I started using a planner. A friend from my blogging community offered me a complimentary planner to post about it on my Instagram page, and I accepted because I could really stand to be more organized.*
Formerly, my telephone notes housed my to-do list. I took some time and dumped the notes into color coded items. As I began to check items off the list, my head began to hurt. There was always too much list left at the end of the day. There was never room for last minute emergencies, or extra hugs and kisses.
As my head throbbed, I was taken back to the moments when I began this journey to balance. I remembered why I dove in head first to this minimalist lifestyle.
I began because some things had to go. Recently, I fell off track because I do not have a tiny house. I still have cluttered corners. I like to shop to add to my minimalist wardrobe. My husband has not jumped on board with my minimalist philosophy, so I thought that perhaps, I was not minimalist enough to count.
I was wrong. A minimalist lifestyle much like anything else is a process. It is a way of life not an end product. Thus, for anyone trying to declutter, balance, or just breathe, here are some ways to live a minimalist lifestyle.
1. Get rid of stuff.
Take 15 minutes a day, or 15 minutes a week, or 15 minutes a month to purge. You no longer wear the dress. The kids no longer play with the toys. You no longer own a DVD player. The makeup is no longer any good. The books deserve a new home. The mail can be shredded or trashed. You do not need it. It can go. It has served its purpose, or maybe it is brand new. Either way it is taking up space, and you could use that space…
2. Get rid of tasks.
Look at your to-do list with a heavy dose of reality and cross certain things off the list PERMANENTLY. I was trying so hard to do so much and BE so much that I lost the ability to just BE…Do not lose yourself in your list. Some items can wait until tomorrow. Some things can wait until next week. Others things never deserved to be on the list at all. You are doing some things that are no longer a productive use of your time simply because you have always done them. You are doing some things out of an unrealistic sense of obligation. Those are things the that need to go FOREVER. You could use that space…
3. Get rid of people.
I am a people person. I love being around people (for the most part). I feed off the energy of people. Some people are no longer worth my time. Some people are no longer worth your time. Even if you are not a people person, many of you, like myself, are holding on to people who meant so much to you at one point in your life. You think you need them. You think they need you. You think that your life is somehow worse without them…You are right about some of them…but some of them no longer deserve your time. Some of them no longer deserve your loyalty. Some of them no longer deserve your space…
4. Make room for interruptions.
You will find yourself with more space, more empty closets, corners, cabinets, and to-dos. You will find more open time on your formerly full calendar. Use your space for interruptions. You can replace the 10 items you gave away with the one item you have been eyeing. You have more room for reading bedtime stories, doing homework and playing games. You have the capacity to accept new friends.
Your kids will ask you to play when it is inconvenient. Your friends, old and new, will need you when it is inconvenient. Catastrophes, big and small, happen when it is inconvenient. You need the space. The space allows for life to happen in between your regularly scheduled programming.
5. Make room for people that matter.
I had no idea. I thought a minimalist lifestyle was about open floor plans with well-designed white spaces. I thought it was about 33 item capsule wardrobes. I thought it was about budgeting and downsizing, and it is. Yet, it is also about so much more. A minimalist lifestyle is about being present. It is about enjoying the moment. It is about giving up what you do not need to make room for what you do need. Sometimes you need coffee dates and date nights. Sometimes you need snuggles and movies with fur babies, real babies, or spouses. Sometimes you need to sit in the sunshine…and just breathe.
Minimalism is a movement. A minimalist lifestyle eliminates all the excess so that you can focus on priorities.
How do you live your minimalist lifestyle?
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If you would like to check out other ways to declutter your life or learn to live a minimalist lifestyle, here are some other pieces on the subject:
*I received this planner complimentary in exchange for an Instagram ad. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the developing company, and/or its affiliates in any way