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How Might Your Life be Better with Less?

March 21, 2018

 

 

Have you ever asked yourself that question?

 

Let me tell you about my experience with minimalism:

 

Seven years ago, myself, our three small children, and one recently-graduated husband were about to embark on a cross-country move from Iowa to Connecticut for a three year surgical residency.

 

Cross-country moves can be pretty pricey, and for those of you who don't know, medical residents get paid about as much as a waiter. 

 

As a then-family-of-five, a cross-country move didn't exactly fit into our budget. 

 

So we sold or donated almost all of our furniture and packed up everything else we could into the back of our minivan (and even strapped a crib to the roof!) and headed east. 

 

Ditching almost every material item we owned was a pivotal moment in my life.

 

It was my first taste of minimalism. 

 

Minimalism is removing the excess from your life, so that the things that surround you are things you really need or love. 

 

Studies show that the average American household contains 300,000 items in it. 

 

Did that statistic shock you?

 

It shocked me when I first heard it.

 

Now, you don't have to get rid of all of those items to practice minimalism. 

 

You don't even have to live in a tiny house or ditch your car to be a minimalist (but you can if you want to). 

 

There are many ways to practice minimalism.

 

You can practice minimalism in what you wear.

 

What possessions you own.

 

Even what you eat by simplifying your diet. 

 

One of the personal benefits of minimalism for me is that it drastically cuts down on the decision fatigue in my life.

 

Answering the question, "What should I wear today?" is so much simpler now that I have a closet with only 30 or so items.

 

I try to really be conscientious about what items I allow in my home--whether they are books or clothes or toys or clutter. 

 

"A place for everything and everything in it's place" is so much easier to manage with less stuff.

 

Cleaning a home that isn't full of clutter is less complicated and time-consuming because there's simply less stuff that needs to be put away. 

 

The thing is, 

 

Life happens in the spaces between all of our stuff. 

 

I like to ask myself two questions when I am trying to minimize:

 

1--Is the item useful to me now?

 

2--Do I love it? 

 

If I can't answer "yes" to at least one of those questions, I try really hard to give it away. 

 

Letting go of things that I don't need or love makes more space in my life for the things that I really do love. 

 

You don't have to be overwhelmed by minimalism. 

 

Start small. 

 

Clean out one small space.

 

Your freezer.

 

Your closet. 

 

A drawer in your kitchen.

 

Spring is right around the corner...

 

let's clear the clutter.

 

 For more information on minimalism, check out this podcast here

 

 

 

 

 

 

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