You’ve got a husband and two kids. Were they on-board from the beginning? If not, how did you go about working with them to ensure you could all be on the same page about your new lifestyle?
The husband and kids were NOT on board in the beginning. So I did a lot of the decluttering when they weren’t home. I’d like to say that none of them noticed, but they did. At a certain point, I did shift with the kids and wanted to include them in the process so they would learn and be able to help manage their stuff too.
What helped with my daughter was to create 3 categories: Keep, Sell, Give Away. If she wanted to keep something, I really forced her to have a place for each item she wanted to keep (which included a used ice cream coconut shell, just wanted you to know what I was dealing with). :) That really helped resolve a lot of the unnecessary stuff she just wanted to keep for keep’s sake. The best part was, after she did go through her room, she felt so much better! She loved being in her room and could see what she had.
The hardest issue I had was with my husband, in getting rid of things that may cost us something in the future to replace. The deal was, if I could replace it for less than 25 bucks, and we hadn’t used it in 6 months, we could get rid of it. That helped a ton to simply have a process in making those decisions, so it wasn’t an argument each time. The financial piece of it is really true for some, so it was a way to stay sensitive to that with him. Three years later, we’ve only had to replace a handful of things (i.e. 2 spatulas)...so I’d say that’s pretty good!
That is incredible! What is your life like now? What are the top three benefits that you can see in your daily life?
We know what we have and use what we have. That just feels good and socially responsible. We have more time to do what we want on the weekends. It was taking us 8 hours to clean the house, do laundry and mow. Now it takes less than 4. The emotional drain is significantly less too, since our time is manageable. The last is our kids are focused less on stuff.
We worked really hard to downsize, so we are very intentional about things we bring into our home. That means what we have, we love. It feels much truer to us as a family. I just really love our home. We downsized significantly, which meant we could have upgrades inside. So our home feels nicer inside and lighter. It’s such a joy to come home and feel light.
Now let’s talk about your wardrobe? Every time I’ve seen you, you are incredibly stylish and put together. What does your wardrobe look like?
Well that’s so nice of you to say! I was so tired of dealing with not knowing what to buy or buying something and not really wearing it (i.e. super cute Target t-shirt that I totally wanted to wear the next day and never wore again)! The impulse thing wasn’t
I read about something called a wardrobe capsule. It’s a mix of pieces that all work together so that you can be intentional about what you purchase, get ready faster, spend less money AND look pulled together! I used Pinterest to help me figure out what pieces I needed and what color scheme looked best on me. It took some time, and it has been so worth it!
The end game is, I know what I’m looking for, get my items tailored and feel put together with very little effort. Plus, I didn’t hold back on investing in classic pieces like, denim, a white oxford, leather jacket, patent leather loafers and some classic jewelry. I wear all of those things on a weekly basis. Because of that, I felt really good about spending the money afterwards since it was an investment. Plus I’m a solopreneur, so finding pieces that are made well and tailored are so important for my brand and how I present myself.
Do you feel like your minimalist approach has impacted more than just physical “stuff,” like maybe in the way you schedule your time or your digital space?
Minimalism is an all-encompassing impact, not just with your stuff. It really oozes into how you spend your time, how many activities your kids are in, what I say yes to, etc. One of the things that changed was that our kids are in 1 activity a semester. This decision has created more time, togetherness and family dinners. Minimalism helps you be vigilant about what matters most to you – and to invest in those things freely.
I absolutely love that sentiment. My last questions is if there are any resources (blogs, books, groups) that you could recommend to fellow readers who may be inspired to start their own journey toward minimalism?
- Joshua Becker anything
- ”Clutterfree with Kids” by Joshua Becker
- Becoming Minimalist
- Living the Life Fantastic
- The Minimalists
And with that, our conversation came to a close but we could have kept going and going. If you have any questions about minimalism or starting the process, feel free to leave a comment below or reach out to get started!