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.
Today, I’m happy to introduce you to Vivi from Indonesia. A stay-at-home mom to two young children, she tells us the steps she’s taking towards living a more minimalist, intentional life. Read more of her thoughts on her blog.
First, let me wish everyone A Happy New Year… And a good luck for everyone this year.
During December till today (3 Jan 2017), I have done some decluttering, including 1 of my 4 shoes. My final goal is to be more intentional in life ahead. Decluttering, streamlining & minimalist lifestyle are in the same thread, and I think they’re one of the greatest, cheapest, and easiest way to achieve an intentional life.
The road to minimalism started when I moved to a new company in June 1998, right after a political succession & shift in my country. The new company I worked for was handling IKEA’s suppliers. I just knew there had been a global homeliving company like IKEA (yes, I know so little about the world…) who designed, outsourced, controlled the quality, and then distributed them around its store around the world, but not in Indonesia at that time. (Even now, I haven’t had the opportunity to visit IKEA in our capital city yet. But I always arrange my home IKEA like with local things around me hehe… ). There was one IKEA catalog in the company that I fell in love immediately, I checked it after lunch at lunch breaks.
Then I picked my sister college book about various history & the influence of philosophy & culture that manifested into architectural trend, “Citra Wastu” by Y. B. Mangunwijaya. The unit telling about true utility & plain functional architecture trend of German philosophy really caught me. I could relate this philosophy to IKEA style. From that moment I stopped collecting ethnic unique knick knacks. I gave most of them to my nieces & friends. I shifted my ideal style of ethnic tropical home to a simple tropical home with very minimum delicate details.
Then when the Internet was accessible, unintentionally I found blogs about minimalism. I then learn & follow a couple of minimalist bloggers & guru such as Leo Babauta of Zen Habits, Francine Jay’s Miss Minimalist, then Rachel Jones of Nourishing Minimalism, and mother of four Allie Casazza. I think they’re all incredible source in their own standpoint & capacity on teaching minimalism, simplicity & intentional life, even though until at the moment I haven’t joined any of their paid course/bought their books yet.
But the real turning point was when our first baby was born 11 years after our marriage. I had become a stay at home mom at the time. Speaking of time, physical & mental energy, I was always almost exhausted & overwhelmed in a daily basis at the end of the days, even though I had a domestic helper every other day. My husband worked long hours, often traveled out of town for days, and arriving home already tired. Then the next 21 months the second baby came. Up to now, I could not imagine what and how I can do with the kids if I had not been into minimalism.
Now the kids this year will be 5 and 7, and I’m in my early forty. As a stay at home mom, I have more time & energy to do my things again these recent years. However, I don’t do any businesses from home. I just take an English course and try to regularly write my blog idlehomemaker.wordpress.com in my spare time. With the higher demand from today’s school toward younger kids, and as any other moms in every corner of the world, I have to put a balanced effort in everything for the wellbeing of all family members. By the way, I may not be a very business-like person nor a Type-A person and more looks like an agricultural one maybe. I still need to learn a lot about managing time, physical & mental energy as well as be a healthier person, and what I would like to reach in the future years. And my home is still far from a real minimalist home, though. I can’t do a Konmari approach with 2 young kids around and all the activities. But I’m very positive to be a more minimalist & intentional in life this year. If you would like to share any suggestions to me, I am very pleased & thankful.
Finally, I decluttered approximately 140 things in 2016, not an impressive number…mostly just-in-case things, some knick knacks, broken toys/things (actually can be repaired still, but I choose to give them up). And this early January, I have decluttered 30 things, mostly our overgrown kids’ clothings & my not-so-favourite-anymore from my wardrobe.
Cheers to all of you. Have a nice day…