Inside: 4 Reasons Why Now is the Time to Go Minimalist.
I prefer life to be a little bit more predictable than it is right now. Our world has changed fast over the last week. With schools shutting down, events being canceled and travel restrictions increasing everyday, we’ve all gone from crazy busy, to not quite sure what to do with ourselves quickly. It would be kind of nice, if it wasn’t for this pesky virus preying on our most vulnerable. Ugh.
Today is a book writing day for me. Here I am writing a book about living minimally, while simultaneously preparing for isolation and economic shut down. While this may hardly seem like the time for minimalism, it’s in fact the very thing that has prepared me for such a time as this. Yes, I bought extra meat for our freezer, peanut butter for the pantry, and an appropriate amount of toilet paper. I’m fully prepared to steer clear of the grocery store for quite a few weeks if that what it takes. As a Six on the Enneagram, I know no other way than to be fully prepared for all the things. (Fist bump to my fellow Sixes out there).
We’ve spent the last three years uncluttering our home and ditching the excess. I’m not one bit worried in this time of crisis that I gave too much a way. Living as a minimalist has helped me to better identify the essentials and eliminate the excess. It’s taught me that I’m not only resourceful, but I need much less than I once thought.
There is nothing we decluttered that I wish I had today. I don’t care that my bundt pan is long gone or that I donated my extra sandals and sweaters. The most unmissed item award has to go to the mounds and piles of toys we used to own. My kids do a perfectly nice job of creating a mess with what they own today. During this time in isolation the last thing I wish we had more of is toys!
If you’ve been waiting for some down time to declutter your life, I’d encourage you to take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity. Turn off the news, plug your kids into a movie or send their buns to the backyard, and take this time to clear the clutter.
4 Reasons Why Now is the Time to Go Minimalist
1. “Your Home Should Be the Antidote to Stress, Not the Source of it.” – Peter Walsh
I used to be pretty addicted to the busy life. I thought I thrived there. Turns out, it was just my way of escaping the anxiety and overwhelm of my very cluttered home. Since decluttering my home, it’s now my favorite place to be. It’s important to note that choosing unbusy is one thing, forced isolation is a whole new ball game. I love being home, but it’s about to get real here. I am confident however, that my uncluttered home will make the next few weeks a little less stressful than it would have otherwise.
Even if you can’t physically leave your home to drop your items off right now, you can still make some great headway in the decluttering process. Select a space in your home to gather your will be donations and when the coast is clear, let that stuff go.
Read: How to Become a Minimalist Without Getting Rid of Your Stuff for more minimalist mindset inspiration.
2. Help Those In Need
I’m no economist, but I’m pretty sure the stock market isn’t supposed to be fluctuating in the manner it has been. It’s just crazy. I can’t even watch. There’s a good chance that Covid-19 will have a significant long term impact on our economy.
When someone locally loses a home in a house fire, we’re all inspired to help rally around that family to fill their needs. As this virus shuts down events and keeps people from frequenting businesses as usual, people are losing income and even jobs. Both small and big companies are hurting.
I’m not exactly sure what the specific needs will be as the dust settles, but I know we can help. What are you holding on to for “some day” that someone else might need now? Shoes? Sweatshirts? Glassware? Baby gear?… toilet paper?
We can prepare now to help restock our local thrift stores, crisis pregnancy centers, refugee ministries, or homeless shelters with the items they may need.
3. Practice Makes Permanent
They say it takes twenty-eight days to break a habit. While the economy could sure use a boost, this just may be the perfect time to practice a 30 day spending freeze. Not forever, but for right now. After all, you’ve got nowhere to go. People who declutter often struggle to stay uncluttered because they haven’t made the necessary changes in the way they shop, spend, and accumulate going forward.
In order to live an uncluttered life it’s important to make purchases with greater intention. I always suggest a 30 day spending freeze as one of the very first steps when becoming a minimalist. It helps to reset your spending habits and perceived needs. What better time than when you’re stuck at home anyway?
4. Focus on Growth
I don’t know about you, but my mind has been elsewhere this week. It feels like I’m constantly checking the news, reading about the latest social distancing recommendations, or texting a friend, “This is crazy!!!”
Together, let’s make a conscious effort to take a step a step back. To breathe. To lean into faith, love, hope and gratitude. Let’s turn our attention toward the people right in front of us and the ways in which we can grow right where we are.
Decluttering is just one way we can fix our minds on more positive endeavors and use this downtime for personal improvement rather than obsessing over worst case scenarios.
Other ways we can fix our minds on the good:
- Check on an elderly neighbor, from a safe distance of course.
- Laugh at the best memes ever! Covid-19 themed memes are my favorite thing on the internet right now. I’ve been saving them to my Instagram Story Highlights if you need a laugh today.
- Bake bread. This recipe from Melissa of The Faux Martha is so simple and delicious!
- Read a book.
- Call your local food bank and make sure they have what they need.
- Go for a walk.
- Prayer, worship and mediation.
- Teach your little one to ride a bike.
- Watch Frozen 2 on Disney + (Thanks Disney, for your contribution to the sanity of mothers everywhere by releasing Frozen 2 two months early. Though, I might be singing a different tune in a couple weeks once we’ve watched it seventeen times!)
- Listen to a Podcast or download a free audio book from your library app.
- Journal. Or heck, start that blog you’ve been meaning to start.
What have you been doing to keep your mind focused on the good?
I know decluttering your home right now is easier said than done. Especially at a time like this. Many of us, myself included, have even been thrust into homeschooling for the first time ever. Which I’d like to add, is great timing with a book deadline. Sigh.
Here’s the thing though, this isn’t about the pace at which you declutter or doing it perfectly. This is about taking small steps to save your sanity, help those in need, and start to align our spending habits with our desire for a meaningful life. Start by picking an area in your home that will provide the biggest reward with the least amount of effort and start there. You won’t regret it.
Need Some Serious Decluttering Motivation?
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I love your post but I need toilet paper real bad. Can’t find it anywhere and what a shame how some stores are price gauging! Shame on you!
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