Minimalism is a big word in our culture right now. There are TV shows about how to throw away all your stuff, endless blog posts about how to organize your crap, and of course all of these different definitions of what it actually means.
So what is minimalism?
Well, according to the dictionary, it was a period in art and music where things were made with a small amount of simple form, using a small selection of things in repetition.
This obviously has nothing to do with our current idea of minimalism – but we have stolen a basic idea from the artistic period and applied it to our modern lifestyles.
When I first heard of the word minimalism, I thought of people that had all white/gray houses, no decorations, only necessary pieces of furniture, ate organic and owned three outfits. This is not a lifestyle that I could not practically achieve unless I was single and childless.
As I began my life as a wife and mother, I noticed a pattern. It was a pattern that had been there for my entire life: I liked to throw away what was unnecessary for my survival & happiness. Even as a child I had done this, but I never understood why I was doing this.
It wasn’t until further study into the minimalist lifestyle that I noticed something… I was a minimalist and I didn’t even know it! What a crazy and wonderful revelation.
There are so many different levels of minimalism. There are those people I referred to above that own next to nothing, or travel the world with one bag of belongings. That’s amazing, and I totally respect these people.
There are many levels in between, but if I could pick one word to explain why to choose a minimalistic lifestyle, it would be this one:
Regardless of your circumstances, you can choose to be free.
Free from clutter.
Free from a burdensome schedule.
Free from indecisiveness.
Free from stress.
That freedom comes from limiting your responsibilities, belongings, bills, and stress.
How do you become a minimalist?
Being a minimalist doesn’t mean you can’t have a colorful home, a fashionable wardrobe, or eat cookies. Finding freedom from your stuff will mean something different to everyone. But all of us can find that place by following a two simple steps.
- Get rid of what you don’t need. Go through your closet, your storage shed, your calendar, your file cabinets. Get rid of everything that isn’t necessary or doesn’t bring you joy.
- Carefully consider before adding anything (events, belongings, etc.) into your life. Stop impulse buying. Stop saying yes to everything you are asked to do. Eat at home more often.
What will minimalism do for you?
This way of life will limit stress greatly. Just think….
What if you only had clothing in your closet that fit you well and that you love?
What if you calendar becomes less busy… only with things you enjoy doing on it?
What if your house is clutter free, because you only own things that are necessary or beautiful?
What if your monthly bills decrease because you get rid of a few things you don’t even use anyways?
What if you stop wasting food because you have a streamlined meal plan that works for your family?
What if your day is stress free because you have a simple schedule that keeps you on task every day?
What if you can finally fit all those books on the shelf because you got rid of all the weird ones you didn’t even know you owned?
What if it only took you an hour to clean your house because there is nothing in it to clean?
Imagine the stress-free zone your home could be if you embrace this lifestyle! Like I said, it looks different for everyone. There is no one size fits all for minimalism. The real question is this:
What is crowding your life and making things overwhelming? Get rid of those things to make more room for what you & your family love! That is the heart of minimalism.