5 easy ways to practice minimalism + SOLOSOCKS

In the words of the great Tyler Durden:  “You buy furniture. You tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life.  Buy the sofa, then for a couple years you're satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you've got your sofa issue handled.  Then the right set of dishes.  Then the perfect bed.  The drapes.  The rug.  Then you're trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you.” 

Although I'm always in search of that perfect sofa and do on occasion purchase a set of dishes that I simply must have.  For the past 3 years, I've also been religiously practicing minimalism and it has changed me for the better.  Holding onto things is usually an emotional attachment, and I believe that actively practicing that art of letting go is a kind of mental health necessity.  Just ask any hoarder how much anxiety their stuff gives them, and how much more anxiety the thought of losing their stuff gives them. 

I think the more we practice letting go, the stronger we become.  True, things are nice, and it's quite nice to have nice things, but purging, is not only nice, it’s actually quite glorious.  

We must tirelessly tend to the things we own, give them love, provide them with space and allow them to be an extension of us.  Just where do I end and where does my lipstick begin?  How about my watch?  Is my wrist truly the same without it?  Do I suddenly not know what time it is in the absence of this bauble?  I don't dare ponder such things, for a part of me does not want to know just how much of "me" is weaved into the fabric of my possessions.

Minimalism is not for the faint of heart, but here are some easy ways to give it a try if you've been thinking about dipping a toe in the minimal pool.

#1 The 20/20 Rule
You know that old (likely expired) bottle of sunscreen from a couple of summers ago that you still keep in your bathroom?  The same one that's collecting dust day after day but you can't get rid of it because you "might need it"?  If it's not sunscreen, I assure you it's another culprit.  And as it turns out, you have a lot of these types of items, purchased once for a specific occasion, gathering dust and taking up space in your home and perhaps even occupying the real estate of your mind.  This is where the 20/20 rule comes in, coined by my favorite duo, The Minimalists, who taught me that if I can get this item for less then $20, and in under 20 minutes, I'm permitted to let it go.

#2 What Goes In, Must Come Out - (carpe diem)
Ever have a moment where you unexpectedly have to give someone a ride and let them into your private lair?  Do the words "please excuse the mess," escape your lips as you try to explain away the condition of your car?  Is that a half full water bottle in the back seat?  A gum wrapper in one cup holder, and your 2 day old latte in the other?  If you apply the "what goes in must come out” rule, your car will literally always be void of litter.  Meaning, if you bring anything in, when you exit, it's coming out with you, and making a beeline to the nearest trashcan.

#3 One of These is Just Like the Other
Do you have 3 pairs of identical white shoes?  But why?  Because they're all slightly different?  Do you favor one over the rest?  If so, keep the one and give away the rest.  Do you really need 3 pair?  How bout 2 different measuring cups?  There's the one you bought when you first moved out on your own and the fancy one you got from your wedding registry.  Do you need both?  Oh but somehow they both have sentimental meaning?  Let one go, it wont hurt that much, I promise.  Make room in your kitchen, shoe closet and in your life.

#4 Hanger Flip
My mother used to say, "a true lady has a closet full of clothes and never has anything to wear."  And boy was I a "true lady" once.  But things are different now, because I have a small closet full of things I actually want to wear and never hold onto anything I'm not in complete love with.  To help you with this, you can employ a tried and true technique of hanging all the hangers in the reverse direction.  Once you wear an item, hang it back the right way, and after a few months, if you still have reverse hangers then you can confidently let those pieces go because as you can see, you really don't wear them.

#5 To-Go Box
The fact is, stuff accumulates at astronomical speed, and sometimes we don't even know how it all came about.  I've made it a habit to regularly inventory all rooms of the house, making sure everything is either serving a purpose, or is an item that is loved.  Basically, if I don't love it and I don't need it, then I don't keep it.  So I always keep a box or a bag hidden somewhere and continuously fill it with things.  Once the bag/box is full, I donate it to a local charity and start the process all over again.

Homework:  Get rid of 5 things this week, or don't, just do whatever feels good.  If hoarding gives you the warm and fuzzies, by all means, hoard to your heart's content and be a happy person.  Can you at least try being a sock minimalist?

I'm excited to introduce you to SOLOSOCKS. Each fashionable package contains 7×1 colorful single socks – not pairs.  All socks are different but designed to match each other.  You don’t need to pair your socks anymore, and you won’t have to throw out a pair when one is damaged or eaten by the dryer.

If you've managed to read this long rant, here is your prize!  You can get 15% your SOLOSOCKS purchase courtesies of yours truly.  Just use DOODLES15 at check out and get your solo on, because pairing up is so 2008.

With Love,