Over the past few months, I started moving my life toward minimalism. My closet is now emptier, we’ve donated a lot of things we no longer use, and I’ve started cleaning up my digital life. Being surrounded by less stuff is improving my stress levels and it’s a wonderful feeling.
While I’m not forcing my family to join me on my minimalist journey there are some aspects that overlap into their lives as well.
For example, we’ve been doing more things together.
Our family has always done a lot together, but in hindsight, it was obvious that even when we were together, we weren’t always there in the moment. With as busy as our schedules had become our minds were always wandering to other tasks.
Where do we need to be next? Did we pack everything we need? When is that next registration due?
After whittling away at my material possessions and digital life, I decided to take a closer look at my planner. We were always on the move.
I decided to start removing some of those activities to see what would happen. I asked myself a few questions for each aspect of my schedule.
• Does this provide value to my family?
• Is this something we’re actually interested in doing?
- Are any other activities meeting this need?
Amazingly my schedule started to clear up and we had more time to both spend together and do what we wanted individually. There was less bickering, more conversation, and increased independence for the kids. We were no longer bound to a tight schedule, and we found some breathing room. It was blissful.
In the past, I shook my fists in the air demanding more hours in a day. Now, I’ve found we actually had those hours. They were just hidden under the clutter of activities we didn’t really want or need. Things we were doing because we thought we should or had a fallacious idea of obligation to something we started.
My first experiences with minimalism have been eye opening. I’ve learned more about myself and our family culture over the past few months than I ever did in the past several years.
While I don’t think I’ll ever take minimalism to the extremes, I’m happy I started exploring it. It’s allowed me to let go of things I thought I wanted and allowed me to find things I actually needed in the process.