I imagine you sitting there reading this blog on your mobile device, blowing the hair from your eyes with gusto from your bottom lip, all while drinking a cup of something warm, and already overwhelmed by the day that has only just begun.
It's time to simplify. And declutter. And detach from possessions, and return to the root of our simple, authentic, needs.
When I first started decluttering my life, it began at home. I woke up one morning, tossing all the dusty items from my cupboard-- sorting piles to donate and trash. I thought that once I had finished piling through each room, I would be left feeling utterly free and unencumbered by all our stuff. However, with 6 people living in my home, 4 of whom collect things in their pockets and trade shopkins and bracelets at school, the work is never done. It must be constantly practiced and reminded.
Simple living and a minimalist lifestyle is less about change and more about habit. It means you must constantly emphasize needs and let go of your wants. It means, freeing yourself from things that are weighing you down. And trashing items that you are tripping over on your floor.
It is so easy to get caught up in consumption and desires to have the best of everything-- especially in this world of social media where inspiration is at every corner. All I have to do is scroll through instagram and suddenly I have clicked on a link to purchase some new frill from Esty or adorable outfits for my daughters or glassware from Anthropologie because I have somehow convinced myself that drinking from Mason Jars isn't pretty enough. Why does drinking have to look pretty?
Even if you have cleaned out every closest, emptied every cupboard, and made endless trips to consign your unworn clothing, one binge-shopping trip to Target can bring you right back to where you left off. Essentially, nothing will change on your journey to minimalism if you do not end the cycle of hoarding and consuming. Despite your best efforts, you will be left in a home (and a life, for that matter) that is brimming with chaos and clutter.
Confront yourself. Begin the journey. Release the wants. Turn away. Look inward. Find peace with what is. Enlighten your soul to the idea of being lighter and free yourself from your possessions.
Here are five steps to begin your journey toward Minimalism.
1.find your needs.
The first step in your journey toward minimalism is figuring out what you need to be happy. What matters most to you in this life? Possessions or experiences? Do you have get more from a brand new shirt from Nordstrom than you do from spending the day at the zoo with your children? Which will last longer-- your items or your memories? Which will play a larger roll in your overall well being? And the formation of the person you want to be? Sit with this for a minute. Now, strip your mind down to the bare bones of what makes you happy-- those, my friend, are your needs.
2. start the process of decluttering
The first step toward change is always the hardest. It's not easy to make the decision to throw away items that you have purchased -- it feels wasteful. I recommend donating or consigning your items when possible so you feel less guilty about this. Also, if you declutter for 20 to 30 minutes each day, the weight of your possessions will be lifted steadily and will allow time for adjusting to your new mindset. You may find yourself constantly feeling buyers regret-- looking at the unnecessary purchases that have filled up your life with clutter. It's okay. Feel that. Embrace it fully. And then, move on with the enlightenment to let go. After all, minimalism is not about having less, it is about making room for more of what matters.
3. stop spending.
Convincing yourself not to buy a new piece of home decor you saw on someone's IG feed, isn't the easiest thing to do. You might actually convince yourself that it is a need and not a want if you are conniving enough. Remind yourself of the freedom you felt while decluttering; and before each purchase ask yourself: where will this item live? can you afford it? is it timeless or is it trendy? and most importantly, is it needed?
4. keep it clean.
Simply stated, do not replace that which you have removed. Bask in the cleanliness of your bare boned living.
5. start spending.
This time, I invite you to consider how much you have saved on spending less on possessions and want and then ask yourself if you can now spend a little more on experiences. Minimalism does not have to mean you are frugal. Instead, indulge in new ways to enjoy the simplicity of making memories through experiences. Simple moments are the joys of life.
Minimalism: because the best things in life aren't things.