The Bare Minimum
One mama's real & occasionally humorous minimalism journey.
I love a container. Even better if it's cute! So here's one example of the sorts of containers I have all over my house. It's sweet. It's precious. It traps dust and gives me a free pass to be lazy.
Yep. Instead of actually putting my jewelry away, I toss it on this precious little jewelry holder...along with bobby pins, hair ties, and anything else I'm too lazy to put away.
You see, I sort of have this "why bother putting it away because I'm going to need it tomorrow" mentality. (That reminds me. I need to make my bed.) But the truth is that everything has a place, and if I simply put everything back in its place then my countertops would be clean, and this adorable jewelry holder wouldn't be overflowing with junk and littered with dust. And my countertops would be clean. (Oh, did I write that already?) Why don't I? Because I'm LAZY and because I have this cute little container.
So, I made the decision to get get rid of it. I gifted it yesterday through my local Buy Nothing group. I posted it, and it was picked up within a couple of hours.
But it's so cuuuuute! But it contains things! BUT...BUT...BUT! The real truth is that it was simply taking up space and needed. to. go.
So, now there's an APB out in my house for any suspicious-looking containers (you know the kind... precious little clutter catchers that are holding hostage items that already have a place to call home).
I realized it last night. This whole shift to minimalism isn't going to happen overnight. If all that it took was for me to donate some old clothes and clean out some cabinets then I would've mastered minimalism years ago. Ah! That would be so much easier.
No, this is going to take some time, and that's okay. This is going to require a true transformation, and in order to keep my kitchen tidy, I'm going to need to create space in my kitchen cabinets so that I have a place to store the necessities. That means I'm going to have to get. rid. of. stuff. that I'm not using.
I'm pretty sure I've tossed a garage-full of items on several occasions so why are my cabinets still full? This is where the real change has to happen. It's a reminder that I don't "need" the cute new thing I see at Target, or if I do choose to purchase something new, that I NEED to get rid of it's duplicate. (Also, I'm going to need a damn good reason to buy a duplicate of something I already have.)
Here's where my local Buy Nothing Facebook group comes into play. Have y'all heard about this movement? The Buy Nothing Project was created in 2013 and has since become an international social movement. (If you've never heard of it, I encourage you to follow the link above and read more about it. )
I'm a little late to the game so I joined in a local chapter over the summer. I'm able to simply post items that I'd like to pass along to my neighbors, and since I've joined, I've given away over two dozen items ranging from clothes and accessories to baby items and kitchen stuff. What could easily end up as trash has become someone else's treasure.
Just yesterday, I cleared out over a dozen glasses that we've had for over a decade and rarely (or if ever) used.
The process is relatively simple. I look for items that we no longer use or need. (It's not difficult. Junk is everywhere.) Once posted on my group page, I package the items so they're ready to give away. Neighbors respond if interested and then pop by and pick up their new treasures right off of my porch.
As simple as all of this sounds, it is truly a beautiful project. I've been able to give things to folks who need them and who are going to use them right away! This group promotes community and kindness. Another added benefit is that there is no giant pile of items waiting to be donated. Often, the items I give away are picked up the very same day. I'm able to quickly get. this. stuff. out. of. my. house.
I've also benefitted from this group by being gifted toys for my daughter, and when she's grown out of these toys, I'll be able to pass them along to someone else. (I'll discuss more about our toy accumulation in the coming weeks.)
The Buy Nothing project promotes such kindness & giving. It also promotes less consumerism and less waste! I encourage you to check it out! You never know what you might have lying around that could be a wonderful Christmas blessing to your neighbor!
For years, I've thought of myself as a sort of minimalist. Growing up, I really resented the knick knacks I spent (what felt like hours) dusting in my childhood home. Also. I have a dust allergy which totally sucks. So when I got my own place, I decided to keep things relatively simple... or so I thought.
Flash forward nearly a decade later to when my husband and I decided to move out of our townhome and buy a house. Our one car garage was filled with junk we never used. I was so proud of myself for getting rid of all of the things we no longer (or ever) used.
I got pregnant three years later so we decided to move again. This time, our two car garage was filled with items we no longer needed. Ah! I was so proud of myself for all of this purging!
For the last few years, I've been following Joshua Becker, nodding in agreement with his Facebook & Instagram posts. But have I REALLY been absorbing what he's saying? If so, then why does my house look cluttered? Why do I have to move things out of the way to prepare dinner on my kitchen countertops?And WHY do I have anxiety about all. of. the. things. in. my. house? Obviously, this poser minimalist lifestyle isn't working for me anymore.
Last night, I was reading Chapter 3 in Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne. The chapter is about Environment. And he pretty much says that if I want my kiddo to buy-in to the notion that she doesn't need gobs of toys, then I, myself, need to walk the walk. PREACH.
That brings me to today... (is anyone still reading?)
I've decided to hold myself accountable by documenting my journey towards adopting a more minimalist lifestyle. Here's how:
Blaise Pascal said, "If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter." So now I'm going to stop writing and leave you be. (Sorry for all of the comma splices. It's my kryptonite.)