Minimalism - My Take
Minimalism could mean different things to different people. For me, it is not about strictly having a certain number of things or not having certain things in the house. For me, it is more about the mindset. It is more about values. It is more about valuing people in my life over the stuff in my life. I don’t know if I am a true Minimalist by the definition. But I am certainly trying and this has not happened in a moment. It is not like a trend for me. I have been a silent believer for years. Today, I want to talk all about my journey towards minimalism and the benefits of having a minimalist home. This is going to be an interesting topic and I am sure you are going to love it. So, come join me today to understand more about Minimalism.
Happy Moment of the Week
Welcome back to yet another episode of Morning Cup of Sunshine podcast and a hearty welcome if you are tuning in for the first time. I am so glad that you are here today. Out of millions of podcasts out there in the world, you chose to listen to my podcast today and I can not be more thankful for this. I wish to bring a lot of value, joy and positivity in your day through this episode. So, keep listening. As our weekly tradition, let me start this episode with a happy moment of the week. As you must have heard from my previous episode, we moved to a new house. This was our first full week in our new home. We are still settling in. We almost unpacked everything. I am all ready to start a new life here in our new nest. This week, I unpacked and organized a lot. All our life was in boxes and we slowly unpacked it and this house is now looking more and more like a home. But what I wanted to share with you all is this is the first time, I actually enjoyed every single thing about the move. I was not at all stressed out about the tons of boxes lying around my home. This year, the word that I am trying to live by is Breath. I am so happy that I was actually able to live by the word Breath during the most busy time of my life. I had work commitments, I had kids to feed, home to pack, home to unpack and organize. But I was able to slow down and actually enjoy the process. This is the first for me. It felt amazing. All the work that I am putting into my own mindset is definitely working at some level. I am happy that I was able to focus on the task in hand rather than worrying about the list of remaining tasks. I think it is because of intentional living and already de-cluttered and minimal home. I felt joy even in the moments of stress. This is definitely new for me and I am happy to experience the calmness and benefits of slowing down. This was definitely my highlight of the week. How about you? How was your week? Did you do anything fun? I am waiting for your happy moments in the weekly post. Join my Facebook group Morning Cup of Sunshine community to share and spread happiness.
Alright time to start the episode. Let me first explain what minimalism is for me. Because my definition could be little different from a traditional definition of minimalism. For me minimalism is definitely living with less so that you can live more. It is not about having absolutely n number of outfits in my wardrobe or having only 4 dishes in my kitchen. It is not about having only wooden toys for kids though I like them a lot over noisy plastic toys but I have a family and kids who need and enjoy those toys. I have no intention of taking the joy away from them to stick to some definition of minimalism. I think minimalism can mean different things to different people. For me it is definitely having only those things that bring you joy and finding joy in the things that you already have. So, how did I start my journey towards minimalism? Of course it is a journey, you can not wake up one day and decide to be a minimalist in a day. It takes time , effort and solid belief in your decision. I am still working on myself, still trying to live with less. I am able to achieve this less is more attitude in certain areas but in few areas I am nowhere close to being a minimalist but I am working on it. So, let’s together explore the ways to be a minimalist.
Step 1 : Write it down
As always, you can not embrace a shift in your lifestyle, yes minimalism is a lifestyle, unless you are convinced enough. Think about your reasons, why do you want to be a minimalist. Is it just because I am saying or is it the new shiny thing that everyone is talking about? Is it because you feel that you are drowning in too much stuff? Do you think you have to spend most of your time cleaning up your space and picking up stuff? Do you think you bring too much stuff inside your home without really thinking about the use and purpose? Do you love Target way too much? Whatever that reason could be , write it down. Unless you pinpoint the problem, you can not find the solution. My reason was not getting enough time to spend with my family because I was too busy organizing and reorganizing the house over and over again to fit in all the stuff that I had. If you organized your home and if the system really works, you should not feel the need to organize over and over again. I am not talking about tidying it up, that we definitely have to do every once in a while. But if your space is not overflowing with stuff and your system works then your space should remain organized for months. I have experienced it first hand. I would love to talk about some systems that worked and some that don’t, but we will get into that in a separate episode. For this one, first write down your reason and try to understand why you want to start this journey.
Step 2 : Game Plan
Now that you have decided to be on this beautiful journey, let’s decide the game plan. I am a big believer of starting small so you get the confidence to work on bigger tasks. Find one area in your life that you feel is cluttered but fairly easy to declutter. Don’t start with something you are emotionally attached to. It is hard to let go of something that has a memory attached to it. Pick something simple but effective. When I started, I started with my wardrobe. I am not much of a fan of shopping. I hardly shop for clothes so I do not have much so it was easy to tackle that first. But I definitely had a lot of pieces that I did not love. I had a lot of clothes in various sizes, some were my pre-pregnancy clothes which were hardly fitting but I kept them in the hope that one day, they will fit me. It’s been 8 years and I still kept them. I had some clothes, which I bought without actually trying them and did not like the way they look after wearing them one time. I never wore them again but they were still there for years. I realized I wear only a few pieces from my wardrobe on a regular basis. I worked on my game plan. I did not throw away all the clothes that do not fit or I do not love because it is not that simple. I simply can not throw away stuff that easily. Like most of you, I decided to rotate my wardrobe, bring the pieces that I don’t wear regularly to the front of the closet, I even decided to workout more so that I can fit in those 8 year old jeans. Do you think any of that worked? Obviously not. This game plan was totally wrong. I have to figure out something else. Then I packed the clothes which I don’t love and don’t wear often into bags and keep them out of sight. Because it was still difficult to get ris of them right away. For the first time, my closet got the space to breathe. It only had pieces that I love and wear on a regular basis. After 6 months, when I realized I did not even open that bag to pick clothes from there, I finally decided to let them go. I donated the ones which were in good condition and decided to let others go. It did not happen in one day, it took some trial and error but now, I do not add a new piece in that closet unless I truly like them. I might have a very small collection of clothes or it may be more for a minimalist but in true sense I have the perfect amount of clothes that are needed for my lifestyle. I can keep up with my own collection without stressing myself out. Devising your game plan based on your space is the key step here. If it is a kitchen that you are tackling first, then look for duplicates, look for appliances that serve more than one purpose. Check what brings you joy, what makes you excited to cook a healthy and delicious meal for you and your family. Keep only those things that serve your lifestyle. It is your choice and take your time to make that choice. There is no rush, no stress in minimalism.
Step 3 : One in one out
This definitely helped me reduce the clutter over the time. One thing I realized with minimalism is you can not rush the process. It will never happen overnight. It needs practice and it needs a lot of perseverance. Every time you are tempted to buy something, first thing, do you already have anything that can serve the same purpose? Do you already have similar items? If you still decide to buy it, consider replacing the older item with this one, instead of just adding this new one to your collection. If the older one is in good condition then donate it. Always always try to maintain the strategy of one in and one out. We have been doing this for toys, kitchen items for years now. It always helps me feel organized and decluttered. Basically, keep a close eye on the influx of things, on things that you bring in your home. Minimalism is not a lack of something, instead it is about having the perfect amount of something. Again, that amount can be different for different people. I have kids who love to color and paint, they do have multiples of crayons, markers and paints and I am okay with this. It brings them joy, it brings me peace of mind seeing them busy and happy with art. So choose your happy medium and stick to that amount but just remember, a home with less possessions is more spacious, more calming, more focused on the people who matter the most.
Step 4 : Enjoy what you have
I love to read about minimalism. I sometimes think I have not yet fully understood the beauty of it. I am trying every single day to embrace the intentionality of it. This year, I have promised myself to slow down and be intentional. I am trying to be intentional about the way I live my life. I am trying to be intentional about the conversations I have with others and with myself too. I am trying to be intentional about the things that I bring into my home. I am extremely intentional about buying any new stuff, I have started asking myself a lot of hard questions. Is it really needed? Is it bringing me joy? Is it bringing me joy only for a moment or can it be a constant source of happiness to me? 2020 has taught me what really matters in life. It changed my outlook drastically. I never thought that I would be trying to slow down in my life. I was always on the go. I loved to be a busy bee. But 2020 taught me that people around me are the most important priority. I would rather spend time with them than running around completing my chores. I would rather have a hearty laugh with kids, enjoy their silly games than cleaning, organizing and reorganizing my overflowing cabinets. But then I quickly realize, I can not completely ignore my responsibilities as a homemaker. I have to clean, organize, and complete my chores too. I was struggling to balance both and that’s when I realized that I can have a perfect medium when I have less stuff, less clutter. As I started practicing this more and more, my cabinets started needing less and less attention. My list of chores started shrinking. I was able to focus more on what I have and enjoy what I have. It is a process and not magic. It needs intentional focus on the things that you have. Start loving the pieces that you already have, start focusing more and more on making memories rather than collecting stuff. Focus more on collecting moments and not things. Minimalism is all about intentional search of happiness, searching happiness within your own self. I loved this quote so much. Minimalism is asking why before you buy.
On this note, let me quickly recap today’s episode. Today I talked about minimalism. I have a slightly different take on minimalism. It is not about the numbers for me. For me, it is not about having a certain number of spoons, or dishes or sheets. For me, minimalism is more internal than external. It is more about being content in what you have, rejoice in the things that you already have. For me, it is a toll to avoid excess, focus on the essentials to find happiness, freedom and fulfillment. To get closer to your definition of minimalism, just follow these steps.
Step 1 : Write down your reason
Step 2 : Game Plan
Step 3 : One in one out.
Step 4 : Enjoy what you have
Remember to find your definition of minimalism. Minimalism is believing that there is such things as enough.