Let me just preface this post by saying that I am in no way, a master of minimalism. I feel like on the scale of novice to expert, I am somewhere in the lower to middle half. I know enough to apply it to my life and live it out, but I certainly have not taken any of the practices to the extreme.
I have learned that minimalism is very individual. What works well for me and my life, may not be the case for you and yours, so keep that in mind when applying these tips!
“Minimalism isn’t about removing the things you love. It’s about removing the things that distract you from the things you love.”
Now stop and re-read that quote. It’s a good one!
I always assumed that minimalism would leave me with nothing, but it has actually been quite the opposite. It has left me with the things that mean the MOST. I have room for fulfillment and have left the “fluff” (as I like to call it) in the past. Minimizing doesn’t have to be complicated; it truly can be combed down to five simple things.
1. Determine what (and who) hold value-
The first step to minimizing is to figure out what you can and cannot part with. In order to properly do this, you have to decide what matters the most and what your end goal looks like. This is why minimalism is so individual! This step may feel overwhelming at first, but I promise it is crucial to the process. Knowing and identifying the things that *spark joy* or the relationships that add value to your life will help you weed out the others that just simply don’t.
A lot of times this step can feel difficult because there is the added weight of guilt that we put on ourselves, guilt that is most of the time driven by facing our reality. Everything and everyone we have in our lives we allowed ourselves to have. They are there because we have said yes to them at one point or another. We can drop the guilt when we accept that not everything (or everyone) in our lives comes in for forever. Sometimes it is just for a purpose or season.
2. Free yourself from the “fluff”-
I mentioned this F word in the beginning, and it will forever and always be my favorite step. Fluff in my mind is all of the extra stuff that we hang on to that doesn’t truly benefit us in any way. I am an organizer at heart and love visually seeing the progress, so it is no surprise that the gut stage excites me. Now that you have determined what holds value, go through your home, day, social media friends list, etc., and simply free yourself from that fluff.
3. Stop over-committing-
This step is as easy as it reads. However, there is something wired within us moms that makes us think that we have an endless supply of energy. Even though we all know full well how that burnout feels! We cannot say yes to everything and truly have it be what’s best for us. Know your own limits, set boundaries, and re-evaluate/clear your calendar. It will go a long way to opening up some mental space and ultimately help restore peace to your day to day life.
4. Embrace the less is more mentality-
If you have read anything about minimalism, I am sure you have heard this before. For everything you are giving up, you are really just making room for something more fulfilling. It is a mindset shift. Less stuff = more space. Less stress = more sleep. Less spending = more saving. Less clothes = more closet space. And the list truly does go on and on. When you fully embrace this mindset, you won’t feel like you are missing out. In fact, you will actually know that you are truly living.
5. Live and maintain-
Just like with anything in life, minimizing takes commitment and re-evaluation over the years. I wish it was a one and done type thing, but that is definitely not the case. I’m assuming that is why people tend to refer to minimalism as a lifestyle. Minimizing my life has not made it perfect, but it has made it more manageable and enjoyable. I will say that the longer you practice this way of living, the less it feels like a chore and the more you just adapt it as a part of you!
The best gift you can give to yourself is the gift of learning that less is actually more.
Think less about what you are letting go and more about what you are gaining. Stuff is just fluff, and life is worth LIVING!