Here’s what has ventured to friends and local charities within the span of 30 days. These two bins are full of boxes. My wife is now in full swing and we’re paring down with more.
How quickly a month flies by!
I find myself at the end of the first month into this new minimalism journey. I feel quite good so far! This doesn’t simply feel like “spring cleaning,” it feels like something much more. I’d like to offer a couple of key reflections that are noteworthy, after paring down possessions, clothing, and other items. A preface, it was hard to order these, because they tend to cascade into one another. That’s really quite surprising. So here goes:
- Stuff. What we’ve kept of our various belongings are ones we frequently use, truly care for, are meaningful and we find joy in owning and using. These things are much more noticeable and catch our attention too. When the time comes to journey elsewhere, this will feel much more manageable to move.
- Time. Because our living space is freed up, I feel our time has freed up. I felt less constraints on my time. I was able to spend much needed time with family, do a woodworking project with a good friend, feed chickadees out of my hand, and do some writing. Time itself felt less imposing. Also see: #4.
- Mindfulness. My mental space often feels less crowded. Setting limits for screen time (9:30PM) is a huge piece of this. Going to bed by 11:00 every night has me feeling well-rested in the mornings. During the day, cutting digital clutter, trimming emails, and paying less attention to distractions has been freeing.
- Productivity. We have been consistently into work or up and about usually by 8:00AM. We’ve been much more efficient with our time and feel energized about getting work accomplished. This has left time to enjoy other parts of life wherever we see fit.
- Budget. We’ve been more intentional about cooking and eating at home, and been discretionary on things we purchase or things to do that hit our wallet.
- Lifestyle. Minimalism itself is quite malleable. You find how it works for you. It’s not about living as a monk — it’s about avoiding the traps that society tells us we should be wanting more. This made it less daunting.
- Habit. Once this starts to be built into habit and routine, the easier it becomes. We’ve become more adept at looking at something, and determining whether or not it’s useful or meaningful in any way. If not, we box it up.
- Helping Others. This has brought joy to folks whom we’ve found have need of things we’re paring down. In some strange coincidences, there’d be a person who needed or would find useful exactly what we were doing away with. A suit, a bike pump, a sled, suitcases, school supplies, cologne, and more. It was mutually beneficial.
- Cleanliness. Keeping the house clean is hardly as much of a chore. The fact is there’s significantly less clutter to move and clean around. As a result, we spend less time and energy on these tasks.
- Feeling Healthier and Happier.
I understand with this being new and exciting and only being a short span of time, there will be diminishing returns. However, we want to stick with these healthy habits over the rest of the year. The challenge will be to make sure we stick with them over the year. I think I’ll keep writing. Writing this blog has been cathartic and relaxing. I think there’s still some minimalism topics and ideas that I’ve yet to write about and share my thoughts and experiences around. So if you’re still interested, I hope you’ll be following along!