Friday, March 24, 2017

Lifestyle: Spending less, living more

The Art of Minimalism

Lately I've been super attracted to the art of minimalism. It's so intriguing- having less but living more. Feeling free in your space and in your skin without being bogged down by too much "stuff."

I know the blogging world can tend to focus on consumption, but as a general practice, I only share what I truly love and when I write it's because I feel I have something to say. I strive to create content that adds value and I know many other bloggers who can confidently say the same. 

So I wanted to share one lifestyle choice I have recently made, that has been a complete game changer...

and that is to:

Stop. Buying. Random. Stuff.

Here's why

Over the last six months, I've been drawn to the idea of being a minimalist. I watched lots of Ted Talks on the topic and I was in awe of what I learned. 

Did you know the average North American home holds over 300, 000 items in it?

 I did not.

That's a lot of accumulation. 

All of a sudden, I was hit hard with the urge to purge. 

This was right before I moved from a condo into a house and so there was a big draw to get rid of things that no longer served me. I really didn't want to pack a bunch of things I didn't want, only to unpack and never use them in my new home. 

Random things also felt like a waste of time.

I hated the feeling of staring into my closet and feeling like I "had nothing to wear" - even though it was full to capacity with jeans, sweaters and other items of clothing. 

I really hated the feeling that I was spending a lot of money on my wardrobe but I still didn't feel like I could put an outfit together quickly enough. 

Staring at that overly stuffed closet was a big waste of time, so I decided to do something about it. 


I took what I had learned from different sources and started to implement it into my daily life.

Here are some of my best practices:

1) Get rid of anything that doesn't serve you or make you happy

If you don't love that orange sweater, trust me- you'll never wear it. On the same token, if you haven't worn it in over a year - you probably never will. If the things you own don't make you feel good/happy or make your home more beautiful - you don't want or need them around. 

2) Spend on only what you need or what makes you feel really good

If you have to buy something, buy only necessities or things that you really love. A good way to gauge this is to try everything on before buying it. If something just feels "ok," I leave it in the store. 
If I feel great in it and see myself really loving it, then I'll purchase it.

My trick is: it has to look good, have the right fit/colour/fabric etc and I have to feel good in it, in order to want to own it. 

3) Purchase clothing that you can wear in multiple settings and that pairs with what you already own

Figure out the colours you love and try to buy within your colour palette.

For me, I know blacks, neutrals, greys and pinks work well, so I tend to stick in this colour family. It also helps me match a lot of my pieces as a lot of them have similar tones. (My television wardrobe is generally brighter, but I usually invest in pieces I can layer with my everyday wear too).

4) Buy less often but buy quality pieces

A lower ticket item doesn't really mean you're spending less in the long run. Fast fashion is truly meant to be on trend and accessible. So it's not going to last more than a season or two and I'll be stuck replacing those $30 pants, sooner rather than later. 

I'd much rather spend a little more at the onset but know that the piece fits well and makes me feel good when I pull it out to wear or use it. The endgame of this strategy is definitely better, as you don't have to constantly pull worn-out clothing from your closet. 

This is also very true for furniture buying, or buying anything really. I'm so grateful that when we set up our first home, my husband and I carefully selected each piece. It took forever to have a furnished living room but when we did, the room was cohesive and consisted only of things we truly love. 

Now all those pieces have transitioned beautifully into our new home. In the short-term, it was tempting to just settle on anything that was affordable and that looked ok. But being selective with our purchases, really took our time and money further in the long run. 

6) Find alternatives and think outside the box

Maybe you really don't need a bunch of cake platters.  Perhaps a friend can lend you some. Talk to your people before making those 'extra' purchases - maybe you can save a little by sharing with a friend. 

Or perhaps the thing you "need to buy" is actually something you can rent. It really is amazing what is available to rent these days. I recently found a company that allows you to rent Indian formal wear. Buying new formal outfits that you can only wear once or maybe a few times really felt wasteful to me, so I decided to check out Dress to Empress.

The company is all about renting formal wear for a one time use at a fraction of the cost of buying. The rental also comes with paid packaging to mail it back after a week when you're done.

Last summer, I purchased one of their ready-made blouses in a colour I could mix and match and I've been so glad that I did. I've already paired it with three outfits and it has looked completely different each time.

I often get compliments on my outfit and you know what? It's usually something I have worn before but styled differently.

It just goes to show, you don't have to make a huge investment every time you have a special event. Sometimes a small, well thought-out purchase can go a long way. 

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

I've really found after learning more about Minimalism, my quality of life has improved. I can see what I own and get ready a lot faster. I don't spend money on random things I don't truly love, so most of what is in my closet, makes me feel pretty good when I wear it. This subsequently means I can save my money for things that truly enrich my life (read: travel). 

This change of perspective has also made me come to appreciate what I have a lot more.

When I'm at home and look around, everything has a purpose and it truly brings me a sense of calm.

While I'm not a true "minimalist" by any means, (I don't believe I could sell everything and live in a 200 sq foot tiny house), I do believe learning about it has helped me make some positive changes in my daily life.

As a result of my own "Minimalism Project," life feels a little less cluttered and a lot more peaceful and purposeful. 

If you're interested in learning more about the idea of having less, check out some of my favourite resources below:

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
 by Marie Kondo (you can listen to it for free here)

Tiny House, Big Living, tv show on HGTV

I hope one of these links inspires you in some way too.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the topic of minimalism. Reach out to me on Instagram @angeliesood or leave me a comment in the box below!


  1. Love this post! A minimalist life is the best. I slowly gravitated towards the lifestyle when I moved into a condo over a decade ago. Forced me to be very selective about the "random stuff" because we have no room! And then when I started travelling full-time I implemented the practice into my packing -- made that process so much more enjoyable AND saved precious vacation time. Now I just slip on the jeans and t-shirt and spend more time doing things that make me happy. Life feels lighter and brighter with a minimalist lens :)

    1. It's so true. You are truly an example of this lifestyle choice. Packing is another area we can all definitely do the less is more thing. It's such a time saver when you have less choice too. I've read most extremely successful people don't even waste time having options. Steve Jobs had all black turtlenecks and blue jeans for his daily wear to be more streamlined. So interesting. Anyway thanks for sharing your insight. I definitely feel like everything is lighter and there is more purpose to what we own.

  2. Thank you for the post, Angelie! This piece on a minimalist lifestyle breathes our brand. You look great, and at a fraction of the cost of purchasing traditional formal Indian wear. I'm happy you were able to shop for neutral pieces with us that you can wear again and again. Getting more bang for your buck is what we strive for. Let us know when you need a piece any time :)

    1. Thanks Pooja! So glad you enjoyed it. I really loved working with you and Tasveen as your brand clearly shows you don't have to spend more in order to enjoy life or be fashionable. You guys have such a great business model :)