Sometimes when I’m feeling all suffocated with my ego’s drive to have the Pinterest home and life I make my own life torture. I’m surprised Conor hasn’t banned the term, “So… I saw this thing on Pinterest….” from the dinner table conversation.
I had unrealistic expectations coming into ‘minimalism’. I started fast out of the gate with idealistic goals. Then I stopped to reflect months in and realized that it is not a fast process. It kinda bummed me out. Mostly because I’m now at that stage where I have to really start facing the WHY. Why I’m still keeping things I know I ought to let go.
So I did what I do best: make a list. That always cheers up this Lady Nerd. When I’m feeling defeated about not being Simple Living Supreme I can appreciate what I have been learning.
These past six-plus months in pursuing minimalism as a family has revealed these things to me…….
It is a process, not a race.
This one has been very hard for me. I envisioned an end goal and I just want to be there like last week! Suuuuure, I SAID I’d take a year to completely purge the home but, if I’m blurting it out truth, I really thought I’d make way more progress much sooner.
It has been a tedious and time-consuming task to rifle through drawers and cupboards and closets. I could just dump truck almost everything to the dump. However, I have to respect the process and what I am learning as I let things go from my possession. I need to be responsible for everything I’ve accumulated and try to find a new home for them.
The change happens in my thought processes, first and foremost.
At the core, minimalism is less about the state of my home and more about the state of my mind. This is probably the part I have valued the most because it is making me live differently, live more simply, live a little more intentionally.
People matter, not things.
This means when we don’t agree on things to get rid of, we leave it and move on. But if you ask me, we don’t need twelve fishing rods, five sprinklers and 54 pairs of wool socks. But what do I know? I can’t toss my belt buckle collection and it took me six months to cancel my IPSY subscription. We both have crap, we can’t be making each other’s perceived ‘crap’ more important than sharing a home and doing life together.
We benefit from being counter-cultural.
We can think we are above the influence, but we aren’t. Our culture has shaped how we do everything from careers, to schools, to what we buy in the checkout line at the grocery store. If you google anything about ‘consumerism’ you will instantly shame-cry over your collection of cheap trendy kitchenwares and bustling closet of modern tees that have come at a bigger cost to the world than your wallet. We accumulate recklessly and mindlessly. If we can stop, slow down, enjoy what we have instead of having our eyes on the next clothing purchase, new bedroom set, boat, a vacation, we can start to appreciate the contentment that comes when we live against this consumption culture we were raised in. This is hard, even as I type bedroom set and vacation my mind wanders to those things. If you need extra encouragement here, I recommend Jen Hatmaker’s book, 7.
It is tough as a family.
This one isn’t a surprise. I mean, if I was single or a couple I could overhaul this beast in a month. The time factor is one huge hurdle. It’s also the revolving train of ‘Do you need any more girl clothes? How about a baby tub? Here’s my extra toys for a preteen even though you have toddlers’. Not to mention our house being unsettled in its final layout and it’s tough to assign locations to everyone’s possessions just yet. Plus kids….their radius of mess making grows exponentially each year. I KNOW I’m not the only mom who finds hot wheels in her fridge and a baby doll tucked into my bathroom drawer.
If you are trying to simplify your home, what has been hard for you? How do you power through?
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