There’s a great many things to do and places to see in this world of ours. As humans, our lives are pretty short (and if you party like I do, it’s probably going to be even shorter). So we have to prioritize! We have brains for a reason and that reason is…reasoning (well, at least some of us use them for that purpose: see comment about partying above). Let me be your voice of reason as I show you all the things you should be doing right here, right now.
We’re always told “less is more.” I’m sure a couple of you out there are familiar with the concept (it’s certainly true in the case of kissing and the amount of tongue insertion…and someone needs to inform that guy I made out with last night). Recently, I’ve become more attracted to the concept of having less stuff. This may be because I moved into a single room in the dorms that’s smaller than my walk-in closet at home, but I’d like to think that maybe something else is influencing me. Perhaps it’s time for society to downgrade.
Think about how much stuff you really have. Not just the clothes and the shoes (which, for me, is the bulk of my possessions), but every little thing. Now think about what among those things you couldn’t live without. If you think hard enough, it’s probably not a lot. In fact, I’m betting you could live without 98% of your possessions (excluding the ones that, you know, make you smell better and whatnot). So why not go for it? Throw your stuff away! Or, at the very least, donate it to a charitable cause (even though a bonfire of your former possessions is so much more demonstrative…and fun). You’ll feel better – I promise.
Less Stress – Again, this may be a symptom of having to cart my crap through a dorm that resembles an 18 Century maze, but less stuff means less stress. If you pare down your possessions to just a few things, you know exactly what you have. In fact, you probably see it every day. You wouldn’t have to worry about where that one sweater went or if someone is stealing a little bit of your printer paper every day just for the simple fact that you know where everything is and exactly how much of it you have.
More Creative Opportunities - For some reason, whenever I have to operate on a limited wardrobe, I become more creative with my choices. Accessories suddenly become vital to my existence and I work harder to make what I have creative and fresh. This applies to my wardrobe and other personal items. Decorating an apartment may be easy when you have boxes full of things to nail to the walls, but what’s the fun in that? Trust me, when you try to artfully place two photographs in an entire living room/dining area, you’ll feel more proud of your accomplishment in the end than if you had just thrown everything you had up on the walls and called it good.
More Excuses To Buy Expensive Things – When you’re living a minimalist lifestyle, you need things that are classic, durable, and essential. This definitely is an excuse to splurge on items that could be called “investment pieces.” Instead of buying 17 pairs of jeans from American Eagle, invest in one or two pairs from a brand that may be more pricey, but fits you better and will last longer. Same goes for the rest of your wardrobe. Choose pieces that will fit you well, look good for a long time, and go with every other piece in your closet. If only there was a program where I could take 38 cheap sweaters and exchange them for one amazing designer sweater…Cashmere for Crap?
Moving In Becomes Easier – Seriously. Six crates of stuff for one semester in a tiny single is ridiculous. I need to downsize.
More Transportable – If I ever feel the need to jet off to Paris for a year (you never know, it might happen), then I can. That is, if I have less crap to lug around with me. Nothing says “cosmopolitan traveler” like two pieces of hand luggage (that a gorgeous French dude you met on the plane is carrying for you, of course). And if Paris doesn’t work out? No sweat! Just pack up your minimalist life and jet again. Being a nomad never sounded so easy (or fun).
It Impresses People – Have you ever run across someone who actually lives a minimalist lifestyle? I have. I always wander around their spotless, effortlessly chic apartment with my jaw dropped wondering why I can’t do the same thing. Everyone (myself included) seems to think that minimalism is an impressive feat, especially in these times where the attitude “enough is never enough” is ingrained in us from pre-school (oh yes, I hoarded chocolate milk. I bet you did, too. Don’t deny it). What could be more impressive than an apartment that has almost nothing in it, yet still looks organized, decorated, and (most importantly) lived in? Nothing, my friends. Nothing.