I’m so excited to share with you this week, Christine Platt from @afrominimalist. She’s a mom, author, & on her journey of minimalism. I can’t wait for you to hear about her approach to minimalism.
There was time when I would have never associated myself with the word “minimalist”. I was more of a maximalist. A woman who prided herself on finding the best deals and discounts. A woman who treated Black Friday as if it were a national holiday or popular sport.
I spent money aimless because “I worked hard for it” and “I deserved to enjoy the fruits of my labor”. I didn’t realize what I was doing—that I was buying things to fill voids I didn’t even know I had.
When I reflect on those years of my aggressive spending, I can easily see the areas in my life where I was unhappy. I was an emotional spender who ran to the nearest Target or HomeGoods when I needed a fix. And I never truly felt bad about my purchases because I always scored a deal. It’s why one of my favorite mottos these days is: “It’s not a deal if you don’t need it.”
A motto that’s hard to practice unless I am being intentional.
We live in a society of consumerism, where things we need (or simply want) are available at the click of a button. It so easy to get emotional fixes! But it’s important to remember that such fixes are only temporary. That’s what happened to me. I woke up one day in an immaculately furnished home, closets full of designer clothes—and I was still unhappy.
It took me approximately two years to find my minimalist happy zone. My wardrobe consists of only clothes, shoes and accessories that I wear regularly. I love bright colors and bold prints, so my home is far the aesthetic of monochromatic minimalism. But I’ve learned to surround myself with only the things that my family needs and loves.
Our home is smaller (630 square feet.) Many of our neighboring communities boast properties of 4000+ square feet—space that I now feel is too much for our little family. But it wasn’t that long ago that I toured some of those very homes, daydreaming and imagining the joy of decorating each room and filling each closet.
I share my minimalist journey online as The Afro Minimalist because I remember searching “minimalist homes” when I started my journey. I was so discouraged to find more information about the aesthetic of minimalism than the practice. Minimalism will look different for everyone because we all have different needs, wants and desires. And I feel it is the practice of minimalism that is most important—living intentionally and on your own terms.
Changing my lifestyle has afforded me the opportunity to do what I love regardless of the pay. I have time and energy to clean my home. And I love that the tight living quarters forces our family closer. There’s not much room for anger and resentment in a small space—you get to the root of the issues and fix them quick, fast, and in a hurry!
I’m a minimalist and living the life I’ve always imagined. And for me, therein lies true happiness.
More about Christine Platt, she is the author of the award-winning novel, The Truth About Awiti, and the poetry collection, Dear Ancestors. When she isn’t writing stories about the African diaspora, Christine serves as the Managing Director of The Antiracist Research & Policy Center at American University. She is currently curating a 635 sq ft living space in Washington, DC.
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Click HERE to check out her website