My husband is a very smart man. He knows me very well. We grew up together as best friends since we were 15 years old. My husband is not a minimalist nor is he a hoarder. In fact, I used to be the hoarder of the family and this poor man had to move all my stuff across the country, and an additional two other times within the span of the first two years of marriage. Needless to say he was shocked when I said I want to become a minimalist over a year ago.
Being the intelligent man that he is and knowing that I have a very short attention span, his biggest worry (and rightfully so) was that simple living was just a phase and I would get over this phase in a year or two. Then we would have to rebuy everything that I got rid of. Well, that is a very logical fear and since he was able to state this very early on in my minimalist journey, I have taken extra precautions and decluttered very, very, very slowly to make sure I didn’t get rid of anything that I would regret or want to repurchase. This is where the Purgatory Box came in. If you don’t know what that is, I will leave a link right here so you can check out that post after.
I am proud to say that I am going on two years strong and it apparently is not a phase. I have never gotten rid of anything that I regret or wasn’t ready to part with. I have also never repurchased anything because of my decluttering. I know I still have a long way to go but simple living is a journey so I have tons of time to get to where I want to be.
When you are on a minimalism journey but you have others in the household, it is really important that you have good communication. Because my husband expressed his worries, I was able to take them into account, think on it, and come up with a solution that would safe guard us against his concerns. This communication allowed for a slow, consistent, and smooth transition with his full support.
After reading all the books I could find on minimalism, watching all the you-tubers, and the documentaries, I had learned a few lessons and one of the most important lessons was...
IF YOU ARE LIVING WITH SOMEONE THAT IS NOT PRACTICING MINIMALISM DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES GET RID OF THEIR THINGS!
That is a sure fire way to make them upset and in turn they will resent minimalism making it significantly less likely that they would participate in the future.
This has been a great rule and I have followed it religiously BUT there was one thing that I had never thought of. There are some things that I owned that I was about to get rid of that would have made him sad because he found joy in them.
There is one moment in particular that brought this to my attention. I had the car full of stuff ready to go. I was ready to make my donations. As I always did, I put the delicate things on the top of the pile. One day, he got in the car and saw these two Irish porcelain tea things that were picked out for me after my Grandmother had passed on. I had other things from her that I valued more that I used often and I had no attachment to these items so off to Goodwill they were going to go...that is until my husband got in the car. When he saw that they were in the donate pile he looked at me with a sad expression and asked “Are you going to donate those?”. Me being totally oblivious, happily said "yes" and that I was thinking about making the trip this weekend. He turned around slowly to face the front of the car and said “Oh…those were my favorite things that you brought into our marriage.”. It was such a soft comment. He had acknowledged that they were mine so I had every right to do what I wanted with them...right?
Thinking about that moment later, I know why he loved them so much. My husband is Irish and his grandmother has a set just like it. My family has some Irish heritage which is why my grandma had those pieces, as well.
After thinking for a while, I realized that some of the things that I own bring my husband joy. I thought longer and I could think of a few things that he owned that brought me joy that he wouldn’t think twice about. That’s when I made a promise that I would try my very best to only get rid of things that affect me (my clothes, my makeup, my books) while taking extra special care that I talk to him about the things that I think might bring him joy. I also made a promise to myself to find a place for those things that bring him joy so that he will see them every day, and when he does it will bring a smile to him.
Oh, and yes, I did keep those Irish porcelain bowls.
This book is a very unique book to my minimalist book review series. Less: a visual guide to minimalism, was written by the popular minimalist youtuber Rachel Aust. In her book she gives a very unique perspective and a simple visual guide that many new minimalists will find very helpful. You will love her lists and decision charts in this no fluff guide to decluttering and living a simple happy life.
This week try to find something in your life that you can make easier. Maybe its trying to meal prep this weekend so you only have to clean up your kitchen once. Perhaps its having a family meeting and implementing a chore chart. Personally, my favorite thing that simplified my life was a gift from my in-laws for Christmas which with this one change saves me 42 hours a year that I don't have to spend on doing this boring chore.
The only way that you do get better at this art like with most art is by practicing. Minimalism is a lifestyle. Be patient with yourself and don’t expect to get everything done in one day. It took a lifetime to gather everything around you its gonna take some work to undo that.
I am not perfect and I know that you are getting tired of me saying that minimalism is a journey but here is a picture that is proof. Here is some real honesty so that you can stop feeling like you always have to have it all together…because honestly none of us do.
As we dive into this holiday season a quick reminder and a word of caution. Speak up and make your desires known so that your hard work isn't undone and unclutter the things that take you away from your loved ones this season.
I have been working hard so that I can help you this Christmas season. I am pleased to announce the 25 days of Christmas starting from today until New Years eve. See more to see a sneak peak of what I have in store for you!
My books are very important to me. So needless to say, this will be one of the most difficult and largest categories for me. Here is an excellent example of decluttering a difficult category. I share how I work through the emotional attachments in hopes that it will help you to learn to how to examine and overcome your own emotional hurdles on this decluttering journey.
A review of Joshua Becker the man that introduced me to minimalism. I have a special place in my heart for him and his words which started me on this path of growth. Hear about two of his books and his Uncluttered class.
Joshua Fields Millburn from The Minimalists is a poet that speaks from experience. He is in part trying to help us see where our pitfalls are by sharing his own experiences so we can learn from his mistakes. Click to see more...
Life is all about balance. Have any of you seen Eat Pray Love? If so you kind of know what I am talking about. Make sure that we aren't running ourselves ragged just for the sake of doing. There is no reward in that except exhaustion and burnout. Put your power and energy behind things that you care about.
I don't think I am the only one in this world that is overrun by unfinished crafts and too many hobbies. That is what we are tackling today with the box project. How to declutter both the old hobbies that we have outgrown and the new ones that we love.
The title of this blog is simple HAPPY life. We can live as simply as we want but if we don't replace all that time we gained back by not being a slave to our things with new adventure or things we enjoy then our life will be no happier than it was before. Here is an adventure date night that Patrick and I were able to have thanks in part to decluttering.
Who doesn't want more happiness? It's the journey to the happiness that I hope you are joining me on. Just believe that this minimalism journey is worth it and that the grand prize is happiness, getting your time back, and happy memories that have yet to be created. All of this was acomplished because you let go!
After the feedback from my philosophy on how to declutter, using the box project method I give you this example of how to put that method into action. The category we are decluttering today is beauty products. The box project method allows for quick decluttering with limited decision fatigue and no regrets.
Often we are just going with the flow in life and chances are you will not have the life you have always dreamed of by going with the flow. Take some time to envision what you want your life to look like and use these tips on how to create a vision board and a goal action plan to get the life that you have always envisoned.
Simply put...you need to take time to heal yourself from the stress of the world and the stress you put on yourself. You can only heal if you take care of yourself.
There are many different philosophies that are used as tools to help you on your minimalism journey. I have created my own process that helps you declutter efficiently without any regrets (and those two things do not usually go hand in hand). Make sure you apply this method to take full advantage of the "Purgatory Box" philosophy as well.
Decluttering can be overwhelming at times so it is a good idea to make sure that you have a safety net so you don't make any hasty decisions that you will later regret. The "Purgatory Box" system is designed so that you don't get rid of anything that you are not ready to part with yet. Go take a look. It could save you a lot of heartache that would have been easily avoidable.
Your time is your most valuable possession. Don't waste your time being a human-DOER instead of a human-BEING. God created us knowing that we need rest (hence the commandment keep the Sabbath day holy). Do we know better than God?
Sometimes we need to stop and count all our blessings. If we have our needs met for food, safety, health, and love we are in a very good place that many people would be envious of. If we are not only content but also grateful we can focus on spreading love and blessings to others.
As parents you know you can't exactly just give them a book on minimalism and expect them to be on board. These books and movies will help you start that conversation with them and promote good values to live a happy life.