A Simple Approach to Living With Less

The Start of My Journey Into Minimalism

In April of 2010 my husband, Shawn, and I decided to move our family of five into the same home as my parents, my grandmother, and my two remaining siblings that live at home. We are now a family of ten plus three dogs and two cats. As you might imagine, there is nothing about the beginning of my story that has to do with minimalism. Combining two households into one has been quite a daunting task.

We decided to move in together because both of our families wanted to focus on the important things in life…each other. My parents also decided that they did not like the prospect of a soon-to-be empty nest. Shawn and I also saw this as an opportunity to simplify our life and our possessions in order to spend more time with our kids.

A Not So Simple Beginning

Things started out simply enough. My plan was to go ahead and make the move, put the house on the market, and gradually clear things out of our house. I knew things would never stay picked up if we were still living there with three kids making messes everyday. Shortly after we put the house on the market we got a call from our Realtor asking if we would consider renting our home to a family whose house burned down. “Sure,” we said, “when do they need to move in?” The answer that quickly ended my leisurely efforts to declutter was, “They need to move in four days.” Thanks to my amazing family we got everything out and into two storage units and the rest crammed into our newly combined household.

We had been making small progress while we adjusted to living together, but it just began to feel like we were drowning in all of our stuff. It had been a continual frustration to keep things picked up. Because of the speed we had to move out I did not get to do all the purging of possessions that I had planned. Plus, I knew that I had two storage units crammed full of more things to go through and it just became overwhelming.

A Minimalist is Born

I began to do research on how to declutter, when I discovered a blog on how to become a minimalist. Just reading the word “minimalist” stirred a desire inside me that said, “Ahh, I want that.” I wanted….less! I wanted less mess, less cleaning, less organizing, less fussing at the kids to pick up their toys, less time given away to chores, and less stress dealing with it all. Because what I really wanted was….more! More time with my family, more camping trips, more joy, more relaxation, and more happy memories being made.

Something snapped in me that day. I couldn’t read enough about minimalism! I have not been more excited about something in such a long time. Everywhere I looked I saw things that I wanted to give away, some things that might be worth selling, and just so many things that needed to be thrown out.

On a Journey

So now I’m on a journey in a quest for less mess and more time. I’ve gotten rid of so much and I’m still not done. I’m still at the beginning of my journey but I am already thrilled at the progress I’ve made and I can’t wait to share my journey with you.

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Article originally published on 09/08/2010

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Comments

  1. my journey has been much the same- stumbled across some minimalism blogs and it was as if a light bulb went off in my head- things finally connected after years of living the stuff stuff stuff life! everything i’ve gotten rid of so far has been more freeing than I ever thought it would be! i even feel as if i have more energy just because i am looking around my house now and there is just less! ahhh!

    • Faith Janes says:

      The light bulb moment seems to happen a lot when people find minimalism. I think it’s great. It’s like we’ve all been looking for an elusive solution and when we find it, it’s like “YES! I want that!” Congrats on your progress!

  2. Hi Faith! I’ve been poking around in your blog. Congratulations on the launch of your eBook!

    I’m headed down the minimalism road right now with my husband and two kids. I almost feel like I wish I only had four days to get rid of all the clutter so it wouldn’t drag out forever. We’re in the midst of eBay sales, trips to Goodwill and garage sale planning. Yuck.

    Anyway, it’s great to find you! :)

    • Faith Janes says:

      Hi Jenny! So glad you found me. :)

      When you get the bug to declutter, faster always feels better. I called myself an impatient minimalist because I wanted it all gone at once! Good luck with the garage sale planning. Those are rough!

  3. i remember when I first discovered minimalism online. I had started getting rid of things out of frustration because I was sick and tired of tripping over them and was looking for more tips to continue doing the same.

    Well, actually I was looking for moral support because my friends declared I was stark raving mad for tossing the fortune in collections I was tossing but that’s another story! It just felt so good to toss that stuff!

    I was amazed to discover that there was a whole movement based on living with less – it really changed my life. Sounds like it had the same effect on you!
    BooYah!
    Annie

Trackbacks

  1. [...] of my major motivations for choosing minimalism was the realization that I spend a lot of my time cleaning up the same messes over and over again. [...]

  2. [...] we combined households with my parents, we essentially had two of everything in the kitchen. Some things we even had more of because on [...]

  3. [...] I started my journey to minimalism, one of the first areas I decluttered was my daughter’s room. She had so many toys that she [...]

  4. [...] this point in my journey to minimalism, I do not consider myself a “radical minimalist” in the traditional sense of the word. However, [...]

  5. [...] Have you taken any drastic moves in your journey to minimalism? [...]

  6. [...] of 10, having a mortgage, debt, and regular 9 to 5 jobs means that it’s not a quick and easy journey to minimalism. I am thrilled with the progress we have made as a family and all the excess we’ve [...]

  7. [...] we combined households with my parents, we essentially had two of everything in the kitchen. Some things we even had more of because on [...]

  8. [...] of my major motivations for choosing minimalism was the realization that I spend a lot of my time cleaning up the same messes over and over again. [...]

  9. [...] I started my journey to minimalism, one of the first areas I decluttered was my daughter’s room. She had so many toys that she [...]

  10. [...] this point in my journey to minimalism, I do not consider myself a “radical minimalist” in the traditional sense of the word. However, [...]

  11. [...] Have you taken any drastic moves in your journey to minimalism? [...]

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