We’d all like to simplify our lives, yes? At the Mountain Farmhouse, we’re with you! As time goes by, we find that STUFF accumulates like a fungus. It just grows and grows. We need to get it under control! We’d love to have you accompany us on our way towards Minimalism – GET YOUR ZEN BACK.
You see, I feel like I’ve spent a large percentage of my life organizing things. That means, putting things “away.”
But now I’ve gotten tired of most of it. I mean, how many material possessions does one person (or two, or three, etc people) really need, anyway? If we really get down to basics, it isn’t very much.
As I started reading about Minimalism over the past few years, I’ve realized that it Just. Makes. Sense.
“The Minimal Mom”
When I found “The Minimal Mom,” it was like a breath of fresh air. She is so easy to relate to, even though we’re in different seasons of life! I highly recommend her blog and YouTube channel, which I will link below. She is a true inspiration.
As for getting rid of our excess things, maybe there are items we’d like to keep, though. That’s totally fine. We all have our own activities, hobbies, likes and dislikes.
But we need to free ourselves of guilt that comes with letting go of the unwanted items we’ve purchased or received as gifts.
Are they serving a purpose in our lives?
I have an example – I received an ashtray many years ago.
It is beautiful. The person who gave it to me was a very dear friend.
We hardly stay in touch anymore, although I do think of her fondly.
But here’s the thing. I was not a smoker when I received that gift, and I am still not a smoker.
No one in my household smokes.
Do you think it’s time to let it go?
Minimalism – get your Zen back.
And that is just one of several examples
My point is this, please, please, please don’t feel obligated to keep something because of a guilty conscience! That is not a reason to hold onto anything!
My solution – USE IT OR LOSE IT!
Start using the item.
If it isn’t serving you, get rid of it.
Does that sound too simple? Well, actually, it’s not.
How often do you walk past something in your house and you don’t even notice it because it has become almost invisible?
LOOK at it with renewed interest.
Stop feeling guilty
Try on that sweater that you thought was so beautiful but can’t quite put your finger on why you no longer wear it. Better yet, wear it for a day and see what happens.
Maybe the sleeves are just a bit too long. When you wash your hands, water trickles and puddles into the sleeves and up your arms.
And then, maybe not. Maybe the color is a little off. Or maybe you have just lost interest and moved on. Could it be time to bless someone else with that sweater?
Use that “other” whisk in your kitchen drawer. Then wash it. See how it dries.
Do the metal parts rust? Is it flimsy or easily breakable? Do you really need an EXTRA whisk?
Dawn (The Minimal Mom) says that if something can be easily replaced for less than $20(or name a price tag you are comfortable with), then let it go. It will be all right.
Minimalism – get your Zen back.
Now are you thinking, “But Wendy, how is that sustainable?”
I get it. You don’t want it to pollute our dear Mother Earth.
But here’s the thing – keeping things that are just junking up your house is NOT sustainable.
Keeping a home that is free from excess is the more sustainable option here. And if you donate your over-abundance, someone else benefits, which is also in keeping with sustainability practices!
Certain items can be replaced from second-hand shops, so there you have it.
“But I feel so guilty because my Aunt made that for me.”
I can really relate to this one. But said Aunt passed away years ago. Even if she hadn’t, she lived so far away, she wasn’t coming to visit.
What if your Aunt visits you all the time?
In SOME circumstances, it may, in fact, be perfectly appropriate to keep an item to display for when that special person comes to visit. But this can get tricky, so be very careful. You can’t do this for every person, or every gift. Make sure it is for the right person, and the right reason.
What I’ve also found, is that things often have a “shelf-life.” They wear out. When something wears out, breaks, or expires, please don’t feel you have to fix or replace it if you really didn’t want it in the first place. You are also “off the hook,” in a sense, if the item was a gift and you are questioned about it.
Be up front with your family members about what you are doing with regard to simplifying your home. They may not like it at first, or in some cases, ever.
But this is important if a more “Zen” environment is what you want for yourself, your own home, your loved ones, and your future.
Imagine the ease with which you’ll be able to get items out of your cupboard or pantry, without shoving things from one side to the other; or worse, having things fly out of your cabinets and hit you on the head!
Imagine having exactly what you need in terms of clothing, so that everything fits in your closet and drawers without getting squished, wrinkled, or lost. You’ll be wearing things that fit you, look nice on you, and make you feel presentable.
Imagine not being over-scheduled, and actually having the time and presence of mind to enjoy being with the people you love and care about.
And imagine your peace of mind. Your ZEN. Won’t it be wonderful to get your Zen back? Or maybe you need to acquire Zen in the first place?
MINIMALISM – GET YOUR ZEN BACK – YOU CAN DO IT!
How peaceful it would be not to look at STUFF all around you! How joyful it would be not to have to continually put STUFF away!
A word of caution, though – declutter YOUR things only. Lead by example. If you start in on other people’s belongings, your efforts may backfire.
And think how this is so very much in keeping with Permaculture Principles. We want to have fewer things that have multiple uses, not multiple things with fewer uses! This is “Stacking Functions.”
And PLEASE do not think that you can’t do this if you are “of a certain age!” I’m here to personally tell you that you are at the perfect age for this!
If you are still in doubt, read “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning.” It will get you on the path to thinking differently.
We’ve been there, done that. What purpose are material things serving if they only create clutter? Our material possessions should be carefully, wisely chosen to reflect who we are right now!
Patience, patience, patience. Things are not going to happen overnight!
How about a commitment to claiming (or re-claiming) your ZEN this year?
Join me. I’ll be so excited to work together on this with you! Follow our journey right here at The Mountain Farmhouse!
And hang in there – you got this!
And it will be so worth it!
Minimalism – get your Zen back!
Here is the link to Dawn’s article, How To Deal With Difficult Family During the Holidays.