In early 2016, several months pregnant and as big as a house, I was overcome with the inexhaustible need to nest. To prepare a place for my little nugget. I looked at the 3 bedroom home that I shared with my partner and two dogs and panicked. We had NO space. The baby room was full of various unopened baby gifts and we hadn’t even added a crib to her room yet. I toyed with the idea of renting a storage space but it did not fit into my budget. I was flabbergasted that at 25 years of living, I had already amassed such a large amount of crap that I needed extra space to hide it away.
This was unacceptable to me.I decided that I needed to get organized. So like any good millennial, I took to google- specifically, YouTube where I discovered an entire movement dedicated to organization. I was HOOKED. I watched countless videos of women changing clutter-filled rooms into DIY heaven, Pinterest-worthy masterpieces. I knew I had found my people. I learned about the Life-changing magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo and applied its principles to some of my life. I threw out, sold and donated gobs and gobs of stuff. It felt great. For the first time, I felt in charge of my belongings. I said bye bye to gifts I had received (that were not my style) from well-meaning relatives and friends that I had kept out of obligation. All my mismatched socks and dresses that used to fit me kicked the bucket. I let my closet be a space that held things that I loved and brought me joy. So what if that meant I had only two pairs of socks?
Minimalism made me question my spending habits. It made me wonder where my money was going when I made a purchase.Before I swiped or hit buy, did I really need or love the item I was about to bring into my life? It reconnected me to my public library after I realized I never touched the books I had purchased after I was done with them. What a waste. It made me fall back in love with DIY’s and crafting. Enjoying the satisfaction of a job well done after creating something for my family.
A home is supposed to be your sanctuary, but for a long time, my home was a place that brought me anxiety and shame. I did not know what to do with my gobs of stuff. Minimalism helped me make my home a sanctuary that I loved being in.
Minimalism is not a strict set of rules that you can follow. It looks different for everyone. For me, it looks like the William Morris quote – “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” It is a journey. Since I’ve had my daughter, my closet has filled back up with clothes (most of which I do not wear…again, how wasteful) to accommodate my changing body and my kitchen is in need of a good spring cleaning from all the random mismatched lunchboxes and plates that my partner and I apparently attract like magnets. But, I can look around my house and tell a love story about almost everything there.
All this brings me to why I am blogging about this. In all my research and countless HOURS spent on the interwebs learning about organizing and minimalism, the number of POC I found who were having these conversations has been small. Like under 10 people small. My background in media and the fact that I am a black person makes me super passionate about the representation of POC in all avenues. This blog and information is for everyone but I do want people of color to know that there is someone like them out here engaging in this predominantly white space, and they can too. Everyone deserves freedom from stuff. To quote the minimalists, love people, use things.