Can I Blog My Way to Minimalism?

I like to think of myself as a minimalist. I wear a “uniform” of sorts in my daily life, I carefully consider purchases, I keep my home fairly tidy. I see the value and efficiency in having as few physical belongings as possible, and in keeping those belongings organized.

But I’m also a blogger. I collect design books, I experiment with clothing (I have the failed experiments hanging in my closet to prove it) and I. love. shoes.

These two opposing traits have been at odds in my life for a while now, and as a result I pretty much set the blog aside in favor of pursuing a life with less (it just seemed cheaper and a better use of my time). I was feeling conflicted, and I don’t know why it took me so long to arrive at this conclusion, but the clear and obvious way forward is to blog about it. Don’t ask me why it took 4 months.

So the most recent iteration in my YouTube addiction (my gateway was beauty, then food, then yoga) is a bit of a weird one. Home organization.

You may not know this (I didn’t) but there are hours upon hours of footage of people (ok mainly women) showing you how they organize their pantries, fold their t-shirts, stack their jeans, and file their receipts. The only thing more confounding than the fact that these exist, is that I actually find them riveting.

In my pursuit of minimalist zen I found an overarching theme among the many organization methods:

stuff = bad

less stuff = good

no stuff = enlightened?

But life is rarely that simple is it?

What about the beautiful stuff you spent a lot of money on but haven’t had an opportunity to wear yet?

What about the thoughtful stuff your friends and family give you that isn’t quite your taste?

What about the well-loved stuff you use all the time, but has really seen better days?

And just because my wardrobe trends heavily towards black, white, and chambray button downs does not mean I’m immune to the urge buy even more black, white and chambray button downs every time an Emerson Fry catalog comes out or Need Supply has a big sale. A minimalist aesthetic certainly helps pair down the number things you need in your closet (because everything matches!) but every time I find a white button down shirt in an interesting, new cut or fabric, I still find it hard to resist. True story, I bought a new one yesterday, bringing my count up to 5.

This is my starting point. I have more white and black shirts than is logical, an inexplicable section of my closet that is crowded with floral sundresses, 5 or 6 to each hanger, and several garbage bags under my bed full of clothes I haven’t even seen or thought of in the last year.

The end goal? To open up my drawer and it look like this:

(Not my drawer)

And to look in my closet in the morning and feel inspired rather than frustrated. And in my dream world, to finally sort through that one moving box of “important papers” and “stuff from my ex” that gets moved from apartment to apartment but I never want to open and deal with. So that is my primary goal, goal #2 is to blog it and breathe a little life back into this part of my world. I’ll let you know how it goes.


 Drawer photo courtesy of Alejandra TV

Cristina V. Cleveland

Cristina V. Cleveland is a senior beauty editor based in Austin, TX. She has been exploring personal style and decor on Fuji Files since 2009. Her work as a writer and editor has appeared in publications like Refinery29, Birchbox, TradHome Magazine, To&From Magazine, Coco+Kelley, CamilleStyles and ads in Glamour, InStyle and Lucky.

SHOWHIDE Comments (6)
  1. I love everything about this post, Cristina! I’m so glad that you’ve discovered a way to sync your current wishes & goals for yourself with your blog. I’ve been a fan of Fuji Files for a while & count it among my inspirations for starting my own blog recently (even got you in my Daily Reads tab!) so it’s nice to hear from you again!

    I would love to hear more about your adventures in streamlining. It’s a constant goal of mine too, especially in my current situation – 2 of us living in 400 sq. ft. How do you make space for the things that you love & cut those that don’t serve you, without feeling deprived? How do you meld a collector’s spirit with a zen, clutter-free lifestyle? You’re right, it’s not as simple as it first appears.

    Thanks for sharing! xx

    1. Hi Natalie, thank you so much for your thoughtful comment! To be honest I didn’t realize anyone was still reading this since I stop in so sporadically, so it was a lovely surprise to hear that you find inspiration in it! Your blog is looking great, congratulations! I’ll definitely keep you posted about my streamlining goals. Thanks again for sticking with me! xx

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Rather than pushing up-to-the-minute trends and products, Fuji Files is about discovering a lasting, personal aesthetic and the journey to feeling your personal best. 

Fuji Files was started by Cristina Cleveland, the Managing Editor of NaturallyCurly, the largest hair and beauty content platform. Her work as a writer and editor has appeared in publications like Refinery29, Teen Vogue, CamilleStyles, Blavity, Birchbox, TradHome Magazine, Coco+Kelley, and ads in Glamour, InStyle and Lucky.