I've been a fan of The Minimalists for a while. That said, I haven't played their "minimalist game" or dramatically cut things out of my life - yet. But I like their message:
Only include things in your life that add value. Declutter. Simplify. Only focus on things that matter.
Recently, we had to move into a hotel long term while water damage issues are being repaired at our house. In that process, we had to only pick the things we absolutely needed for our day-to-day living. We went from a big walk in closet to a very tiny hotel closet for all of our clothing items. A big kitchen with most any appliance that we'd ever need to a small kitchen with two burners, a sink and a microwave. A dining room that we host Thanksgiving in to a small table with two chairs.
We moved in and I thought we'd eventually feel cramped. That we'd need our space. That we'd miss our things that are currently sitting in a storage facility somewhere.
Truth is, we haven't felt deprived of anything this entire time. Our happiness level, if anything, has increased.
We didn't go through an intentional massive lifestyle change, New Year's resolution or move into a tiny house to learn how living with less is actually quite nice. There's been something about having less to do, less to clean, less to keep up with that has been liberating.
All these things we felt like we had to have at home, I have been okay without. Not that we really shop all that much but our shopping I know has decreased. There hasn't been a point in buying anything if we have nowhere to put it. We've evaluated purchase decisions, even future ones, asking "do we really need that?"
So where does that lead us when we move back into our house?
When the movers move us back into our house, they won't unpack our boxes. It gives us the opportunity to literally have to examine everything we own as we unpack. We'll have the best chance of eliminating clutter - probably the best chance we'll have of doing that in a long time. If we see something in a box and don't feel compelled to put it on a shelf or in a drawer, we're just going to leave it in there.
If it's not completely necessary or something that adds value every day, what's the point in keeping it?
Living with less the past few weeks has been an incredible learning experience. We are all so inundated with having "more" that I think we lose sight on how having less is actually more rewarding.
I hate moving and unpacking but I'm kinda looking forward to it this time. Not the process but the end result. I can't wait to simplify a lot of things in our home. It just took water damage and not playing a "minimalist game" to achieve it.
I'll follow up in a few weeks and talk about how that process shook out for us.
How about yourself? Have you gone through a season simplifying things in your life - material or otherwise?
By the way, if you have Netflix and want to learn more about minimalism and living with less, this film is a good watch. I enjoyed it and honestly found it personally convicting.