So…what is minimalism and what is the whole minimalism movement about?
Quite simply, minimalism means you can’t own more than 100 things, you can’t own a car, you can’t live in a traditional home, you DEFINITELY can’t have a television, you have to travel to exotic and remote places all around the world…
And you should probably start a blog.
Ok, I’m obviously joking. But seriously, what is minimalism? I’m curious because the movement appeals to me, and so does decluttering and living more simply.
Why Do a Minimalism Challenge?
I recently wrote an article about 6 Ways to Declutter, and those are 6 actual things I’ve done to declutter.
But the week after I wrote that post I went on a planning retreat out of town for work and…
I kind of had an emotional breakdown.
I’ve been extremely busy with work, and its been by choice. I have a full-time job, but I also have this bloggety-blog that I LOVE and want to grow and build on. But on top of those things, I also take on side jobs, because the blog doesn’t currently earn any money and I need to find some way to make them sustainable in the meantime.
I’ve written and talked a lot about self care, and how to practice self care when you’re extremely busy. And finding tiny time in my day to practice self care has been helpful…
But it’s time for a reset.
I want to simplify, and I found this great 30 Days to Minimalism Challenge by a YouTuber named MuchelleB. I won’t do the entire challenge, but I’m going to focus on the areas I need the most help in, and I’ll be sharing those with you a couple times a week right here on my blog.
What is Minimalism?
I’m guessing you knew my introduction was nonsense, but seriously, what is minimalism?
Sometimes when people think of minimalism, they attach it to rules and restrictions, but minimalism isn’t inherently about any of those things. According to The Minimalists website, minimalism is ULTIMATELY about finding freedom. Freedom from the feeling of overwhelm, worry, guilt, and the general trappings of the consumer culture in which we live. In short…
Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.
THAT is a statement I resonate with.
My ultimate goal in learning more about minimalism is not to become a minimalist per se. It’s to rid my life of excess distractions and noise. Excessive belongings, too many commitments, spending too much money, not prioritizing my health, living in clutter…
It’s so much noise.
I want to cut the noise so I can more easily refocus and RELAX.
What Are The Minimalist’s 5 Values
According to Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus who wrote Minimalism: Leading A Meaningful Life,
- Health: strive to be the healthiest version of yourself. Take care of the vehicle you are in – regardless of what that looks like to you.
- Relationships: which relationships in your life require more attention, and which are of little to no value for you? Ultimately, the only person you can change is yourself. Focus on the relationships where there is mutual respect and value.
- Passions: Is your work or career meaningful to you? If not, is that important to you? How can you embrace your passions and manifest more of what you love into your life?
- Growth: Stagnation leads to death. How do you constantly pursue growth so you can live your fullest life?
- Contribution: Contribution is an extension of growth. How do you add value to the world?
You might notice something…
These values have seemingly nothing to do with minimalism.
That’s because decluttering and clearing out noise and possessions that are meaningless to you is just the first step towards a meaningful life.
Many times, our stuff gets in the way of our purpose. Below, I’ll discuss some of the ways minimalist improves your life, and you’ll see how these benefits allow you to finally focus on these 5 values.
How will Minimalism Help Improve My Life?
Like I mentioned, I don’t plan on becoming someone who people recognize as a minimalist. I’m not interested in any kind of extreme living, and I don’t want anyone to have expectations of me (or you) because we change ALL the time. I like giving myself the flexibility to always accept where I am and how I feel.
That said, there are a few reasons I think living more minimally can change my life. For me, practicing a more minimal lifestyle is about reclaiming things I currently feel a lack of control.
Reclaim My Space
First, doing this minimalism challenge will help me reclaim my space. I share a house with my husband and want to give him the freedom to keep his space however he wants it—so there are areas in my house I won’t mess with for now.
But there are plenty of shared areas and personal areas of mine that I want to reclaim.
I currently don’t have any sacred space in my house. I don’t have anywhere to relax and be alone, and during this challenge, I want to find and create that space.
My dresser has been a mess for years. WHYYYYY do I feel like so many things belong on TOP of it?
I’ve cleaned out my clothes a few times already and I still hang on to SO many things I don’t wear.
We had foster cats in our spare room for over a year. Now they’re gone. How can we utilize that space?
These are just a few examples.
We have a maid come every now and then, and the night before she comes, we clean and try to declutter the main areas of the house. And then…we muck it up again the day after she comes. I want to reclaim and reorganize our space so we can more easily keep it decluttered, instead of just having clear space the day the maid comes.
Reclaim My Time
Additionally, I want to reclaim my time. I’m not getting quite enough sleep, quite enough movement, quite enough self care, etc.
I’m very fortunate in the flexibility I have. Many of my friends have kids or commitments that make it challenging to try new things or start side hustles.
I KNOW I have time—at least and hour or two a day—that I’m not using effectively. I want to optimize and simplify how I use my time so that I focus on the right things, instead of just being BUSY all the time.
Reclaim My Money
Another bad habit I’ve developed is that I don’t know where all my money goes. I bought MuchelleB’s Ebook without even thinking about it. But what if I had a budget and knew where all my money was going, or not going?
I know I make an OK salary at my job, and I also have my service-side hustles, but the outworking of all of this isn’t making a positive impact on my checkbook or savings account…and it should.
I want to optimize and simplify how I use my money so that I can stress less and take back control.
Reclaim My Energy
I’m on my computer…a lot. And I get intense anxiety about working out. I think part of it is that I’ve always associated exercise with wanting to lose weight, and I traumatized myself a bit in that regard.
But, I want more energy—mental and physical—so I can dedicate more time to movement.
And it won’t be about losing weight or looking different, but simply about feeling better and practicing the best self care possible.
Follow Along With The Minimalism Challenge
As I go along in this minimalism challenge, I’ll create videos and worksheets to make it easy to follow along.
I’ll start with the Ebook I bought, but I’m also doing my own research since I’m not doing every exercise in the book. Maybe I will someday, but for now I’m tailoring to the activities that give me the most PEACE and sense of RELIEF, because that is my motivation for doing this challenge in the first place.
To follow along, fill out the form below. This will put you on a list to receive every update and all the other worksheets I create along the way.
Thanks for following along!