My Journey to Simplicity
The story of my journey into minimalism is very much the story of my relationship with Dan and the story of growing up. We met at the beginning of 2010 and moved in together in the November of that year. In the five years that followed, we lived in 5 different houses. Yup - that's right. We moved every year. It's not uncommon when you're young. We moved for more space, then for work reasons, then to be back in the town we loved. Then we bought a house.
With every move, I watched myself pack up the same things. Things I'd not touched since the last move, and before long I realised this seemed to be some weird exercise in carrying around belongings you have no need or love for, and so the seed was planted.
By the time we moved into our current home I'd gradually decluttered a lot of stuff. We were fairly light, but then we had a baby, and then another one. Having moved towards minimalism already we were pretty minimalist when it came to baby and kid stuff but it's still two extra people who need clothes, bedding, toys, the odd gadget. It was around the time our daughter was born that it started to occur to me that minimalism could apply to things other than possessions. With a renovation project, a new baby and a new business, life had suddenly got very busy and I felt overwhelmed all the time. I was always rushing, and so my journey into decluttering my time began.
The amazing thing about having children is that I've watched first hand a child ignore their fancy new toy to play with a stick on the ground. They know better than any of us that you don't need stuff to be happy. So whilst kids do add requirements for a household they also remind you of what really matters, and that's what it's really all about for me. It's about making time for the things that actually matter, instead of time spent tidying things you don't need. It's about saying no to the commitments that aren't important to you, so there is space in your life for the things that are.
There's no doubt that decluttering things was the gateway for me and I really do think this is a great starting point. Having less stuff means your environment is calmer, you spend less time tidying things and looking for them, and less money buying them, but when I applied minimalism to my time that is where the magic really began to happen. It challenged me to dive deep, in order to learn what I really wanted out of life, it forced me to face my fears of inadequacy, and it has moved me into a life so full of intention and value. One slightly calmer step at a time. I know minimalism, like anything, is not a destination, but a journey, and I for one am so grateful to be on this road.