The wildly popular website Zen Habits debuted in 2007. Miss Minimalist started blogging in 2009, and The Minimalists followed in 2010. There’s a subreddit each for minimalism, anti-consumption, and decluttering. There’s also one for tiny houses, and if you happen to downsize to the point that you can fit in 160 square feet or less, you can buy a mobile, pre-made tiny house – or build one yourself. Suffice it to say, there’s a growing American minimalist culture.
There are a lot of great reasons to go minimal: Donating your extra stuff to charity helps other people. Buying only what you need keeps your expenses low now and in the future. It’s good for the environment — downgrading from a car to a bike or public transit cuts CO2 emissions, and recycling or repurposing your possessions means one vote for less manufacturing. People who are anti-consumption downsize because they question a culture of consumption that values people by what they possess rather than who they are.
As an adult, I’ve spent a lot of time shopping for the latest fashion trends — but I could never truly keep up. More often, I found myself in the maddening cycle of buying cheap, clearance-rack, last-season cast-offs that were never designed for my body type, having them get misshapen from wear or laundering, and going back to the clearance rack for more. This year I finally got fed up. I wanted to stop the madness. To do that, I decided to step back from the endless cycle of fashion trends, and apply minimalism to my wardrobe. Keep reading »
Whether you grew up with a cool mom or not, chances are your mom’s got something vintage and amazing worth stealing in her closet. The nostalgic nature of fashion means that we’re always looking back, even as we’re looking forward — so if you keep stuff in your wardrobe long enough, eventually it’ll be cool again. Except electroclash. Let’s never collectively decide we should all wear neon again, mmkay?
It’s with that in mind, that we’ve decided to do a little closet raid. On our moms. We know she’s been keeping some cool stuff hostage back there, and that’s why we’ve created this handy guide for steal-worthy fashions from her glory days — and offering her something of yours in return. Keep reading »
You have too much stuff, girl. And worse than that, you don’t even know what you have. Figure that out, and declutter your life, by cleaning out and organizing your closet. Don’t worry! We’ll show you how!
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I have always been a hoarder at heart, prone to messiness and clutter. Remember on “Arrested Development” when Lucille Bluth is watching that news story about the mother who drove into a lake and she raises her martini glass and says, “Good for her”? That’s how I watch “Hoarders.” Some guy has collected thousands of Victorian hair wreaths? Good for him! Some lady hasn’t thrown out a Chinese takeout container in 50 years? More power to her!
When I moved in with my boyfriend I was forced to deal with my hoarding ways because they were threatening my relationship. I remember one night in particular when we were cleaning up the living room and I refused to throw away a little piece of torn cardboard. My boyfriend was sitting there saying, “Why do you need it?” and I was saying, “You know, for crafts?” and pretty soon he got annoyed and moved on to something else. I was curled up alone in a corner with my precious piece of trash feeling sort of victorious when I realized, dude, this isn’t normal. So I went to counseling and learned how to throw things away. Keep reading »
As it begins to slowly inch from winter to spring, we’ve begun to reexamine our wardrobes, pulling out some of the light coats and spring dresses that have been shoved in the back for so long. The savviest fashionistas among us have a dedicated plan for switching from winter to spring. One thing I like to do — I do an end-of-season boot/shoe examination. Any shoes with busted soles or worn-down heels get taken to the cobbler ASAP. That’s because there’s nothing worse than waiting until the first cold day of fall to realize all of your boots have busted heels.
So tell us: how do you make the transition? What are your seasonal switch tips? Keep reading »