Going for Minimalism – For all the wrong reasons

Going for Minimalism – For all the wrong reasons

In January, I decided I was going for a minimalistic lifestyle. I had read a lot about the subject and was impressed with what I saw. It appealed to me on just so many levels.

So I decided to take the leap of faith. I knew I didn’t have all the facts, but I had a good feeling about this.

The simple life… less choices… focus on things that really matter, not materialistic things. Learn to let go…

All these words were swirling in my head as I decided to take the plunge. After all, what can go wrong? Right?

“My wardrobe is going Minimal, Baby!”, I proudly announced to my wife one Sunday morning. It took her about 30 minutes to realize that I was serious about this one.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” she asked nervously. “You know you have some very nice clothes in there”.

“I’m sure” I replied with a quiet confidence.

Unfortunately, that’s where the easy part ended. After emptying out my entire closet and dumping everything on the bed, I stared at disbelief at just how much stuff I had! Nice stuff, mind you… but a lot of it. A lot!

I pulled out the index card I had prepared with much enthusiasm. It had on it the list of things that would be in my “new” wardrobe. For a few minutes, all I did was look at the list and then stare at disbelief at the mountain on clothes in front of me. How the heck am I going to choose?

My List:

  • T-Shirts – 5 (I had 68) This includes workout gear
  • Jeans – 3 (I had 22)
  • Shirts – 3 (I had 27)
  • Trousers – 3 (I had 14)
  • Hoodies – 1 (I had 6)
  • Jackets – 2 (I had 8)
  • Ties – 5 (I had 46)
  • Sneakers – 2 (I had 7)
  • Underwear and socks – Not even going there!

You can now see why my circuits were overloading…

Not going to bore you with the details, but long story short, I did it. And yes, there was screaming involved – “Yaaaaaa! I can’t give this up!!!!!”. I kept muttering to myself “Why the F**k did I think this was a good idea?”

Once done, all the old clothes and shoes went into suitcases & garbage bags and were packed off to the basement. The select few that made the cut were lovingly put back into the closet.

I stepped back and looked at my new wardrobe. This is where it gets weird. I was anticipating a sense of deprivation… A sense of losing something. Instead, this feeling of calm swept over me. I can’t explain why. It was a like a load had been lifted from my shoulders. “Payoff #1” I thought to myself.

“What are you going to do with the 80% of the space you now have?” asked my wife.

“You take it.”

Squeals of delight followed as she rushed in to claim the space before i changed my mind on this minimalism thing. She was in a happy mood for days after. Payoff #2.

I swear to God, 10 minutes later, her clothes were all over the space where mine had been… and her closet still looked just as jam-packed as it was before! Unbelievable!

Frankly, I didn’t think this would last. But in the months that have gone by, I’ve become really comfortable with the new size of my wardrobe. It doesn’t bother me anymore. In fact, I’ve lost the desire to walk into shops at malls to see clothes because I know I can’t buy anything. I’ve saved a lot of money there. Payoff # 3.

But the biggest payoff has been the effect on my mind. I don’t like having too many choices. I don’t have to wrestle with the thought “What do I wear today? I think it’s allowed me to take one thing out of the daily equation of making choices. And the realization that I’m living a simpler life makes me happier… at least when it comes to clothing. Payoff #4.

It’s a small step. But I’m glad I took it. I hope to extend it as I go along.

Why don’t you give it a shot. What do you have to lose? Letting go can be a good thing.

The Warrior


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