clothes for the majority of the year.)

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

Tanks

Striped (1)            Eclectic (2)              Neutral Silk (1)

High-neck (1)       Mustard-Colored (1)         Velvet (1)

Tees

White (1)              Grey (1)             Black  (1)

Eclectic (2)        Striped (1)            Mustard-Colored (1)

Mid-Sleeve Shirts

Baseball (1)         Eclectic (2)          White (1)

Long-Sleeve Shirts

Black (1)            Grey (1)            White (1)

Striped (1)        Hemley (1)

Layers

Flowy Cardigan (1)    Thick/ Wool Cardigan (1)            Button-Up Cardigan (1)

Blue Oxford (1)          White Blouse (2)            Blazer (1)        Flannels (2)

Pants

Black (1)          Boyfriend (2)          Light wash (3)          Dark wash (3)

Shorts

Black (1)         Light wash (2)          Dark wash (2)

Sweaters

Black (1)     Grey (1)                Striped (1)        Cowl Neck (1)

Red (1)        Eclectic (1)           Fluffy (1)

Shoes

Ankle Boots (1) Combat boots (1) Knee-High Boots (1)

Classic Heel (1) Leather Slip-Ons (1) Oxfords (1)

Converse (1) Summer Heels (1) Black Flats (1)

Bags

Black Quilted Bag (1) Leather Tote (1) Leather Backpack (1)

Evening Bag (1) Everyday Bag (1) Statement Purse (1)

 

 

minimalism

Minimalism: Capsule Makeup and Why the Rainbow is Unnecessary

I used to be a borderline makeup collector. I was/am not a makeup artist, and am not even that great at makeup. I was just convinced that I needed each new shade or palette that came out. Drawn in by the pretty packaging and the well written descriptions of why this product was the best one yet. Now I can say the beauty industry is truly addictive.

Which is why I went minimalistic with my makeup collection. I still may have a bigger collection than most other minimalists, but I’m choosing not to buy anything unless I use something up. If I wanted to downsize my makeup I would have to throw it away, which is more being wasteful than a minimalist. So what got me started in minimalizing my makeup collection?

Two things happened.

What made me cut back on purchasing new items is when I realized I had multiples of the same colors of eyeshadows. Seriously, I had four orange eyeshadows and three pink eyeshadows. It occurred that by the time I hit pan on one of them, the rest will be expired. I skimmed over the rest of my makeup collection, and nothing was too excessive besides lipsticks and chapsticks.

Another reason I am now cutting back even further is that I broke free of a mold I was put in and started really dressing like how I want to dress: androgynously. It is a very minimalist, easy, casual style that is so appealing to me and suits my personality. I do wear makeup to gently contour and enhance my features. But I now use about three eyeshadows, an eyeliner pencil, contour palette, and the base makeup. It completes the look. I’m still hanging on to my other makeup to experiment with, but otherwise that is what I keep in the most accessible area and store away the rest of my makeup.

Anyways, with makeup it is so easy to get caught up in the rush of the purchase that you forget you pretty much have the same thing at home. And then most, I assume, don’t use the product that much because they already got so much other makeup. There is no reason to have duplicates of items, with only a couple exceptions. In fact, it is almost even better to own less makeup because then you are left with all of your favorites.
Here is the gist of my makeup collection.

My Makeup Capsule

  • Rimmel London Pressed Powder
  • Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer
  • Urban Decay Bronzing Palette
  • Wet n Wild Contour Palette
  • NYX Liquid Illuminator
  • Naked 2 Palette
  • Urban Decay Ammo Palette
  • Loreal Rose Palette (?)
  • NYX Liquid Eyeliner
  • Mascara
  • An unknown brand black eyeliner pencil
  • Wet n Wild White Pencil Liner
  • NYX Orange Eyeshadows
  • Unknown Cool Brown Eyeshadow Pot
  • About four lipsticks and lots of chapsticks

This is the gist of what I have. I find it is more than enough for me because I don’t tend to do anything too crazy. However, there are people who do collect and experiment with makeup as a hobby, which I think is fine. Makeup is a form of art, thus people need supplies.

It’s all based on what is a practical form of minimalism for an individual.

minimalism

Minimalism: Purse Edition

I have been a minimalist for over a year now, and everything has been alright. Yet this past week I made the unpleasant observation that I feel the need to own large purses and backpacks with a vast amount of pockets. And that no matter how large my bags are and how many pockets they have, it is overflowing. So, the problem is not that they are dysfunctional. It is actually that I am convinced I need to haul a lot of sh*t with me wherever I go. Or, at least, was convinced.

This morning I sorted through my purse, and kept only what I actually needed. Here is what I carry with me:

 

  1. Wallet- filled with a few coupons, license, college ID, cards, ect.
  2. Mini journal- Has emergency contacts, budget plan, and shopping lists
  3. Personal bag- chapstick, comb, qtip, tiny foldable scissors, headache medication
  4. Swiss Army Knife- does prove to be very useful
  5. Electronics Bag- backup battery, charger cord, and headphones
  6. A notebook of my choice- to write in when bored
  7. Teabag + protein bar
  8. Phone

 

I feel this isn’t that bad. I have a small purse now, and it is spacious for the first time in ages. I see there was really no need for me to carry three journals, my Nintendo 3DS, food, tea bags, various makeup stuff, and so on with me everywhere.

I think it was because I still had a partial attachment to my items that led me to taking too many of them with me wherever I go. So minimalizing my purse is showing me I can be content without taking tons of things with me.

After a trip out of the house did I realize that I did not need to bring so much stuff with me, and it’s worth not embarrassing myself when I have to spend ten minutes digging into my purse when I need to find something right away.
Yep. That is a definite bonus.

minimalism

Minimalism and Being a Workaholic

Society thrives on being rushed and cramming as much as possible into a single day. The world has really become about “living in the fast lane.” This is not an easy lifestyle, and it can put your health at risk. Being consistently stressed and hurried has been linked to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and ulcers. Often those who are workaholics, such as I am, are never satisfied with the work they do. It’s time to slow down if we want to preserve our sanity and our health.

Before minimalism I was a serious workaholic. I would be working on various projects from the time I woke up until I went to bed. Occasionally I would break down about how frustrated I was with my routine, desperately wanting a break. Inevitably I would crash, then spend the day doing absolutely nothing whilst feeling guilty. The key to fix this is balance.

Minimalism preaches keeping life as simple as possible to reduce any unnecessary stress. This definitely includes time management and prioritizing. A person should select an appropriate amount of productive tasks that can be done mindfully and thoroughly. They should be the important ones, and what holds the most value to you. If it is not important and doesn’t hold anything at stake, then don’t lose sleep over it. You have to ruthlessly cut away the unimportant.

I realized my to-do list for Monday alone could be distributed throughout the entire week. Upon this realization, I decided to make after four in the afternoon my downtime. I aim to be productive before four, and make sure afterwards I am doing only what I truly want to do. This often involves playing a Nintendo 3Ds game called Animal Crossing, reading a self-improvement book, and soaking my feet in Epsom Salt because they are often sore from sports. It’s essential I get this time to myself because it prevents me from being burned out later in the week.

One reason being a workaholic is against minimalism is because the purpose in doing tasks is not peaceful. The projects are rushed through and are merely something that must get done. A minimalistic approach would be mindfully completing the task without multitasking, Additionally you admire the value in doing it.

Here is an example. Often I have homework, various DIY projects, and a gym routine to uphold. Those could be considered a burden and a chore to trudge through. Instead, I choose to see the value in each task. Homework is a chance to get smarter and apply my knowledge in my career. Various DIY projects, while tedious, are a relaxing outlet for me. Going to the gym to weightlift, play racquetball, or do yoga is basic care that gives me energy and a fit physique. Each task I complete mindfully without any distractions. Being immersed in them can even be cathartic. The change in attitude makes a crazy schedule a peaceful one.

Being peaceful is important. Workaholics have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a weakened immune system. This is because of the impact on stress on the body. Retiring from being a workaholic saves not only your sanity, but your health as well.
Minimalism is streamlining your schedule and eliminating the unimportant to make room for what does matter. Try to keep a daily planner and be thoughtful when making your to-do list. Today’s choices are up to you.

minimalism

Minimalism and Gratitude

Gratitude is the crux of minimalism. Since minimalism is being satisfied and content with where you are at in the moment, there must be a deep sense of gratitude. In a society revolving around consumerism and insecurity there is often little room for gratitude. When the world says you must acquire or achieve more to be happy, it is easy to get caught up in the rush to attain it.What people should do is slow down.

Gratitude is not merely being happy with what you own. It is the view of your past and current situation as well. It is allowing yourself to breathe. Here is an example.

I had to travel to my hometown to pick up my car that was being fixed. On the drive back, there was a snowstorm, and I was also stuck between two semis. On top of this, my music CD wasn’t working so I was without my music. This was very frustrating at first. Then I realized how nice it is to have a stretch of silence and how pretty the snow was driving through the countryside. I thought to myself that I could use this time to focus on my breathing and practice mindfulness. I also visualized how I would put my New Year goals into practice. What could have been a rage-inducing hindrance turned to a mini retreat. It’s about perspective.

I have not had the most fortunate life. I was abused as a child, coming from a broken home. I also battled with a slew of addiction for several years. Now that I am recovered, I find myself to be ok with what had happened. As painful and needless as abuse and addictions are, it made me resilient and rational. I would not be the same person I am now if I had not learned those lessons. I plan on using what I learned to help others. Minimalism eases the pain somewhat, and keeps me grounded in where I am today.

What I do try to tackle the most is being aware of how amazing everything is. The chronic depression I had for seven years closed my eyes to the beauty of the world. I also heavily bought into the consumerist life, which is probably stereotypical as a teenager. Now that I am a minimalist I appreciate everything that I do have.

While there are things I would like to change about my life, I am achieving an inner peace with where I am. I understand that the process of change is wonderful in and of itself. There are no immediate needs in my life, and most are wants.

Consumerism teaches us that wants should be fulfilled immediately, and that having to wait for it is bad. Often this can lead people to acting impulsively, then dealing with negative consequences. Gratitude causes thoughtfulness of what you must have to be happy. Being thoughtful of wants versus needs makes an impact in the long-run. It teaches rationalization, builds patience, and can save you money.
Overall, minimalism and gratitude are intertwined and fuel each other. If you are worried about starting a minimalist lifestyle, then just start by keeping a gratitude log. For the next thirty days write down one thing you are grateful for. Refer to it often, then reconsider your present life.

minimalism

Minimalism: A Capsule Wardrobe

Part One

A capsule wardrobe is both a smaller closet, but also your dream closet. As a bonus it helps curb impulsive shopping and reduces engagement in consumerism. Essentially, a capsule wardrobe has clothes that pair well together, has a seamless style, and is also only comprised of what you need.

What is “only what you need?” Let’s start with a statistic I discovered, but long forget the source of. It stated that women only wear around 30-40% of their wardrobe. I believe it to be true, as when I owned an abundance of clothing I only wore a select few. A majority of the items were either duplicates, ill-fitting, had nothing to wear with it, or did not suit my taste. It was pointless for me to own those pieces of clothing when instead I could wear pieces that I love. Out of my entire closet I wore only a fraction of it consistently.

So I decided to make a capsule wardrobe. I started the process by writing a list of exactly what my closet should have, along with a color scheme. For example, I wrote down about how many pairs of jeans I should have. I figured I did not need a lot of ripped pair of jeans, so I narrowed it down to three, while having two pairs of light denim, and so on with the rest of my pants. For shirts and sweaters I chose one of each general style and main color. I chose to have black/white/grey as my neutrals with red,orange, and mint as my other colors. After writing it all out I  narrowed my closet down to sixty-six items, not including shoes and accessories. With shoes and accessories, my closet is around ninety-six pieces.

Then the hard part was putting my list into action. What helps is if you take everything in your closet and drawers and just dump it on the floor. I felt a lot of shame doing this because my pile was overly huge. Once I got past the shame, I sorted through every single item. If it was a duplicate I would keep the best version. If it was poor-fitting or didn’t suit me anymore I put it in a donate pile. Clothes that were damaged were thrown away. I sorted through every last thing, which took a couple hours.

It was freeing and actually fun. Now I love my closet. My capsule wardrobe now is a mixture of eclectic and Parisian chic. I love all my clothes and each piece gets worn frequently. Getting dressed in the morning is a breeze too. I already know what I like, plus everything matches, so I can just throw anything on and look OK.

I also have a different sense of values. Outside beauty does not hold as much importance to me as it did before. Breaking away from the consumerism trap improved my self-esteem. Instead I focus on improving my lifestyle and meeting my own personal standards.

————————————————————————–

Part Two

My capsule wardrobe is very classic with a dash of eclecticism. My inspiration heavily draws from the simple style of French women. The French are known for their effortless style and beauty, while also being known for their chicness. Their wardrobe is small and made of classics that always looks good, and it doesn’t follow trends for the sake of being a trend. The timeless freshness is what appeals to me.

The basics of my capsule are neutrals and staple pieces that every woman should own. However, my own touch is indie accessories and more ripped jeans. Those pieces are just an add-on from my usual go-to pieces.

Here is my capsule wardrobe:

 

Year-Round Capsule Wardrobe

Pants

  • Light Wash (3) – Dark Wash (3) – Acid Wash (2) – Dressy (1)
  • Ripped (3) – Black (1) – Boyfriend (1)

Tanks

  • Neutral (3) – Striped (1) – Bright (1)
  • Red (1) – Eclectic (2) – Leopard Print (1)

Shirts

  • White Tee (1) – Black Long (1) – Eclectic (3)
  • Grey Tee (1) – Grey Long (1)
  • Striped Tee (1) – Striped Long (1)
  • Bright Tee (1) – Bright Long (1)

Sweaters

  • Black (1) – Red (1) – Striped (1)
  • Grey (1) – Eclectic (2) – Fluffy (1)
  • Cream (1) – Hooded (1) – Bright (1)

Layers

  • Vest (1) – Flannel (2)
  • Grey Cardigan (1) – Button-Up (1)
  • Red Cardigan (1) – Silk (1)
  • Eclectic Cardigan (2)
  • Sweater Cardigan (2)

Dresses Skirts

  • Maxi (1) – Maxi (1)
  • Sweater (1) – A-line (1)
  • Skater (1) – Bodycon (1)
  • Sundress (1)
  • Bodycon (1)

Shoes

  • Lace-up Boots (1) – Converse (1)
  • Ankle Boots (1) – Bright Flats (1)
  • Knee High Boots (1) – Sandals (1)
  • Flats (1) – Burkenstocks (1)
  • Oxfords (1) – Leopard Print(1)

Purses

  • Evening Bag (1) – Tote (1)
  • Cream Bag (1) – Bright (1)
  • Black Bags (1) – Mini Backpack (1)
  • Brown Bag (1)

 

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My wardrobe may seem rather large, but it is small considering it is for the whole year. The rule of thumb for a capsule wardrobe is to buy two or three key pieces for every season. Sometimes I swap out pieces I already own for the newer items, but it depends. Since I shop for clothes so rarely, I buy high quality items that will last. Some examples of the past season are one pair of designer jeans, an elegant peacoat, and a red cashmere sweater. Those three items are perfect because they can be paired with nearly anything I own. It saves me a lot of money in the long-run too. Instead of buying cheap clothing at the mall every couple weeks, I invest in a couple pieces that should last me for years.

Part 3

Owning such a small wardrobe has changed me, and also started my pursuit for the minimalist lifestyle. I learned to not hold as much stock into what is popular, what people think, or my appearance. Society thrives on consumerism because it fuels a person’s self-esteem. Consumerism says, “buy this and you will be happier and better.” It causes a warped sense of reality.

Breaking away from the booming fashion industry that runs on impulsively-bought, cheap clothes is freeing. Although it was hard to curb my shopping habit, now I use the time shopping for clothes working on crafts projects or writing. I save a lot of money as well. If you think you will struggle not to buy more, I recommend logging your spending. For each purchase, even if it is gum from the gas station, write what it is and the cost. Not only does it increase awareness of where your money goes, it makes you not want to make unnecessary purchases.

I highly recommend a capsule wardrobe to anyone who wants to tiptoe into the minimalistic lifestyle. Consumerism is what the world thrives on, and owning a smaller wardrobe in one way to break away from it. There is no need for an abundance of clothes when you can make do with what you have. Remember the statistic that women tend to wear only 30-40% of your wardrobe. Just try this, and you may like it.