A Simple Approach to Living With Less

Intentions and Motivations

I love this quote by Chris Guillebeau: “The best part of simplicity has nothing to do with how many socks you own; it lies in being clear about your intentions and motivations.” I read it and just breathed a great big sigh of relief.

As I sit here at the beginning of my journey into minimalism, it can really be overwhelming trying to take in all that it means. I’m reading and learning and trying to soak up all I can about this concept that I so desperately want to personify. There are a wide variety of opinions on what minimalism is and how you carry it out in your life. In some ways it can be overwhelming considering all the implications of such a drastic life change.

I found myself getting caught up in thoughts of “Am I doing this right?” or “Would I keep this or that if I’m a true minimalist?” When I read Chris’s quote about intentions and motivations I felt so much more at ease. Who is to say if I’m the “right kind” of minimalist or if I’m doing it right other than me? Let’s face it; I’m married with three kids that I homeschool. I’m never going to get down to living with just 50 things or moving every two months. My minimalist probably won’t look like yours, but my viewpoint has been drastically changed.

So I asked myself why I so desperately want this. What are my intensions and motivations with my new quest for minimalism? One of my main intensions is to simply be more aware. Just floating from day to day it had become second nature to pick up the clutter over and over again and just accept things as they are. In the past four years we have moved three times and we still have some of the same boxes sitting in the same storage units. I look at the same books on the same shelves and the same unworn clothing in my closet and just accepted that they all belonged there. I wasn’t happy with things staying the same so the only thing left to do was to change them.

It’s not just about the need to declutter or keep things picked up. I actually feel like I do a good job of that and regularly clear out clothes and toys around the house. I think the difference is that I was still focusing on the excess and I was just trying to organize it instead of asking myself if it was really necessary. The biggest shift for me is being intentional that we don’t need all the things that we have.

My main motivation for this change is somewhat selfish. I am motivated for this life change because I want more time to spend with my family. Honestly, it makes me angry thinking of all the weekends we’ve wasted cleaning and organizing the same things over and over again. I am really looking forward to a time when we can work less and spend more time together. I also look forward to the financial changes we will experience as a family by not spending so much money on things that don’t matter.

So that’s where I am and that’s where I’m going. I just feels good to be on the path to change.


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Article originally published on 09/09/2010

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  1. Thanks for starting this blog. My husband and I have recently started our move towards minimalism and were finding it hard to read all this blogs about single minimalist. It is very different as a parent. Looking forward to reading your journey.

  2. Karen (Scotland) says

    Hi, I just came over from Frugal Babe and I’m going to work my way through your wee archive tonight. I’ve bookmarked you already. I’ve been leaning towards minimalism but, having four kids under six, just didn’t think it was possible. This quote is perfect for getting into the right frame of mind and your emphasis on freeing up TIME is just what I need to hear. I too am SO sick of “sorting stuff out” when I would rather actually be doing things.
    Anyway, away to keep reading but really looking forward to seeing where this blog goes.


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