As the second post in my newly rebranded blog, I want to dive into a subject that I have been obsessing over since the start of 2020: How to become a minimalist woman.
Yes my friend, since I dove into the minimal lifestyle this year, I have been so much happier with my surroundings and with myself personally. It’s crazy the difference it makes to have a cutter-free surrounding and how much more efficient you become in life when you are minimal.
Granted, you don’t need to go to the extent of Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg that use the same white/black T shirt every day, but there are definitely ways to be more efficient when getting ready in the mornings (without abdicating being stylish, for that matter). From how I decorate my house to how I dress up (spoiler: I did an entire closet revamp), I am obsessing every day more with being more minimal, especially in my thirties.
If you’re curious to know why I believe that being a more minimalist woman is great, or what was the reason that made me opt for a more minimalist lifestyle, then keep on reading!
First things first, What is a minimalist lifestyle, per se?
For many minimalists, the philosophy that encompasses it revolves around getting rid of excess items and about living life based on experiences rather than worldly possessions.
(as a good example, my boyfriend is extremely minimal and he keeps gifting me with either travels or Michelin dinners, as opposed to jewelry or physical presents. He always says he’d rather give me experiences rather than physical objects. Now I understand why).
In short words, minimalist living forces you to remove all the clutter in your life which then, frees up more space for the things you love and since you’re no longer consumed by unnecessary items or tasks, you can live the life you want, being the perfect combo if you are a busy woman.
Furthermore, minimalist living doesn’t just include de-cluttering your home, it incorporates getting rid of the clutter in your finances, relationships, and mind.
Every day I am more and more a firm believer that less is more. I can attest to that fact as a former shopaholic that not only is it easy, it’s also relieving and invigorating.
What made me decide to adopt a minimalist lifestyle? Nowadays I see myself having had two lives: life before minimalism and a second one for minimalism.
Seriously though, many factors contributed to my slow transition into minimalism:
1. My Boyfriend’s Influence
My boyfriend is a proud Italian from Rome. If there is anything that you should know about Italian fashion and style is that, in general, Italians like clean cuts, neutral colors and, most importantly, good fabric.
On the other hand, as a Brazilian myself, I was all about bright colors, fun patterns, beautiful flowers, all that exciting stuff. I still love all those types of clothes, but I don’t buy them anymore because 1) they are not minimal, 2) this means that my drawers and closest were always crammed, which brings me to my next point:
2. Washing Clothes
Lord oh Lord, laundry and folding clothes felt like climbing Mount Everest. It was a weekly mission! Landry day was the saddest day ever because the pile of clothes would start adding up and that would give me a slight panic attack. Now, it is so easy and simple!
PS – If by now you are thinking that dressing minimalist equals dressing up in a boring style because you have fewer clothes, you couldn’t be more wrong.
Ah yes, and this takes me to my next point:
3. No family in Europe
Before I opted towards a reduced material life, I can’t tell you how crammed with clothes I was. My coat hanger was barely holding any other coats. My shoe collecting was seemingly made for a human centipede. I had skirts, dresses, shirts, pants in all colors and patterns imaginable.
Life was fun, but life was cluttered.
If you add to that point that I am Brazilian and I don’t have a family (i.e. a fixed house) in Europe, you can imagine that every time I’ve switched countries it was a nightmare.
Honestly, girl, it’s crazy.
Add the fact that I lived in a total of 6 different countries so far, you can imagine that things add up. From my snow clothes and boots from the time I have lived in Switzerland, to all my souvenirs from the period I worked in Thailand, it seems that every time I switch countries, I need to switch closet.
And that is FAR from ideal.
The fact that I don’t have family in Europe as a base to deposit all my junk makes it extra complicated. This means that when I moved from Switzerland to Spain I knew I wouldn’t need my heavy winter items, but considering I didn’t have anywhere to leave them, you can guess where they are: taking up extra space in my already-petite Spanish apartment.
After so many years living like this, I need to put a stop to this madness!
Now that you understand WHY I opted for a more minimal life, maybe you are also interested in a lighter life and want to know some tips on how to get started. Below, I have a quick beginner’s guide to minimalism for you to start de-cluttering TODAY:
9 WAYS TO BECOME A MINIMALIST WOMAN
The art of minimalism is being able to create a capsule closet which, by definition, is a collection of a few essential items of clothing that do not go out of fashion, such as skirts, trousers, and coats, which can then be augmented with seasonal pieces. You rotate these pieces in a way where they look like a new outfit every time. It is a lot of fun!
1. Haven’t used it in one year? Toss it!
The best way to start de-cluttering is by doing an initial cleanse. I learned this from watching a Modern Family episode and it was my first real contact with how to de-clutter. Claire was going psycho with cleaning and she said to toss anything her kids haven’t used in a year.
When I was moving in with Cris I put this into practice. It felt so liberating to get rid of some things that I had never used but which I was still clinging to.
Action Item: If you haven’t used an item in over a year, then it’s probably just taking up extra space. Take a deep breath and throw it out!
2. Get rid of any duplicate items.
Ok, this is also something that I have recently started consciously following. Before, whenever I liked an outfit, I would buy it in all other colors in which they would be available.
Do you see how crazy this is?
Think about it: How many pairs of basic jeans do you really need? Do you really wear all those three colors of the same skirt? Why do you keep your scratched sunglasses inside the drawer? Etc.
Action item: Take notice of items in your home that you own more than one of, and evaluate its necessity. What is important is for you to be open to getting rid of duplicates of things you do not use.
Be strong, girl, you can do this!
3. Put a stop to paperwork.
Most companies offer paperless billing now, and apart from the hard copies of important items like birth certificates, be mindful regarding when to stash and trash your papers.
Action Item: Think 5x before printing anything. Pay your bills online and throw away flyers and catalogs. Throw away those old receipts inside your wallet and purse.
Remember: Paper might be thin and almost weightless, but it quickly adds up and takes up space. Be aware of the paper you bring into your home and into your life.
4. Keep your home clutter-free.
I learned this from Cris, my boyfriend. He has OCD with cleaning and organization (we even joke that whenever he goes into a psycho-cleaning mode that he has contracted Cristitis).
Just so you have an idea of the level of crazy, every time we hire a cleaning lady to clean up, he still DEEP CLEANS the flat the moment she leaves.
While you don’t need to contract Crististis or be as extreme as Cris in order to be more minimalist, aim to adopt a method of cleaning that prevents the buildup of clutter in your house, and apply/maintain the clutter-free mentality in all rooms.
I found a great article on this topic, which teaches the 4-container method to conquer de-cluttering.
5. Simplify mealtime.
Yes, you can, and should, be more minimalist with your food and food storage. Be conscious not to over-buy food, and be sure to eat your perishables before they are ruined.
Immediately dispose of what has gone bad (time to throw away that suspicious-looking Tupper that has been sitting inside the fridge since Christmas). Lastly, make the most of the leftovers by utilizing them whenever you cook or eat next.
6. Pack lightly.
There are hundreds upon hundreds of reasons why you should aim to pack lightly whenever you travel. From not paying excess weight and not having to carry a heavy suitcase to remaining organized throughout your trip with your items and accessories.
Again, if you practice the capsule closet technique aforementioned, you can have a variety of different outfits, (even with a small suitcase).
7. Minimize your wardrobe.
Continuing my previous point, being a minimalist doesn’t mean lacking fashion or style, but stick to basic colors and pieces that will go with everything for a classic (and easy) outfit. A minimalist look never goes out of style. It is timeless, elegant and chic by adopting the philosophy of ‘’less is more’’ and ‘’quality over quantity’’. Think neutral colors and a variety of (good quality) fabrics.
Embracing this type of wardrobe will make getting ready in the mornings efficient and help you maintain a clutter-free closet full of clothes you actually wear, not clothes you think you might wear one day and this is so liberating!!
I was just telling my friend that yesterday I had to quickly go to the supermarket and just wanted to put on something easy and comfortable to go down. I didn’t even think of what to put on, I just grabbed the first pants, shirt and shoes I saw, without thinking much of it (and half-expecting to look like a hobo. When I checked out my outfit, it looked extremely stylish. It was so effortless and easy.
I am looooooving wearing neutral colors with all my heart!!! And my Italian boyfriend certainly appreciates the efforts as well.
8. Embrace the “one in, one out” rule.
Simply put: If you get something new, something old has to go. This will help keep clutter and excess to a minimum and will encourage you to really evaluate what you need and ultimately what you don’t.
9. Unsubscribe from unnecessary mail lists
Lord o Lord, it feels good to open my inbox and not be welcomed with 20+ NEW unread emails on a daily basis. If you are like me, you’ve probably subscribed to hundreds of bloggers’ email lists and now they are competing in unison for your attention in your inbox.
Evaluate which ones are valuable to you, and which ones are just taking up space in your inbox. What are your priorities? Is there a particular blogger whom you never open their email? Are there online stores that bombard you for years on end?
Action item: From now on, vow to call and remove yourself from the mailing list each time you receive a piece of mail you don’t need or want.
RELATED POST: 6 TYPES OF MINIMALIST. WHICH ONE ARE YOU?
Life is better when we have a clean surrounding. And being minimalist is honestly addicting, I kid you not!!! Give it a go, but don’t overwhelm. The whole reason we are doing this is to have a lighter, more relaxed life and surroundings.
Take it one day at a time and you will soon see that you will be obsessing trying to get rid of unnecessary things. All you need to do is be more conscious about it and practice it daily.