Becoming a minimalist used to sound like a hokey idea to me. When I heard the word “minimalist”, I envisioned kooky millennials in houses with white furniture (the perks of no kids), sitting around reading books chosen from their perfect modern bookcases that housed nothing but books with the same colored beige spines and sipping on chi-chi coffee drinks made from their $300 coffee pots.
Sounded like quite a bore, if you asked me.
Why would anyone want to be a minimalist when it looks so bland? I figured minimalism is just another one of those passing millennial fads and rolled my eyes every time something dealing with minimalism crossed my Pinterest feed.
I’ve always been the type that had to fully concentrate on one thing at a time. I do not multitask well at all. I also hate clutter and disorganization. I can’t think straight when surrounded by chaos and it really affects me to the point where I can’t function well. For example, I can’t sit down to go through the mail, pay bills, or even blog if my house isn’t clean and clutter-free to my impossibly high standards. Isn’t that sad?
Lately I have felt a little agitated and like I needed a project of some sort to focus on and keep me busy. I was also feeling overwhelmed and like everything was cluttered in my head and around my home. I was starting to compare myself to other people (totally unhealthy and unproductive) and finding solace in overspending and just buying stupid crap I didn’t even need. I was rushing from one obligation to the next and not taking time to slow down and just be. All of the “stuff”, online and offline, was making me crazy and it finally dawned on me the other night what my problem was. My life had become one big noise.
Becoming a Minimalist Might Just Save Your Sanity
In order to mentally and physically function well again, I had to start minimizing all the “stuff” in my life.
-Unfollowing people and things that brought me no joy on social media.
-Clearing out all of the extra crap in my life that just presented too many choices and confused me.
-Deciding what is absolutely necessary and what I can live without, and then letting go of the stuff I can live without.
I started in my living room and began a small box of random DVDs (that were never even opened), decor, and just other odds and ends that I no longer felt any attachment to. I also perused my bookshelves and purged at least 30 or more books to donate to our library’s annual book sale.
As I purged I also dusted and cleaned and when I was done, I noticed a funny thing. I instantly felt better and my mood had lifted! This is when I realized that minimalism is a good thing for me and it was making me feel more positive in just a matter of hours.
A New Way of Living
Because I work in education, I will have my summer days available to continue this paring down of our family’s things and I know it will take more than just a quick sweep of each room. I have more things to part with and will start back at the first room I started with once I have made it to each room in the house. Cleaning out is probably someone else’s idea of punishment, but I love organizing and I’m so excited to have the time to get to do this.
I don’t ever intend to paint our walls stark white, give up almost everything we own, and take minimalism to the extreme in our home, but I do see how paring down what we have will be good for my mental health, easier on our budget, and provide us with time for more purposeful living.
Imagine an empty inbox, not worrying about what to wear, less tchotchkes to dust, and more time for the things that matter.