Minimalism Series: Creating Calm
by Ari Takata-Vasquez
This blog entry is part of a minimalism series. It has tips for creating a more simple life and finding ways to exercise minimalism in your everyday. Read the next installation of the series, What's a capsule collection
I’m a huge fan of minimalism for a number of reasons, but the biggest benefit I see from living a minimalist lifestyle is the sense of calm it can create in stressful times. I know I’m not alone when I say I’m feeling more stressed lately— a survey done by the American Psychiatric Association shows Americans are seeing a rise in their stress levels following the 2016 election. Now regardless of where you stand politically, it’s important to find ways to deal with stress and to simplify your life when things get noisy.
My favorite area of minimalism is in my wardrobe. By building a well-curated wardrobe, I’m able to save my mental energy for other things. I’m not a morning person by any means, so the last thing I want to start my morning with is stress about what to wear. By building a capsule collection, I have a much smaller wardrobe (not to mention, less decisions fatigue) and everything in my closet works together. I don’t have to start my day feeling frazzled; instead I can start my day knowing I look put-together with minimal (pun intended) effort. By contrast, if you’ve ever bought pants in a ‘fun’ pattern or color, you know the struggle of trying to find something that matches and how stressful that can be when you’re already running late.
When there’s less noise, less in the way, you can have more intentionality in your life. When you own less, you can be deliberate in what you buy and where you buy it from. If #deleteUber taught us anything, it’s that consumers are becoming more aware of their political agency via their buying power. I’ve been working toward my ideal of minimalism for the last four or five years and looking back at how I used to buy it lacked a lot of thought. I didn’t fully consider the impact of shopping locally or buying American-made. I didn’t connect those dots. Today, it’s become a core tenant of what we do at Viscera, and why I’m so passionate about helping you build a wardrobe you love. Buying American-made, buying local, and buying intentionally matters. Our time is so valuable, why spend it buying the same low-quality items over and over again? Instead, you could fill your closet with quality pieces you’ll love for years to come.
Now, you might be saying, ‘Ari this all sounds good, but where do I start?’. Well, you’re already heading down the right path if you’re reading this—you’re choosing to support a local small business and you’re interested in making your life more simple. Here’s a quick start guide for minimizing your closet. This is really great to do before you move, before packing for a trip, or just feeling like your closet is feeling stale.
- Low Hanging Fruit: Look at your closet and take out anything you hate or have never worn. You know you don’t like it, you’re not even sure why it’s there in the first place, right? Let it move on to an owner who can cherish it— really, just donate it. Rarely have I ever regretted getting rid of something, if anything I wonder why I didn’t do it sooner. On the other end of the spectrum, there are the things you absolutely know you don’t want to part with and are a key part of your look. Keep these in your closet as a part of your ‘core-collection’.
- Well Loved Pieces: We all have those much-loved items that have seen much better days. Your favorite dress has a couple of holes that you need to strategically hide? Please, it served you well, let it go. Make a “replace” list and note which pieces you love but are beyond their useful years. Keep that replace list with you when you go shopping and give yourself permission to buy items on your replace list—but only if it’s just what you're looking for and it fits well.
- Try it on: Now this is the part that gets a little tricky. What about the pieces you like but you’re just not sure about? Get a brutally honest friend to come over and have a mini fashion show. Put on each piece in your closet and get an honest opinion of what works and what doesn’t. This part can be tough but in the end, you’ll be left with a closet filled with things you want to wear all the time.
Need a little more help? Sign up for a closet consultation and get one-on-one advice to help you minimize your wardrobe.