Our journey into minimalism started around 6 months ago. I was struggling with anxiety and depression, and I knew I had to make some positive changes to our lifestyle. I was in denial about this for a long time, I felt ashamed. I had a beautiful healthy family, a supportive husband and a comfortable home. I felt like I had no reason to feel anxious or depressed.
My confidence was low, some days I couldn’t even face going outside. I hated making plans because I would dread keeping them and look for reasons to cancel. I was letting my anxiety affect the children.
I knew things needed to change, and I knew that change had to start with me.
Minimalism And Commitments
The first thing I did was to try to simplify our lives. A hectic schedule and too many commitments were contributing to how I was feeling. I felt like I had too many plates spinning and they were all dropping. I took a long, hard look at my commitments and cut back. It didn’t feel like it immediately, but it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
I researched online for inspiration and my search lead to articles about minimalism. Everything I read made sense. I read a book by Marie Kondo called “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and I found myself nodding along. At the time I just saw minimalism as possessions based, but since then I’ve learned it’s about so much more.
Minimalism And Possessions
Our next task was to simplify our possessions and live with less. Less possessions mean less to tidy, clean, organise and store. Leaving me and Mr T more time to spend with the children and each other.
When we started looking we found hundreds of things we had been storing which had no purpose. From spare kitchen utensils and to gadgets we never use and at least 50 cups in the cupboard. Donating the things we no longer need has been rewarding.
I also realized my motives behind keeping things, I want to make our house a home with things we all really love. I want our home to reflect our family, our values and our passions.
We had been holding on to things I thought we should keep because it would make someone else happy. Now I want to surround us with things that hold true memories or meaning to our family.
Minimalism Is Intentionality
This quote from Joshua at Becoming Minimalist sums it up pretty well.
It is marked by clarity, purpose, and intentionality. At its core, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it. It is a life that forces intentionality. And as a result, it forces improvements in almost all aspects of your life.
Minimalism Means Something Different to Every Person
Some minimalist’s live with less than 100 things, some live with many more. The thing they have in common is that they are all living purpose-driven lives. After years of not knowing what direction I wanted my career to take, I know what direction I want it to head. Towards happiness.
I want to become self-employed and I want my career to be in the industry I love. I want my career to fit around our lifestyle and children, because my family is my main passion.
Minimalism Is Self Discovery
Minimalism is a journey to self discovery. I know much more about myself, my likes and dislikes and my passions than I did before. I am happy to let my passions shine through and I feel happier in my own skin.
Minimalism Is A Journey
It isn’t always easy, but it’s worth the time and effort it takes. I still wouldn’t class myself as a minimalist. The changes we have made havent happened overnight, and I have a feeling we have a way to go.
Our plans for the next few months.
I have always loved the idea of having a smaller capsule wardrobe. A few weeks ago I read about something called #project333. Project 333 is a challenge to use a capsule wardrobe of 33 items for 3 months. (Read more about it here from Courtney from BeMoreWithLess). After reading a few posts I decided to take a look inside my wardrobe. I was amazing at how many items of clothing I own, especially as I didn’t think I had much!
A lot of the clothes I have received from friends and family, some were the wrong size, ill-fitting or didn’t suit me. I had been storing these just incase and some had still had their tags.
I have already sorted through a pile of clothes to donate, and packed away a box of clothes that are too small but nice. At my last count I still had over 100 items in my wardrobe! I am looking forward to giving the project a go after my holiday in August.
My mission is to create some free space in our home. We are good at keeping our surfaces clutter free, except for toys and ironing which always find a way back. The tops of wardrobes and cupboards, and under beds aren’t so lucky and are home to lots of things. The problem is they get put their and forgotten about. My plan is to make some pretty box’s to store non-seasonal clothes on top of wardrobes. I want to keep the tops of our kitchen cupboards empty, as it makes the kitchen look tidied. I want to make some small shoe storage to sit inside our wardrobe, and to clear the things stored under our bed.
One of our aims is to become more self-sufficient and have a smaller footprint by growing our own food. Growing itself is rewarding, but the other advantages are exercise, healthy food and minimal cost. The children love it, and I love the education and excuse for us to be together out of reach of
We would like to utilise the second growing season so our allotment produces food all the way through winter, so my next plan is to research and plan our allotment for winter. This will be trial and error as we can only guess when the plants that are growing will be ready for harvest!