A Simple Approach to Living With Less

The Magnetic Appeal of Minimalism

What is it that draws you towards minimalism? Is it a desire for more time in your life? Is it a yearning to be free of clutter? Is it just a sense of knowing there must be more in this life than you’re experiencing right now? It could be some or a combination of these things.

For me, I didn’t even know what minimalism was until recently. I simply knew that my life was cluttered, I was always cleaning the same messes, and I’d been living with boxes of stuff around me that I didn’t even care to open. I knew I didn’t like living like this and I would periodically try to organize my life and the clutter. As a mom, I had the added challenge of my children coming behind me and adding to the chaos. Life just always had a way of getting messy all over again and I’d feel like I never made any real progress.

Honestly, I think I was looking for minimalism before I even knew it existed. As soon as I learned what minimalism was and that there was an alternative to how I’d been living, I felt like a powerful magnet was pulling me toward it. I had been yearning for a tangible way to change and minimalism is now bringing me the freedom I was looking for.

The greatest thing about minimalism is that it can mean different things to different people. It will likely mean one thing to a young, single person and something else entirely to someone who is married with a family. You are free to build your own personal framework of what minimalism means to you on the same foundation that other minimalists have in common with you.

I’m so excited about the sense of freedom I’m beginning to feel with minimalism that I can’t help telling everyone about it. I’m sure I’m driving my family and friends nuts with my enthusiasm, but I just want everyone to see the possibilities it can offer.

I don’t have a single friend that isn’t tired all the time. It’s like an epidemic these days of being exhausted with life and all we’ve managed to cram into it. We’ve crammed it full of stuff and activities so much that we don’t ever experience stillness. I am thrilled that minimalism is opening up pockets of time that I missed out on before and adjusting my priorities is teaching me not to fill them back up.

At the start of my journey, I spent a few minutes writing myself a note entitled “Why Do I Want to Do This?” It was a really good exercise for me to articulate the reasons why I chose minimalism beyond just the short-term goals of decluttering our house. I go back and read it a lot. It’s an encouraging reminder for me. If you’ve never really considered why you’re drawn towards minimalism, I encourage you to do this today.

Reasons to Define the Appeal of Minimalism:

  1. Avoid the temptation to give in to clutter. There are simply some days when the mess threatens to take over and it just seems easier to give in than to fight. Remind yourself why you choose to win.
  2. Know your convictions so you can share them with others. It’s a great message to share and I truly believe it can help people and their families. But if I can’t explain what I’m doing and why I’m doing it, then people just tune out.
  3. It’s an important step to defining your priorities. Minimalism is so much more than just decluttering your house. By listing the principles that motivate you, you’re one step closer to prioritizing the rest of your life.
  4. You’ll be thrilled looking back at your progress. It’s a truly awesome experience to be reminded of how things were and then be able to see how much progress you’re making. It’s a great motivator.

Whether it’s new to you or not, I’d love to hear what drew you to minimalism in the comments of today’s post.

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Article originally published on 10/04/2010

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