In At Work, Capsule Wardrobe, Discussions, In my closet, Minimalism, Style, Style, Wardrobe Help, Women

That’s it! I’ve cut down to the bare minimum!

So I’ve noticed a pattern in my minimalism.

Every time I say: THAT IS IT. I’ve cut it down to the bare minimum I CANNOT CUT any more!

I always have a carryon-and-a-half of stuff I could reasonably live/do without.

This proclamation has been recycled for about 5 years now, but this time I think it’s for real.

THAT IS IT!

I’ve cut it down to the bare minimum and I cannot cut any more!

(And I am so happy)

I am not moving abroad over even overseas, but I am being (slightly) pressured by a boy (who doesn’t understand why I need 3 exact blouses in different colours) to pare down on my things.

(Boys just don’t understand. They really don’t.)

I also had a mini melt-down and I think BF realized we were at the bottom of cutting and what I had left, was really what I had left and wanted to keep.

MY TOTAL REDUCTION IN THINGS OVER THE PAST 6 YEARS

Anyway, I basically went from:

  • 3 full suitcases
  • 3.5 carry-ons
  • 1 laptop bag

To:

  • 3 full suitcases to 1 full suitcase
  • 3 carry-ons
  • 1 laptop bag

I can cut no more.


Between moving to the U.S. and back, I’ve been consigning items, donating, selling… LIKE CRAZY!

Living with 1 full suitcase, 3 carryons and 1 laptop bag is not an easy thing for any person, let alone a GIRL to do, but I’ve done it.

What-Organizing-Looks-Like-Wardrobe-Closet

Even this pile has been chopped.

WHERE ALL MY THINGS GO IN THE SUITCASES

CLOTHES, PURSES & JEWELLERY

One large single suitcase holds my clothes which have been cut down from 2 large suitcases.

This does not include my winter coat or my autumn coat (I keep them in a coat bag).

Carry-on #1 carries all my shoes (boots, ballet flats), and my purses.

To put things into perspective, over the past 6 years, I’ve gone from about an estimated 1200 separate items in my wardrobe, down to about 150 items.

I had sold about 50% of my wardrobe in 2008 to get out of debt, and most recently, I sold about 3 carry-ons full of items. I either tossed or donated the rest.

I think 150 is the best I can do. It covers everything from clothes to shoes to purses.

TOILETRIES & MAKEUP

Carry-on #2 also holds all toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, contact lens solution), makeup and anything beauty-related including pills, and other health-related items.

ELECTRONICS AND OFFICE

Carry-on #3 and the 1 laptop bag holds all my office stuff and electronics including laptops (I have 4, don’t ask), and all my harddrives and other devices, including all of their chargers and cables.

MUSIC & MOVIES

Music and movies are all in iTunes, so I no longer have DVDs or CDs.

PAPERS AND BOOKS

As for papers and books, I’ve scanned anything that remotely feels like a piece of paper (except for money of course):

  • Books = On my iPad. Hello Kobo and Kindle!
  • Magazines = On my iPad. Hello Zinio!
  • Piano Sheet Music = On my iPad. PDF Expert.
  • Work notes = On my iPad. PDF Expert.
  • Recipes = On my iPad. PDF Expert.
  • Scanned documents of all kinds = On my Macbook 13″ and backed up 3 times

I have probably gotten rid of pounds and pounds of paper.

I’ve only run into a few problems with not having paper, but they’re really rare and not worth the hassle of carrying files around with me every time I move.

That iPad was expensive, but it’s a great device. I’m pleased I bought it, and am getting some serious use out of it.

That’s it.

The rest of the household stuff is ‘joint’ and I don’t count it in the above, but it’s mostly food, a Japanese futon and all the cookware we use which fits in about 3 boxes.

I am happy. Absolutely thrilled, and I feel … for lack of a better word: light.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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20 Comments

  1. Tracy

    Can you please do an updated post of what is remaining in your wardrobe? 🙂

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      Yes I can! It won’t be for a while however.

      I will need to do another recount of clothing and then find all the pictures and put it into a post.

      Reply
  2. Ms. S

    This is impressive! Wow. Maybe one day I can really minimize. I don’t think I’ll ever pare down quite this much but I know there are some things I can clear out for sure.

    Reply
  3. Sarah Li Cain

    That is really awesome. I’ve done well so far I think, but now I gotta pare down more clothes and a book collection I’m finally getting rid of. Out of curiosity, where do you sell your clothes? I’ve seen you doing so on your blog ages ago, but are there other websites where you do this?

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      You can try EBay, Craigslist (surprisingly I got a lot sold there), thrift shops to donate or consignment shops for nicer pieces (at least J. crew and up) to sell where they take 50% of the profit.
      Selling directly will always be more profitable but a lot of work….

      Reply
  4. Janine

    That’s awesome! Over the past couple years I’ve been trying to do the same… I still have a long way to go, but I’m getting there!

    Reply
  5. B. (Below Her Means)

    This is so awesome. I wish I could inspire my father to do the same. With my mother gone, he’s turning into a bit of a hoarder and I’m worried, feeling claustrophobic when I visit him at home.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      My parents are hoarders. It has helped me say to myself: I don’t want to reach that point.
      They really frustrate and annoy me with their junk, disorganized papers and general lack of wanting to declutter.
      All I see is a fairly good sized home that has WASTED space for junk. We don’t use a good HALF of the house and they’re paying for it.

      Reply
  6. Budget & the Beach

    Oh how I love that feeling of being “lite!” There is always just something a bit more you can do I think. I often say exactly what you say, but if there is a will there is a way. I need to get rid of some paperwork too. That’s a drag but needs to be done! Especially with tax season coming up. dread!

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      Do you scan everything? That’s what I do on a bi-weekly basis

      Reply
  7. Cassie

    Out of curiosity, how far do you think you would have taken the minimalist lifestyle if you weren’t being pushed to constantly pare down your things? Would you have stuck with the 3 suitcases, or do you think you would have made it to 1 on your own eventually?

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      Hmm good question!!

      I think without BFs encouragement to fit into one car, it would have been a lot harder to stay motivated in such a short amount of time. I may have ended up making it, regardless.
      Would have just taken longer 🙂

      It started to get annoying trying to fit everything into the suitcases I already owned. They started bulging and I felt like I was hoarding to an extent.
      Now I’ve reached a nice balance even with the insane amount of money I spent this month to buy really nice, quality pieces.
      Less stuff, is really more (higher quality, nicer things).

      If I had a house, it may not have reached this point at all, it is too easy to hide things away.

      Reply
  8. Brittany

    Congratulations!! That is awesome! I’m hoping to get to that point in 2013. I’ve been doing so much house-sitting that I haven’t been home much so I haven’t been able to go through much, but that will be slowing down…at the end of January…for a couple weeks before I start house-sitting again. ;o) You are a rockstar!!

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      Slowly but surely. 🙂

      Reply
  9. Jared

    Congratulations! I think it is great that you have dropped down to so few items. I was wondering what kind of tech items you use. Namely the scanner for all of your scanned documents. I have been having a tough time finding one that would meet my needs of basic scanning of documents/receipts for big purchases. I am thinking about getting a fujitsu though.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      I have the Fujitsu Scan Snap S1100

      I bought it exactly as pictured from Amazon >> http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004ISGG7Q/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=fabubrokinthe-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B004ISGG7Q

      I. Love. It. BF and I use it constantly. It scans everything fast and of a very high quality. It also lets you scan things in two different ways depending on how you set the cover, where it goes flat out the back (e.g. a driver’s license card), or a piece of paper that goes up through a little shaft rather than straight out, and makes it easier to grab afterwards.
      I also got one of those bags that you can travel with to hold your hot iron in it, and it fits *perfectly* with a pocket in the back for the cable.
      It’s this one, the Baggallini Curling Iron Cover that fits it perfectly. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000PDEUY4/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=fabubrokinthe-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000PDEUY4
      I can’t recommend those two items more. I had a flat, flatbed scanner but it was too bulky to travel with. The larger scanners are also too fat and heavy, and I haven’t noticed any kind of dip in quality in this Fujitsu Scanner.

      I will say that you have to feed the paper in straight, or sometimes it scans it awkwardly versus using a flatbed scanner where the page lies flat. Minor detail, and the program even straightens the document for you automatically after you scan it.

      Reply
  10. Pauline

    Congratulations! This is what I have been living off for the past three years, although I still have a lot of stuff in my mum’s basement, that take a lot of space, both physical and emotional. Next time I go I may just get rid of it all, if I haven’t used it in three years I probably never will.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      Exactly. If you haven’t touched it, you won’t miss it!

      Reply
  11. ArianaAuburn

    I have pure admiration at the accomplishment of reaching this minimalistic goal. I hope to be able to eventually reach my minimalistic point within a year or so

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      It left a lot of gaps and holes in my wardrobe, and with the sales on in December, I filled them in.

      I’m quite happy 😀

      Reply

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