5 Steps to Getting Started with MinimalismOn February 4, 2020 by Kari
Have you heard of minimalism? Do you wonder what it is and if you can make it work for your family? Me too!
I didn’t know minimalism was a thing and I’m definitely not a minimalist by nature. I’m quite the opposite. My husband however could be as long as you don’t touch his tools. But because of our journey to tiny living we have been working towards living minimalist for years now.
It started with moving a lot in our early marriage. We didn’t seem to stay anywhere that long. We stayed in the same city but when our lease was up we were ready to move on to another place. Each place we moved seemed to get smaller in square footage even as our family grew. Then we made the big move to Oklahoma into the smallest house we’d lived in. It was only 850 square feet. In order to make this move we had to purge a lot of our unnecessary possessions.
The tiny house movement had just started to pick up popularity when we were trying to figure out how we were going to get out onto our property quickly. We didn’t want a huge mortgage so we started to look into tiny living.
People we knew thought we were crazy! Being a family of four moving into a tiny house. We had already gotten the trailer to start building when we found out that I was pregnant. Everyone thought this would change our plans, but it just encouraged us to get our house built faster.
When going tiny you have no choice but to purge more and more. Even with downsizing over half of what we owned it wasn’t enough. Many times our tiny house felt overstuffed and unable to keep up on. As a family though we were closer than ever and enjoyed being in our house enjoying our homestead.
Our tiny house was always supposed to be temporary and we decided that it was time to add on an addition and make our tiny house double in size. We also discovered we were pregnant again! Even though we were making our house bigger I knew I had to get better at purging. This is when I discovered minimalism.
I binged on blogs about minimalism, joined facebook groups, and found YouTube channels to figure out what this life was all about. While pregnant I wasn’t able to work towards this dream of an even more simple life due to having a hard pregnancy. Instead I learned everything I could.
Now that Baby Boy is almost five months old I’m finally getting started! Having the addition opened up and seeing just what our house could look like if I work hard towards this goal was all I needed. The stress relief I felt when I wasn’t staring at clutter all the time was something I had never experienced before.
So as I’m going through this process I what to pass on what I’ve learned and encourage you to see where you have excess in your life. What areas of your life do you need to purge in? With consumerism the way it is today we all have many more possessions than we need and can start there. Then move on to other areas of our lives that could use the minimalist touch.
What I’ve learned about minimalism
- Minimalism is for everyone! Minimalism isn’t about only owning a certain about of items. It’s so much more. It’s about clearing out all the excess in your life that is holding you back from living your best life. The life you want. For me this means that I’m spending way too much time caring for possessions in my house than I am on my kids. I don’t want my children growing up only remembering me being overwhelmed with the house being a mess and always working on keeping it clean. I want them to remember us learning together, going on adventures and enjoying life together. I want them to know that possessions in our home have a purpose and if they aren’t serving us then they need to go!
- Just get started! It so easy to look around your house and feel overwhelmed, I know because I’ve been there. Honestly, we went out and purchased a shed that was half the size of our tiny house because I was so overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start. I needed to get out everything that was in my way to see what we really needed. That was over a year ago and I’m just now getting started on clearing it out. I also In my car right now I have six large black trash bags of clothes to take to the local church that hosts a monthly giveaway from those in need. It feels amazing knowing that others are going to get use out of what we no longer need. I also was able to give five white trash bags of girl clothes to a mama with two girls. Even though it is hard to pass on my little girls clothes I’m blessed that another mom is filled with joy with my blessing. So my advice to you is just get started. We started with emptying everything we could out of our house into a shed. You can start smaller and just go through your clothes right now. Stop reading, get up and spend 15 minutes just taking out everything that is too small and you don’t like and load it up in your car. Doing this will let you feel how freeing it really is to get rid of things you don’t need.
- Don’t buy organization products! I’m having the hardest time not wanting to decorate as I’m decluttering. I want all the cute little baskets to put the baby toys in, the Wii games and shoes. But I’m still very much in the purging stage even in my house so I don’t want to bring items into my house that might not be want I really want once I reach a point where I’m happy with the amount of items in my house. This is a process and finding the perfect items to make my home beautiful to me will come but it’s not now. So get through the major purge, use the baskets and boxes you empty to house the items you are keeping. Then once you have reached an end then think about what you’d like to purchase to replace the items you don’t love.
- There is really never an end to purging! Yes, I know my last sentence just said when you reach the end but there will never truly be an end. You and your family will continue to bring things into your home. When this happens you will need to remove the items they will be replacing. Kids will get older and younger aged toys will need to be let go. Body shapes will change, styles will change so clothes will need to be checked often to see what needs to go. So be mindful of the end you feel you reached. Although there will come a point in our journeys where we will feel a piece about our possessions, I’ve reached mine for our master bedroom, we need to know that as our life goes on we will need to keep an eye on what’s coming and staying in our house.
- Minimalism can be whatever you want it to be! One thing I love about the Minimalist Mom group I’m apart of is that you get to see how some many people have embraced this lifestyle. There is definitely a decorating style to minimalism and it speaks to my heart! Our walls are grey and white and I plan to keep everything the stereotypical minimalist style. At least in our main living spaces. I won’t force it on my kids. They do get to add color to their rooms within reason. So if bright colors and loud art work speak to your soul and give you peace and happiness then enjoy them. Minimalism is whatever your make of it. It’s more about being free from over-consumption and over-scheduling so you can enjoy life than anything else!
So get started living the life you really want by getting rid of the things that are holding you back! You won’t regret it! I may still have a longways to go, construction in our house is making it go slower than I’d like, but I know each step we are taking is towards living the life we are already starting to enjoy!
– Trucker’s Wife – Homeschooling Mom of 3 – Essential Oil Fanatic – Learning to Live Healthy – Beginning Homesteader – Trim Healthy Mama –