Embracing Minimalism

Create a more intentional life starting with your physical space.
By Kyira Wackett | Photographed by Sunny Frantz

Think about the “why” and “how” behind consumption.

Did you know it takes 1,800 gallons of water to process one pair of jeans? One pair. That’s it! And if you are anything like me, you definitely have more than one pair of jeans in your closet right now. Add that up and I am spending tens of thousands of gallons of water on jeans I may not even wear more than a few times a year. For me, a lot of this got mixed up in the “should” I carried with me about having different pants to wear all of the time and to be on the upper end of design and fashion trends. But to what end? How does this serve me and our world? It doesn’t and, in reality, I guarantee no one can even tell or care if I were to wear the same jeans every day in one week.

Go digital and get rid of legacy belongings.

I am damn proud of spelling bee trophies and forensics medals from my childhood – I busted my ass to get those. But am I going to display these trophies in a case in my house? No. In fact, they sat in a box and were shuffled from home to home going into storage bins, basements or the back of a closet. So while seeing them brings me a sense of pride, the pride comes more from the memory evoked by them rather than the item itself. So rather than keep shuffling the box from house to house, I took pictures of each of the trophies and saved them in an Evernote notebook marked “Keepsakes” with an added #trophy tag, I can search and see them any time I want (and with the bonus of not having to fear the spiders that may have built a home in the box)

What do you need, want and deserve?

There is both a privilege and a curse to having means in our life: the more we are able to afford to surround ourselves with “stuff,” the more complicated our decisions become. And I am not saying that once you identify your lists you should never do or get things you want. It is more about drawing awareness to our motivations in consumption of any input—stuff, mental and emotional experiences, etc. I don’t need everything I tell myself I do and often what I think I need is to keep distracting me from facing what is underneath that is unresolved or is causing me pain. Instead, I now put things I want on a probation period. If I write it down and in 30 days I still “need” it then it is worth exploring.

See your time as a resource. How are you spending it?

Evaluate how and with whom you spend your time and then ask yourself the hard question: Why? What makes me spend time doing or with “x.” Is it by choice? Does it bring me joy, fulfillment or security? Notice when you are spending time on or with someone that leads to a loss of energy and in those instances, it may be time to reevaluate.

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