There were many things I expected when shifting toward a more simple life. I anticipated we would have more money in our savings, time to just be present, and I was really banking on more sanity. However, there were a few things that I really didn’t see coming. Some of those unexpected benefits of minimalism have become my favorite benefits of all.
Honestly, I thought I would be doing laundry more often after removing over half of our clothing. It just hasn’t turned out to be the case.
The strategy my children would use to clean up was simply to throw everything into the dirty laundry basket. Some of their clothing was probably washed more than worn! Now that I think about it, I’m guilty of the same thing. If it was on the floor of the living room or the bathroom I just tossed it in the washing machine.
On top of that, I was washing seven pairs of pajamas a week…per child! I dreaded laundry day! (And by “laundry day,” I mean the day laundry had piled up so ridiculously high and my husband had run out of clean under shirts. Do not confuse me with one of those women who have specific days they designate to do specific household chores; I’ve tried that. I’m just not that kinda gal). We were folding 21+ sets of PJ’s a week. Thats up to 42 items to fold just in children’s pajamas!
With less kids clothing to manage it has become easier to keep track of what is clean and what is dirty. Even in my own closet the clothes are no longer falling off of the shelves and mindlessly getting shoved into the dirty laundry pile. Our laundry is now two loads, maybe a third if it has been “one of those weeks.”
I still hate folding laundry, but it takes half the time now.
This may seem obvious, but I really didn’t see it coming. I didn’t think I would NEED the storage, but removing stuff made room for our stuff. Go figure.
For example, every morning, (assuming syrup wasn’t a condiment served at breakfast that day), my kids put their pajamas on the mudroom hooks. They know where to go for their pajamas in evening for bedtime.
Those coat hooks, once overflowing with jackets, bags and sweatshirts, were cleared off because we ditched the excess coats and jackets in the coat closet. Such simple changes reaped huge rewards.
I noticed the biggest change in my kitchen. My toaster fits into a cabinet. I no longer have a canister of spatulas and spoons on my counter because they all fit in the drawer!
Now, I do not have a large gourmet kitchen either. My realtor sister (click here for a shameless advertisement from this adoring big sister) agrees that it’s just a “small to medium” sized peninsula kitchen with a handful of upper and lower cabinets. Nothing crazy.
I’ve noticed changes in my living room as well. The games have been moved to that once overflowing coat closet. I emptied so many bins and baskets that I was able to relocate one to hold our remotes. The elusive Apple remote has a home. Now if only I can make everyone remember to put it there.
See what I mean by more storage? Everything has a home now.
This has been a game changer! I thought I thrived under pressure and with lists of things to accomplish. I was a glutton for busyness and used to joke about how I was a stay at home mom who never stayed at home. Some days it was a spontaneous day trip to Lake Michigan or a simple morning at our local zoo. But far too many days were filled with lists of things to purchase and replace.
It would have looked like a quick stop at Lowes to look for a new breakfast nook light before stopping by Home Goods for a few picture frames and a new bathroom rug.
Or maybe it was another morning play date followed by my third trip to the grocery store this week, this time to restock bananas and cold brew coffee. While I’m on this side of town I may as well head into Target for some new tank tops, kids clothes, and whatever else I felt impulsively led to buy, all while appeasing my children with popcorn.
Since minimalism, I have cut out about 90% of my errand running. So much of my errand running, purchasing, and item replacing was out of habit.
Pausing before purchasing has helped to break my habit.
Ask yourself, “Do I really need to do this? Is this really something I want to take care of?” Take the time to attempt to go without it all together.
Check out my blog post, Stop the Madness. In it I talk about where I began my journey into minimalism. Much of it had to do with breaking my habit of wasteful consumerism.
MORE PERSONAL GROWTH
I really feel like a new person. At 35 I have wildly shifted my thinking and it has resulted in a significant change in my behavior.
Becoming minimalist has been a catalyst for self improvement in many other areas of life. It got me thinking about where else I was capable of growing. I’ve always been content with the assumption that I’m not tidy, creative, musical, a reader or camper.
Proclaiming these things about myself released me from having to try. I just stayed away from the things I thought I couldn’t do. How sad is that? It’s so easy to unintentionally give ourselves an excuse to stop growing and learning.
Now, I’m finding more time to read and learning the ukelele alongside my daughter. I’m determined to do some camping…(not my former definition of camping which was staying in a hotel with low water pressure and inconsistent air conditioner temperatures), but actual camping…in a tent.
Is there something about yourself that you have just accepted? Trust me, if I can become a minimalist, then you can change anything. Whether it’s a new skill you want to learn, a character trait you aren’t pleased with or a new investigation into knowing the God who created you.
You don’t have to be defined by something you aren’t proud of and you don’t have to be stuck where you are. Instead, let’s challenge ourselves to grow.
“The mind that opens to a new idea never returns to its original size.” -Albert Einstein
For More Inspiration
It’s time to stop managing our families and start leading them!
2 years ago I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I had no capacity to mom on purpose!
Living with less has gifted me time, space and some much needed perspective of what truly matters most. Below is the link to my FREE Beginner’s Declutter Like a Minimalist Guidebook. It takes a deeper look at the 7 Steps to getting started highlighted in my popular post, Declutter Like a Minimalist.