Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Embracing Minimalism

Minimalism has always appealed to me - perhaps because I always felt overwhelmed by the need to pick up so many things I owned which I wasn't really fond of. Toys, books, clothes, makeup, and the list goes on. When I married, my husband and I lived in a tiny apartment which we managed to barely fit ourselves into, and part of that was deciding what our essentials were, though we weren't living with the minimum.

About two years ago, I threw away or sold the majority of my clothes and started using a capsule wardrobe (just before I became pregnant, which was terrible timing, as most of what I wore was tailored). It has only been in the past month I've been able to finalize it so that almost every piece is high quality, can be worn year-round, is maternity-friendly, and can be worn while nursing a baby (I am still nursing and hope to have another baby soon).

A little over a year ago, I reduced my cleaning and hygiene items to the bare minimum - having only what I can make myself with the fewest ingredients possible. There were only two things in this area I now buy instead of making myself, and that's great! 

This year, we had a big move, and with the extra space, I still felt like we were squeezing unnecessary things into our home. I felt overwhelmed by all the cleaning that needed to be done, despite the fact that there are only three of us, and we are all neat freaks. 

Sometime in mid-August, I offhandedly mentioned to my husband how much minimalism appealed to me, and he agreed it sounded like a great idea. It went no further than that until a week later, when I read an article about the benefits of minimalism. Excited, I started boxing things up in the kitchen. It was my domain, so I knew I wouldn't be disturbing my husband if he ended up not liking me taking action. When he came home from work that day, he seemed pleased.

We now own about a third less than we did at that time, and I'm still going through smaller areas as I think of them. I'm a book person, and I have gone through my books twice, getting rid of ones I didn't really enjoy, could find cheaply and easily if I needed them, or get at the library. Even as I write, I'm staring at the shelves, thinking about getting rid of more of them. It feels so freeing, and I feel less stress in terms of cleaning. I have an inkling this will continue as we evaluate things and decide if they really add value to our way of life. 

Have you thought about minimalism? Would the idea appeal to you or make you uncomfortable? 

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