How is your week going?
Mine has involved two full days of working from home with zero interruptions and I feel so, so accomplished. I'm thinking that I should start heavy-loading the second half of my week with appointments, coffee meet-ups, and sessions, and leave the first two days of the week for office/blog things. Maybe it would work for a while because I love routines, but I also love variety. It's the forever struggle. That and finding the self control to not eat an entire batch of this. Life is really just a constant balancing act that somedays I succeed at more than others.
One of the many balancing acts going on in my life involves paring down my possessions. As I shared a few weeks ago, Josiah and I have started to clear out the clutter and prioritize the belongings that we allow to stay in our home. With this process, we have learned so much and I couldn't help but share those things with you. Here are five of the things that we have learned as we found minimalism to be our new jam.
Stuff weighs me down. Maybe I am weird/unique in that, but having things does not make me happy. It honestly stresses me out. Before, anytime I would go shopping or even just step into a store whether I had the actual intent of shopping or not, I was internally tormented when I saw an item that I even remotely liked. Part of me screamed BUY IT and the other half screamed PUT IT BACK. Fortunately, I tended to listen to the rational part of me most of the time and I didn't purchase the item, but that internal war was miserable. Now that Josiah and I have decided to only buy what we need and feel will stand the test of time I don't feel as torn when I walk into Target and am forced to face the $1/$3 section. I honestly don't even desire to look through it anymore because I know the chances that I will find something I actually need, is super low. I feel freedom from the idea that more is more.
2. Saves Money
I'm going to reference Target again because a) every women seems to be obsessed with it (myself included!) and b) we live less than 500 feet from one so I run in there often. Now that we have this new mindset of not buying things unless we need them, I don't spend money on useless decor or trinkets that doesn't really match our style and will likely end up in the garbage in a year. (The same holds true for clothing, etc.) With that extra money I am able to invest in quality, lasting pieces pieces because I'm no longer nickeling and diming away our money.
3. No More Emotional Purchases
As we cleared out the clutter, I thought about the purchase of each item that I was throwing away and found a very common theme. Each time I purchased one of these items I was incredibly happy or sad. I was buying the product solely out of emotion. If I was having a "fat" day I would go and buy a new piece of decor for the apartment and boom instant mood boost. Or if I was excited that I booked a wedding, I would treat myself to a new outfit, simply because I was happy and excited and not because I truly needed it. WIth our newfound mindset, my reaction when I am experiencing these emotions isn't to use some good ol' retail therapy, but to pick up a book (that I already own!) or scroll to a blog that always has positive content or just grab my camera and be creative. Money, energy, time, and space are no longer being wasted on these emotional purchases.
This is probably my favorite reason to become and stay a minimalist. Pre-minimalism mindset, Josiah and I were constantly struggling to stay organized. We could never find the things we were looking for and the real problem was that we just had too much stuff. Stuff that wasn't even valuable to us, it was just there. Clearing out the unnecessary things has allowed us to make sure that each item has it's own place that it is easily returned to when it is not in use. If we, two not-super-organized people can find organization, so can you.
5. Increased Value
When our house was cluttered with 30 mugs (I wish I was exaggerating) and my closet was filled with 200+ items (that I didn't even wear) I did not appreciate any of those things. I took them for granted because I 90% of them I only half-liked. Now the things that I have held onto are the things that I love.
Minimalism is a forever journey with no true destination and we are in. We are all in. We want to continue to learn to appreciate life and all of it's experiences more than stuff, because stuff is overrated and memories last forever. Too cheesy? A bit, but I believe it 100%. I am loving the journey so far and am fully ready for what the future brings.