This weekend, on Saturday, while waiting for Nick to get home from coaching Crossfit, I turned on Netflix. Though watching a mobile baby scoot around is a full time job, I often turn on something for background noise. I’m always a fan of documentaries, so I decided to see what I could find.
Minimalist. The title was intriguing. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by a lot of things lately, so why not watch something about simplifying? A few minutes in, Nick came in the door and was hooked. We both were. The documentary was well done and showed multiple perspectives and angles on Minimalism. And though it took us most of the morning to finish the documentary, we decided we’d overhaul our home and simplify.
What is Minimalism?
So, what is Minimalism? Other than a catchphrase that is being thrown around a lot over the past couple of years, it’s the novel idea that stuff isn’t what makes us happy. It’s about the meaning we’ve assigned to stuff, giving it way too much value over the real, important things in our lives- like relationships, family, hobbies, learning new things, connecting with people. It’s about really thinking about need vs. want. And it’s about a hundred different things that thousands of different people make it about. To me, it’s really about simplifying so I can focus on the important things.
Our consumerist society goes way against this. I’ve lived my life trying to find the best deals on things so I could have more of them- inexpensive clothes on even more of a sale? Great! I can get more and have more in my closet. Because somehow, a full closet will make me lead a more fulfilling life? No, probably not.
More stuff means more clutter. As much as I’ve lived fine with clutter all of my life (definitely not the most organized person), I know it doesn’t help my mind stay clear and focused. I find I have so much in my closet and drawers that half the time I don’t know where the shirt I want even is.
With all of that being said, it’s not just about my closet. It’s about stuff, in general, and giving it power over us. It’s about redefining what we need. It’s about stretching ourselves to let go of things that don’t bring joy.
We’re starting off strong. I’ve already went through my closet and drawers. Right now, I have about 15 items hanging in my closet. I’ve allowed myself about 10 items in each drawer of my dresser (these include workout clothes, tshirts, etc versus the more everyday clothing in my closet).
Although it’s been a day, I already feel lighter. I struggle in the mornings to find what to wear with a full closet. Now, with less, I don’t have options to struggle over. These are my options. That’s it. I’ll mix and match and try different combinations.
I’m not really following any exact template (like a capsule wardrobe) or exact number of items, I’m just only keeping the things in my closet that truly fit me and bring me joy to wear. I found this to be a very small number, being postpartum. But I really think that small number is going to be better than my previous closet overrun by clothing I only kind of sort of liked or fit into.
We’ve also went through our pantry and gave away things that we haven’t used in years. Keeping things “just in case” isn’t really an option. If we come across that “just in case” scenario, we’ll figure it out. I don’t think we’ll miss the stuff in the meantime.
More Joy, Less Stuff
No, we’re not throwing everything away. I’m not getting rid of social media (social media is actually my job). We’re not “never buying clothes again,” or throwing out our furniture, or buying a tiny home. But we are getting rid of the extra, the clutter, the things we really could do without. We’re simplifying so that we will be able to focus on the things we love versus the stuff that we have to figure out where to store or organize. And we are going to seriously cut back on buying anything that doesn’t feel like a need or that we don’t truly love.
Hopefully this will help us focus on what brings us joy. The important things. Eachother. And maybe be less stressed about finances.
It’s simple, really, what we are doing. We are simply, simplifying. Cleaning house. And focusing on need versus want.
We’ll keep you updated on here as we go through every room in our house and simplify. And maybe it will go farther than just our home.
Think of it as extreme spring cleaning.