By Julie For Free People
I've always been stuck somewhere between minimalism and maximalism…
Born with an innate appreciation for all things over the top, outlandish and showy, but with a desire to live as simply as possible, I’ve struggled over the years to find balance between these two aspects of my personality. It’s often said that a cluttered space is the sign of a cluttered mind, yet I find exactly the opposite to be (at times) equally true: a space clear of debris leaves room for the intangible clutter so many of us hold within ourselves. The layers of our Selves, of past and present, of goals and aspirations spilling forth and filling every nook and cranny. Our outward-facing clutter often serves as a distraction, a screen that’s all too easy to hide behind, but strip that away and what’s left? Who are you, really?
Over the past few months I’ve been searching. Peeling back the layers in an effort to just be, creating some breathing room — both in my space and in my mind. As the years pass, it’s imperative that we learn to lighten the load, lest the burdens that we carry become too heavy. This weekend, allow yourself to live simply and see how it affects you.
First, know who you are: Try an outfit with no pretence, in earthen colors inspired by the winter landscape. Allow your personality to be your main accessory, complimented only with a few well-chosen accouterments. Don’t hide. Just be who you really are.
Explore the unexpected: Simple doesn’t have to be boring. Instead of reaching for the glittery gold polish, try a minimal grey and white manicure. Or a dramatic cat-eye on an otherwise bare face. One simple statement can make an impressive impact.
Make something, and then give it away: An exercise in letting go, create a beautiful object for the sake of creating. Draw, paint, sculpt, write. When it is complete, part ways. Give it to someone you love… or a stranger. But don’t view it as a gift, instead learn how to let go, see how it effects you, think about that feeling in the context of your life and apply it in a larger sense.
Always, sometimes, never: How often do you use what you have? Sort it out, pare it down. Sometimes, always, never… make three piles and split it up accordingly.
Use what you love: Don’t save your most cherished accessories, clothes, or belongings for special occasions. Use them. Love them. Create opportunities to showcase these posessions. If you have a gorgeous set of vintage china, host a dinner party to show it off. Think about it, if you only wear your favorite holiday dress once a year, you’ll only wear it five times in the next five years… that’s 1,820 other missed opportunities.