For about a year and a half, I have been doing a lot of tidying up and de-cluttering. It all started with Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix. You know, so many of us decided to tidy up after watching that show. But looking back now, I honestly believe that watching that show set me upon a path to a more minimal lifestyle. Because I kept tidying up and downsizing and re-arranging once my then boyfriend and now husband moved in. Suddenly my 1200 square foot apartment seemed a wee bit cramped. Suddenly, I had to figure out how and where to make space for his things.
It has not been easy. Honestly, I feel like all I’ve been doing is tidying up and yet, I always feel like there is clutter everywhere. It drives me nuts! So lately, my husband and I have been doing a lot of thinking as we tidied up. We have had to make hard decisions about things we are keeping and things we are not. And I’m not just talking about clothes, I’m talking bigger items like desks and storage units. Things we both spent big bucks on. But we know that we cannot possibly house everything and so, decisions had to be made. This meant a lot of conversations and we both came to realize, that purchasing a house just isn’t in our best interests. We both want to live more simply, in a home that is calming and cozy. Clutter really bothers my husband, and it heightens my anxiety. I work in an environment where I can’t arrange my space the way I like, or have things that are just for me. There are way too many other people in my work space and most of them are small children. So I need a home that is simple and soothing.
Reason One: Creating Calm
The first reason we want to live more simply (as in more minimally) is that we just don’t have the space to have lots of things. We had reached the point where our linen closest was stuffed full of towels and sheets. We had too many! I am not even sure how we got many, but we recently did a big de-clutter and bought new towels. We didn’t really need new towels, however, we decided that since we were starting a more simple life, we might as well start with some new things. And a lot the linens and towels were old. Plus, we used money gifted to us for our wedding. So out with the old, in with the new. We have tons of room for other things in our linen closet now so we stored some art supplies in there as well. Cleaning up that closet has actually created a lot of calm for me. I can put things away more easily and the closet is lot tidier. The closet is just one example of how too much stuff can really make your space feel uncomfortable instead of calming.
Reason Two: Working Towards Living with Little or No Debt
Let’s face it, debt sucks. But we are both forty and we do not want to start piling debt onto ourselves now. We are determined to living with little or no debt. So we are not purchasing a large house that will eat up nearly all of our income so that we have nothing left to enjoy life with, and have to struggle or add more debt to do something as simple as get away for a weekend. Living more minimally means that when I did buy new towels, I bought four towels. Four bath, four hand, four face. Because really, do we need more for two people? No, we don’t really. I bought good quality towels so that it will many years before they need replacing. This is putting money back into my pocket in the long run.
Reason Three: Being Truly Happy
Ever heard that happiness is a state of mind? I think there might be something to that as we seem to depend on stuff or the idea that “one day” we’ll have everything we need to be happy. But the truth is, we don’t need stuff to be happy. Fifty tops don’t make you happy. All the newest tech gadgets don’t make you happy. But living simply, in tune with yourself and what you need and value will definitely allow you to live a lot more happily as you’ll know the things you enjoy and be more engaged with yourself, your family and friends. In this way, I think happiness is a state of mind; it’s knowing your own mind and self that allows that happiness to soak into you.
Reason Four: Getting Back Lost Time
For years I have been saying, I have no time. No time to exercise, no time to visit my mom more often than I do, no time to indulge in hobbies. And the last year, even with Covid, I have felt that I am starting to have even less time. And I hate it! I hate having no time. But here is the thing: I spend so much time managing my belongings, tidying up, organizing, only for all of that to go the rails in a couple of weeks and then I’m back at square one. Lacking time. Stressed. Reducing the stuff in my house means I don’t have to manage it as much. I don’t have to house as much. I don’t need to store it in a bin or storage drawers. Because I don’t have it. And that frees up time because suddenly cleaning becomes cleaning and not organizing and tidying up. I have time without the stuff to enjoy a book the way I did when I was eleven, or to plan a nice meal. I’m using my time more wisely.
I am only at the beginning of this transition to minimalism. I still have a lot of clothes. I still have a lot of shoes. But the beginning is the scariest part I think, and I am learning that is it okay to let things go. The money I spent on high heeled boots ten or more years ago that I barely used is still spent even if I keep those boots my closet. Yet, it costs me nothing to donate them. So I have made the choice to try and sell these boots. Yes, it’s sad I can’t wear heels anymore (a story for another day) but why am I keeping these boots in my closet? Because they are cute? I’m housing something I never use and really, that makes no sense. So I am learning to let go. And honestly, each time I tidy up it is easier to let things go. I am sure this is a journey that will take time and one that may have ups and downs, and that’s okay. But knowing this is how I want to go forward in life, and why is so huge in helping me shift my mindset, and in letting go.
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What are your thoughts on minimalism? Share in the comments below.
i enjoy reading this so much, i have been getting rid of many things that I don’t use too and also saw the show on netflix
It’s a process and one that I know that even when I’m “done” I won’t really be done.
Great post! I haven’t specifically maintained this ideal but watching my mum go overboard and also being someone who is very careful with money, the mindset has settled in itself. I’d love to take it further when I have my own space, though.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Sumedha recently posted…Sum It Up || Where I Try To Catch Up On Book Reviews
Thank you! Glad you enjoyed the post.
I love the concept and practice of minimalism, especially in things like household items and clothing. I am challenged to keep only the things i need and will use and that definitely creates a sense of freedom and time!
I love that you are embarking on the journey and have shared your thoughts thus far! Best of luck and all happiness. 🙂
Thank you! It’s certainly going to be a process and journey and I’m excited about that.
I have twice in my life gotten rid of everything I own (except a very few personal items, like journals). It’s hard, but also amazingly freeing.
sadie recently posted…Spotlight: Sara Clemens Mystery + Giveaway
I’m finding it freeing too!
I don’t think this will ever be me. I love watching people go on their minimalism journey and I think you’ve made some really great points, but I tend to attach memories to things. If I look at my wardrobe and find an item I don’t wear now but I have strong memories of a specific time or event attached to it, I can’t throw it out. I guess that depends how much you have to begin with though, I try not to buy crazy amounts above and beyond my needs x
Sophie recently posted…Maple Parsnip & Potato Soup Recipe | Vegmas 2020
I hear you, it’s hard to get rid sentimental things.
I have been making a shift towards a much more minimalistic way of living as of late as well. I find that the lack of ‘clutter’ in my life really helps with my mental health. It keeps me from feeling overwhelmed, stressed out and anxious quite as easily.
Britt K recently posted…Hump Day Humour [November 18, 2020]
Excellent point! Less is more when it comes to your mental health.
I struggle to let go of sentimental things. but, I know when I have less stuff, I have more peace. Great article.
Carrie Pankratz recently posted…Busy Mom Must Haves to Make Life Easier
The struggle is totally real but yes, the less stuff the more you’re at peace In your home.
I really enjoyed this post and how you’ve managed to minimalize things in your home. thanks for sharing.
Jodie | That Happy Reader recently posted…Book Review – Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger
I am trying!! My bedroom now feels like a haven.
I love this post! I too have been trying to minimize my lifestyle to have a clean and fresh mind 🙂
Lynn Mejia recently posted…7 Rental Friendly Home Decor Tips
Exactly why I am doing this too!
Great post! Loved reading this! I agree with your tips and I think that being minimalistic is a good thing!
lifestyleseason recently posted…My 2020 Christmas Playlist
Glad you found it helpful!
i love the creating calm reason! I’ve become much more minimal recently and it has reduced stress in my brain so much as my surroundings at home are much less overwhelming x
Yes, I’m so glad to hear this. This is exactly why I’m turning to minimalism.
Brilliant post, lovely! I wholeheartedly agree with a lot of these. I’ hate clutter and although I’ll probably never be a minimalist in the literal sense of the word, I think less clutter physically, means less clutter mentally. And that’s absolutely what I’m striving for!
Jenny in Neverland recently posted…5 Reasons I Want To Travel More Post COVID
Thank you Jenny! Your point is absolutely spot on which is why I’ve started this journey.
I love the idea of minimalism and am working toward it. “Stuff” can be so distracting from what really matters!
Megan recently posted…Giant Paper Snowflake Craft with the Kids
It’s totally distracting! I am glad you recognize that and are taking steps to correct the stuff 🙂
I love this and I’m in total agreement! I aim to make this a goal of mine for 2021 and look forward to it. My husband likes to clutter and I need to get him on side a bit so I’ll get him to read this! Thanks for sharing!
You’re welcome! He will come around. It’s so calming you love it once you start.
My hubby and I are also working towards a more minimalist lifestyle. We’ve been doing a lot of de-cluttering and tidying up for a few months now. It’s a tedious process, but it’s really relaxing to have a more organized and clutter-free home. We are also trying to buy only the things that we need. The transition to minimalism is quite hard, but I agree that it can lead to a simpler and happier life.
Fritzie | Life Travel Soul recently posted…Last-Minute Christmas Gift Ideas for Her
It is hard! But I think it’s worth it. Right now I’m itching to start another de-clutter. I dread it, but I am also looking forward to it.
I think i could DEFINITELY use some peace and clarity. Although i don’s see myself fulLy minimalistic, I might try to incorporate some things from it!
Lisa | Mind and Body Intertwined recently posted…Tv-shows from the past
I don’t think I’ll go fully minimalist in that I’ll have very little stuff, but I am looking to make my space more open and remove items that I am housing just because 🙂 And I also think everyone’s take is a little different when it comes to minimalism.
I’ve been doing a bit of sorting/decluttering as part of my journey to becoming increasingly minimalist. This was a great reminder to keep going. Thanks so much for sharing your experience with this!
Molly @ Transatlantic Notes recently posted…Black History Month: In the Words of the Changemakers …
I’m so gald the post was helpful!