I’m a minimalist at heart and have a slight obsession with decluttering my house on a regular basis. It gives me this weird satisfaction when I have a garbage bag full of possessions that didn’t make the cut to stay in our home. Couple that with my love for organization and simplicity and you have a decluttering monster on your hands. My poor husband.
Willis, on the other hand, isn’t quite as excited as me when it comes to ridding our house of unnecessary objects. He believes in keeping things “just in case”, and while I might tease him about it, I understand individual differences so I don’t make a big deal about it.
When I was pregnant with Little Man we had an old dresser of Willis’ at our apartment. The drawers were filled with papers and odds and ends that belonged to Willis. I wanted the drawers cleaned out so we could use them for our new baby.
“No big deal,” I thought. “It’s just papers. Obviously, we will keep the special and important ones, but I’m sure some of it isn’t important.”
Because they were things that belonged to Willis and not me, I’d removed myself from the importance of it. They were sentimental to him. They had meaning to him. What I thought was no big deal was much more personal to him. I’ve since learned over the past four years of marriage that we are quite different in this area. And that’s OKAY. I’ve learned to leave his belongings alone and respect that he’s more attached to his possessions than I am to mine.
One of the biggest turning points for me in my “minimalist journey” was losing almost all my possessions in an F-4 tornado in 2012. Yeah, it kinda gave me a reality check in regards to what’s important. All I owned after that ordeal was two backpacks: one containing mostly my college textbooks and laptop, and the other had clothes that people had generously given me.
That’s all I owned.
No closet full of clothes.
No shelves full of books.
No boxes in the garage full of stuff we never used.
And you know what?
IT WAS FREEING.
I felt so free and unhindered by objects in my life that in reality had little meaning or true value. Yes, there were quite a few things that I lost in the tornado that to this day makes me sad that I don’t have. Things like: years worth of personal journals, special dolls and books I was saving for my future children, my guitar….But really, most of the things I and my family lost that day was insignificant. We didn’t really miss it.
I’ve taken that experience in my life and use it to shape my new home and how I deal with “stuff”. I’m far from the “Minimalist” homes you see pictured on Pinterest, and I most definitely have more than 33 clothing items in my closet, but I’m fine with that. I do simplicity MY WAY. Don’t be scared into thinking minimalism is only about having bare closets and no decorations on your walls. Nope. Simplicity can be done in so many different ways. I mean come on, I have three kids under four, there’s no way I’m going to the extreme of minimalism. My kids are dirty little critters who need lots of clothes!
There’s so much I could say on this subject of simplicity/downsizing/minimalism that I’ve decided to do a series of posts on it. Here are some sub-topics I’ll be covering:
- The Benefits of a Minimal & Simple Home
- Minimalism with Little Ones
- 5 Favorite Baby Items for the Simple Home
Have you taken any steps toward a simple life? Tell me about them in the comments!