Essentialist - Living a Color-Filled Way with Less
January 17, 2022
There are Minimalists and there are Maximalists but then there are those who have reached and mastered a happy medium between both. The key is being very aware of your activities and lifestyle, what you have the space and time to maintain and ultimately knowing which colors works best for you and appeals to your senses.
ACTIVITIES AND LIFESTYLES:
There is not one person on this earth not impacted in some form or fashion by our Pandemic year, but one of my greatest lessons was learning that I could survive with a lot less. My overall activities and lifestyle simplified and what that meant is that my wardrobe and surroundings needed to be adjusted to those activities. While taking a Minimalist approach might include a set small number of items in your wardrobe and Maximalists approach often focuses on acquiring what they love, a happy medium involves considering and having only what I need, love and use. No longer do I hold to things that I love when it no longer serves my current lifestyle or is not used for my activities, even when there is room. Case in point, I once loved and often wore suits to work almost daily. Since working from home for the last five years, suits are no longer required for daily appearances at the office and are used on rare occasions. In reassessing my activities and lifestyle, I made it my mission to donate most of my suits. What I’ve kept are suits in colors that still greatly appeal to me and that I am able to mix and match with other casual items to suit my current activities. Except for special and formal attire, my goal is to have most articles of clothing to be dual-purposed items. Intentional about having a simpler lifestyle.
SPACE AND TIME MAINTENANCE
Even when your space can accommodate a large number of items it is also important to set limits on what is reasonable to acquire and honor it. This involves establishing space limitations and making very intentional effort to honor those boundaries for certain items. While a minimalist would likely minimize most categories (clothing, accessories) and a maximalist would likely retain all they love even if excessive in every category, achieving that delicate balance for me involved minimizing clothing items so that I could enjoy more of one area I truly love—accessories! While this is still a Work In Progress, I am intentional of removing at least one item for any new items bought. I am also intentional about reducing and removing similar or duplicate items to make room to really enjoy items kept. It is not always about the space because we often have or can make more room for that which we want but it is about reducing time maintaining too many items. For this reason, I live with intent in reducing items so that I don’t have much to maintain. For example, at one time I found myself with five silver hoop earrings (some were gifts) but there were 2 pairs which I really love and found comfortable. Once the decision was made to have less, I was able to let go of the other three pairs no longer serving me. Ultimately the less you have, the less you have to maintain and you gain time for things of greater importance.
While minimalists doesn’t necessarily equate to a lack of color, minimalists often limit or lean more towards neutral palettes or a small set number of colors in their wardrobe for ease and simplicity. Maximalists not only collect more but are more apt to have a wider variety of colors infused that are truly representative and an extension of who they are. Somewhere in between, if you are able to identify colors that best represent you but still reduce excess then you’ve struck an ideal balance. This happy medium means I love and enjoy color in my life but limiting my wardrobe to my seasonal (winter) and few others colors I absolutely love, allows me to focus on items that works well together and helps in reducing items that don’t. As a Pro Organizer, we often encourage our clients to group like items and sort by like colors, this is a very easy way to identify multiple or similar items when attempting to reduce and live with less.
If being a Minimalist in every way is what most appeals to you—great! If a creative Maximalist cool too, but striking the balance between Minimalism and Maximalism is a true work of art. Ultimately it takes time to be keenly aware of not only where you are but where you desire to be. Minimalism allows one to spend less, provides less decision fatigue and creates more freedom for things that matter. When you make the time up front to reassess your current activities and desired lifestyle, assess your available space and time willing to invest in maintaining your possessions, you embrace and Essentialist lifestyle. Ultimately, living a balanced life with intention is my goal!