While I admire The Minimalists and those who live a Spartan lifestyle, I just can’t quite do that myself. I love my different clothing styles and costumes and books and acquired art too much to pare them down any further. I do regularly evaluate my things and let go of what doesn’t work for me anymore, and I have a pretty strong practice of limiting what I buy and bring into the home, but I definitely have more jacket options than I really “need” and more skirts than I actually wear, if we’re being honest.
That’s why I like to call myself “Minimal-ish”. Not quite at Minimalist level, but still comfortable with less stuff. Here are a few reasons why this works for me.
1. Moving is easier and cheaper
I’ve moved around a lot my entire life, whether it’s within the same city or across the country. My personal track record is a move at least once every 3 years. Moving is exhausting in general, but it’s more exhausting when you have a whole lot of stuff to haul with you every single time. My family in the military know this a lot more intimately than even I do.
But if I own less stuff, that’s fewer boxes to pack and a smaller truck to rent. And I don’t have to worry about renting a storage unit for the stuff that may not fit in my new home. That’s money in the bank right there!
2. Cleaning is less work
Keeping a home clean and clutter free is an ongoing challenge for anyone, but it’s far less challenging when you don’t have as much stuff. It’s easier to dust and vacuum when you’re not picking up or maneuvering around a bunch of things.
Having less stuff also means there’s less to maintain in your home, which gives you more time for other activities, whether that’s an artistic pursuit, quality time with the kids, grownup time with friends, or kicking back to binge watch Game of Thrones.
3. Everything has a place
By consciously choosing to own less stuff, it also means I generally know where my stuff is. I don’t spend a lot of time searching for anything, I just go right to its home and BAM! There it is. This is with the notable exception of my phone, which camouflages with every other black thing I have and disappears in plain sight. I equipped it with a brightly-colored case and it still manages to escape. I blame the lack of functional pockets in women’s clothing, but that’s besides the point.
It feels nice to have a home for everything and not have a lot of duplicates or unnecessary stuff spilling out from my drawers, closets, or cabinets. I’m constantly asking myself three questions: Do I need it? Do I use it? Do I love it? If I’m thinking about buying something new, I ask myself those three questions and think about where it’s going to live in my home.
I’m not saying you have to get rid of all your stuff or never buy anything new, because that’s not fun or realistic. There’s wiggle room here. Everyone has their passion projects that they like to spend time on. For myself, I love art supplies and costumes and I use them often enough, so I make space for them in my home. Ultimately, it’s all about priorities and making sure you have the space for those things that excite you.
If you’re trying to find space for the things you love but also pare down the things you don’t, contact me for a free phone consultation.