Minimalism first appeared in my life by accident. It was 2012 and my income was minuscule. I was working part-time at a parish outreach and part-time caring for two children. I had just lost over 100 lbs and could not afford a new wardrobe. Only a few pieces fit.
Most of the clothes in my closet were ten sizes too big. Why did I still have them?
Fear of what my closet would look like without them. Fear of lack. Fear of never being able to buy clothes again. Fear of economic insecurity.
With a deep breath, I began the task of ditching the clothes that no longer fit.
The task completed, my closet nearly bare.
I was absolutely frightened, for about five minutes.
This was my reality–I had few things and even less money. But I was free from the shackles of addiction, and free from the delusion of a packed closet. Today, I can still fit my entire wardrobe, including my winter coat, in the closet. I can afford to buy clothes as I want them, but I don’t want.
Easter is coming.
I needed a new white tee shirt for the outfit I’m wearing to Mass. A white tee is essential to my wardrobe because of it’s versatility. I can wear it to work or out to dinner.
I had one in my closet, but I hadn’t worn it months. I no longer loved it; yet it hung in my closet. Since I wasn’t wearing it, it became useless.
After some thought, I decided to purchase a new one and donate the old one. The old shirt served me well. It was part of the first Easter outfit I bought at my new size. Three years later I still wear the skirt and sweater. They fit fine and I still love them.
Keeping the old tee does not honor the shirt, nor the person who labored to make it. Donating it gives it new life and gives a poor person the dignity of buying something they need.
Minimalism gives us and others respect.