Health & Wellness

My adventure with minimalism

He who buys what he does not need, steals from himself – Swedish Proverb

Ok! I don’t know about you, but there is something freeing about being in a tidy, organized room. On the flip side, I get chest pain when I’m in a disaster of a room. Enough so, people sometimes poke fun at me about it. I even find it funny at times. I mean, who doesn’t like cleanliness and organization!? Right? Doesn’t everyone feel the same way? Short answer…No. And really, why would they? 

I saw a documentary on Netflix at the beginning of the new year called Minimalism. I highly recommend you watch this. It is the first time I was able to have an explanation for what I feeling. 

Let’s backtrack a little. My heart and mind needed organization at home. When I lived on my own, it was rare that even a speck of dust was out of place, but now I’m married with a child and 3 dogs, which is not conducive to what my mind needed to thrive. I’ve needed to let go of the control. (Big, big admission here folks!) 

The documentary showed me why I’ve been struggling so much with clutter and the anxiety it was causing me. In a nutshell, why am I allowing so much stuff in my home to begin with? Why am I hanging onto it if I haven’t used it in the past 5 years, or why did I buy it if it wasn’t something I needed or would add value to my life? The inside of our personal space is a reflection of what is going on inside of us. Wow! Lightbulb moment here…Got it! 

I have have since been on a mission to minimize my home and I cannot tell you how freeing it has been. What a trip! Talk about getting a monkey off your back and lightening of a very heavy load. I am fired up and gaining momentum to keep this going. 

Day by day, item by item how you choose to process things is entirely up to you. Here are a few tips to ask yourself if you decide to give this a try. 

  1. Are you using this item on a regular basis? You can create your own rules here. For example, my turkey roaster is used twice a year and boy is it handy. On the other hand, I have stuff in totes from our last move 2.5 years ago….
  2. Does it add value to you? Everyone is going to have different values here, so let’s not judge one another ok? 
  3. Are you hanging onto something because you think you have to out of obligation? I’m so guilty!
  4. Is it a ‘Just in case’ item? This is talked about in that documentary. Taking up space that it doesn’t need to. 
  5. How many of the same thing do you need? I had 15, yes 15 scrapers for my kitchen….Really?
  6. How about this….Hanging onto things because you can make something from it. I have totes upon totes of craft or ideas of things I’ve wanted to make. All collecting dust. 
  7. Here’s a biggy – Is this item worth YOUR time, that you have to spend cleaning, caring or storing it? 

There are countless ways to approach Minimalism or Major spring cleaning. I have tackled this systematically , starting upstairs and making my way to the basement, then the garage. Donate, sell, give away or take it to the trash. This will be a long journey but oh so worth it!

Don’t be hard on yourself if you feel guilty or discouraged about being in this same position. Instead, have fun with it and love the process. It is so contagious, you won’t want to stop once you start. It’s even more fun when your family gets on board. Victory! 

Here is a link to the 30 day challenge recommended by the Minimalists. They also have a really interesting website and helpful podcasts if you are curious. Let’s Play a Minimalism Game http://www.theminimalists.com/game/ via @TheMinimalists

This is not for everybody, but it has certainly done amazing things for me and I wanted to share with you. 

If you do embark on some kind of journey like mine, comment on this letter and let’s share our successes and stories! 

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