“Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.
That doesn’t mean there’s anything inherently wrong with owning material possessions. Today’s problem seems to be the meaning we assign to our stuff: we tend to give too much meaning to our things, often forsaking our health, our relationships, our passions, our personal growth, and our desire to contribute beyond ourselves. Want to own a car or a house? Great, have at it! Want to raise a family and have a career? If these things are important to you, then that’s wonderful. Minimalism simply allows you to make these decisions more consciously, more deliberately.” –The Minimalists
We live in a small 1,500 sq. ft. home and when you spend more time cleaning than you do with your family, something isn’t right (in my opinion). For years I would spend who knows how many hours cleaning our home, washing/drying/folding laundry, ironing laundry, washing/drying/putting away tons of dishes, and dusting (what seemed like) a zillion pieces of furniture and decor on a daily basis. My work consumed me and I didn’t like how it took time away from my family, so I started reading up on how to create a more simple life, a minimalist life.
For my family, trying to lead a more minimalist lifestyle means downsizing all of our material possessions. Slowly but surely we are giving away, selling, and tossing out the things we don’t actually need. We are taking baby steps towards our goal right now, but each time we donate a box of clothing or have a yard sale I feel the load on my shoulders lighten up a bit.
One of the first things I did to help us create a more minimalist lifestyle, was to create a list of things that could use some downsizing.
Here’s my list…
- Accessories (purses, bags, etc.)
- Pillow, Bedding, Blankets
- Perfumes & Colognes
- Pots & Pans
- Appliances (small)
- Seasonal decor
- Bath & Beauty products
- Cleaning Products
- Garage (all the stuff in there)
- Shed (all the stuff in there)
- Totes of stuff (we have tons of totes full of things we don’t use)
I’m not going to lie, downsizing is hard. You either think you will need everything later on down the road or you think that everything has some sort of sentimental value. Those are the two biggest lies you tell yourself so you don’t have to part with your precious possessions.
Remove those excuses from your mind right now.
I understand where you’re coming from though, there are some things that I will never part with. They are sentimental. Like the handmade quilts my momma and great granny gave me, the tea pot that belonged to my granny, the tea cup that belonged to my great granny, and other things handed down to me from my loved ones. I think it’s okay to hang on to a few items like this, just don’t go overboard. 😉
The problem my family has is thinking that we will eventually get around to using this or that later. We keep all sorts of odd and end things that we think will be useful.
I’m guilty of making three huge totes to hand down to my children someday. They are full of their clothes from the ages of birth to 4-5 years old. I now see how ridiculous this is, so I plan to downsize their huge totes to small totes with a few baby clothes, their favorite stuffed animal, and their favorite book. Simple, yet thoughtful.
My husband is guilty of keeping everything. Seriously, everything! He saves cords, anything from phone chargers to audio/video cables. He saves old phones, some are from the early 2000s. He saves cans of paint that we will probably never use again, he saves everything. I guess I’m guilty too, I keep every kind of kitchen gadget I buy-even if I never plan to use it again. We have seriously gotten out of control, but taking baby steps towards a more minimalist lifestyle is helping.
Another helpful idea, along with creating a list, is to create a deadline. I don’t know about y’all, but I am one of those people who work best with a deadline. I like knowing I have a certain amount of time to complete a task. Our deadline is usually the day of our yard sale, then we have another deadline to donate the items that didn’t sell.
We also like to tackle one room at a time, this helps us stay focused. We go through each room with a fine toothed comb and we get rid of anything that we do not use.
Eventually, our home will be clutter free and simplified, but until then we will continue to work towards this goal. 💜
I hope this helped somebody out there and I hope y’all have a great week! 😊