Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Routines, schedules and minimalism

I don't know how minimalism relates to simplicity, or how simplicity relates to minimalism. I know they are related but I don't know if you can have one without the other. In my life they are interrelated, and as I pursue minimalism I am also pursuing simplicity.

One of the strategies I have employed since the beginning of this project is my grocery list and menu plan. Is our weekly menu more simple because of the planning that occurs at the beginning of the week? I do know my time is simpler, since I don't need to invent dinner plans at five o'clock, and I don't need to run to the store several times a week. Is this an aspect of minimalism, or simply mindfulness? I do know I am more mindful of my time since I have been eliminating excess.

I am also much better at the tiny tasks that contribute to piles of clutter around the house. I have written a couple of times about putting my sweater and jeans away, even if I expect to wear them again the next day. I no longer have a pile of clothes glaring at me each morning. Is this minimalism, simplicity, or just finally having an adult household routine? I'm not sure, but as I work to clear a surface I find my habits are changing to create an improved environment.

Knowing that shopping day is coming, I check the cupboard and refrigerator, and eliminate food waste by planning to use everything that is in there. (If my family is reading this, that does mean that raisins will be scare until the mango bits are finished.) Storage containers are emptied out, so I always have containers for leftovers (some of the virtue of that may be attributed to a growing teenage boy, as well.) I declutter as I go for a simple, streamlined refrigerator.

I'm actually rather surprised at the synchronicity the forces that are changing my environment. As I work to streamline my physical environment I am freeing up time (which I expected) and people are seeking me out for relationship building (which I did not especially expect, but I am enjoying the time to build friendships). I am able to exchange time I spent on home care and replace it with people-care.

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