Bare Naked Home: 3 Reasons to be a Minimalist
Look around your house. Go ahead. Look around. You have a lot of stuff, don't you? As a culture, we have so much stuff that we pay for storage units to store it. Say it out loud. Does that not sound crazy? Do you really need all that stuff? Probably not. I must admit I am not a minimalist yet. I am also surrounded by a lot of stuff (which FlyLady defines as "Something That Undermines Family Fun"). Minimalism takes FlyLady's "27-Fling" to an extreme. I've been listening to The Minimalists, Josh Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, and I've done a lot of thinking about why minimalism is a good idea. Let's talk about those reasons.
Looking around my house, minimalism would create a cleaner and much less cluttered environment. It takes so much tome to clean and organize things. The more you have, the more time it takes. And the harder it is.I had 5 kids and in a normal household 5 kids have a lot of stuff. My house was no different. It took so much time and energy to try to keep up with the cleaning and organizing. I believe it stole much of the time I could have and should have spent with my kids.I have just 2 kids left but it seems there is still a lot of stuff. Much of it they don't even use. It just takes up space in this small house. There just isn't room for it. So by getting rod of the excess we will have more breathing room, a cleaner and much more organized environment, and more time for each other. Not to mention I can spend less time harping on the kids to pick up there stuff or clean their rooms because they won't have as much! What a blessing! And as a bonus, if we should choose to move, we can load a few boxes into the Town and Country and be on our way!
As an avid Dave Ramsey follower, I am very much into finding ways to save money. It is vital to getting through the Baby Steps as quickly as possible. And The Minimalists advocate being debt free as well. Minimalism as a lifestyle will save you money. That may seem strange but think about this. You have intentionally gotten rod of the things that created clutter rather than value to your life and reclaimed all that space for living. Why would you spend money to buy more clutter? You save money by not buying things you don't need I have said this to many people and then I heard it repeated by The Minimalists so I am not totally crazy. People love sales. "Save 25% on this item now!" Or 30% or 50% or whatever. But you can always save 100% if you don't buy it at all and you don't even need to wait for a sale! How amazing is that! And if you have a garage sale and sell what you have, you just made some money! That's a pretty good feeling, isn't it?
This last reason is a little bit less everyday and maybe a bit of a stretch for some of us but not for everyone and that is natural disaster. We've all been watching the hurricanes and floods in the south and southeast and the wildfires in the west. I can't imagine how devastating it is to lose your home to any of these things, including single house fires, tornadoes, etc. Anything that destroys a home. If you live in a typical American home, imagine replacing all of your stuff. How much money would it take to replace it? But what if you had to replace just a few things. If you were lucky enough in the case of hurricanes and wild fires to evacuate, you could essentially take everything you own with you and only lose some furniture and the building, which would lessen the devastation. A blessing in the midst of trauma.
I did say that I am not yet a minimalist. So what's the plan? The Minimalists each had a packing party where they packed up their entire living space, furniture and everything as if they were moving and then took items out as they used them to determine what they really needed and got rid of the rest. I am doing this one room at a time because of a lack of boxes. Then I've been loading up the Town and Country and driving it all straight to the thrift store and repeating. I am not going to just blindly get rid of everything we own. I am experimenting with how much or how little we need. The only things not going are my books (most of them), electronic devices, and shoes. And sentimental items related to people close to me that have passed on. Everything can be greatly reduced or eliminated. It will be a process but I've had this on my mind for awhile and have already removed a lot of stuff. This is the beginning.Now this is my version of minimalism, to hold on to the things I don't really need. The Minimalists detach emotion from items and can then get rid of them. I am not in an emotional place to do that so I'm okay with holding on to those sentimental things. And I'm terrible about using more than one electronic device at a time. It's crazy. As I type this on my laptop, I am listening to podcasts on my iPod. I could do this on one device but when I'm walking I take my iPod and just continue listening on the same device at home so this works for me and my electronics make me happy. I have 8 devices plus my kids each have one and, yes, I am aware that this is crazy even for a normal family but it makes me happy. You can decide what and how much to get rid of. Decide what makes you happy and what adds value to you life. Let's put the "27-Fling" on steriods! Happy decluttering!