I am starting to question just how minimalist I actually am, or indeed wish to be. I certainly don’t subscribe to the ‘only own what I can carry’ philosophy that some aspire to and after reading a couple of tweets from people smugly calling all those heading for the sales sheeple who are falling for the lies of capitalism, and, of course that classic “it’s not a bargain if you don’t need it” line which was casually scattered all over my feed, I am beginning to feel less like a minimalist than ever before.
While I did agree, and even liked and retweeted some of the sentiments, I was a bit concerned at the scorn being poured over those that chose to go out and shop during the sales. So this is my confession. I went to the sales on Boxing Day – I even bought a dress I totally didn’t need from Monsoon – because I liked it and I fancied a bit of something in my wardrobe that wasn’t a hand-me down, from a charity shop, or older than all of my children… and it had pockets!
I hadn’t actually planned on going out to shop, but Harri had to return a few items, and I thought it would be a great opportunity to have a Mother/Daughter bonding trip and it would also afford me the opportunity to pick up a present for my Mum, who has a birthday that is inconveniently close to Christmas. A few hours later I became the proud owner of a fluffy big blue cardigan, a long sleeve peach top, the softest grey tee-shirt I have ever owned and a new dress. I even managed to get a few presents for other upcoming birthdays and next Christmas that I have put away.
There are a number of articles to be found online that now decry the concept of having less that cite that purging your belongings is short-sighted in the long term as it does not take into account the memories and emotional attachments we have with the things we own. This is perhaps why I subscribe to Marie Kondo’s “Spark Joy” concept – it is individual and takes into account that you may want to keep things purely because they make you happy despite not necessarily being attractive or having any discernible practical use
What you choose to possess is personal to you and while suggestions and tips abound on the internet, no-one should be subscribing numbers as to how many shoes you own, what the right amount of handbags is, or telling what you should not buy. Minimalism is a personal journey; you know when you have enough and when you feel like blowing £25 of your Christmas money on a new dress.