A while ago someone on the board noted feeling that perhaps the board was not for them because they were more focused on simplicity than minimalism. This is definitely where I am at. The more I downsize our stuff and simplify our schedule, the better I feel. I'm wondering what other moves towards simplicity you have made and why. :thumbsup:
I've been thinking about your question....I think my journey started as just seeking simplicity. I was looking for something ANYTHING to make my life easier.
And I found a few things....like having just the right basket for managing a cluttered countertop, finding the bread recipe that required the least amount of work, streamlining the cloth diaper stash, setting aside 2 hours every Saturday for housework. Stuff like that.
That's all good and fine as part of the journey, but then suddenly you have this aha moment and the idea of mimimalism starts to creep in....in a good way. lol
For me, my aha moment was when we added our 3rd kid and had to rearrange the kids' room about 400 times to figure out how all of us were going to fit. It was as simple as realizing I had X amount of space and nothing more. So I pared back wardrobes to fit in that amount of space available. And never looked back.
I think the biggest payoff by far has been reducing toys. I never thought I could do it, but I did it and it was life changing for all of us. I can spend time with my kids instead of picking crap up off floors all night. The kids are willingn to help pick up because it's not overwhelming.
I'm not opposed to keeping what you need and use, though. It's not about paring back to the bare minimum in hopes that it creates simplity. Because it doesn't. A rather trite example would be this little mini food chopper I have. Do I NEED it? No. Does it make my life a lot easier? Yes. So I keep it.
Beyond minimizing to create simplicity, we rely heavily on routines. Don't get me wrong....sometimes the routine gets boring, but I know I have a certain number of things I need to accomplish and I'll pay dearly later on if I miss a step. The routine itself evolves a little here and there, but the tasks stay the same. I actually stuggle a lot with the weekend routine, though. We play a lot of catchup on weekends.
A couple of things I have become comfortable with in seeking minimalism and simplicity - not getting out with friends very often and putting a few hobbies on the back burner. These were the hardest. I try to stay connected through facebook to the greatest extent possible and try to take heart that my hobbies arent gone forever. I can't "forget" how to sew, kwim?
When I think about kids commitments, I'v eonly just dipped a toe in the water. The only activitiy I want for my kids is swimming lessons for now. Until we reach a point where our kids are easier to tote around and getting to bed late isn't such an issue, I can't see us signing our kids up for the array of activities available.
Anyhow, I'm not sure if that's exactly the kind of ideas/encouragement you were looking for, but the whole minimalism journey has been one of the most positive changes I have ever made for myself and my family.
I'm definitely not focused on minimalism (though I feel the same as Amy about most of that). My "style" preferences are not minimalist. I have a huge, ornate, gold framed mirror that goes in the living room. Is it tacky? Yeah. Do I love it? Yeah. I love framed pictures and art. I love fabric hanging on a wall. And so on.
But this forum is great IMO. It inspires me to get rid of the stuff I don't love. The stuff that's piling up because I can't get rid of it for whatever reason. It helps me balance my messy/clutter/collector self. It inspires me to really think about what I want to keep, why I want to keep it, and organize it so it's actually usable.
I've been thinking about and wanting to do this for awhile, but it was having to move again in 3 months that actually got me started. Also, the more times I read that having less stuff means less cleaning and more family time, the more I want to get rid of stuff!
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