I need to get my husband on board with minimalism | Ask LFB

“This morning my husband hung his shirts outside his closet — because he couldn’t find a place to squeeze them in. He has a very, very small closet. I went in and pulled out all the sweatshirts I could find, and he has more or as many as I do! (Not a very good use of space.) This then led me to look in the drawers which seem to hold things like old swimsuits and sweaters he’s never worn, and all kinds of things I didn’t know he owns!!

I’ve been asking him to go through his closet and get rid of things, which he’s done a bit but boy do we have a long way to go! I don’t know that he’s inspired or cares. There’s got to be a better way that I can sell him to get him on board getting rid of things he doesn’t need.”

—Nicole

Hi, Nicole! Welcome to the LFB fam!

I think you mentioned a couple key points:

1. He has a very small closet. Depending on your outlook, this is an advantage or a disadvantage. For those with a ton of stuff, it’s an obvious disadvantage. But I’d encourage you both to try and frame this as a positive thing. Embrace the small size and what it offers. A smaller space lends itself more easily to maintaining tidiness. And fewer clothes in a closet means less time standing in front of it deciding. So once he does get rid of some more things, his closet will be a quick stop along the way and not the burden it currently is.

2. Sweatshirts in a closet are not a good use of space. Everyone differs on how they like to organize things but it sounds like for you it is clear his current system isn’t working. Ask him if he feels the same. He might have more space than he thinks if only it was better used.

3. He’s holding on to things he doesn’t need. Maybe the best place to focus for now is on the more obviously unnecessary items. Rather than go for the abundance of sweatshirts in the closet that he sees every day, have him look through those drawers and get rid of the items that aren’t in his every day radar. He might not know he has some of those things either! This exercise will more quickly free up some great drawer space, which you can then use for sweatshirts.

4. You both have a lot of sweatshirts. I’d suggest you take a half hour together to each go through your sweatshirts at the same time. This is an area where you have common ground, and something you can do together so the hard work doesn’t all fall on him. Show him that you are ruthless with getting rid of the ones you know aren’t your favorites, and set an example for him to do the same.

5. He might not be inspired, but that’s okay. As frustrating as it is when someone we are close to isn’t happily aboard the minimalism train, it’s ultimately each person’s choice. You can encourage him and set an example, but it’s up to him to follow it or not. If he doesn’t, or not up to your standard anyway, don’t lose hope, but don’t put too much pressure on him either. Keep chipping away at the small, easy things to get rid of, which will set into motion a flow of decluttering and decreasing that overtime can make a big difference. I always like to get rid of the easiest things first, because it gives momentum and also makes the other non-essentials that much more apparent — now that you can see them!

I hope this helps, Nicole. Check back in with me on how it turns out!

Brianna

 

Decluttering my life has brought me peace of mind and relief from the world around me. There’s nothing like walking into the space you created and knowing you have nothing more than what you need. I write articles to help others create that same feeling for themselves.

Should I buy a Halloween costume I’ll only wear once? | Ask LFB

Hey Brianna,

With Halloween coming up, I was just thinking about the different parties and events, and it seems like you have to buy all this stuff to really have fun. Costumes and all the accessories it might need, plus sometimes face paint or other special hair/makeup stuff. How does an aspiring minimalist handle this holiday when I know I’ll never use this stuff after October 31?

—Amber

Welcome to the LFB fam, Amber!

Halloween can be so much fun once you find (or make) the perfect costume! But, you’re right – what about after Halloween? Do you shove the costume in your closet, knowing full well you wont wear it again? Do you keep the special makeup in with your daily makeup, as a constant reminder of its uselessness in your life now?

Let me ask you this: are you looking forward to this costume party? Do you see yourself having fun? If you could take it or leave it, then I’d say either skip dressing up, or skip the event all together. But, if you know it will be a blast, then go for it! Go all out! And donate the costume and whatever else you acquire to your local thrift store on November 1st.

There’s nothing wrong with buying something that serves a purpose. Even if it’s a short-lived purpose. (tweet that)

If money is an issue, see if you can DIY something together using what you already have, or buy something for the costume that you can see yourself also using afterwards. Or, ask a friend if you can borrow a costumes from a few years ago (chances are they still have some in their closet!)

Remember that the definition of minimalism (that LFB likes to use) is “everything you need and nothing more”. So, if you need something for a special event, be it Halloween or a wedding, or accompanying your friend to a religious service, or a vacation in a different climate, go ahead and buy what you need.

Hope this helped, Amber. Happy Halloween!

Brianna

Decluttering my life has brought me peace of mind and relief from the world around me. There’s nothing like walking into the space you created and knowing you have nothing more than what you need. I write articles to help others create that same feeling for themselves.