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Many of you know my story and that I did not embrace minimalism until I was 50. Little late to the party – I know! What you also may not know is that this is a work in progress for me and every day I move further along my minimalist journey. I am probably not considered a minimalist by some people because I do own a house with electricity and still struggle with the number of sneakers and flip flops I have. But on the flip side, I do not use resources that I do not need to use, and I live simply in a rural area. What is important to me may not be important to you and that is okay because we are each on our own path. The reasons I began my minimalist lifestyle may not align with yours but I hope they give you something to think about.
- The first and most important reason why I started by minimalist journey? I want to leave the world a better place for those that come after me. When I think back to how things were when I was growing up versus how they are now, the waste makes me sick to my stomach. This throw away society does not work for me. I take full responsibility for each and every decision I make. Right now I do not have grandchildren but if someday I am blessed with some, I want them to have a world to live in. Sounds morbid I know but when you really open your eyes and look at where we are, it’s scary – at least to me.
- I want to live mindfully and present. This has always been a challenge for me as my focus was always on what had to be done next. My stress was through the roof. Today, I am able to focus on what I am doing at that particular moment whether I am writing like I am now or sitting on the back porch enjoying the evening with my husband or daughters. I am present.
- Living minimally is freeing. I’m not debt free yet but I am working on it and making progress every single day. I live my life on my terms – no one else’s terms. The best way I can describe this is that I have created a lifestyle I love that is supported by businesses I love. I am working on a series that will help others take the same steps I did to self-employment on your terms.
- Living simply and being self employed allows me to work on my terms as I have removed myself from the corporate rat race. My wardrobe consists of jeans, shorts, t-shirts, flip flops and sneakers. I do have the “funeral” outfit if absolutely necessary but I now use 1 dresser AND it is in my closet.
- Living minimally is much less expensive! I buy what I need to buy versus always buying what I thought I had to have. Did I need 20 purses? No – I can only use one at a time. Did I need the latest kitchen gadget? No. To be honest, I don’t even cook. Do I need the latest smartphone? No. The one I have now works just fine for business and pleasure. No more unnecessary expenditures for this gal.
- It saves me time. My name is Denise, and I HATE TO CLEAN! Seriously I don’t like to clean at all. Ever since I downsized and cleared the unnecessary odds, ends, pieces and parts from 90% of the rooms in my house, the time it takes to maintain and clean is like 10% of what it used to be. The 10% not decluttered? It’s the hubby’s “space” and I respect that he is not on the same path I am and that’s okay – I can live with it.
- It is healthier. It seems I used to be in the store every other day. Since I don’t need to buy “things” I very seldom go into a department store and I have the number of times I go to the grocery store to every 2 weeks. We do not buy processed foods because we prepare our meals at home. Not only healthier, much less expensive. When I do occasionally eat out it seems I don’t enjoy it because what we cook ourselves tastes so much better. Yes we do go out but it is often for a special occasion versus always eating out like we used to.
- I don’t like clutter. I’ve never been one to collect things. My mother tells me I never liked to collect things. Clean and simple feels so much better to me than having things on every table and all over the walls.
- Less waste. Because we only buy what we consume we waste less. For example back to grocery shopping every 2 weeks. I write a list and purchase hardier vegetables and fruit for week two and will consume the bananas the first week as they will last 3 – 5 days. I do have paper towels in the house BUT they are only used when I cannot use my daughter’s un-paper towels that she made for me or other dish towels. My next plan is a compost pile to cut back even more waste.
- And my final MOST important reason? Me. I live my life on my terms my way. I am not rushing out to the store to buy the latest and greatest. I have a contingency fund that covers any emergencies. I am able to pursue my passions of fitness and travel. Living your life on your terms is the most freeing feeling in the world.
This post is not meant to convince you to become or live a minimalist lifestyle. It was written for you with joy in my heart in the hopes that if you are considering this lifestyle, it helps you with your choices.
Love and light,
For tips on how to begin your decluttering journey, you can Start Here, or snag a copy of the 30 Day Challenge (our Minimalism and Decluttering eBook).