My biggest and maybe most selfish reason for minimalism is less mess! As a stay at home mom of two young children, it feels as if the messes never end. Even when my kids “help” clean up it is a whole lot of work. Pretty soon our two bedroom apartment starts to feel unmanageable.
As a mom less clutter means, taking away all my kid’s toys.
NOT! It means teaching my kids that “toys” are not everything. That nothing is permanent. Teaching my 3 year old about donation and really loving the things that she does have because she chooses everyday that this toy or book has been intentional purpose, to be loved.
As a wife and a teammate, it means putting more emphasis on the time together. The memories we make rather than the items we give. It means being intentional with our money and not adding extra unnecessary burden on my husband to provide things we don’t really need. It also means seeing the most value in my husband as a person and knowing that every single day; we choose each other.
Lastly, but maybe most importantly as a Human. Having less clutter can free up space not only in your home and in your heart but in your brain. Having less messes to pick up, less laundry to do, less bills or debt to think about and making more intentional choices leaves space to breathe and think about what the ‘best me’ genuinely looks like. What do i want from life? Do I want 10 mugs in a cabinet? Or would I rather reuse one? Am I missing those 9 mugs everyday I reach for my one? Or am I happy for the space in my cabinet to hold something else I find useful and enjoy?
Giving yourself permission to stop trying to keep up with the Jones’ Is liberating. Deciding that “because everyone else is doing it” is not a valid reason to need or want something is a total paradigm shift.
In an interview with Chris Guillebeau on the rich roll podcast he explains it best as (i am paraphrasing I highly recommend you listen to it for yourself). As children we are told, “be your own person!” “if johnny jumped off a bridge would you jump too?!” to instill a sense of self, a sense of identity. Would I really want to or to choose to jump off a cliff? heck no! However; at some point those same people ask you “when are you going to get married? you know your cousin is married.” or ” it is about time you buy a house, or have some kids?.. you know you are almost 30.” and all of a sudden is not acceptable to have an intention other than norm. If you ask yourself, do i want to have children? and your answer is no, it is met with shock and awe, how could you not want to be like everyone else and have the same “american dream” as your parents or your cousin who is doing everything “right”.
Well I am calling bull shit, and I am also promising to only bring things, people, and energy into my life that I love and that I choose. To me that is the heart of minimalism, not how many spoons I have or if my kids have more than 5 toys. To me it is permission to myself ; from myself to only have things in our life that bring us joy or serve a purpose. To live intentionally and with out clutter or anyone else’s priorities.
I want to live a less complicated life, less dramatic, less messy, less fighting over money and as I see it the quickest way to attain those things is to stop lying to myself about things I “need”. Air, My Family, Food and reasonable shelter I truly need! Everything else is a bonus, and in my opinion too much bonus becomes complicated. There will always be a newer gadget, a newer model, a bigger something and if you are so micro focused on those things you are missing space in your life to truly enjoy what you have now. Your health, your family… etc.
Tomorrow is never a guarantee, So decide what is actually important and cherish it today.