When you hear "Minimalism" what comes to mind? For many of us the image of stark white walls and a monk-like apartment are the ideas that pop into our heads. But this focus on aesthetic is only a very small piece of the puzzle. Minimalism is a way of being, a way in which we decide to live our lives. Minimalism allows us to choose the things we want in our lives, from relationships, possessions, and life goals. We use this incredible tool to intentionally choose what comes into our lives while removing the things that are not bringing us value.
Now, where does minimalism fit in with raising children? I have a three year old son, and minimalism is what has saved my sanity on many days. My toddler is creative, happy and flourishes within our chosen path of intentional living. Truly, in my experience Minimalism makes parenting much easier! While there is work that needs to be completed initially, the rewards are truly worth the effort.
"Does this new item meet my goals of simple mornings getting dressed?"
I began my path to Minimalism when my son was a baby. I began purging our little apartment, donating clothes that I no longer wore, and cleaned up the clutter that brought my stress levels up higher than I would have liked to admit. I make a decision to be deliberate when purchasing items, my little man did not need every cute toy I walked by at the store.
I purged little man's closet, keeping the clothes I loved to see him in, the clothes that were comfortable, and the clothes that matched others easily. All others were donated, and anything else I bought had to be justified. Does this new item meet my goals of simple mornings getting dressed? Does it match other items we have already? Does he even need this item? These boundaries meant I bought SIGNIFICANTLY less items. My newly tidy apartment thanked me, as did my wallet.
"Minimalism is not denying yourself the things you love, rather removing the things you don't love so that you have more time and resources to pursue the things you do."
Minimalism helps you reach significant bank savings and speaking of money, financially I began outlining my core expenses. This gave me my base number to make per month. I began chipping away at unnecessary expenses, continually getting this number lower.
Consequently, I was able to cut back on my work hours, and spent the additional time with my son. I began researching ways to work at home flexibly and not have to leave him at all. I got hired on an ESL platform that replaced my income twice over and gave me the freedom I never could have expected just months prior: my son and I moved to a larger city with incredible activities available for children, we travel often, exploring beaches, hiking, and learning about new places. I can work from anywhere and I never would have this level of freedom if I had not chosen to become intentional with my resources, through educating myself on Minimalism.
The beautiful thing about the Minimalism practice is that it will look different for everyone, and it can be adapted constantly. There are times in your life when it makes sense to have more, do more and even spend more. Adjusting to the needs and preference is the core to this practice. Minimalism is not denying yourself the things you love, rather removing the things you don't love so that you have more time and resources to pursue the things you do. I am constantly changing and evolving as a person, so my practice of Minimalism changes and evolves with me as well. I hope that this perspective allows you to find your own version of an intentional life.
'My Journey To Minimalism With A Toddler' by Elizabeth Woolard on infoStraight - your social network for discoveries and inspiration. Elizabeth blogs about how the Minimalism-approach had changed her life for good. Sign-up and follow Elizabeth on infoStraight to read her posts directly from her.
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