Probably everyone has heard of minimalism by now and knows the movement. From tiny homes, to living out of one duffel bag, to only owning one spoon, minimalism to the general public can seem like this ridiculously impractical lifestyle. Let me tell you that the thing that entices me about minimalism is probably what most people don’t understand about the movement and that is you don’t have to only own one spoon or get rid of your TV to have a minimalist lifestyle. WHAT? Yes, you heard me. The thing I love about minimalism is that it is what I make it. Here’s a little bit of what that looks like 🙂
The reason I got hooked on minimalism was a combination of YouTube videos of apartment tours or people getting rid of the things they didn’t need, Pinterest pictures of clean and minimal spaces, and a documentary on Netflix called “Minimalism.” It’s definitely worth the watch and will clear up many of the misconceptions that may have been put in your head by people who only see minimalism as a “lacking lifestyle.”
I have always been a person that gets rid of things or regularly “purges” my belongings when I feel that overwhelming “I have to much stuff” or “I want a change” feeling. Where some people decide to impulsively cut their hair or get a tattoo to quench that “I need a change” feeling, I get rid of things and organize like a maniac. My mom continually tells me “What do you even have left to get rid of?” and I say, “Mom, you really have no idea. I have so. much. stuff.” It’s crazy to me that I can get rid of things and narrow categories down to where I want them and then still have things available to donate or sell. You don’t realize how many things you actually own until you get rid of what you think is half your belongings and have ten times that much still laying around your house.
I would say that even though I have been getting rid of things my whole life, I didn’t start on the minimalism mindset until I got back from traveling with my husband and we finally lived at home again. I had been alone in a hotel room for most of the day without much to do and so I occupied my time by thinking about what I wanted to change, update, get rid of, etc. Going home and finally tackling that stuff has been an ongoing process since October. I think one thing I’ve struggled with is keeping things clean and picked up after I’ve gotten the room to look how I want it – which tells me, there’s still too much stuff… and I haven’t mastered putting things away right after I use them.
Some people have seen my minimalist interest and heard my husband and I talk about how much happier we are with less things crowding our space and life, and they either get this look on their face like “Oh, you’re one of ‘those’ people…” or they just make it a point to tell me outright how I’m wrong and need to understand that I will need things and I can’t get rid of stuff I might need in the future because then I’ll regret it and “be prepared for your house to be full of stuff when the baby comes” etc. etc. Okay, yes babies need things. Yes there are things that I need and use on a daily basis. But I am not about to save things I “might” need in the future but don’t use right now. My minimalist motto is not to get rid of everything I own, but to only keep the things I need, use, and love. If it doesn’t mean something or serve a purpose for me, I’m not going to have it cluttering my mind and living space.
I’ve learned throughout the process so far to take everything people say with a nod and a smile and keep doing me. People have their opinions, but ultimately the choice is mine and my husbands. We both feel the same way, have similar dreams and ambitions, and it’s going to be his support that makes me know that this lifestyle will be the best for our family and not the disdain from other people that will make me quit making my atmosphere a clean, minimal, inviting space. Let me tell you that I have not regretted anything I’ve gotten rid of so far. There has not been a time when I’ve said, “Oh, but what about that thing? I need that now.” I’ve carefully considered each item that stays in my home and I get rid of the rest. Everything I own will serve a purpose, benefit me in some way, or bring joy to me when I see it. If it doesn’t do that for me now, I’ve found that it won’t do that for me in the future.
This minimalism journey is far from over, but it’s such a fun and invigorating ride to get rid of the things that cause stress, clutter, and unnecessary distractions in my life. Here’s to a future filled with meaningful items, unconventional ideas, memorable experiences, traveling with my family, and teaching our daughter how to treasure people and experiences more than things and material possessions.
If you have any minimalism stories, tips, hacks, or struggles, or have any advice for minimalism with kiddos, leave them in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you all and form a community where we can encourage each other in our endeavors. 🙂 Live life adventurously in whatever way that looks like for you!