Embracing Minimalism: Quality over Quantity
It probably seems counter-intuitive for me to write about minimalism given that I sell stuff, but it’s actually the whole point. At Shabby, we do sell stuff, but we’ve made it our aim to sell good stuff. Quality stuff. Here’s a little about my personal journey of embracing minimalism and how Shabby is a part of that.
From Kon Mari to Minimalism
It all started with Kon Mari: The Japanese Art of Decluttering, which basically requires you to only have items that bring you joy. The idea is that you hold each object and ask yourself, “does this bring me joy?”. I found Marie Kondo’s brutal methods of decluttering to be extremely satisfying and what she prescribed as taking 6 months to declutter took me less than a month because the entire process brought joy. I loved throwing stuff away! It made me giddy to fill garbage bag after garbage bag full of stuff that didn’t bring me joy and remove it from my house.
Kon Mari also got my entire home organized. After the process of decluttering, all flashlights, paper clips, pens and socks were now accounted for. Every item had it’s organized home. With three kids, Kon Mari made clean up a breeze. I didn’t mind them tearing up the playroom because I knew cleaning the whole thing would take less than 20 minutes to clean up (and the kids could do it themselves!) because every toy had a home. I didn’t mind hosting parties because I knew I could be back to zero (clean house, everything put away) in an hour. In short, Kon Mari really did change my life and I told everyone I could about it. I even wrote a 5 part series for my personal blog about it.
However, in spite of all the positive changes Kon Mari brought into my life, I still found myself overwhelmed by the sheer volume of my possessions. I would still come home and feel stress instead of relief. I would still feel like there were so many possessions that needed to be tended to: shoes to be put away, kitchen items to shove further into a drawer so I could put the tools I used away, books to be dusted and on and on. The weight of my items was still a burden to me even though I had gotten rid of so many items….
Enter Embracing Minimalism. Minimalism is not a new concept, but it is gaining ground pretty quick here in America because we collectively realizing we have too.much.stuff.
For me it started when I watched the documentary Minimalism on Netflix about about 6 months ago. I looked around and realized that one of the sources of my anxiety and stress was my stuff. And once again, the discriminate dismissing of objects began. This time it took the form of asking the question, “what do I really need?”. I found that I didn’t even need all the things that sparked joy. I found that the best kitchen tools I own are the ones I use! I eliminated based on an 80/20 rule- if I don’t use it 80% of the time, it had to go. Gone is the lemon zester, gone is the second (and third) slotted spoon (I’m a mom, not a freaking caterer!), gone are the specialty racks that I don’t use for my roaster. Gone. Gone. Gone. And damn did it feel good!
As I minimized, I looked around and saw white space. And I found out I loved it. Yes, I LOVE color, but I love clarity, too and with less stuff, I found that things became clearer. I found I had more time. I found I had more energy. I found I had more of myself left for what mattered (it’s people, in case you are wondering).
It’s been a few months now since I began embracing minimalism and I can say that I don’t miss anything I got rid of. There are one or two things I pitched that I didn’t realize how often I used them, but really, nothing is gone that I need. A ‘rule’ I found that was helpful as I minimized was that if something could be replaced in less than 20 minutes or for less than $20 it was safe to get rid of. So, that one spatula we actually loved that I accidentally tossed- first of all, we’re surviving without it! Second of all, it can be replaced!
One of the things about minimalism that I like is that it encourages community. Don’t have a maternity dress- borrow one. Need a coffee pot for guests? Borrow one! I don’t need to own everything I will ever need in my whole entire life. I can borrow, I can rent, I can do without (guess what? You can zest lemons with a box grater!), or if worse comes to worse I can buy it again!
Quality over Quantity
One of the hallmarks of minimalism is that chosing quality over quantity. Instead of owning a dozen tee shirts, I own 4 and they are good quality. Instead of having 49 pots and pans, I have 6 that I love and use. You can read all about this online. There are a million articles about minimalism. I’ve attached a link to our Pinterest board that is all about minimalism, but let me tie it all together for you about why I am writing about it on this blog.
It’s called a Capsule Wardrobe and the basic idea is that instead of having a closet overflowing with stuff, you have a closet with clothes that you love and wear. A closet that has ONLY what you love and wear- essentials. These essentials are tailored to your lifestyle, but basically, you have fewer articles of clothing, but they are all of excellent quality and you love them.
Enter Shabby. At Shabby, we sell quality goods. We sell unique apparel and accessories that you can’t buy at the mall. We guarantee everything we sell so we don’t buy junk to resell to you. We find things we LOVE, that we would use in our own homes or wear ourselves and we present them to you. We are sharing our love for alpaca with you- our customers. We’re forming a community, building a brand around things we love that we think you’ll love too. I have many items from Shabby in my capsule wardrobe. A Weekender, this sweater, SOCKS, and of course, a couple blankets.
Let’s talk about these beautiful bags. These bags are not cheap. BUT, they are a lifetime purchase. They are a bag that if you love, you should splurge on it- get rid of every other weekend bag you have– and keep only this one! We know it’s quality made. We know it will last you as long as you plan to keep it, so we’ve brought it to you. It’s a capsule item. And if you don’t think I have one- you’re crazy! I do and it’s the only weekend bag I own.
So there you have it. I am embracing minimalism and as a vendor and a small business owner it still all works. It comes together in a really beautiful way. I own less things, but the things I own I love, I use and I believe in purchasing quality items. And that overflows to you- our community, our friends and our fellow alpaca and soft goods enthusiasts. Embracing Minimalism. Is it something you’ve considered?