Minimalism is about getting rid of the things in your life that you no longer need, want or value so that you can make room for the things which you love, need or have a purpose. More than just a simple declutter, Minimalism can bring huge unexpected and life-changing benefits to you and your family. Check out this post to learn how becoming Minimalist can change your life!
How I first became a Minimalist
As a Mum I firstly turned to Minimalism because I wanted to reduce the amount of stuff and clutter in my home so that I wasn’t constantly playing catch up, overwhelmed by the mess and forever moving, tidying and cleaning it.
I didn’t want to settle for just getting through my days only to drop into bed exhausted by the end of them.
Instead, I wanted to spend my time playing with my children, looking after both myself and my family and still have heaps of energy and get-up-and-go for when new things came my way and exciting opportunities opened up.
In the words of Annie Dillard,
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
I wanted to make sure I made the most of each day, ready to take on the world and whatever the day might throw at me!
How decluttering my home turned into simplifying my life
Over time, I became Minimalist in other areas of my life, not just my home and possessions, but my finances, my calendar, even sometimes the meals I cooked.
Minimalism enabled and encouraged me to be much more intentional about everything I did. I became a better and more present Mum by enabling my family and I to focus on the important things in life.
‘Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it.’ (Joshua Becker, becomingminimalist.com)
However, my journey into Minimalism turned out to be so much more than just a simple decluttering. It came with unexpected and life-changing benefits and a whole new outlook on life. Here’s what I found…
THE UNEXPECTED BENEFITS OF MINIMALISM
#1 More time and freedom
By reducing the amount of stuff we owned, I wasn’t having to spend my time looking after it. There were less toys, less clothes and less clutter which meant there was less to move, clean, tidy away and feel overwhelmed by.
My family and I could spend our time doing other things that we wanted to do, instead of what we had to do. A family day out instead of a day catching up on housework. Time to play with the kids instead of time doing chores. Time learning a new skill or growing my mind, instead of overload and losing my mind.
With more time came more freedom – the freedom of choice to do things on a whim, because we wanted to and not because we had to.
#2 More memories and experiences
Decluttering the home and then our calendar commitments allowed us to carve out more time and the physical and mental freedom to do other things.
We now focus on doing things together, going out or staying in, but activities and experiences that we can remember for the future, that bring us closer and remind us how lucky we are to be together.
We can try new things, develop different skills, visit new places – take photos, have fun, learn and laugh together.
#3 More money and a better financial situation
We minimalised our finances, made it simpler to manage how and where we spent our money.
But we also found we spent less as our needs and wants became fewer. We needed and wanted less to make us happy and didn’t buy things unnecessarily.
Our finances improved, we spent less and were able to save more.
#4 More appreciation and gratitude
When you have too much stuff, or no time to stop and think, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important.
You’re so caught up in the day to day, with doing what needs to be done, that your children grow up without you really noticing and you walk straight past the beauty of life.
Simplify your life and you have time to pause, reflect and build on what you already have, rather than what else you feel you need. You realise how lucky you are already and be thankful for it every day.
You stop chasing happiness and instead appreciate that you probably have everything that you need to be happy right now.
#5 More purpose and intention
When you have less, the things you choose to keep and what you choose to do become much more important.
You decide on what brings value to you, your home and your family and make a conscious choice to allow it in. You set your intention for everything that you do, whether it’s a ten minute clear-up of the house at the end of the day, or another ten minutes reading to expand your mind.
You become clearer about what you want, evaluating the purpose of things, setting your goals and being intentional about what you bring into your home, family and heart. Check out my post on how to set goals and keep them.
#6 A better example for my children
Because of all these other benefits, I think I’m a better person and a better Mum because of what Minimalism has taught and given me.
As our children take the lead from us parents, I’m able to set a better example for my children.
#7 A valuable lesson
I first began to minimalise by sorting out my wardrobe, keeping only the clothes I loved and wanted to wear. At the time I had no idea that Minimalism, starting out with that quick declutter session, would go on to teach my family and I some of the most valuable lessons and bestow the greatest benefits.
We may have less, but our lives are fuller for it.