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Minimalism is Overwhelming, at First

Minimalism is Overwhelming, at First

[dropcap]M[/dropcap]inimalism is not just a one-and-done experience, it is a process and a journey. Realizing this gives me comfort because as Brig and I decided that minimalism is the type of lifestyle that we want to live, it was not easy to begin!

When Brig and I were married, we combined our 7 years of living-on-our-own stuff! And to be frank, it was overwhelming. We moved into a 690 sq. ft. apartment (which is plenty of room for 2 people, btw) and we barely had room to walk around the place. We were literally bursting at the seams.

We were always struggling with was keeping our place clean! The mess was frustrating, and we wasted many a weekend trying to reorganize our possessions. It was at this time that we ran into the idea of minimalism, which is not a new lifestyle in the world, but it was a new choice of living for us. We saw the wisdom in limiting what you own because we were experiencing the truth that your stuff owns you and your time when there is too much.

We were excited, and the thought in-and-of itself was liberating! However, actively going through our possessions was hard. We didn’t know where to start! We had so much that it seemed that any effort would be a pin-prick in a larger problem. But we were determined.

We went through our clothing and discarded anything that didn’t fit or we didn’t like, we got rid of our duplicate possessions (such as printers, kitchen tools, music and DVD’s), we boxed up things we didn’t use. We reorganized, we did our best! But it wasn’t enough. We were still drowning in our possessions.

Fast forward FOUR YEARS. We are still working on it! But it has become easier because we are dedicated to learning to live with less- less clothes, less food, less space, less decorations, less hard copy books, less spending, less time taking care of our things and more time taking care of each other.

We understand perfectly how overwhelming minimalism can be at the start, but remember that this decision is not meant to be easy, it goes against the the grain of society itself! Anyone that ventures into minimalism must, quite literally, declare war on the way we were brought up! We must fight to stay out of debt, to not accept that credit is a proper way to purchase anything (with the exception of a house, I think), to not fill the space we live with possessions that we must take care of (as it takes time away from our family).

The original overwhelming feeling we had transitioning to minimalism was hard. Of course it was! There are few people who already have the need for less in their hearts. As you’re staring at your next project, keep these things in mind:

  • You started for a reason- keep that in the forefront of your mind, or write it down
  • The struggle is only for a short moment! We’ve found that most projects take about 30 minutes, it’s our minds making it a huge deal!
  • Decluttering is like an onion, there are layers! You finish a project, which peels back a layer of discovery- you begin to see things and yourself differently. When you’re ready to revisit the same project to reevaluate, you’ll peel back another layer. It is cleansing.
  • You don’t have to do all of your decluttering in a weekend. Do it over months! Notice how each project has made your life happier because you don’t have to spend time on it anymore!

Our hearts go out to you, aspiring minimalists! Let us know if you need advice, or maybe you have some for us! We’d love your feedback.

With less stuff, and more love,

Brig and Tiff

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