Why We Choose Minimalism
Over the years, we have dabbled in minimalism. One month, we’ll be all in, get rid of things we know we don’t need, and then just as quickly as we purge, we bring more in. It’s been a cycle of inconsistency at best, and one that we have been desperate to break.
Because deep down, we want minimalism. We need minimalism.
Our boys reflect the effects of our consumerism…when we buy excess, they want more. When their toy bins are full, they don’t touch a single toy and play with a box instead. And in seeing that, we began to really look at ourselves. What did we want in life? How where we going to get there?
And while I will dive into those questions in a future post, today I want to share with you the reasons why we choose minimalism. Partly as a way to inspire anyone else on this path, and partly as a way to hold ourselves accountable. We’re human, and we’re prone to wanting things just as much as the next person, but we’re making a conscious decision to make different choices than what a large part of society deems as “normal.”
Now, for the record, this isn’t in any way a post chastising those who don’t choose a minimalist lifestyle. Each and every person must make the lifestyle choices that fit them. These are just the honest opinions of our family of 4.
1) Clutter stresses us out.
We didn’t even realize how much stress clutter causes until we did the final purge of our belongings. And as we sat there, in our mostly minimal living room (I have a thing for house plants and bohemian wall art), we realized that open spaces and natural elements bring us immense joy. When we removed all the stuff, we were able to enjoy what we did have. There wasn’t undue stress over cleaning what we didn’t even use and organizing things that didn’t deserve a space in our home.
2) Our son has Asperger’s.
Now, I’m not a psychologist or even close to an expert on matters of the mind, but our son’s Asperger’s and Sensory Processing Disorder had a huge role in our decision to minimalize our home. When his room was filled with stuff, his wall plastered with posters and pictures, and his daily life overwhelmed by things laying around, a simple request to ask him to pick something up always ended up in a meltdown.
And I get it. As his mom, I would look around and feel overwhelmed. I can only imagine how it would feel for someone who was even more aware of his surroundings. Simplifying everything around us is proving to be beneficial…our days are calmer, our surroundings are therapeutic. There is a balance between too little and too much for him, and we are finding that perfect area for him.
3) We have big goals to live in a little space.
We want to be full time RVing in a few years. And that’s a huge goal. It would be even more of a goal if we felt the need to keep a lot of things in our brick and stick home. But every single purchase we make, we think about how it will be used on the road. Every single item in our home has to either be well loved or extremely purposeful.
4) Our spending was out of control.
We learned the hard way. Instead of going to college, we went to the school of hard knocks, racking up a somewhat embarrassing amount of debt. Then we figured out a way to handle it responsibly. Yay! Right? Nope.
Because as soon as we figured it out, we bought a new car. And got a few new credit cards. Meaning we didn’t learn anything. Now, we are focused. We have a goal. And we are relentless in going after it. We realize that in life we do have needs, and as a family, we can’t just say we aren’t buying ANYTHING, but we’re much more aware of what we buy, where our money goes, and what our goals are.
5) It’s just easier.
Case in point: Just this last weekend, my husband’s work wanted us to move 3 hours away ASAP. We had planned on moving at the end of February, but when they gave him the opportunity to move sooner, we didn’t want to pass it up. We found an apartment, and just got the word that the apartment is ours. And we move in this weekend. Yep. 1 week before Christmas, with only 4 days to pack and clean up our current abode, we’re moving.
And I’m not worried. In fact, aside from the essentials that we need over the next few days, the house is all packed. It took me a day and a half, while homeschooling, running our etsy businesses, taking care of a sick kid, and a fiery toddler. And I’m not sharing this to be all like “Look how wonderful I am.” Because I’m totally not. But the gift of minimalism is that life is simplified. It gives me the opportunity to do what matters.
Instead of digging through the kitchen drawer looking for something, I have one each of only the things I need…and that has simplified my life in so many ways.
Minimalism isn’t for everyone. I know some people can’t and some people just don’t want to. Our life has been positively affected by minimalism, and it’s something I feel very passionate about. Over time, I look forward to sharing more on our journey, how totally non-minimalist we were once, and how we’re hoping to be even more dedicated as time goes on.
Thank you for stopping by!