What is Minimalism, Really?

 

Most people I know here in the Midwest hear the word "minimalism" and run for the hills. Don't touch my 4 bedroom house and SUVs and storage unit of totes! Keep your succulents and white walls and tiny houses away from me! 

Oh guys, minimalism is not just for hipsters and hippies! 

Let me tell you what minimalism is: it's knowing what you want in life and going after it, eliminating the distractions that hinder you from getting there. 

That's not so bad, is it?

Living with less is not the same as living with none. This doesn't mean you get rid of everything. It doesn't mean you get rid of what you love and use. It just means you get rid of what you don't. That curio cabinet grandma gave you that collects dust. The craft hobbies you were going to be a pro at but never quite finished. The skis in the garage you're keeping "just in case." The baby clothes you've been hoarding because you can't part with them. The 8 pairs of scissors scattered through your house because...what would you do without 8? The TY beanie babies because they might be worth a gajillion dollars someday...

But you've started noticing lately that all of those things are getting in the way. You're cleaning around that useless curio cabinet again. Your junk drawer(s) are full to the brim and you're scared someone will ask where the glue stick is because it will mean having to open them. The skis keep falling over. The totes take up space you could be using for more important things. You have 8 pairs of scissors because actually you don't know where any are in those junk drawers so you have to go buy more. The beanie babies...well, if you're honest with yourself you know you're buying into a false sense of security.

The one question we ask ourselves when we are making a decision about buying an item or keeping it is this: Does this add value to our life? If not, it goes. Simple as that.

And that's the last decision we ever have to make about it. Once it's gone, you don't have to think about it anymore. At it's heart, every object represents a choice. The things that stay and are used require cleaning, maintenance, care and storing. The things that go are gone. You never have to waste another decision on it.

Which leads me to one more thing: minimizing is not organizing. Minimizing is getting rid of an item. Organizing is moving an item - rearranging, at its best. Instead of just sliding your things around to look pretty and avoiding decisions, it's time to decide what you really need and what you don't.

We have found that by minimizing the things in our home, we have maximized life. 

Are you ready to find your version of minimalism? Your sifted life? Go tackle that junk drawer!