6 Areas Where I’m Not so Minimalist

Inside: In the spirit of fun, full disclosure and practical minimalism for your real life, I’m sharing 6 not so minimalist areas in my life.

Today officially marks three years of blogging about minimalism. On this date in 2017, I published my very first blog post. I’m on the fence about whether it’s gone by really fast or crept along at a snail’s pace. I guess a little bit of both. One thing is certain though, it’s been both more fun and a heck of a lot more work than I thought it would be.

Now, three years later, my home has become a source of joy (never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d love to be home), and I’ve made so many incredible new friends along the way. Who would have guessed that throwing away old jeans and excess Gladware could lead to a new life?

I’ve found, however, that the deeper I dive into minimalism and the more vocal I am about the benefits of living with less, the more “perfectly minimalist” I feel I must be. Which is ironic because I preach the exact opposite message. Minimalism is here to serve you, not the other way around.

not so minimalist

So, what’s the solution?

To put it all out there. Be as transparent as possible. To show up as my authentically messy self. Not only is it more effective, it’s also more fun and frees me from the weight of perfectionism.

On that note, I’d like to share with you 6 not-so-minimalist areas in my life.

6 Areas Where I’m Not So Minimalist

1. My Car

Dun, dun, duuuuuuun! Just as I’ve always kept a messy room, I’ve also always kept a messy car. Minimalism fixed the former, but for some reason my car remains a hot, cluttered mess. Hmmm. I wonder what it could be? I wonder where all the papers, lunch box contents, gloves and toys littering the back of my car come from? Oh yeah, my children.

Now, while I wish I could solely blame them, I humbly admit it’s not all their fault. They had to learn it somewhere. Besides, there are plenty of families out there who make a clean car a reality every single day. Yes, my kids’ stuff is roughly 80% of the problem, but they aren’t the ones leaving coffee cups and La Croix cans in every cup holder for days on end. If you ever approach my car to chat with me in the school pick-up line, the first thing I’ll say is, “Sorry, my car is a disaster right now.” It may even come across as though this is bad timing or a freak coincidence. Know this, it’s not. It’s always like that.

I recognize that it would probably take just a few small changes in habit to make my clean car dreams become a reality, but I’ve got a ten-year-old entrepreneur now willing to clean it for $5. So if you think about it, I’d be doing him a disservice.

messy minimalism

2. Books

Just to be clear. I’m the one with the book problem here. Our children’s books remain pretty sparse as we use the library regularly. But if you were to glance at my personal collection of books, you just may tilt your head and question my minimalist mindset.

not so minimalist

I like to blame it on the fact that I need to reference them periodically…you know, in my writing (just nod and smile). My collection includes books I’ve read, plan to read again (sure Rachelle) and a handful of books waiting in my queue. Note that my queue does currently include four library books. I think it’s safe to assume the librarians roll their eyes at my over ambition after I walk out the door. Hey, if you’re going to impulse shop, the library is the best place to do it.

Further Reading: 

My 10 Favorite Books From 2019

12 Best Books to Encourage a More Abundant Life

How to Become a Reader

3. My Movie Theater Popcorn Consumption

I was raised on family movie nights. A love for popcorn is in my DNA. Up until my college years I thought popcorn was best eaten with a glass of orange juice because that’s what my dad drank during every family popcorn night. Yeah, for the record it’s not.

So when it comes to movie theater popcorn, I don’t mess around. I purchase the largest all you can eat popcorn available and bring individual cups from home for my kids. This way if the spill it (someone always does) it’s not a total loss. I even make sure to arrive with enough time for us to eat at least half of the bucket before the movie starts. This way we can refill during the previews.

See? It’s a whole thing and I’m not even sorry about it.

not so minimalist

4. Blankets

My husband sleeps beneath a sheet, like a lunatic! I however, sleep with my head atop not one, but two pillows and my body beneath three blankets. One of them heated and another weighted.

It’s the dead of winter around here and I’m freezing all of the time. So when it comes time to climb into bed, cozy is the name of my game.

5. Digital Photos

It’s about to get real. I have too many digital photos saved on my computer and I feel it every time I sit down to work. It’s gotten out of control and I’ve done very little to address it. I’ve gone so far as to label the cluttered files of excess photos as, “Needs Editing,” but that’s where it’s ended.

If you’re waiting for my three step solution to declutter your digital photos, don’t hold your breath. I sense it has something to do with better habits and deleting screenshots and crummy photos at the end of every day or at least regularly.

6. Our Current Family Calendar

As I write this, we are currently rocking an overbooked family calendar. I knew I was overbooking when I did it. I even thought it through, weighed the consequences and decided it was worth it. Five weeks into this eight weeks of crazy and I could sure use a couple of snow days.

learn to say no

We’ve got one kid trying to make a swim team and another wrapping up basketball here shortly (praise Jesus). Our littlest is also in a community dance class because she loves it and it’s all kinds of adorable.

While I overbooked on purpose and do what I can to keep margin every where else, it’s still taking it’s toll. It’s reducing family dinner frequency, causing us to all feel a little rushed and has me drained before the day concludes. Looking back, I don’t regret it. But I will let the discomfort of today help dictate my decisions during the next season.

Further Reading: 

How to Stop Overbooking Your Life

5 Reasons Your Kids Need You To Abandon The Busy Life

There you have it friends. My messiest and/or most cluttered areas. The thing I hope you take away from this is, minimalism isn’t meant to be mastered and it’s not one size fits all. Don’t let the necessary or purposeful clutter keep you from eliminating the useless stuff. If you’re moving toward minimalism, don’t forget it’s simply a guardrail to serve your very real life.

What are your not-so-minimalist areas?

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7 thoughts on “6 Areas Where I’m Not so Minimalist

  1. I feel there is a definite line between clutter and the items I love to have around me. Three spatulas is way too many, on the other hand…..9 furry blankets is not!! In my defense, six of my furry blankets are hanging from two antique ladders my son found in an 1840s barn on their new property
    . The fact that we eliminate 500 hundred books when we downsized, doesn’t mean the remaining 400 should join them. One of the concerns my grandsons had when we moved was that they would lose their play room and the library…. that will not happen on my watch. Items that serve us are welcome to stay, any that do not must leave. ….on the other hand, since I am a neatnik married to a neatnik, our car is immaculate at all times….go figure….lol…..

  2. Yes to all of this! 🙌 Thank you for sharing. “Items that serve us are welcome to stay, any that do not must leave.” 💕 Though I can’t really say the empty La Croix cans in my car serve me.🤣

  3. Love this article. Being minimalist doesn’t mean getting rid of everything. I means getting rid of what you don’t love and enjoy. We keep too much stuff that doesn’t mean anything if we aren’t careful, and this means less room for the stuff that we do want in our lives. Keep up the great work!

  4. Yes! I always say that minimalism doesn’t mean nothing, it means keeping what serves you. We’re humans, not robots. We’ll always have a few piles of stuff. Especially those of us with kids will always have a few piles here and there. Mine are currently the office, my car, and my photos. I deleted 18,000 digital photos off our computer in the month of January, and kept 6,000. I could probably go through them again, but eh.

  5. This post resonated so much with me! Thank you for sharing so honestly. I do OK with my car and books, but my kids bedrooms are another story! I’m motivated to keep the common living area’s minimized and tidy, but I struggle with my kids bedrooms. Any hints?!

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