Small Simple Things

I have discovered recently that I love small simple things in my life. I really love them – that is, I feel a sweet emotion when I see them, use them, touch them. When I can throw a lip balm, a mobile and a card holder in my little bag and go – I feel small wings behind my back like those of a butterfly. I believe I can fly :)) No, I don’t feel like flying. But I feel appreciation of all the simple things that work in my life – that give me space to breathe and think of other things (which are not things-things).

I came to value simplicity. Surprisingly for myself :)) In my post “Pack lightly. Travel lightly” I dwelled on my philosophy of it. Here I just want to share some actual things, small simple things, that keep me happy.

Small simple things
posters on my wall

As I had mentioned before, I would not go so far and call myself a minimalist. It is kind of a tall order, and I don’t like setting too many of those on myself, as I also like to escape defining myself by any terms. Besides, Ikea calls it “a myth of minimalism” in its latest catalogue – and I tend to take Ikea’s philosophy seriously :)) But I like to play with that minimalistic idea of having less but extracting more value.

Here are the things, at home, in my bag, in my style and jewelry, that allow me to do exactly this. Having less. Enjoying more.

  1. At home. There are so many pretty things out there that could turn me into a Β compulsive shopper :)). But I had experienced that more things don’t create harmony in my home. And when there are less things, I actually like it better and enjoy spending more time in the room with few things (and enough light).

Luckily, I had a great practice of making a minimalistic home, and since then I keep those lessons close to my heart. I still love going to the stores, checking and touching all the beautiful things that attract my attention – but for buying them I need more than that. So I end up getting some visual pleasure – and walking away with my money in my pocket (guess, the shops would not be happy with this sentence, but here it is). When I have to buy something, I ask myself in which exactly place I would place it, and how it would match to other things and colors. This is kinda new practice to me. Before I would just go for “Oh, so pretty, I have to buy it!”

2. In my bag. Once I had a big wallet full of credit cards, customer cards, old receipts… As my bag got smaller, there was less space for such a heavy thing. And then – who needs a huge wallet these days? (It had a cool electric blue color though) In Norway we have so little cash on us, since it is so usual to pay with a card, even for a take-away coffee. So I bought this card holder, and I feel happy whenever I slip it into my bag. So light and simple. Just how I want my life to be. And then I go out of the door with a light air in my step. Defying the law of gravitation :))

3. Jewelry. Some years ago there was this trend of statement necklaces. And I had so many of them, in different materials and colors. I loved changing them often, and the school kids (I worked as a teacher then) would notice and ask: “Oh, is this real?” (“Of course, it is real. 100% plastic, what do you think?”) It was great to establish a positive contact that way. My ice-breaker :))

Now the statement necklaces are out, and the statement earrings are in. I don’t have holes in my ears, and still don’t know if it is a blessing or not. Sometimes I wish I could wear earrings – there are so many cool, colorful, exciting ones out there. But then again, I would spend a lot of money on them. And maybe, I would end up not using all of them that much. This way is kinda easier. What do you think?

Maybe, I am getting older, maybe, this is a Norwegian air full of minimalism – but suddenly I found myself falling in love with the simple minimalistic design of jewelry. Like this necklace by Papaya Oslo.

geometry of love

Or this bracelet “Torunn” by Georg Jensen. It was created by the Swedish designer Vivianna. She lived in Paris in 60s, an independent woman and an artist – not so usual choice at that time. I love her story – and so I love this piece. A great gift of love, as the brand promotes it. While for me it is also a reminder of one of their taglines: “You can never be too strong”. This is what I think, when I put on this bracelet.

And I like the fact that it is not cheap. I owned so much of the cheap jewelry – and where did it all end up? Now I am old enough to own few pieces – which, I hope, will stay with me over time. So it’s ok if they cost some money. It is not so expensive in the long run.

4. Wardrobe choices. My summer style was easy and breezy Β – thanks to the unusually warm and long summer this year. I would wear a simple combination of a skirt and a t-shirt. With a base of several skirts, and some t-shirts that I bought to freshen up. This one says “Hello”, I hope. My friend asked me if it was Korean, and I didn’t know. It would be fun if it said something stupid which I had no idea about (but Koreans would ;))

The winter is coming – and calling out for more layers and complication. But before it is here, I survive in jeans (I prefer skirts, but jeans are so easy in use), some shirts and cardigans. Adding some color (red is my favorite) to brighten up the mood.

And what about you? In which areas of life do you like to keep it simple? And in which – complicated? πŸ™‚

12 thoughts on “Small Simple Things

  1. Within the past few months I’ve become interested in “minimalism”. I’ve been paring down my closet, my jewelry — I’ve actually always loved simple jewelry, I only wear maybe 1 bracelet and then a ring my boyfriend gifted me. I’ve also been following a more minimal skin care and makeup routine. I’m still working on my daily bag though, I’ve always carried huge bags… my friends joke I carry my whole life in my bag. I would love to be able to go with a much smaller purse though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sounds like you have fun along the way. I find it the most important. Not become rigid about any idea, but play with it, integrate it in my own way.
      Hehe, I know the problems of big bags. Someone mentioned, that no matter how big bag you will take – you will always find something to fill it with. That must go for the opposite too. Try taking the small purse, and go with the most necessary thing (I have my mobile, cardholder, keys, chewing gum and a lip balm. But surely, I could fill a bigger one. But why take a bigger one? :))

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    • So wise, yes. It’s good to live an uncomplicated life – not always possible, yes, and not always reasonable. I find the flexibility crucial. I want to move towards simple living, but, hey, it is not a system to conform to, it is a flow πŸ™‚

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  2. YES! I feel EXACTLY the same! Apologies for the capitals but it is nice to read someone else who is all about stripping it all back to just what we need. I think that decluttering our lives is something that everyone needs to experience. Decluttered life, decluttered mind! Thanks for your post πŸ™‚

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  3. Lovely post. I am quite simple in my everyday life too. I own very little makeup. I don’t like jewellery, except earrings. I love earrings but otherwise I don’t wear anything else. Similarly I also own few bags and shoes. I really don’t like clutter, and I regularly got rid of things I no longer used in the past, but now I’ve gotten wise enough to not buy such things in the first place. It’s freeing to be not so tied to a lot of things. πŸ™‚

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    • Thank you, Pooja πŸ™‚ Great to see that it resonates with people in ways I didn’t think.
      I wish I could say that I am wise and own few things – but in my case I had to go through buying and collecting, in order to come to this lesson of decluttering and owning fewer things.
      I guess it takes age and maturing to learn to buy less but better. It all comes with experience. Good to be in process though πŸ™‚

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  4. Hahah. I love your humor.

    Now that we got to start from scratch with a house, I am really hoping only to buy the things that are necesary or really pretty.
    As for clothes, my job requires me the same everyday which the company has provided. I am really liking that and it’s so easy.

    The only thing where I really cannot seem to limit myself, is hair and skin products.
    I get sooooooo excited by new cremes and shampoos and oils. UGGGH

    Liked by 1 person

    • Merci, Andrea! I find it sometimes that I am so much easier in my native Russian, while writing in English makes me feel my dry mouth :))
      Ahh, uniforms sometimes can be so practical. Like that myth of Steve Jobs always wearing same jeans and sweater – so not to use energy for decisions (Though I love taking those decisions :))
      I am about to start from scratch too – totally feeling you, girl!

      Ahh, and when you were moving – what did you do with all your care products? Did you pack them with you? Or bought lots of new ones after moving? πŸ™‚

      Like

  5. Nice post, Marina! You’re making me reflect these days with my fashion and decoration decisions, hahaha!
    So, you’re becoming mminimalist! That’s good! I love to see minimalist houses and photos, but when it applies to me, I’m definetely not! You ust have to see my landscapes, hahahaa! And for home it’s the same, although I try not to buy compulsively… I think I got used to live in furnished small apartments in Ireland and Sweden. Everytime I saw something beautiful for the apartment, I couldn’t buy it, just because there wasn’t space for it! hahaha! Now I’m still controlling myself… I’m kind of the opposite. I see or imagine something that could fit in my apartment… and then I spend months looking for the perfect piece.
    And for clothes… I’m afraid I’m too classic, so I don’t tend to buy every single thing that it’s cool at the moment… But that doesn’t apply for this year… I’m loving all the middy skirts and tartan clothes that I’m seeing this season, hahaha. They would make a great addition to my jeans/classic-knit-sweaters wardrobe πŸ˜›
    Have a great weekend!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahh, becoming minimalist would be too ambitious for me. I like to call it “playing”. Rather then adhering to some idea and taking it seriously I prefer to try what works for me. So no, I am not a minimalist, and maybe will never be in its classical notion. But I like owning less.
      And yes, I am like you, I can imagine the perfect thing for my home (or my wardrobe) and then spend months searching for it. Sometimes I wish I could sew or knit myself :)) When I have the perfect idea of what I want.

      Ahh, the skirts and tartan is my love too. And when there is suddenly a trend that suits me, I can too go on and buy more. I just want things to last several seasons, so I steer away from the fast fashion items. But the things that could work for me longer – I can buy on and on. I also became more picky with age, and don’t buy things cuz they are “cool”. Before I would go for color or a cut, but not I consider quality first. And suddenly a great part of the fashion market is not an option. and that’s ok with me :))

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