This weekend, a friend and I chatted about her new interest in minimalism. She has started gradually tossing out things that don’t serve a purpose in her home. In contrast, her mother-in-law with hoarder tendencies just moved to a special care home, which means her house needs to be sorted. It hit us both that stuff can become a real burden—to both ourselves and our loved ones.
I think we all know that clutter makes life difficult by adding stress and overwhelming our desktops. Although I tend to have too much stuff, I don’t want my clutter to end up piled directly on my children. The beginning of the year could be the perfect time to embrace a new approach. So I am diving—or at least stepping—into the world of minimalism.
It turns out minimalism is about more than getting rid of stuff. This method strips everything away so that you, as a parent, spouse, or employee, or individual can shape your life around your priorities. For example, a mom friend recently surprised us all by changing her kids’ schools in the middle of the year. In her words, “We realized that we were treating this school as if it was our top priority. We spend hours in the car getting here, waiting for drop off and pick up, and getting home. But it’s just not that important to us as compared to other things.” The kids now attend the school down the street from their home as my friend simplifies her routine.
To learn more about minimalism, I combed the internet for information. Here are the four videos that I found most helpful.
I love that the woman in this first video focuses on a person’s mindset rather than a checklist, because no matter what it is you’re trying to do, it’s better to approach it with a positive attitude. No matter how much you throw out of your life, the only way to keep it simple is to change your mindset.
As opposed to offering more general advice for the long haul, this second video provides three very clear and specific guidelines for using minimalism at home.
This might be my favorite video of all. This woman, who calls herself “The Messy Minimalist,” is honest about her short-comings and failures. While standing in front of a wide-angle shot that shows her cluttered house, she explains what has gone wrong in her process. It’s inspiring to then watch her, in time-lapse, actually finish the projects she’d started.
To wrap up this collection, I’m including this short video of a super minimalist sorting her one-year-old’s toys. What is remarkable is the amount of stuff she feels is too much and the ruthlessness she employs to cull toys. I look like an incredible hoarder next to her, but it’s motivating to see that it is possible!