A few weeks ago I had this sudden urge to declutter. Not in a I-need-to-tidy-up way, I did need to tidy, but this was different. I felt this urge to make a change. To get rid of my stuff. A lot of it. And to become that person who was no longer weighed down by her stuff. It stemmed from a conversation from a fellow Mom of two, whose second was born around the same time as mine. She talked about how when you are sitting in a chair breastfeeding (which can take 8 hours or more a day) you look around your house (which, for both of us, was filled with toddler AND baby mess) and you hate everything. HATE EVERYTHING.
So I decided to start clearing things out, in a dramatic fashion. I went though a drawer and ruthlessly got rid of things. Then, an hour later, I went through it again, and got rid of more. A week later, I got rid of even more from that same spot. A month after this urge began, I discovered The Minimalists (a blog all about minimizing and simplifying your life), and I decided to book a mentoring session with one of the authors, Ryan Nicodemus. I need to be more extreme in my de-cluttering, and I need someone to help me. Although I can’t do the “extreme minimalizing” he has done (kids are one major hindrance to this, amongst others) I want to reduce my personal belongings by at least a quarter, if not, a third. Here is why I really want to become a minimalist.
1. I can think clearer. I’ll know where my things are. I’ll be able to focus. Ever since I “discovered” I want to minimize, I’ve felt very weighed down by my stuff. I’ve wanted to come home from work and just throw things away, because my stuff has been distracting me. I’ve been unable to properly focus because what now feels like piles of stuff (my things used to be a positive, they aren’t anymore) is getting in the way of me thinking clearly. And one massive benefit of this clear out is that I will have less stuff and all of my current stuff will have a home. A proper home/shelf/drawer/space that it will not have to share with piles of other crap. I want to know where things are, and I don’t want to stress about finding them – when they are needed.
2. I won’t be tied down by stuff. My husband and I have talked about moving to Europe for a year, once the kids get to school age. Just the thought of packing up our house to rent it for a year puts me off this idea completely. But once I’ve minimized, it will be easy for me to get up and go. I moved so many things to Europe, and SO much back again, and the bulk of those things were useless. All they did was make it more difficult for me to move freely.
3. I’ll spend less money and be less wasteful. The strangest thing about my decision to try and become a minimalist is that I’ve lost the urge to shop. In fact, a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders, because I no longer have to save a ton of money for our trip to Sweden this summer, because I won’t feel the need to buy a ton of clothes. Normally I go to Europe with the aim to buy as many clothes as possible. Now, I’m going to Europe to relax, hang out, and enjoy myself. Of course I’ll buy a few things, but those will be meaningful, interesting things that I really want. Not piles of fast fashion.
4. And I’ll get to buy better things. And of course spending less money on things means I’ll have more of it, and I’ll be in the position to buy a few really nice things occasionally, instead of buying tons of things frequently.
5. I won’t spend my weekends clearing up. My husband will be thrilled at this prospect. Once everything has its home, and there are fewer things in the house, it will be easier to clean up. Yay!
I’m starting my mentoring with Ryan on Monday, so I will let you all know how it goes.
What does this mean about the blog? Just because I am minimizing, doesn’t mean I am no longer searching for style. And I have always tried to talk only about product I love and believe in, so I’ll still be sticking to that mantra. But maybe there will be a little less fast fashion and a little less of the frivolous short-lived trendy pieces we all don’t need more of. And that’s not only going to be a good thing for our closets and wallets, there are a lot of other things wrong with our desire for over consumption.