Minimalistic living is a popular thing these days. At least it was the last few years, I’m not sure what this next decade will look like yet. But as a society, we have focused on having less stuff, and I’ve focused on it too. The minimalistic lifestyle may not be for everyone, but I think it could be.
Living a minimalistic life is practical for us.
We’ve moved more times than I ever expected and have learned to do with much less during those weeks we’re in transit and when things don’t quite fit right. We tend to pass along things instead of keeping them for sentimentality because we simply don’t have room.
But now that we have our own house and don’t plan on moving again, I’ve shifted my focus. I recently read the book More Than Enough: How One Family Cultivated A More Abundant Life Through A Year Of Practical Minimalismby Miranda Anderson. In this book, she talks about how her family committed a year of not buying anything non-consumable. They bought food, they went on trips, but they didn’t buy things. Stuff.
Throughout the book, Anderson talked about how they found things within their own house to repurpose. They also borrowed things and they allowed a one-for-one exchange on clothing items and other things that wore out. For example, if your sneakers wore out, you could buy another pair of sneakers.
While I have no intention of leading my family on a “no spend year,” the concept of not buying things intrigues me. We have so many things already. Why can’t we use what we have first? Do we really need to bring more things into our house only to purge again in a few months?
Practically Living a Minimalistic Life
In 2020, I’m focusing on bringing fewer things into my house as part of my minimalistic lifestyle. I want to really think about the things we’re adding to our life. And ask ourselves these questions:
- Do I need this?
- Will I still need this in a week, month, year?
- Will it last a week, month, year?
- Do I have something close enough that I can use instead?
- Can I borrow it?
- Where am I going to put it?
I’m not opposed to us spending money on something we need or want. But what I want to do is push aside the instant gratification of the Amazon shopping and really think about what we need. There are some areas in which I already try to do this, particularly with arts and crafts supplies. I have been on a mission to use the fabric in my sewing closet before buying any more. I haven’t been 100% successful with that, but I’m working on it.
Here are some ways I’m focusing on “less is more” this year.
Books – Borrowing books from friends or the library
Clothes – shopping second hand when possible, altering clothes, and buying clothes of a higher quality to avoid having to replace them quickly
Games & Puzzles – Swapping and sharing with friends
Gifts – Experiences win out over things almost every time. This year we’ll focus more on the gift of time and presence instead of presents. Even for those outside of our family.
The biggest thing I want to remember is that when we decide we need something; we need to take a minute and think. In order to keep our life simple and less cluttered, we need to stop adding stuff to it. Physical stuff, appointments on a calendar, and extra stress are all things we can eliminate this year focusing on “less is more” and a minimalistic lifestyle.