Less is More, Less is More...Less is...
Packing up my things has become a bit of a game; I enjoy it, how it allows me to sift through every external possession I hold onto in the act of riding my life of the unecessaries. Plus, it's like getting to do a life-sized puzzle trying to organize and fit everything into my car again. My coworker who had seen my car packed up said to me, "you didn't even look stuffed!" and it's because I downsized so much in order to live in my car.
As much as I was finding pride in my minimalism, after unpacking my car into what will be my room for the next year (at least), I was reminded very quickly of all the things that I didn't have anymore. I've been kicking myself for parting with my plants and my bedding, for giving up my crock pot and favorite dishes, for getting rid of my string lights that I have literally always had as part of my bedroom set up. UGH, DANG IT. The frustration in having no money and still always needing something like food or shampoo but also needing pillows.
The thing about minimalism, at least for folks like myself, is that it sometimes robs us of the simple comfort factor. Do I regret minimizing as much as I did? No, ultimately I cannot regret it, because for a while when home was the trunk of my car, I loved it. I fell in love with that freedom and I have come to understand that with my change in lifestyle, the minimalist bar that I've set for myself is feeling the heat: I'm uncomfortable with less. I have been cycling through the same four t-shirts and three cardigans hoping that the other people I work with don't pick up on the fact that I wear the same things over and over again. At first it was easy to embrace but as a female, at least from my perspective working with other females, I am very aware of my simplicity. I even started to wear makeup again.
I guess my piece of advice would be to hang on to things through a few cycles; if you can look at something and begin to think about getting rid of it, keep it until you are filled with that same thought again. I would say to repeat that process until you absolutely know that you will not a) need it again b) need to replace it in the future. It was the one phrase that everyone kept telling me, "you can always buy a new one" and as true as that is...it traps you if you aren't prepared to replace such items when needed.
"Learn to live without it" is the second piece of advice that I have received and also given but I return to what makes a person feel comfortable. Being comfortable in your place of dwelling is important, as important as practicing self care; you don't want to be unhappy in one of the only places that you are due to find peace. When thinking about my room, sure I can live without my little "fairy lights" and it will probably remain at the bottom of the list for a while of "what do I need" but damn, if those little lights aren't part of well being. I love natural light but when the natural light is gone, having nice lighting makes the whole room feel like a giant hug. So basically, to me, it's important but it's not a necessity (which can suck from the First World Mentality).
Personally, what I have taken away from the entire experience has been to spend more time really thinking about the significance of an item in my life so that I do not end up back in this position of, "if I had only kept that...". If you want to enjoy your minimalizing, I think that it's okay to overthink your connection with your belongings/