Minimize March

At the time of starting this entry, it is actually February 2nd. January seemed to last a lifetime and was a record-breaking month in terms of freezing temperatures. One of the few positives of this, is that I was able to take time to clean and organize some areas of the house that needed some attention, badly. Though as I type this, I look around and can see that there are many areas that have once again become neglected due to a more hectic end of the month schedule. So today, I tackle it, again, and get back that focus!

Spring cleaning frenzies are 100% real. And I have to wonder, do we get into it more here in the upper midwest since we’ve been hibernating all winter? Warm weather people, tell me, do you go into spring cleaning phases??!

I will be the first to admit that I have too much stuff. I’m not a hoarder by definition, but I just have too much of everything. And I think we can all agree that we here in the US, especially, have too much. We consume to much of material items as well as other content. We are a society of stuff and thinking we need it all. I feel I have gotten better with thinking I need the new improved version of every, but I still have room to grow.

I’m the type of person who, if I find a piece of clothing that I love and fits me well, I will buy it in another color, OR in the same color thinking about the future of that piece of clothing and that eventually it will get worn out. Let’s be real, once that clothing piece has been worn, I’m usually over it and it’s served it’s purpose and I’m already on to the next favorite piece! It’s a strange mindset, but I’m sure I am not alone in this.

Minimalism is something I became interested in a few years ago when I happened upon a documentary on Netflix called “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things”. Essentially it follows two guys who decide to minimize their possessions and life in big ways. It is inspiring and fascinating. Around that same time is when I started learning about tiny houses as well. A documentary that was inspiring for this concept is called “Tiny: A Story About Living Small”. I do not think it is still available on Netflix but if you can find it on another streaming site, I would highly recommend it.

minimalism

Living small and minimizing our possessions is an extremely attractive idea for me. However, in reality, I think it would be very hard for me to downsize our space even more. I like to call our house a “tiny house” as it is. But in reality, it’s an average size. The idea of bigger is better is so ingrained in our minds when it comes to house shopping and building. When we first bought our home, it was only going to be our “starter home” with goals of building or buying bigger down the road. This year we will have been in this home for 9 years, and I can’t imagine going larger. If we had kids, there may be a change in my tune, however, I wouldn’t want to go much larger and perhaps just a change in layout. Whenever I get frustrated with lack of space, which is much less now, I think about the tiny home my dad grew up. It was him, his parents, and 8 other siblings. They all slept upstairs in a big open space. Every time I step into that space, I can’t believe a home of 11 people was able to live in there. But they made due, and the kids were often outdoors playing and making the most of it. Growing up my sister and I had our own bedrooms and a lot of space indoors and outdoors to play. Something we just knew as normal, but looking back on it, we were extremely blessed as it’s not the case for all.

Minimalism noun

1.

a trend in sculpture and painting that arose in the 1950s and used simple, typically massive, forms.

2.

an avant-garde movement in music characterized by the repetition of very short phrases which change gradually, producing a hypnotic effect.

Most recently I have been watching the Marie Kondo Netflix series. Ironically, I had been given her book to read and never read it. I thought her methods sounded familiar and lo and behold, her book was on my night stand–under a pile of other books. Oops. Better later than never! What I enjoy about her method is the joy part of it. If it doesn’t bring you joy, then why do we keep whatever the item is? It can be clothes, an object, a photo, etc. After watching the first episode I admittedly couldn’t wait to start tossing things. When I do a sweep of my closet, I have a really hard time getting rid of clothing–even ones that I know I haven’t worn for at least a year or more. A part of me thinking, “I may wear this again”. The honest question I need to ask myself is “Is this realistic?” Usually the answer is, “absolutely not”. So I tossed my clothes on my bed and quickly tossed a ton in the “doesn’t bring me joy” pile. It felt amazing to know I had that much more space in my already limited closet and drawer space (a 1950’s home has very little for closet space).

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I have a long way in perfecting a minimalisic lifestyle. To me becoming more of a minimalist is more than just be reducing the items in my closet or cupboards. It’s about minimizing our waste and reducing and reusing things more often. It’s about remembering my reuseable bags when shopping. It’s about minimizing clutter not only physically but mentally, too. In a life of feeling like I’m constantly in motion, I’m always trying to find ways to be more efficient with all the hours in the day, but not forget about the other important people in life. That’s what is most important to me. To live a life of joy but not leave behind those important. And so I will continue to learn ways to clean up space to fit it all in.

Have you adopted a minimalistc lifestyle? Is it something that interests you? Let me know in comments! I’d love any advice or ideas! We learn from one another 🙂

Happy decluttering, friends!

Mallorie

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