This might seem a bit of a quirky birthday gift, but this year my husband has agreed to help me minimalise the house! The irony of how birthdays are generally about recieving “things” as gifts will be transformed into letting go of “things” in order to begin our journey into a real, committed minimalist family life.
Welcome to my new reoccurring series, documenting our minimalist venture as an ordinary young family, with a desire to live our own quirky lifestyle in this 21st Century “struggle”…
Who says you can’t be a minimalist with kids?
Well, I am guilty of owning that limiting belief once! I also didn’t believe that I could live this lifestyle with an artistic husband with the biggest collection of artwork and materials in the world. Once Dean saw the benefits in minimalism and how it would play a huge part in helping us achieve our goals sooner rather than later, he was all up for letting go and actually choosing to specialise in an artistic career route which doesn’t need as much stuff to use and store at home. I was so excited about this change of heart and told him that this was the perfect gift for this point in our lives, where starting a family is such a financial “struggle”- but it doesn’t mean it can’t be simpler! For us, minimalism seems like a huge positive step in the right direction!
How can you start?
Well, let’s start by using some positive language! You may notice my quotations earlier on the word “struggle”; this word is used a lot in the media and in general by the public to describe family life as it is. But does it really have to be?
When I hear the word “struggle”, I say challenge. This word is neutral but most often, positive when used to describe personal experience. Depending on who you are, you may even find the word exciting! Try this with other words in your vocabulary and see how this affects your vision of the world!
Where has the inspiration come from?
Without getting into the history of minimalism (because I am no expert!) I invite you to think about your motive for being a minimalist family. Have you discussed this together as a mutual agreement? Has there been many compromises? What inspired you individually or as a family to become minimalist?
For myself, I believe the exterior motive is my recent interest in the practice of Buddhism (more detail to follow in a separate post). The concept of suffering being in attachment to “things”, people and places etc. that have little meaning or purpose in your life speaks to me on all levels. I believe by letting go of “things” I will be more balanced, spiritually and mentally, which will therefore impact on my physical health.
All in all, I am aiming to be in the most healthy condition in order to give the upper most care and attention to my family as possible. Practice in minimalism and the belief in the faith of Buddhism is helping me with this.
When is the best time to start?
Why not start right away?! We have chosen a deadline for when we would like to have the house cleared by- for you, it may mean a family discussion or writing up some form of plan. I feel like this particular blog post is a written promise to myself to commit to our dream. Each step taken to achieve a goal is a step closer to that goal than we were before!
What changes lead to a more minimalist lifestyle?
The biggest change, and a good way to create a visually more minimalist lifestyle, is to dedicate an entire day (or weekend) to sweep through the house and separate everything you want to let go of from the things which still give you meaningful purpose in life. Be ruthless! Remember not to feel guilt or hesitant to keep hold of something because it was a gift from someone special- it has served its purpose.
Your new gift to yourself is this fresh, new lifestyle, free from the attachment of “things” which are harmful in ways you didn’t realise. If you have this urge to minimalise, there must have been some negativity in holding on. Perhaps restrict your keepsakes by having a designated box for the precious memories.
Smaller, more reoccurring changes which can be made in daily life include:
- Paperless billing, reading, receipts etc.
- Not impulse buying/ only buying stuff you will be getting use from or will save money in future if you need to store it.
- Use of digital media & hard drives for storage.
- Only display pictures and furniture with a purpose or meaning to you.
- Make use of storage space savers like ottomans and fitted/walk-in closets.
- Join the local library.
- Use multipurpose cleaners.
- Shop weekly and check your current food stock weekly.
So that was my first post on minimalism. If you are interested in this subject please continue to follow my blog and see my latest posts after they are published. I will continue to share our minimalist venture as well as inspirations along the way!
Thank you for reading!
Mama Quackers 🦆☯️
Images in this post by Pixies Photography.