An Ode to Minimalism

Several months ago I read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and I’ve been obsessed ever since. If you haven’t read it, here’s the gist: Kondo is a professional tidier and consultant (talk about forging your own career path). She’s developed new methods to help people get rid of excess in their personal spaces, with the idea that, “…as you reduce your belongings through the process of tidying, you will come to a point where you suddenly know how much is just right for you.” (Kindle Edition, 90)

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Image via tidyingup.com

One snowy weekend last January, I purged the contents of my 500-square-foot home Kondo-style. In the end, I donated or disposed of 12 garbage bags full of clothes, books, kitchen items and more. How I fit all that shit into my tiny Brooklyn cave in the first place is a mystery, but I must say, my new minimalist living situation has been a game changer.

I couldn’t help but compare Kondo’s philosophy to S.W.’s: “For us, less isn’t just more; less is everything. We’ve found that if we stick with only absolutely essential ingredients and don’t add a bunch of extra stuff, we don’t need to put a hundred things into our products. Using fewer ingredients means more potent skincare.” Kondo and S.W. should definitely have minimalist babies, right? We’re advocating the same lifestyle through different avenues.

When you bid farewell to those five different toners (that, let’s be honest, don’t really work) or those shoes that give you blisters, you make room for products that you’ll actually use. Why not find one toner made of ingredients that will actually improve your skin? Nudge, nudge, apple cider vinegar and witch hazel are really good for you. Or hey, why not throw out all your toners and swap in the organic apple cider vinegar you use for cooking?

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You can employ this less-is-more philosophy quite easily within all areas of your life, not just with cabinets and closets. Nutrition, exercise, and even relationships will all benefit from a solid cleanse. So whether you have a bathroom full of beauty products, a desk topped with gadgets or a bookshelf stacked with files, I encourage you take time to get rid of what doesn’t bring you joy or utility. Chances are that if the spaces you inhabit are equipped with less, you’ll be more productive, you’ll see a little clearer, and most importantly, you’ll feel a little lighter.

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