The last few months have been such a whirlwind. There’s been waiting. A new baby. Lots of change at home. Less time to spend on everything. All of this prompted a bit of a change in me and I went looking for inspiration on how to simplify everything.
I stumbled across minimalism. Simple living. Slow living. Lots of similar themes with different names, different meanings. Here I found elements and themes that I felt would work well as part of our lives, so thought I’d share a little about what I associate minimalism, why I’m trying it and how it’s going so far.
What is minimalism?
There’s a few definitions floating around trying to nail down just what minimalism is. I think it’s something that’s unique to you and your life. My idea of a more free, less cluttered life will be different to the next person’s.
For some people minimalism is living out of a backpack, travelling the world with no set home or possessions. My approach is way less stark (hey, I have two kids and like home!) and ties into what The Minimalists have to say about it:
“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.”
For me it’s about figuring out how I want my life to be and eliminating things which don’t match that. Working out ways to make the mundane things enjoyable. Changing my mindset when it comes to situations and possessions to reduce stress. Get rid of things I don’t need in search of a clear home, clear mind.
It’s something that feels natural and glaringly obvious now. I mean, why wouldn’t I want to find ways to be more present, find more joy and discover who I am and what I want to do?
Why do I want to try minimalism?
I mentioned that we’re going through a period of change.
We’re adjusting to life as a family of four and all the extra clutter, time management and planning that it involves. Something just sparked a desire to step away from a negative way of responding to things into something more positive.
The daily grind of washing up, tidying up, nappy changes and so on can really wear you down, no matter how much you love and thrive on being a parent. I can’t magic the dirty dishes away but I can deal with it in a better way, and kids make mess but by reducing the clutter it’s easier to deal with every day.
After becoming a mum the first time three years ago I found a new confidence, and this time around it’s the same. When you become a parent I think it’s very easy to lose yourself to your identity as a mum or dad. I’m hoping that adopting a minimalist approach to life will help me rediscover who I am, what I enjoy and find some new hobbies or experiences to try.
Here’s some other results I’m hoping for:
- More time for conversations and relationships
- Spending less money buying things I don’t need, won’t miss and won’t use
- A tidier home where things are where they’re supposed to be
- Accepting who I am and making the most of it
- Less stress from daily life
- Greater freedom, awareness and positivity towards money
If I had to sum it up in a one liner though, I’m getting rid of a whole lot of stuff to make more room for the things that matter to me.
I’m kinda excited about the prospect of that – aren’t you?!
How’s it going so far?
I pretty much decided I was going to do this maybe a week or two ago, so no major changes here yet.
The biggest change has been an ‘on’ switch when it comes to my general approach to things. I’ll admit I used to be pretty unmotivated, even lazy at times. An extra hour in bed, another ten minutes on Pinterest – all in the name of delaying the things I didn’t want to do like chores or phone calls. Now I’m up early and the first thing I do is make sure the front room and kitchen are tidy and clean. It gives me massive satisfaction, which is a huge mindset change.
I’ve also taken steps to reduce the amount of stuff we own. I’ve gone through my wardrobe and reduced it by two bagfuls. We’ve donated toys we no longer use. Used up and thrown away shampoo and cosmetics.
Already I’m loving the prospect of reducing what I own, buying less and carving out time to dedicate to bigger goals. I’m a total minimalism ‘newbie’ but there’s always time to start something new, right?
Is minimalism something you’re interested in trying? What’s your take on it all?