Is Quarantine Ruining My Minimalist Lifestyle?

Photo by Sergey Zolkin on Unsplash

The other day, I was on a site looking for coconut bowls. I added it to my virtual shopping cart, along with some eco-friendly bamboo straws with an additional straw cleaner.

Since moving into my new 30m2 apartment, (*proud adult moment*), I’ve been obsessively shopping online for decorative items and furniture that would either match the tone of the oak wooden floor or give the studio, as Jonathan Van Ness would say, some ‘jooj’.

This was due to the immense joy I felt for owning my own apartment after a lifetime of sharing my living space with other people.

Contrary to my minimalist tendencies, I found myself perusing the internet like never before to shop online. This is how I have also pacified my boredom during this quarantine period. And social media hasn’t helped either.

My days entail me bookmarking a list of things that I potentially want to own, which my rational mind says I don’t need them so then I would delete several items, but I’d always go back to add new ones and then delete the entire list after several days. But this is not to say I haven’t cashed out on some unnecessary things like that velvet burgundy dress I bought on Etsy.

I’ve never been a fan of online shopping before, because of the fear that the item would either be too small or of low-quality, which has happened to me recently. I’ve returned these plastic nude heels I bought from ASOS, another lambda Instagram trend I’ve given myself into— social media is particularly bad at heightening my shopping tendencies. But unlike my usual self, I spent over 600 euros the past few months from online shopping, including skincare and beauty items, fashion accessories, clothing and home decor. I even went as far as buying gold plated cutlery for the extra touch in my home.

For me, online shopping acted as a pacifier for the quarantine boredom, and the feeling of entrapment and suffocation. It’s hard to stay sane in a global pandemic where we are deprived of our freedom that we used to benefit from.

My friends wouldn’t describe me as a minimalist, since I had my moments splurging on clothes, especially when I started a fashion blog a few years ago when I was interning in Paris. But over the years, I found myself becoming more of a minimalist as I was downsizing my storage and giving more things away, due to the fact I’d be moving to another country and couldn’t bring it all with me. So in a way, I was cornered into choosing the things that mattered the most to my life and my happiness.

I wouldn’t say I own sentimental items anymore. Over the years, I have learned to detach emotions to my own possessions, and I’d be willing to give most of my clothes away if I had to.

But the main point is, it’s to find the joy in things that actually do matter: to be present in every moment, not only at work but also in being a supportive friend, girlfriend, daughter and sister, and get rid of all the unnecessary ‘junk’ from my life. Recently I had to cut out someone incredibly toxic for me, and it was hard because of how close we were and the memories we had shared. But, it was the right thing to do, because she wasn’t good for my happiness anymore.

The question you should be asking yourself is, what things are the most valuable to me at the moment?

What are the things that aren’t benefitting my happiness and can I cut them out from my life?

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