Usually picking favorites is bad. In the realm of parenting, for example, it can result in years of awkward holiday gatherings and large therapy bills (except for, ya know, that one kid). In the world of education, being the teacher’s pet is like holding a one-way ticket to Wedgie-ville. But in the world of simplicity and minimalism, picking favorites is not just okay, it’s encouraged.
Today I’d like to share one of my Rosie-isms, a simple phrase that dispenses some of my tried-and-true simplicity advice. What is it, you ask?
Pick your favorites.
For an example, let’s look in your closet. Perhaps you love black cardigan sweaters. I mean, who doesn’t? Those things are versatile and perfect for those of us who live in the Midwest where the temperature can vary 30 degrees or so in one day.
But how many of those lovely little black Mr. Rogers-esque ditties do you really need? All of them, you say! I wear all of them! I’m sure you do, but I’m guessing there is one that is prized above the others, one you always reach for first, one you only pass up if it happens to be dirty. (And, if we’re being honest, you might have even snatched it out of the laundry hamper to wear once or twice…shh… I won’t tell.)
If you want to have a simpler lifestyle, I recommend that favorite black cardigan sweater be the only one you own. Maybe–if you are a true purveyor of black cardigan sweaters–it can have a runner-up, but for most of us, just one is fine.
But what if it wears out?! you say, in a bit of a panic. What will I do?!
Well, my friend, unless you live in Antarctica (where I’m guessing cardigan sweaters are not much help… you might as well just go all-in on the full sweater there), you can just go to a store and buy a new one.
It’s better to wear things you love and wear them out than to have heaps of unloved clothing that only serve to clutter your closet and your mind.
Having favorites is great not only because it frees up space in your home, but also because you’ll naturally start to buy higher quality items. If, for example, you own just 1-2 favorite pairs of jeans (and if you’re curious, I am the proud owner of two favorite pairs of jeans), you’ll make sure those jeans are the best jeans you can get your hands (err, butt) on. Because they are good quality, they’ll last for awhile, and when they wear out, you’ll be ready to replace them with another high-quality pair.
Besides the extra closet space (always a bonus!), I pick closet favorites for three main reasons:
You don’t need to be a fashionista to realize that high quality = style. I get more compliments on my clothing now that I only wear my faves.
I spend a lot less money on clothing now that I buy only a few quality items as opposed to of lots of ill-fitting “deals”. These “deals” were usually grabbed spur-of-the-moment from clearance racks and usually didn’t fit my body or my life. Thus, the money spent on them was no “deal” at all.
Picking faves is great in your closet, but this principle applies to many areas of your home, including, but certainly not limited to:
The kitchen utensil drawer:
Pick your go-to spatula and 1-2 wooden spoons and call it a day.
Holy screwdrivers, Batman! Unless you’re training a band of octopuses to repair your plumbing, you can probably minimize to the 1-2 you reach for all the time.
Kid things with wheels:
I limit my kids to 1-2 things with wheels (bike, scooter, etc.) When they outgrow it, we trade up for the next size.
If you exercise often, your feet will thank you for investing in a high-quality pair and replacing them when they wear out. The same goes for other types of shoes: winter boots, high heels, sandals, etc.
It goes without saying, but if you have more than one spouse, you owe it to all of them to pick a favorite and move on.
I hope I’ve helped you realize that picking favorites is good! I’d love to hear how some of you minimize down to your favorite things.
To having just your favorites…