I didn’t choose the minimalist life, the minimalist life chose me.
I met my husband when I was seven years old. By the time I was 12 I made it known that I would marry him and no one could do anything about it. We started courting at 15, were engaged at 18, married at 19, and started a family that same year. There are many wonderful things about being married young; I actually made a list here. Being married young is the greatest adventure and I wouldn’t change it for the world. But there are some things, besides what typical married couples deal with, that are a challenge; one being money. Since we started off young and are still in the infancy stages of our careers, we had to learn fast what being frugal really meant. The three of us (me, my husband, and our 7 month old daughter) live in 750 square foot house and probably will for at least another year while we save for our own home.
I was forced into being a minimalist. The minimalist life really chose me, but I have benefited more than I ever thought I would. Living simply is something I would encourage everyone to do, whether you have a mansion or a tiny apartment. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Make a List- I LOVE lists. I can make lists for days. I have lists for things I want to make. Make a list of things you want (or need) to change; a list for things you dislike around your house; a list for things that stress you out, etc.
- Remove Clutter- Do I really need 30 pens in my junk drawer? Probably not. Do you need to keep all of your 16 year old daughter’s baby clothes? Not really. Identify the most cluttered area and start there. Getting rid of clutter is such a relief and makes you feel amazing.
- Make Four Piles- I know that a lot of people love their stuff. There are memories that we never want to let go of when we look at our things. If you have a hard time letting go of certain objects, make four piles: keep, donate, throw away, and maybe (items you should get rid of but can’t). Put everything from the “maybe” pile in a box and tape it shut. In 30 days if you still want it, open it up and keep it. If not, don’t even open it. C’est la vie.
- Start Small- If becoming a minimalist is overwhelming, start small. Look at your lists you’ve created and pick one area per day to de-clutter. Take joy in the small victories.
- Go Beyond Materialist- The minimalistic lifestyle goes beyond our material items. Becoming a minimalist helped me get out of debt and has also helped me emotionally. Sometimes it means you might be able to forgive someone you didn’t think you could. Pay it forward. Love and be loved. Get rid of the mental clutter in your life. I choose to be a minimalist not only in my physical life, but in my mental and emotional life as well.
There is no right or wrong way to being a minimalist. Just take one step at a time and truly experience the joy of simplistic living!
Let us know if you are thinking about becoming more of a minimalist! Take the plunge, and comment below!