Becoming a Minimalist
Minimalism is a current buzz word – but what is it, and how do you become one? Probably the most important question I had is why would you want to become one?
As mentioned in our About page, we were happily married with everything! We had great kids, lovely house in a great area, good jobs, and money to do most things we wanted. Trouble was we weren’t that happy. We were in a downward spiral of stress. The cause was a house full of clutter that had accumulated over the years. There were overwhelming demands on our time, and we were constantly juggling financial interests. Our biggest concern was time. We’d wake in the morning and our first thoughts would be ‘what do we have to do today?’ We wanted to get to a situation where we could wake and think ‘what would we like to do today?’
I started reading about Minimalism, and it’s impact on people’s lives. As I read I realised that the concept of ‘less is more’ is just what I was looking for. I needed to apply this philosophy to all aspects of our lives. I found that there is a lot of information on this subject, but it is widely spread. Searching blog posts, web sites and news articles was very time consuming. This website aims to provide one source of information on all aspects of minimalism, and save you time in your search for answers.
'What we really need is to realise how little we really need'
Minimalism can be applied to all aspects of our lives. From decluttering our homes, to designing a minimalist wardrobe, to family celebrations. You will find that once you start this process in one aspect, say decluttering your home, you will begin to see how all other aspects of your life could also benefit.
When you simplify your life, you quickly learn how to separate the idea of need from want.
Need: A requirement for survival, a necessity.
Want: A desire, wish, craving, or fancy.
Now, I would argue you may need something for your emotional or physical comfort as well. For example, you may not need more than one pair of shoes for survival but having a pair of sneakers and a pair of sandals is probably a matter of comfort.
Minimalist living helps you separate out the idea of what you truly need from the items you simply want. When you stop spending money on wants, whims, cravings, or fancies, you suddenly realize you have more money than you expected!
'Simplifying your life amplifies your future'
'Children don't need more toys, the best toy a child can have is a parent who gets down on the floor and plays with them'
Can you be a minimalist with kids? It’s a very common question, and it is very achievable if undertaken as a family!
The decluttering process in itself is a family activity, but don’t let it end there. As the belongings decrease the space (physically and energetically) increases for more playtime as a family. Remind your children that now that the unused items have found a new home, you can play more games together.
You can also stress how cool and multi-functional the toys they do have are, and how they have added joy to other families with items they have gifted.
There are many digital minimalists amongst us – but can you spot them? They are the people in our midst who can have long conversations without taking furtive peeks at their phones every few minutes. They can also eat out without feeling tempted to take photos of their food and each other. They’ll engage in activities such as walking, running and sports with the intention of focusing on just one thing. Technology is intrinsically neither good nor bad. They are choosing to control the way they use technology, rather than being controlled by it. They have made the decision to use it to support their goals and values, rather than letting it use them. If you are adopting the minimalist lifestyle as a family, you may want to read more about the effects of technology use on your children.