Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Is Minimalism for Me?

I loved the look of minimalism for a long time before I decided to pursue it. For many years I tried to simply declutter or organize my clutter. I have a lot of storage space, including two sheds and a garage. (We don't have any storage space in the house, except closets, so a little of the storage I can justify for Christmas decorations and such, but not most of it.) Why is minimalism a lifestyle worth pursuing?

Minimalism seems to be a much simpler, more focused lifestyle. I am seeking simplicity and focus. I don't like the scattered distraction I get so often. I have a busy life, and I would like to eliminate the inessentials. That is what minimalism seems to be about.

I look at the minimalism practiced by some people, and the pictures posted to Pinterest (I am breaking my Pinterest habit, and I spend a lot less time there, but I do check in). I cannot see my family supporting me if I moved to that level of minimalism, and they have to live here too.

Will I ever be a "minimalist?" Will I ever be down to 100 items, or just enough to pack in a dufflebag, or something like that? I doubt it. I do want my own version of minimalism, though, that contains the essentials without the surplus. This includes physical surplus, mental surplus and commitment surplus.

So what's the difference between just decluttering and minimalism? To me, decluttering involves getting rid of things that are extra, things that are in my way or not used. Minimalism is about identifying what is important and getting rid of anything that doesn't qualify as important. So I have to decide if the meetings I attend are important, or if they are something that just adds busyness to my life.

Dance class is important to my family -- or at least parts of it. Running is important to other parts of my family. 4H is important, but I can participate at a lower level. My version of minimalism requires I identify which commitments are essential and eliminate the others.

I have been working to discard physical things that are not essential. The extra car is extra, and keeping it in case I might need it in the future is contrary to how I want to live now. So the car was decluttered, and I feel much better without it.

So, I guess the answer to my question is yes, but it's not the same minimalism that other people practice. I think that's the best way to approach minimalism (or any activity): find the aspects of minimalism that apply to how you want to live and embrace them. If I get to define minimalism for myself, I think I can say minimalism is for me.


  1. I'm a big declutter-er on my way to being a semi-minimalist. How's that for a middle of the road person? Seriously, it sounds like we're in the same place. I'm getting rid of many things that we don't need and have just "always had". Then I'm not saving things just for "some day". Finally, I'm trying very hard to restrain my shopping.

  2. We do sound the same! I have a hard time with some of the "some day" things, especially craft supplies that the kids *might* need, especially for school projects. Keep it up, and I will too!