Minimalism is a parallel topic that is important to us but that hasn’t been addressed directly on Smallish much. My hesitancy to officially claim the term “minimalist” is mostly due to a ridiculous anxiety that we’re not quite minimalists yet. I worry that if the Minimalism Police stepped through our door they’d slap us with a fine for claiming a level of less we have not yet achieved. (I wrote this post for Miss Minimalist in 2013.)
Ridiculous, I realize. I know that minimalism is so much more than mere limitation of physical belongings. I know that minimalism is a journey, an ever-foreground target for which to aim. Yet still I waffle to “own” it. This post aims to address that fear and open up the discussion more on Smallish. Here’s how we “do” minimalism.
Minimalism for our family largely manifests itself in the three focuses of Smallish that splash all over each other and spill into nearly every area of our lives.
We are committed to living in relatively little homes because we believe our family thrives in small spaces. So we chose to live in minimal square feet. Our house is 1,000 sq. ft. and it is just right for this season. Also, we appreciate that (bonus!) small spaces naturally limit physical belongings. We feel freer owning less. Fewer items = less mess, which = lower stress. It’s a beautiful cycle.
Fewer items = less mess, which = lower stress. It’s a beautiful cycle.
Minimalism affects our goal of a “small footprint,” which is our way of saying that we’d like to live with minimal negative impact on the environment. We minimize waste by being mindful of how food and household items are packaged. Further, recycling and composting help to reduce waste coming out of our home. We garden to minimize buying produce. (And just because it’s fun and we like learning new things.) We limit purchases as much as possible. I admit that this is one area we feel we could grow in, but we do our best. Overall minimalism is kind to the environment; we embrace that connection.
We are primarily a one-income family, so we budget carefully to meet our needs. Minimalism positively affects our budget because we reduce mindless spending. If we splurge or go over budget, it’s usually in our gifts or food budget. Minimalism helps the ‘ol wallet because buying less=paying out less money. Simple.
I wrote about a minimalist schedule here. Our commitment to living slowly and intentionally is evident on our family’s calendar where usually only one extra “event” a day is listed. That “event” might be an outing to a park or having friends over or cooking a meal for neighbors. We keep our calendar fairly open to make time for projects, for cooking at home or simply pushing the kids on the tire swing. A minimalist schedule =less stress and more time to pour into loved ones and savoring life.
Minimalism even enriches our spiritual lives as we follow Jesus’ example of not holding tightly (or at all!) to physical things and focusing on eternal things.
Minimalism to us is limiting possessions, certainly, for we see giant blessing in fewer belongings, but it is so much more. Living intentionally with less is a holistic endeavor. It positively affects nearly every area of our lives.
What about you? How does minimalism reach beyond physical belongings in your life? Comment below and share. Let’s celebrate how each of us embraces minimalism in our own lives!