I am going to preface this by saying I am not a die-hard minimalist (yet!). If you walk into my home, you won’t see one lamp and one chair. You will see a home that two children living in it. You will see furniture, toys and some clutter. Trying to be a minimalist and having children is HARD! Trying to be a minimalist without children is HARD!
So, if you’re interested in minimalism remember: it’s a journey, not a destination.
Minimalism isn’t simply about owning nothing. It is, as minimalism advocate Joshua Becker says, about living simply. “Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.”
I wasn’t feeling fulfilled in my life and I started thinking about what truly makes me happy. I kept asking myself, “How can I find happiness right where I am?” What I realized was that “stuff” was taking up a lot of room, not only in my house but also in my thoughts.
Do you plan your day around the things you NEED to buy or the stuff you HAVE to clean? This creates a significant amount of stress and anguish in our lives. I want to be more present in my life and discover a purpose not centered in stuff.
This is where the having less stuff aspect comes into minimalism. But there are other parts to minimalism as well. Items hold value and when those items are no longer serving us or bringing value into our lives, then it is time to let go of them.
So how do you start? Here are a couple small tasks to get you on your way to living a simpler life.
- I started by going through my junk drawers, I dumped everything out and only kept the items I use on a regular basis or needed for the future.
- Then I went through my utensils drawer and organized. For me, having the things that I want to keep and that add value to my life organized helps me to have a clearer mind.
- I went through my closet and donated all of the things I haven’t worn in a year or more. Some of the things were just downright ugly, but this is one of the areas I struggle with the most. When you look at an item, if it brings up any negative thoughts or bad memories, get rid of it! This concept can be applied to all items, not just clothing.
- I went through my Facebook friends and deleted everyone I don’t actually consider a friend. Minimalism is not just about getting rid of objects; it is also about getting rid of things (or people) that don’t add value in our lives.
- I went through my son’s playroom (he helped!) and we got rid of any old or broken toys.
- I went through my garage and recycled all the old boxes and donated or threw away the old and broken stuff.
Keep a box by the door and as you find things to get rid of—fill the box! When the box is full—donate it!
These are all simple tasks you can do to start on your journey to minimalism.
Originally published on the author’s blog