I made a promise to myself and my husband that I was really going to downsize when we moved into our new home. Our tiny apartment was stuffed full and I knew that I did not want to carry all of that over to our new home. Living out of suitcases for the past 3 months has been a blessing in disguise. I realized that I can live a full, happy life without the stuff. Coincidentally, I downsized my closet even more and even got rid of a quarter of my makeup collection using these rules for living simply.
Rules for Living Simply
We threw out a lot while we packed up in August, but it was several months until we moved into our new home. We didn’t realize what we were in for. While we unpacked, my husband and I looked at each other like *why on Earth do we still have this*? It was clear we needed to part with a lot more. A good chunk of that was clothes from my closet, and makeup from my collection.
I’m a little ashamed to admit that when I started doing a capsule wardrobe I shoved most of my unworn clothes to the back of the closet instead of truly parting with them. I got rid of some things, but there were things I just “couldn’t”. There were NICE things in there. Expensive things. Things I’d surely wear again if I ever dropped the newlywed-20 (sure, I made that up #RealLifeRealLBs).
Come to Terms with Reality
I’ve clung on to these things. Embarrassingly, I even hung on to a pair of shorts that I fit into when I was a senior in high school (for reference, I’ve been out of college for 4 years at this point). They were a size 3. I’m an 8-10-12 (your guess is as good as mine as to why I have all of these sizes in my closet and they all fit me). I *almost* fit into them when I dropped 20 pounds before my wedding in 2014. That was short-lived as that weight jumped back on me quicker than I could say “happy anniversary”. Oops.
I finally realized that I was never going to fit back in those jean shorts and that it was OK. Truly. It’s ok if I’m never a size 3 again. It’s ok. When I realized that, I was much more open to parting with those nice, expensive, new items that I never wore/didn’t fit into. Those things weren’t bringing me joy. They weren’t adding to my life in any positive way. In fact, when I looked in my closet and saw these things, I got sad. No one should look in their closet and get sad! When I was living simply (out of a suitcase) I was never sad looking at my limited options. That’s when the tossing began.
Ask “Does This Bring Me Joy?”
While we unpacked our closet in our new home, I tossed about 1/3 of the clothes that I moved with. Living with very little for 3 months really taught me to cherish the things that I used every day. I was great living with less while we were waiting to get settled, why did I ever want to go back to mountains of stuff? I didn’t.
One source of my anxiety was my makeup collection. As you know, I like makeup. I love researching it, and talking about it, and sharing my favorite tips. I even wrote a post about how I wasn’t ashamed of my enormous makeup collection. I finally mustered up the courage to unpack my vanity this week. We’ve been in the house for 4 weeks. This was another sign that I had grown out of the “GIVE ME ALL THE STUFF” phase and into the quality over quantity phase. I was not looking forward to going through every single product. I was not looking forward to throwing out hundreds of dollars worth of makeup that has gone unused.
Wednesday I made it my goal to put together my makeup room/i.e. the nook in our bedroom. I started unpacking box by box. I even did a de-stash segment on Instagram Stories! I piled the products into categories, and then one by one I picked each product up and asked myself the question, “does this bring me joy?”
It alarmed me how often I said no. Every time I did, it went into 1 of 2 piles: trash, or gift. I’m lucky to have a best friend who loves shopping my culls (and some new items that I just threw in for fun). When it was all said and done, I was left with only things I loved. I was left with a lot of room left in my storage drawers and in my vanity organizers. I have no intention of filling those drawers. I’m so happy with what I have. I love each item I kept. I’ll use each item I kept. This was a major victory for simpler living.
Larger House, Simpler Living
We bought a house with room to grow. We’re not short on space or storage. I have no intention of filling those spaces. I’m happy with less, even with more space. Living out of a suitcase for 3 months was actually really good for me. I realized that I can part with things and that I won’t miss them. I’ve learned to invest in really quality pieces. At this point in my life, I’d rather go without than to purchase something quickly and because it’s cheap. I’m excited about this new lease on life and I’m so happy that through the turbulent last few months I learned the rules for living simply.
Have you ever purged your belongings? Have any tips for living more simply?