What is minimalism?

Some people hear the word minimalism and think back to an article they had read about the “crazy” guy who lives out of the back of a van only owning 50 items total. Maybe you think you need to live in a tiny home or never have children to be considered a minimalist. Sure, you could consider that a form of minimalism but that’s not what it’s all about. It isn’t about following a fad, or giving up your car or TV. It’s so much more than that.

Minimalism is about freedom and living a more meaningful life.

In fact, I started my own personal journey a couple of months ago. I wanted to free myself from the clutter and the overwhelm that I felt on a daily basis. I became anxious and then depressed because I was never able to catch up on the laundry, or the dishes, or the kids toys. I felt inadequate. I was sick of sacrificing time with my family, friends and time for myself because I was always playing catch up. I felt literally buried in my home.

When you eliminate the clutter, and the things that don’t truly bring joy, you make room for memories and overall purpose within your life. Minimalism frees you from the idea that we need “things” to be happy.

“Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.” -Theminimalists.com

True happiness does not come from things. I “knew” this already because that’s what people always say, but since a young age, I have formed emotional attachments to things. I had so many “collections” – business cards, rocks, stickers, paint swatches from the hardware store. As I got older, I found myself impulsively shopping because I was bored or needed a pick me up. Then, after having kids they became my new outlet to spend on. They were spoiled beyond belief. In fact there were so many toys in the toy box (and all over the floor) that they weren’t even playing with them. It was too overwhelming.

I knew something needed to change and I was finally ready to do something about it. I spent a month doing a deep sweep through the house. I took it room by room boxing up things that I hadn’t used or had worn in a while even if I “really liked” the shirt or “thought I’d use” the pan someday.

I got rid of over half of my wardrobe and am striving to own a capsule wardrobe. I’ll be making another post solely on explaining what that is. I was getting rid of so much I felt like we’d hardly have anything left but 3 months into our journey and my husband is finally on board. Even now after months of purging, we still box things away and feel like there is so much more we can free ourselves from. We set things aside, every single day.

During my first purge I didn’t want to throw the excess away so I decided to donate some and have a rummage sale with the rest. I filled up an entire 3 car garage FULL of stuff that SOMEHOW fit in our 800 sqft home and we made out really well when all was said and done. If you decide to take the resell route, I highly recommend you have a sale quickly or donate because you really don’t want to hold on to the things, you want to be freed from them.

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We feel lighter.

So far, minimalism has helped us…
– Spend more quality time as a family
– Alleviate anxieties and frustration
– Save our money for more important things
– Learn to let go
– Live in a more tidy home
– Make time to start up my own business
– Get outside
– Spend more time making memories
– Discover purpose in our lives
– Focus on health
– Grow more, consume less
– Live in the moment
– Reclaim our time

Minimalism has a different definition for everyone but one important thing is, it’s not about following a set of rules. Minimalism is more of a mindset. It’s about living with things you absolutely need or absolutely love, and decluttering the things you no longer need or want and making room for time, space, and freedom.

“Not that you should own nothing, but that nothing should own you.” – Ali Ibn Abi Talib

xxoo Kate

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