You’ve heard of minimalism, right? It’s once again rearing it’s head in interior design circles, and everyone’s touting its grace – from time management experts, to your latest issue of Real Simple. Minimalism: the practice of using less, and getting more for it.
With so many of us moms running crazed through our days, it’s hard to balance family time, household responsibilities, work, me time and sleep, while ensuring that we don’t trip over dye-cast cars in the process. It can seem like a clean home is something that only comes by sacrificing something else, and that between five and ten more hours a day is what we all need.
There’s a reason for this: we, as a society, live rather complex lives. Compared to past generations, we work longer hours; our children have more scheduled activities and less free time; our houses are bigger and more expensive, as are our daily expenses like taxes, food and transportation; we’re plugged in, it seems almost constantly; we vacation less; we sleep less; we own and consume more. This is depleting a number of things, not the least of them being our environment and wits!
Minimalism – even just practicing some of the principals, if not going extremist – can save our Starbucks-supplemented sanities, ladies! Listen up, here’s three simple things you can do to go a little simpler, and get a lot saner in the process:
Of course, the less you buy, the less you have to clean up – it’s a no-brainer. But how about consuming less, too: less energy, less packaging, less unnecessary disposables? What about living frugally in a way that goes beyond coupon clipping? What if you chose to use something until it broke, and then you repaired it?
Decluttering is de rigeur – a major player in the simple life – and usually mentioned in tandem with the term ‘spring cleaning’ and the search for household zen. But more so than a yearly crazed toss-out bonanza, committing to not owning anything you don’t need means eschewing that voice in your head that suggests you buy the bulk package just because the per unit price is cheaper than the small one you actually need. It means that your children don’t actually require a closet full of clothes, and you don’t (I’m so sorry. I understand if we can’t be friends anymore) actually need that many pairs of shoes. It also means that the golf clubs your husband bought, but only uses twice a year, get turfed.
You’re supposed to have a cell-phone, preferably smarter than you are, just to be able to get through the day, right? You obviously need a car, if you’re over the age of 20. You can’t be a successful adult without credit cards, lines of credit, owning property and putting your children in expensive, intelligent-enriching activities, eh? False, honey, so false.
This is post introduces a month-long series about integrating minimalism into your lifestyle. Check back next week for 30 tips and tricks to cut back on your purchasing!