Minimalism for Most of Us

The Financial Diet post a blog about trying minimalism without getting rid of everything. I really liked it because it highlights key points of minimalism but reframes them for most people.

A great point the author made is that minimalism offers a lot of ‘one size fits all’ recommendations. But with so many different people in the world, with different needs, the same things can’t work for everyone.

My friend had/has acne from hell including pitting. She needs major face coverage to feel comfortable being out in the world every day. She keeps her eyes and lips simple. I own a fraction of the face products she has because I don’t need them and routinely sweat them off. However, I love bold eye shadows and lipsticks. Our versions of minimizing our makeup would look totally different.

Know what you like and what you need. I don’t need the white button down every capsule wardrobe blogger says you do. You may not need the comfy sneakers or little black dress. Figure out what applies to you and if you like the overall message. Customize a ‘one size fits all’ message and tailor it for your life.

“I think it is important to just make sure you have a place for all of your stuff”
Yaaass! I have a bunch of plushies that I don’t like having out in the open. I was brainstorming ideas for how to put them away. We figured out that a hollow bench I liked might not work with the furniture we have now. Instead, we’ll move a bookshelf and get me a proper nightstand. The plushies will go in a basket on the bookshelf. We’ll create a place for the stuff we have and not have to get rid of anything.

Other times you must get rid of your bridesmaid/prom dress to make room for a good winter coat. Or avoid bringing anything in if you can say exactly where you’d put it. Part of taking care of your things is to have a place to put them.

Get rid of trash is a very crucial point so many people forget. I have a couple of boxes of loose junk, old mail, etc. that I need to go through. I just got rid of some shopping bags out of the bedroom and it feels like our floor space increased dramatically. Our countertops are a disaster but it’s mostly junk mail. Before you decide to gut your closet again, see if you just don’t need to get rid of actual rubbish.

I will second the author on “you’re not going to find God because you cleaned your closet” if you’re a normal person. However, living in a tidy space and buying intentionally can improve your quality of life. It can make you more aware of what you really want for your home, your money, and even your life. You need to do some introspection to have lasting change to stop impulse shopping or ignoring the pile of junk even though it’s bringing you stress.

I don’t think I’ll ever be a true minimalist like the folks who make a living off of it but I aspire to minimize and declutter my life. The folks who have gone to the extreme have valuable knowledge and insight on how to declutter your life. Even if you don’t go whole hog, you should still see how you can apply certain pieces to your life.

It’s Getting Hot in Here

Today, it is 95 degrees Fahrenheit and feels like 97. Tomorrow the high is 96 and will feel like 100. The humidity is only at around 40% but there’s still an air quality advisory. Tomorrow should be more humid until the inevitable thunderstorm. My friend and I were whinging about the weather.

Pal: And the mofos that are our congressmen get to go home for the summer. Luck bastards.

Me: TBF, some of them are going back to places that are even hotter than here. And no, I don’t mean hell.

Pal: Darn.

Closet Declutter

Despite trying the KonMari method, I seem to work best when I mull over what I really need in my life. Since there’s a major change on the horizon, I won’t need as many office clothes as before.

Skirts – I don’t have many skirts by American standards. An asymmetric black mini skirt (with pockets), a reversible purple and orange silk skirt, a hi-lo skirt with classic movie monsters, and I’m waiting on a gorgeous rainbow cloud skirt from Elhoffer Designs. I’m waiting on a red skirt from Gaia Conceptions for my Velma costume.

I had two knee length full skirts from ModCloth, a navy one with pastel sharks and a blue one with a bright octopus. I love the shark skirt because sharks are one of my favorite animals. The octopus skirt has a big waist that my chubby belly likes to squish down. I realized that I will never wear them to go out and be social and if I’m leaving my office life behind, there is no reason to keep them. I listed them on Poshmark and they sold in about 2 hours.

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Camis – I have a lot of tanks from Jordan Dene and sleeveless rayon tops. One of the main reasons I wore camis was because they worked so well with all of my skirts. All of them also show a sliver of bra in the back so I’m getting rid of all of my camis except my black one.

Leggings – I don’t need to look office appropriate as much so I’m gravitation more toward my bold leggings. This means that I can phase out at least one pair of my plain colored leggings.

Cardigans – I know I’m not going to wear a lot of my cardigans to hang out or go out so I can narrow this down by quite a bit. Some of the snaps on by Eddie Bauer 7 Ways cardigan don’t hold well and I’m accepting I’m probably more Slytherin than Gryffindor. I also got a cute black and white cardigan from ModCloth hoping it would be a great basic and I just don’t love it.

I like my 4th Doctor cardigan but I don’t wear it very much so I’m on the fence about it. I have a purple bolero sweater with half sleeves I’m also on the fence about. I’d use it with anything with thin straps for the office but I also have it in cream. I’m not sure if I still have a use for it but I’m not sure if I should get rid of it yet.

Tops – I have a plain tank top from ModCloth and I reach for one of my graphic tanks every time so it doesn’t make sense to keep it.

Unfortunately, selling these clothes is more of an exercise in minimizing and contrbuting to my side hustle since I had to replace a part on my car that the mechanic called “the most expensive part to replace.” I got this news just after I found out a doggy daycare near me might be hiring. Looks like I’ll have to put off my career change for a little while longer.

 

Summer Fast Fashion Fast

I’m participating in Verena Erin’s Fast Fashion Summer Fast. I’m a fan of her videos and when I saw this one. It’s a challenge to not buy Fast Fashion for June, July, and August. She’s created a Facebook group for people to share their experiences, reasons for joining, thoughts, etc.

My summer wardrobe should be complete as it is. I can see a few things I might want to get so if I stumble and buy any fast fashion, I must donate the amount spent to a charity devoted to either raising awareness or garment worker’s rights.

You also sign up for emails which should only be coming out about weekly. Here are the highlights from the first email.
Activity 1: Start by thinking about what made you want to take part in this challenge and what you’re hoping to get out of it. Complete the sentence:

I want to stop buying fast-fashion because it’s bad for the planet, it’s a worker’s/human right’s issue, and I spend way too much money on clothes. Being fat, my options are limited but I’m actively trying to be better about where I buy from. This will discourage me from shopping too much in general but also remind me to buy better.
Activity 2: For the next 2 weeks think about why you shop and see if you can identify any triggers that make you want to buy something or go shopping, for example seeing advertisements, youtube videos, influence from friends, emotional experiences, your current wardrobe, events, etc. Knowing what typically makes you want to buy something new will help with any habits you might want to change.

My job is very unstimulating and unfulfilling. Sometimes I’ll browse what’s out there just for something to do. Occasionally it will be because I think a piece will work but ultimately doesn’t. On more than a few occasions I’ve tried things that embody the minimalist style I see on YouTube and admire but those usually fail.

Some of it is impulse purchases because it’s pretty or it’s part of a fandom I like. I’ve gotten better about pinning things and coming back to it later. I hope to continue that trend.
Activity 3: Make a list of things you can do instead of shopping either alone or with friends/family.

-Catch up on current events
-Watch cute animal videos on the internet
-Walk around outside
-Put your bare feet in a fountain
-Read a book
-Read an article
-Do that chore you’ve been putting off. You know the one.
-Play a word game in your head
-Listen to a podcast
-Listen to music you have listen to in a while
-Dance
-Play a board game

For an extra challenge, she recommends not buying any clothing in June. I’ve got a con coming up so while I’d like to see if I can pull that off, it’s probably not going to happen. I’m just going to try for a lot of low-no spends leading up to that.
Recommended Reading
I Quit Clothes Shopping for a Year

10 Ways to Stop Shopping

Fresh Out of Fox

In my biweekly meeting with my boss, I mentioned having to take my car in because the AC is acting up. She launched into a spiel about how I take too many telework days to handle personal errands like haircuts, doctor’s appointments, and car repair. She’s been a very lenient manager but it’s just happening too often. While my work hasn’t been impacted by this, I’m still not picking up my pace enough to meet deadlines imposed on projects before I got them.

Let me repeat some key parts here: My work hasn’t been impacted by those days. The project deadlines were imposed before I ever touched them.

She wants me to ‘have a good work/life balance’ but these deadlines are critical. Bitch, are you kidding me? I’m a temp and get no PTO. You couldn’t have fewer fucks to give about my life if you got paid for not caring. ($10 she still has no idea I’m getting married.) As a temp with no PTO or respect, these deadlines don’t need to matter to me.

I’ve finally had it. I only need this job for the money. While weddings are expensive, I can find coin somewhere else. It’s time to boost my side hustles.

Side Hustle #1: Poshmark
I was thinking about minimizing my closet even more. There are several items I don’t need or wear that much, as great as they are. It’s time to downsize even more and see if I can generate some income.

Side Hustle #2: Etsy
I’ve made chain maille jewelry for several years. I’ve fallen off with it in the last couple of years but now might be a good time to pick it back up.

Side Hustle #3: Writing Smut
I bought a guide to writing erotica for Amazon. I’ve bought cheap Kindle erotica and it had typos. If people who can’t even spell check can spit it out and generate any sort of income, so can I. If I can do some of it on my work computer out of pure spite, even better.

Side Hustle #4: Pet Sitting
I got to watch the lovely Milo for my downstairs neighbors again. When I went to take him for a walk, Milo’s neighbor recognized him but not me. We started chatting and she’d be interested in using my services for her Boston Terrier. I’ve already got a flat rate for 4 walks a day, more if your dog is very active.

New Main Hustle: Doggy Day Care
It’s big and scary but I reached out to the doggy day care in my area with an apprenticeship program for dog training. They may not have any openings, they may not be interested in having me work there, but by doing this, I’ve taken a huge step toward the next part of my life.

Insta Ads

Inspired by Safiya Nygaard’s latest haul, I decided to see what Instagram is trying to sell me. I mainly follow dogs, bookish accounts, and nature photographers (emphasis on underwater). I follow a couple of makeup accounts and nerd fashion designers. I post almost exclusively bookish photos with the odd selfie.

REI ENO hammock – I’m skipping Firefly this year. I have no practical purpose for a hammock otherwise. Big miss.

SunFrog Shirts – Decent size selection but very generic content. I’d go for Redbubble or Society6 in a heartbeat over this. Good effort but a miss.

Shut Up & Take My Money – A Chewbacca seatbelt cover. I post nothing about Star Wars and follow nothing about Star Wars but apparently I like enough geeky stuff that I am being urged to buy this. Another miss.

Third Eye Comics – Not sure if this is a fluke or not but I consider this place ‘my’ comic book store. I don’t follow them since I’m not especially into comics and only buy bind-ups. This one is a hit but I like this place before Insta got lucky. .75 instead of a full point.

Country Acres Resort and Rescue – A pet boarding and rescue place. It seems like a lovely facility. I’d enjoy working there if I wasn’t over 1,000 miles away on the east coast. That’s another miss.

That’s .75 out of 5. I kind of like having advertisers not be able to pin me down too easily. I like geeky stuff but I’m honestly not that into Star Wars. I’m being much choosier about what retailers get my money. The last 2 locations my account has are Washington, D.C. and New York City. I have less than no idea where they got the Missouri based pet resort.

Dogs Are Easier than Kids

Inspired by this fantastic bit from Steve Hofstetter. Hofstetter jokes about people rescuing dogs and not kids. Adoption is long, complicated and expensive and dogs are much less maintenance.

-You can leave a dog alone for 6-8 hours and nobody gets upset. You can leave a cat for literally days with adequate supplies and still not be in trouble.

-My dogs will never have to go to college, expect the latest iProduct, or be a target for annoying advertising.

-If I get sick or lose my job and can’t afford to care for another living thing, I can rehome a pet without the state getting involved.

-I will never feel obligated to give up my Saturday, spend too much money on equipment and enrollment fees, and then sit on a field to watch my dog chase a ball with other dogs in matching outfits. Bonus: No bat shit parents taking sports waaaaay to seriously.

-My dog will never come home from doggy day care and need me to help with math homework. I didn’t like trig the first time.

-Want to go on a vacation? There are a variety of professional services that will watch my dog at my home, their home, or a business. There are none of the above for children.

I want kids and I want dogs but I’ll readily admit one is easier than the other.