“New Minimalism and the influence of consumerism on my daily life”:
This topic was something that has interested and influenced me for a long time now. And though I am not at an end yet, I wanted to tell you about my long journey and what I learned on my way!
In the past I had a lot of worries and problems I won’t discuss further in this blogpost. But let me say you this: Whenever I felt down, I treated myself and bought something. A jeans. A new book. The latest fashionable Dr. Martens. And for a short time it made me quiet happy. But not for long. The sadness always seeped in again and I couldn’t stop it. I’ve spent an unbelievable amount of money on shoes and clothes, make-up and books. My friends always told me I am the perfect boutique and Library for them. I only laughed about that – because I still thought, all this stuff could make me genuinely happy.
I was wrong. We don’t want to talk about depression or other mental illnesses here, because they are probably an excerption and I am no expert. I can only talk about me and my experience with the pressure of consumerism.
When I was in elementary and later in High School people would laugh about me. My clothes, my hobbies, my glasses and how shy I was. I often found fashion “cool” before someone else even detected it in the world around me (I just want to say two words to that: High Waist Jeans – from my classmates lovingly called “grandma pants” when I was 14) So I’ve never really fit in.
I was always the weird kid that read during lessons, loved art and poetry and had a racially mixed family. I was the blond Turkish girl that couldn’t speak her fathers language, but had to obey his strong rules nonetheless. So I tried to fit in. I’ve bought the others sweets, so they would become my friends. And later I’ve spent a lot of money for the right clothes, the right parties and the false people and it made me so unbelievable sad. But everyone said its right to spend money, to buy the expensive stuff, to try to be cool and fit in with the right products – right?
After I fell out of a horrible relationship it got worse. I bought new stuff daily – for just a few minutes of happiness. For just a few minutes of freedom. And the world around me made me believe that it is right to treat yourself. Let me tell you – there was no little piece of peace in me and that was not the cause of buying not enough stuff or not having enough money for these kind of things. It was just because my heart was broken and no stuff in the world could heal that. In the end my family and friends did that. I did that. Not the new leather jacket I bought.
Today I am not shy anymore. I don’t care anymore what these people now think about me. I am in love now – not only with someone else – but also with myself and the life I have. Finally I am happier now – not happy – but happier. And why is that?
I can’t really say. But when I moved out, all the stuff I had, overwhelmed me. I’ve put everything in boxes and carried it into the new flat and I was absolutely stunned how much damn stuff I had! Where should I put all of this “garbage”?
The Book (s) made me do it:
I had to make a change. Very soon. Because living between all this garbage with another person additional to that drove me crazy! And when the idea of minimalism set foot into my instagram feed I knew this was what I was looking for in real life too. Simple, clean aesthetics with only the things I love. I would lie if I would tell you I decided that all for myself. Or that I figured out alone what I am doing there. I was helpless. I knew that I needed a change – but I didn’t know what to do with that knowledge. Some other influencers and one special book my best friend gifted me for my birthday got the ball rolling. (My family still thinks I am gone insane – but I feel so much more free and weightless now)
@vonkopfbisfuss – she just has the right color palette for me, and the best tips for staying minimalistic as a blogger!
@jessiacerosewilliams – a minimalist feed with a lot of sustainability, minimalism and a super kind person behind the feed!
@prettylittlefawn – because even as a fashion blogger she knows that not all that shimmers is gold, and because she always gives away clothes before she buys new ones. Plus the aesthetic!
“Reduzieren und dabei einen Weg zu einem nachhaltigen, aufgeräumten und dennoch stylischen Leben und Wohnen finden – das ist das Ziel der beiden Minimalistinnen Cary Fortin und Kyle Quilici. Die beiden bieten über ihre Agentur „New Minimalism“ praktische Hilfe für alle, die sich schwer von Dingen trennen können, und haben daraus viel Erfahrung gesammelt.Sie gehen der Frage nach, warum wir eigentlich so viele Dinge anhäufen, und zeigen dann für unterschiedliche Besitzer-Persönlichkeiten, wie man mit viel Freude beim Umgestalten dauerhaft schön eingerichtete und beruhigend ordentliche Räume erhält, die überhaupt nicht karg wirken. Zum guten Gefühl trägt dabei auch bei, dass Überflüssiges nicht auf dem Müll entsorgt, sondern gespendet oder einer alternativen Verwendung zugeführt wird.” – (Amazon)
Another great book is the one Jana from @vonkopfbisfuss recommended me:
“Ein Minimalismus-Ratgeber im Magazin-Look: In über 200 Bildern stellt Lina Jachmann einen minimalistischen Lebensstil vor. Homestorys über die perfekte Ordung inspirieren zum Nachmachen, die Autorin blickt in einen aufgeräumten Kleiderschrank mit wenigen, unterschiedlich kombinierbaren Kleidungsstücken und zeigt, wie man überlegt einkauft und dabei seinem Stil treu bleibt. (…)” – (Amazon)
I also found these two English books that looked really great!
“The decluttering craze meets a passion for sustainable living and interior design in this gorgeous new book for readers of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. This book promises an opportunity for self-reflection and lasting change, by getting to the bottom of why we’ve accumulated too much stuff in the first place, therefore allowing us to transform our lives. Professional decluttering and design team Cary and Kyle of New Minimalism will take you through every step, from assessing your emotional relationship to your stuff to decluttering your home to then turning it into a beautifully designed space that feels clean and tidy without feeling sparse or prescriptive. And all of this without filling up a landfill–you’ll find resources and strategies to donate and reuse your stuff so you don’t have to feel guilty about getting rid of it!” – (BD)
“Fumio Sasaki is not an enlightened minimalism expert or organizing guru like Marie Kondo-he’s just a regular guy who was stressed out and constantly comparing himself to others, until one day he decided to change his life by saying goodbye to everything he didn’t absolutely need. The effects were remarkable: Sasaki gained true freedom, new focus, and a real sense of gratitude for everything around him. (…)” – (BD)
And then I decided I had to make a cut.
I can tell you without shame, that I am still not at an end, but I am on my way. I’ve cleaned out my closet. I’ve sold most of my shoes and went to the flee-market for all the stuff I hoarded over the last years. Given away fashion for charity AND gave some of it to my friends and family as a gift. It was insane how much stuff I had. Like around 30 jackets, 80 pairs of shoes, 20 jeans that don’t even fit anymore and around a zillion different eyeshadows and stuff. How would I ever use that all on my face? The only thing I didn’t clean out like a maniac were my bookshelves. They are currently too emotional for me and I’ll have to use some time to mock them out. (But I’ve already put some book son sale on my instagram account!)
I have to say my really really small kitchen in the new flat taught me, that I have enough even if it may not seem as much in the beginning. Who needs 40 mugs and about three coffee machines? No one! Who needs three winter coats and 30 scarfs? Certainly not me – because I always had my favorite things and the rest was for the moths’ to take.
And the pictures below you can see what I have given away – and how full my closet is still. But next weekend the last things will go and I will apply for the next flee market in spring to give the rest away! You can also text me or have a look on my eBay account if you want nearly new things for a cheap price 🙂
Now I only own “real” jewelry and heirlooms left, because I wear them more often. they don’t stain my fingers or ears and I can leave them on in the bathtub and everywhere else. Because Dr. Martens are my favorite shoes I will only keep them and some additional shoes and give everything else away. Same with the scarfs and pants (I don’t even like pants) and all the hair ties and make-up.
Now and the future:
Okay now let us look what this all made with my mind and how I decide now what to buy and what I really need in my life – or probably not.
I need the heirlooms and photography from my family to be happy. Definetly I need this cute bracelet with sea glass beads from the last surf holidays with my little sister. I need a pan to cook and the clothes for the office. What I don’t need are 100 candle jars for the aesthetic. I don’t need around 20 tea glasses or this dress I haven’t worn for ages, because I don’t fit in it anymore, but have so many good memories to connect with. The memories will still be there – even if the items are not.
I will look more for sustainability. I already use a bamboo toothbrush, only buy cruelty free make up and use eco wash powder. But I guess I can do more! I will only use one shampoo and lotion at the time. No more “but that smells so good I have to buy it”. No more “I’ve seen that shirt on a big instagram account – where can I get it”, because in the end the things I buy because of others, I won’t even use or need.
The next topic I will take a try on is to lessen my use of plastic in my daily life and search for recyclable products. I will only buy new clothes, when I give away another for it, or if something is damaged and I have to throw it away. Or if I think I really need it – like a warm winter coat that has no holes in it. I will only buy clothes I feel comfortable with, because that was another problem I had in my past. I am skinny but curvy and a lot of “the latest fashion” won’t fit me in any way – so why bother buying it and feeling super uncomfortable when going out in it?
Additional to that I will also try to not buy “convenience” products for the kitchen anymore because most stuff you can do by yourself. You don’t need this “macaroni and cheese all in one”-powder in your life 😀 Believe me. I know that sounds like a lot of plans, but most of it is quiet easy to accomplish. And just imagine what you could do with all the money you don’t spend on stuff you’ll never need. I will use my money more for making memories, not for pressing them into stuff and calling them the same.
In the end it is very important for me that you all know I don’t want to influence others to got this way, and I am not judging people who have a lot of stuff! Everyone is different, and everyone needs different things to be happy or feel free. I always dreamed of giving everything up touring with a VW bus through the world – so maybe thats just who I truly am. If you have lots of stuff and you are genuinely happy that’s great! If you treat yourself after a bad day – thats also great! Don’t let you tell from anyone else how you should be happy and how you should live your life. Live it like you want it!
I hope you liked that blogpost, even if it was long and raw and talked about a complicated topic.