How minimalist thinking changed my life

Being the product of consumerism America I had a natural understanding that more means better through out my life. My husband and I with our two dogs reside in a beautiful 3 bedroom 2 bathroom home with a fully finished basement. Each room has a purpose we have two separate spare bedrooms an office and Dylan has created a “man cave” and the only contents of this “cave” is our spare living room set, our extra flat screen T.V. and Dylan’s auxiliary Xbox. We also have a big beautiful kitchen, living/dining room and a huge master bedroom with our own bathroom. I remember coming home about 6 months ago and constantly feeling overwhelmed and stressed as soon as I walked in the door. I would go to work all day come home to cook dinner and would also throw out the idea that I needed to clean up and tidy. And no matter how much I tidied I felt crazed by the way my house always looked “cluttered”. When the tiny home revolution started I began to follow. I LOVE TINY HOUSES!!! I don’t know what it is but I am enthralled by tiny spaces and the ability to live your life with so little. While searching YouTube for tiny house documentaries I stumbled across the trailer for a Netflix original documentary by two men and their journey to a wholesome life. Minimalism was all it was titled and the humble title fit with the simplicity of the documentary. It shares the lives of two men, Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus  and how they walked away from their 6 figure jobs and corporate stability to find a life with meaning. While watching this documentary something clicked in my head, the message in which these two men are preaching made so much sense. There was a story in which Josh spoke of, when his mother died he returned to her 1,500 sq. foot home filled to the rim in 60 years of possessions and just when he thought he had conquered the task of going through his mothers things he was reminded of her storage unit that too was filled with “things”. We are one of the only nations in the WORLD that have to build extra space to store our “stuff” that wont fit into our above average sized homes. The though that people have to pay for a housing unit just to put their extra stuff in boggled my mind. When I finished the movie I went straight to Pinterest and I began looking up how to minimalize your life, I found the Konmari method. In a nutshell if you pick up an item and it does not bring immense joy, love, or satisfaction to you don’t keep it. I held tight to this notion and I began at one end of my home and I went through closets, dressers, shelves, bathroom, EVERYTHING. If an item didn’t spark a reaction it went into either the trash or I donated to the local Goodwill. Within a week I felt lighter and a little Free because I had cleared out so much stuff. I started zone cleaning which helps keep my entire house clean and picked up every day, and have also became committed to seasonal clothing changes. I now keep all my off season clothing in a tote in the back of my closet, I also go through my closet every few weeks and if something doesn’t fit right, has holes, or stains, or overall I just don’t like it any more I either toss it in the donate box in my office or I stick it in the top of my tote. If by my season change I have not touched or thought about the item I am on the fence about I donate it. In addition to clearing out the unwanted I am toying with the idea of capsule wardrobes. So far this has made my daily getting dressed so much easier and less stressful. I have all my basics and favorites in the forefront of my closet so they are easy and accessible. This journey has also taught me the importance of mindful shopping and only spending money when you really really enjoy something. The other day my sister and I were shopping and we were suckered into Charming Charlies and if you have ever been in that store you know you very rarely leave without something in hand. Of course I grabbed this beautiful candle that was poured in this copper tin, and it was PUMPKIN flavor, I wandered around the store wafting the rustic pumpkin making sure that I really wanted to spend the $25.00 on a candle. We left to look at other stores in the area and I knew that I wanted that candle so we returned back and I bought the candle. This candle as little as it may sound brings so much joy to me everyday, it fits perfectly into my fall décor and I love waking up to light it in the morning and be surrounded in warm pumpkin all over my home. Even though I spent $25.00 on a candle it was a thoughtful purchase that brings me daily joy. This transition in thought process has brought a lot of peace and serenity to my life. I have such a new appreciation for the little things, handmade, expensive, well built things. I look at fast fashion and the cheap in our every day lives and cant help but think how are they able to make so much with so little and it breaks my heart to think of the abuse used in the production of consumerism. I take my time and do research, buy second hand and try to donate and recycle the best I can. It has been a total 360 turn around in daily thought and routine. I find time now in my life to read on how to become self sustainable, I taught myself how to make traditional sourdough bread, I learned how to sew, this downtime that I have found was consumed by my home and my stuff. I was being suffocated by my belongings. Most of them had no meaning, job, or substance to my life. It simply was filler in my home.

Thanks minimalism for saving me.

 

XOXO

Caitlyn

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