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, Shelley tells us that she’s naturally drawn to minimalism, and is now trying to (gently) introduce her family to the lifestyle. Visit her blog to read more about her experiences.
I’ve always had minimal tendencies and have had some challenges throughout my life to stay true to this nature. One thing I loved to do when I was young was clean out my room. I remember gathering my favorite things into several drawers of a dresser and getting rid of the rest.
I wasn’t deprived of anything as a child and always had plenty of toys and clothes, but was just good at letting go of things. The space that was empty after cleaning out made me happier than the space that wasn’t.
I remember showing off my sparse closet to a friend. “Where’s your stuff?” was about all she said, along with a look of condolence. After that, I figured I was kind of weird in that respect, so I was thrilled to discover what a minimalist was later in life and that the lifestyle is very rewarding.
My renewed interest in minimalism developed out of necessity as me, my husband, and our two growing children lived in our small starter house for 15 years without a garage or attic. I had to get creative to combat clutter and keep our stuff straight.
I read all sorts of books and magazine articles on how to stay organized, but my efforts never seemed to be enough and I felt like all my time was spent in stuff management for me and my family. After reading “The Joy of Less,” I decided that living with less stuff really was the clear solution to our problem, not some clever organizing system.
Even after moving to a larger house with plenty of storage space, I strive to be minimal because I know that stuff takes time as well as space to maintain. I’m on a mission to find ways to make this lifestyle more attainable without having to step too far out of my family’s comfort zone because they’re not always on board with the lifestyle.
Earlier this year, I started a blog, www.minimalme.net, as a place to share my ideas and discoveries as I ease myself and family into the simple life. I’m grateful for inspiration and support from the growing number of people who are making minimalism a new and appealing way to live.