2019 started off with the idea of decluttering and being “minimalist”, thanks to the trending Netflix series featuring Marie Kondo titled “Tidying Up”…if you haven’t caught a peek yet, Kondo is Japanese and brings her principles of minimalism, cleaning and organizing to the US in simple steps which aren’t overwhelming, and her gentle, calming spirit seems to make the process for over-cluttered American homes a bit more bearable. For an outsider, American consumerism must seem like an epidemic to those who live more simply than many of our lifestyles command, with gadgets in the kitchen to peel any possible fruit or vegetable, right down to the stored boxes of mementos that are so important to keep, yet not important enough to remember what’s in them, or even to unpack it once a year for a stroll down memory lane.
This all has me thinking—and as one who felt pretty minimalist already, I have turned a corner because this doesn’t have to do with just the household—it goes beyond that for me to lifestyle, business, groceries and mental health. Minimalism is healthy in so many ways, and if you’ll start with the home, you’ll soon realize that there are probably groceries stacked in that pantry that are expired—because shopping the aisles prompts you to grab and go items that instantly appeal, even though you have no intention or plan to use it immediately. Then we move to your personal calendar—are you “busy-ing” yourself with appointments or meetings that you just don’t enjoy or love? Be INTENTIONAL to remove things you are obligated to that bring dread, or look at the weeks ahead and decide how you can minimize the number of errands to allow MENTAL SPACE to: read a book, stay home and enjoy the quiet or have down time, prepare a family meal, go on a hike, or just have conversation with your spouse.
So while minimalism to you might mean a house void of warmth and comforts, to me it’s simply surrounding myself with things I really love, not impulse buying, removing clutter that causes distraction and mess, and creating time and space for more important things in life such as friendship—and side note—this actually SAVES money and allows for those amazing extras in life, like travel!