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How Minimalism Changed My Life: One Mama's Personal Story

March 26, 2018

I'm so happy to have our very first guest blogger here on Bright Side Mamas as part two of a three post series on living with less. Jasmine is a mother, a friend, passionate about life, and a beautiful writer. This is her family's story of how living with less has changed their lives over the past year. It is sure to inspire you.

 

You can find more of Jasmine's writings at www.sawyerbaby.wordpress.com

 

For some, minimalism means being able to fit all of your earthly possessions in one backpack.

 

For others, it’s an aesthetic; a style choice.

 

For my family, minimalism is a way of living that we started embracing about a year ago.


It all started one night when my husband came into our overly cluttered bedroom and crashed into a bunch of boxes. He looked at me and said, “We need a bigger house.” At that time, we had only been living in our home for two years. When we had first moved in, its twelve hundred square feet seemed like space we would never be able to furnish - having just moved from a tiny (really, really tiny) studio apartment. But somehow, without even trying, the home that had once felt huge now felt cramped.

 

Boxes pressed in on us. Junk filled the basement. And I didn’t want anyone to come over and visit. It all felt so overwhelming.
Slowly, I started going through the boxes that lined our bedroom. I had heard about KonMari and her magic of tidying up. And so, I tried it.

 

But guys, it was exhausting.

 

Probably because of the sheer volume of stuff we had, it was really difficult to hold every item and try to feel something toward it. So, after finding one really inspiring Mama’s blog and realizing that the way she had been feeling was the same weighed-down, stressed-out, overwhelmed, heaven-help-me-through-the-rest-of-my-day-and-hope-to-all-that-is-good-in-the-world-that-there’s-one-last-pair-of-clean-underwear-in-the-morning chaos that had become my normal - I decided I would take a stab at something she suggested.

 

And that was this: If you don’t need it and it’s creating stress - get it out of your house.

 


I moved through each room of my house trashing, donating and recycling - starting in the room that felt the easiest: the bathroom.

 

It’s highly likely that I won’t be able to express the feeling that overcame me that first time I grabbed a trash bag and started emptying the overstuffed shelves of my very small bathroom. I remember laughing to myself as I tossed expired vitamins and donated excess towels.

 

I was giddy.

 

Joyous.

 

Because as each item left my home, there was a weight that went with it. And each small item’s weight added up to a tremendous load that I didn’t realize I had been carrying.

 

And when that first room was done, I felt so many things that I hadn’t felt in a really long time:

 

Brave.

 

Peaceful.

 

Content.


I took my time, listened to motivating podcasts, read inspirational blogs of women who were able to take back their homes from the clutter that surrounded them. I set times each week to progress toward the home that I knew I wanted. After a while, it became clear that we had a LOT of junk that wasn’t even worth donating. So, we invested in renting a 10-yard construction dumpster for a week. And I’ll be darned if that massive beauty wasn’t full by the time they picked her up!


After a year of wholeheartedly embracing minimalism, my house isn’t even close to perfect.

 

I still have a donation box waiting to take to Goodwill sitting in corner of my bedroom.

 

I still have junk in my basement.

 

I still get stacks of papers that I need to sort through on a regular basis.

 

And I still have dirty laundry.

 

BUT, there’s SO MUCH LESS of it all. I don’t wake up every morning wanting to get out of my bedroom as quickly as possible. I don’t have to spend hours a day cleaning, just to maintain the current level of chaos.

I feel less anxious.


I feel less overwhelmed.


I feel free to do the things I want to do.


And I feel empowered to accomplish hard things.

So, here’s what I’ll suggest to you, Mama. If you’re searching for a way to tame the overwhelm you feel in your life; if your house feels too small and cramped; if your heart is heavy; if there’s even one room or space in your home that you can’t stand to look at---

 

Take a deep breath, grab a trash bag and a donation box, and try minimalism for just ten minutes.

Because I can promise you, once you get that first taste, you’re going to want more.

 

You can find more of Jasmine's writings at www.sawyerbaby.wordpress.com

 

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