Over the past ten years I have been practicing minimalism without even acknowledging. I started long ago but have really been in tune these last 5 years about what it truly means and how it has changed my life entirely. What is minimalism? I always tell people, “It’s a way of life with less mess”. And what I mean by mess is that everything involving chaos escapes. Living with freedom, less guilt, a ‘no strings attached’ kinda feeling! So how did it change my life? How can minimalism change yours!? Let’s be minimalists shall we……..
When my girls were little we moved around a lot and still do. I kept important things packed away every single year without unpacking because I knew that within a short period of time we would be getting up and traveling once again. We were never settled. I love to travel and explore, so this part of my life never truly bothered me but I did often get tired of it. My little sis would often ask why I would get rid of everything and start over so frequently. She didn’t understand it and most people do not. I have always lived a life where I GET RID OF THINGS. Because they are just ‘things’.
Having the same sofa set for years never interested me. I change furniture at least every six months to a year. Unless it’s a really good piece then I’ll hang onto it. Tables get turned like the flip of a switch. At one point in my life I was re-selling furniture for a living.
At it’s core, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it. It is a life that forces intentionality. And as a result, it forces improvements in almost all aspects of your life. – becoming minimalist
For me, I find that having the same set of wine glasses for long periods of time is a nuisance. My cabinets get cleaned out monthly. If I’m tired of seeing something it goes in the garbage. Our walls usually stay bare with the exception of a few pieces of art here and there. It’s never, ever overcrowded. A lot of furniture and items gives me anxiety. I have walked into several homes that are filled with enough stuff to fill 2 homes or more. I have indeed gotten sick as a result of it. The overwhelm is powerful.
The purity and sanctity of not only our bodies but our homes and surroundings is crucial to a healthier life. My lifestyle has always been minimum. I strive with less stuff. And that doesn’t mean just things. It means people, places, jobs, and even where I shop. Does Walmart give you anxiety? It has the same effect on me. So I avoid it. Have I shopped there, sure! But if I can go someplace else that doesn’t hold a lot of chaos, I’ll choose simplicity over crowds and massive amounts of ‘things’.
Minimalism is the act of freedom. The less is more approach. Can I have plants, yes! Do I need a million of them, no. It’s the feeling of open space, airy, breathable. How many times do you walk into a place that is over stuffed with items and feel bad energy? It’s not a good feeling. I like spaces that I can BREATHE in. I’ve also learned over the past year what Feng Shui is all about. When you incorporate those styles into your living space, the good energy is able to flow!
When I professionally clean a home, I immediately start to de-clutter. I take everything off the vanity, the counter tops, pick things up off the floor and store them away for the home owner to organize. I always leave a home that I have cleaned with a free space. The vanity should only have soap and a towel on it. Some of you keep toothbrushes, hair brushes and tools that you use every single day on top of the counter space. But there’s a drawer for that. And if you cannot find room to store these everyday must haves, get rid of them! Or take an organizing shoe rack that hangs on the doors and place your bath essentials in those. The important thing for me as a house cleaner is to make the house clean. And I can only accomplish that by removing what doesn’t belong.
How has minimalism changed my life? Well, I feel such a relief when I get rid of the things that are not important to me. I like things, don’t get me wrong. However, in order for me to get something new, I must delete some things that are old. I can use my mug collection as an example. Years ago I had an obsession with buying cute mugs. As a coffee drinker I only really have a few that are my favorite. And so, I decided that hoarding the other mugs in the cabinet where they were getting no use was absolutely pointless. Insane. I eventually parted with the mugs that I never used. It felt so amazing and to be honest, there is no need for me to collect things just for dust!
I’ve reached an all time high in my life with energy. I had no clue what the law of attraction was and when I learned more about it my life changed instantly. I began to be more calm and relaxed in situations. I became kind. I started to envision a life more purposeful. I began to believe that my well being was important enough to listen to. Waking up each day to live for me and not everything else was powerful. What can I do today that will make ME happy! I want to do things I enjoy doing. I have the freedom to make those decisions.
There are 3 things I do each and everyday that helps me maintain a minimalist lifestyle:
- Make the bed- first things first, get rid of your flat sheets. This is part of the reason everyone hates making their beds. You have too much on them. All you need is a fitted sheet, a blanket or duvet. Nothing else. If you get cold then put another blanket on top at night and remove it to a basket in the morning. Makes making a bed so much easier, trust me!
- Clean up + declutter- I always make sure the kitchen sink is empty and the clothes are not piled up even if that means doing laundry everyday. I tend to throw clothes away that we barely ever wear, if they are getting raggedy or if I just don’t need them. I only use white towels and this helps with doing laundry. If I feel like tossing a fork because we have too many then I just throw it in the garbage instead of washing it. Those little things just make me feel better. We don’t need a 50 piece silverware set when there’s only 4 of us eating and we only use 4 forks, every day.
- Rearrange the living space- this may sound like too much for you but if you start off small like moving throw pillows from one sofa to the chair and taking a piece of decor and relocating it to see what you actually have in your home, you begin to think if you really need it at all. By relocating items even to the kitchen table just to remove them from their current location gives you the opportunity to LET GO.
So, my challenge to everyone interested in becoming minimalist with me is to :
A.) Go through your space ( can be your homes, cars, offices, etc ) and eliminate everything that is pointless. It can be an abundance of paper clips, I don’t care. Get rid of them if you don’t use them or if they serve no purpose.
B.) Each day get rid of something else. As mentioned above it can be something so small like pencils, butter knives, excess cups, clothing, and experience the relief.
C.) Enjoy the simple things. Keep what makes you happy. You can have things with living minimalism. You just don’t need an overwhelm of the same things.
D.) Don’t overwhelm. It takes time to adapt to a much simpler lifestyle and it doesn’t mean that you have any less of a purpose here, it just means that you are freeing your soul and surroundings to pick up different energies that serve a much greater purpose.
E.) Post and share your progress. I love seeing how change is made and it puts a smile on my face. So share your updates. Tell us how it makes you feel.
If there is anything that I can do to help you feel more like a minimalist…..please don’t hesitate to comment, like and share! I can’t way to hear your stories!