What does minimalism look like after 3 1/2 months?
In January I realized that something had to change in our home. I went back and re-read Marie Kondo’s book and started to KonMari and declutter our home with more effort. Our home started to feel a bit more peaceful. Yet minimalism wasn’t on my radar.
Yet, I felt like we were still drowning a bit and the amount of cleaning and tidying up I was doing still felt like it was more than I should have to deal with. This is when I took my family on a more conscious effort to turning our life towards a more minimalist life.
When I focused more on living with less I found some amazing changes came about in our home. The biggest was that I was more calm. If you want to read more about the benefits I found, pop over and read about the 8 benefits minimalism has given me.
So how has it been going? It’s been 3 1/2 months since I made a focused effort to really declutter our home, let go of excess and embrace a more minimalist life.
I still tidy less
I find that it’s way easier to keep the house up. It’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. But, I can do a 10 minute blitz of cleaning and get our upstairs almost completely clean and put away. There was no way I could do that in the past.
We have no regrets
I have no regrets for anything that I have let go in the quest for minimalism. The kids and Arlen haven’t wished for anything back either. The benefits are worth every box of items we have taken to the thrift store and dump.
We’ve had to bring a few things back in
We were pretty ruthless in the clothing purging. It was necessary. The kids had grown out of a lot of clothing. Arlen and I hadn’t bought new (well new to us since I’m a thrift store shopper) clothes in a very long time and we had to purge a lot of clothes that were only really good for the rag bag.
Because we purged a lot of clothing, we’ve slowly had to bring in a few pieces. The neat thing is that we’re very intentional about what is coming in. Even our daughter has analyzed the clothes she’s tried on and been very honest. So that means that the clothes that have had to come in are being loved and worn.
We didn’t fill our dressers back up with clothes just because we needed a few items. We are taking our time and picking only the items we really need and love.
I realize we still own too much
It’s funny, when I did the initial concentrated purge I felt like we had let go of so many things. I wondered if I had let go of way to many items. Spaces felt bare, I wasn’t used to seeing space and this feeling of empty was a bit overwhelming, making me wonder if minimalism was going to work for us.
Last night Arlen and I were chatting about all the changes that have gone on in the house and how good it’s been feeling to live with less. Yet, I realized I was starting to feel like maybe we still have too much stuff.
I guess over these past 3 1/2 months we’ve acclimatized to a new “normal” and it’s time to focus again.
Some things still are hard to let go
While certain things in life are easy to let go and toss in the thrift store box, there are items that are still hard for me to let go.
We had a side chair that I bought a number of years ago with some money saved. It was nice, but kind of an impulse buy. I should have waited, but the cash was burning a hole in my pocket. I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about?
I tried to love the chair, I really did, but I’m only 5’2″ and it wasn’t the right size for me. I could only sit in it with my legs tucked under me. The dog tried to adopt it as hers even though she has a perfectly good dog bed. But I was tired of having an ugly sheet on it to keep it clean.
I moved it into our office while I decided what to do with it. It honestly took me these past 3 1/2 months to let it go. I was still hanging onto the guilt that I had spent good money on an item that didn’t enhance our home.
I even had photos of it, ready to sell, but they sat in my phone for over a month. Yet, I kept going back and forth wether we’d use it one day when we move versus just letting it go. Finally enough was enough. I listed it and it was gone by the end of the week.
It was a relief. The office feels better, we enjoy the space it took when it was in the living room. We took the kids out for supper on the cash and inside I celebrated a decision well made.
My clutter coping level is much lower
This is closely related to the point above. I know how my house can feel when it’s all picked up, so when it isn’t picked up I realize that I need to get up off the couch and put stuff away.
This one is harder for me. I have a tendency to want to just leave the dishes till later. But I love the look of my kitchen clean. So this is an area of growth for me. I need to just get up and get it done.
So where do I go from here?
Start again (not a bad thing)
I’ve realized that I need to start again and look deep into my kitchen first and foremost. This is the one area that is visible to me every day, all day.
Being a stay at home mom (who does drive school bus) means that this is my place of work. It is up to me to keep this area organized and taken care of.
This doesn’t mean that my family will leave all the work to me. It does mean that I need to provide my family with a zone that is easily navigated so that they can learn to manage a home as well. I need to model the behaviour that I expect from them.
Create some new routines
Since realizing that I have a tendency to leave things around and not finish cleaning up after myself, I need to create routines that push me to complete a task before moving on.
Most of these routines will be in my kitchen. I’m working on filling the sink up with hot, soapy water and washing prep items as I go. This one is helping a lot when the kids go to do dishes after supper.
I’m also working on doing laundry to completion. This means that we have less baskets of clean laundry waiting to be put away.
Accept that minimalism is a marathon, not a sprint
Knowing that I don’t have to have this all figured out today is such a relief. It’s ok that some days my house isn’t perfect. Every week is better than the week previous.
So after 3 1/2 months of being more minimalist has been a great experience! No regrets!