As I washed dishes earlier, I kept thinking about the beginning. I remembered all of the emotions, questions, and thoughts that popped into my head when the first few items began to leave our home. Everything had been culminating up to this moment. We loved the idea of simplicity and living with less, but we also loved our stuff. You know, the cute floral dress that’s just so spring. That ceramic bowl for the dinner parties that never happened. The many different sandals, in every color imaginable, because Lord knows I needed a different shoe for every outfit.
Between the scrubbing and the rinsing, I relived for a few minutes the first days of our de-cluttering. This was only the beginning. It began with our stuff and things only grew from there. I’ll admit, my husband was much better at this than I was. But it was a step toward fully understanding what it means to live with less.
Looking back now, there’s so much I want to share with you guys. But to keep things simple, I came up with 5 essential tips that helped us discover more about ourselves and the world as we transitioned to minimalism. So, here they are:
- Take inventory – of life, your stuff, your mind, emotions. One thing I’ve discovered is that our stuff says more about what’s going on inside of us than anything else. So the first step is to stop and ask yourself questions. Look within. What should I do and what must I do? Doing so allows you to be clear with yourself (and others) about your intention and direction. Minimalism is a starting point and not a finish line.
- Establish your priorities – In a perfect world, you’d just grab everything and start over. But this is not the point. Laying the foundation for your life means considering your vision. What do you want life to be like from now on? What things must you remove to make your vision possible? Establishing your vision, allows you to get your priorities in check and makes it easier to get rid of the things that just don’t fit in any longer.
- Consider your reality – Minimalism is not a one size fits all thing. I know it sounds a bit repetitive, but what adds value to your life may not look the same in someone else’s life. So when getting rid of your stuff, consider your reality. Living with less is great, but living sustainably and having a mindset of preservation is even better. Maybe you don’t need to throw those old boots away, just show them a bit more love.
- Focus on your progress – This one is hard because we’re just so darn good at comparing ourselves. I’ll be the first to admit this part is the most challenging. Focusing on your victories, no matter how small, is fundamental to making this LIFE-style stick. Minimalism opens us up to a slower, more sustainable, more conscious life. It is not at all about perfection, but progression. Every day is a new day to let go of the superfluous and add value.
- Create a plan – I’m a sucker for planning. So when we embraced minimalism, I more or less tried my best to have a blueprint or plan. Keep it simple. Having your thoughts on paper will give you a better chance at success (a 42% chance to be exact). Of course, you won’t do it all at once. But the plan is always there to remind you of how far you’ve come and how far you’ve gotta go.
I’d love to know what you think in the comments below and how these tips best serve you and your family.
Have a lovely week everyone!