I had the privilege of sharing a bit of my minimalism journey in the latest issue of Queen of the Castle. Check it out:
Maybe you can relate to a similar experience.
You spend hours, maybe even days, organizing the kids’ toys, your clothes, the hallway closet or the junk drawer in the kitchen. Everything has a place. An overwhelming sense of joy and peace overcomes you after tackling some of the biggest messes in your home. But then it happens. Life. Kids. The day-to-day grind of family, work, school, appointments and extracurriculars. And it can happen in only a few short days, maybe even hours. What was just an immaculately organized toy bin, closet or junk drawer has suddenly reverted to the complete and total mess it once was.
Ugh. All that hard work for nothing.
It’s such a frustrating experience! Not only is the mess back, but all hope that you can gain control of your stuff has been lost, and you give up.
I’ve been down this road many, many times! Too many times, in fact.
But then I discovered something that has eliminated many of these frustrating and hopeless experiences with decluttering. It didn’t make my life perfect – not even close – but it allowed for me to live a simpler life. It’s called minimalism.
I know that’s kind of a freaky word, but minimalism is nothing more than simply choosing to live with less. It’s figuring out what’s important and what’s not and then getting rid of what’s not.
So that’s what I did. I went through all of my clothes, photos, paper, sentimental items, the garage and my workshop, and I got rid of the stuff I didn’t need or want. Stuff that didn’t add value to my life or bring me joy. I ended up selling a ton of stuff at a neighborhood thrift sale and donated a bunch more. It felt amazing. I mean, literally, getting rid of all that stuff gave me a huge endorphin rush! But more importantly it made my life simpler. There was less to think about. Less to organize. Less to clean. Less to look at.
And minimalism is not just about less stuff and less clutter, but it’s also about choosing to live with less stress, less debt, less discontent and fewer distractions. And now that a lot of my stuff is gone I can begin to concentrate on some of these other areas.
Minimalism truly has improved my life, and I know it can improve the lives of others, too.There is no one formula for living a minimalist lifestyle – it looks different for everyone.
There’s a unique opportunity coming to Wisconsin this spring where our communities will have the chance to hear the stories of others who have decided to live with less. In May and June the film Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things is coming to Eau Claire, La Crosse, Madison, Milwaukee and Oshkosh. Screenings of this documentary are happening across the US, and they’re inspiring communities like ours to ask themselves, “How might my life be better with less?” The film follows minimalist architects, designers, musicians, businessmen, authors and minimalist families and shares with viewers the many different flavors of minimalism. You will get an inside look into the lives of those who are thriving with less.
No matter if your home (and storage unit) are chock-full of stuff you’ve been accumulating for decades or if you only have 50 items to your name, you’re welcome to join us as we’re challenged to reevaluate the things that matter most to us. I hope you do.
Reserve your ticket(s) today. Find the city closest to you on the map and then click the “reserve ticket” button. Please note that you can’t purchase tickets at the theater – you must reserve them online ahead of time.
photo credit: Logan Adermatt