Every Monday I post Real Life Minimalists, a profile of one of my readers in their own words. If you’d like to participate, click here for details.
This week, I’m happy to feature Marianne, who tells us about the variety of changes she’s made to simplify her life. To learn more, surf on over to her blog.
I came across Miss Minimalist several months ago and was inspired by the posts that were written. I like to keep my home uncluttered, but this took things to a new level. I think that it takes time to find balance in your life and for habits to stick.
Growing up, my dad kept everything it seemed. It was probably from having lived through lean times in his life. I didn’t learn about minimalism until the past year or so. There is no right or wrong way to be a minimalist. I decided to just take it step by step until I feel like I am where I need to be. I am consistently cleaning out clutter from our home. There isn’t a whole lot left to go through now. It is much easier to clean a home that doesn’t have a lot of clutter.
We are trying to eat healthier foods and avoid the processed foods and junk foods. Instead of going to garage sales frequently, I figure out what I really want and need and save my money and buy just that. I found that when I went to garage sales, it was so easy to take home much more than I needed because it was so inexpensive. We are trying to change how we do Christmas and spend less, give mostly gift cards and consumable gifts, and focus more on being together instead of the stuff.
I think that finding the right balance is different for everyone. Some people like having more stuff than others, but what really matters is finding the right balance for you regardless of what others do. And, that balance seems to change as you get older or you have kids or if your kids leave home for college. I don’t want my home to look cold and stark, but I do want to have minimal possessions so it is easy to clean. I don’t want things around that I don’t need.
When you focus on your needs and on the things that are a priority in your life, it also blesses other areas of your life. I find we have more disposable money because we don’t buy a lot of extra things we don’t need. I cut down on my cleaners and plastic bag and paper towel and napkin usage, and don’t spend as much on those things any more. We use containers, cloth napkins and rags instead.
I am trying to include more vegetarian meals because they are healthier for you, and try to cook things from scratch and eat less. I save money on groceries, which is a side benefit. I like the idea of finding one item that can take the place of two or three. For example, if you buy body wash that you can also use to wash your hair, you can buy just one bottle, and use it for your whole body, instead of two.
I think the minimalist movement has helped us to realize that we can let go of things and that it isn’t things that make us happy in the end. I am going slow and steady as I make the journey into minimalism, but the habits I make will stick. We can’t take our material possessions when we leave this earth, so we had better develop the proper attitude about them now. Miss Minimalist has been a real inspiration to me in my journey to find out what I really want and what it takes to get there. Thank you!