Being the frugal gal that I am, I generally only purchase clothing for myself when it has already been deeply discounted. Like I mean, REAL deeply discounted. And I don’t tend to shop in expensive clothing stores to begin with (think GAP and American Apparel). Sometimes it’s hard to find the correct size when you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel, so in the past, I’ve purchased clothing items in sizes larger than I probably should have (you know, because they were such a great deal!). Well, I went into the Joe Fresh store on Granville St today and was surprised (albeit pleasantly) when the salesgirl there suggested I was a size medium. Really? I’d been buying larger sizes for years. So I tried on some shirts and realized that yes, I am in fact a medium. This was reinforced by the fact that when I put back on the size large shirt that I had left the house in, I looked like quite a frump. I realized then and there that I had been buying shirts in the past that were the wrong size, thinking I was getting a deal because the price was good. But what I was really short changing myself on was that regardless of what I paid for them, the shirts didn’t fit and they certainly didn’t look great on me. So, I did what any minimalist would do – I bought a couple of good quality shirts (yes, you can find nice clothes at Joe Fresh, believe it or not) in the correct size and promptly went home and decluttered a dozen shirts from my closet that are incorrectly sized. Those shirts may have lost their oomph over the last couple of years and they had become saggy, baggy, and otherwise unattractive on me. But I didn’t throw them out – I’ve recycled them to the thrift store and maybe they’ll find their way to a new home where they can get a little more love.
I’m starting this blog to capture my journey through mommyhood to two amazing little boys. We’re also trying to do things a little differently than most other families – we’re living a minimalist lifestyle, and we’re doing so for a number of reasons:
1. We love the minimalist aesthetic – not having any clutter around the house allows for a much more peaceful existence, especially with two small children underfoot. Less belongings to take care of means less housework and more time spent doing things we find enjoyable.
2. Minimalism is easy on the pocket-book – being frugal is really my husband’s forte, but I have learned that frugality and minimalism are mutually beneficial.
3. Minimalism is good for the environment – not only are we saving money by not buying things unnecessarily, but we’re saving the resources used to create and transport those same goods.
We’ve been living minimally since we started a huge declutter in the Fall of 2008. Living in a small condo with a toddler and a newborn baby made us realize that we had too little room, which was really a function of having too much stuff. Most of that stuff is gone now to other homes, but it took a lot of time and effort to get there. Life lesson: If you don’t accumulate a ton of junk, you won’t have to worry about eventually rehoming it when you don’t want it any longer. Or even better, you won’t have to worry about all the space your junk will take up in the landfill when no one wants it. I tend to devote a lot of time to reading other blogs related to the subject of minimalism, but wanted to have a space of my own to reflect on our personal journey. I am also hoping that documenting the process will keep me accountable to my goals and values.