Over the past few months, my life has changed significantly. I, myself, have changed even more. My life has shifted to a modified minimalist lifestyle.
“What is a minimalist lifestyle,” you ask. Well, there are people who believe that the world is being overrun with consumerism. If Sally McSparklepants has the latest and greatest gadget then Penny Von Pufferschmidt can’t be outdone! She has to go out and get the even better latest and greatest gadget than even Sally has. There is a constant need to have, to buy, and to obtain stuff. Frankly, I’m sick of stuff.
There are some minimalists who don’t have a TV, a couch, a bed frame, or even more than one bowl, one plate, and a single utensil to eat with all because they don’t feel that it’s necessary to have more than any one person should need. I am not to that extreme, nor will I ever be (I don’t think). I have minimized the “stuff” in my house over the past 8 months significantly though.
This is such a 180 from how I used to be. I was the kid growing up with multiple collections, every inch of wall space covered with magazine pages of celebrities, and always looking out for what other people had and how I could get it so I could be just like them. No more. I’m not completely changed though. Of course there are things that I still want or desire, but if they aren’t absolute necessities or a “treat” for saving and doing something in order to get it, then I don’t until I’ve actually earned the right to get it.
This all came about due to anxiety. Yes, anxiety. Okay, and maybe a tiny smidgen of OCD. I used to only clean when I was upset about something or pissed off. Then in February, my entire world was tilted on its axis and my anxiety skyrocketed. I would clean to calm my anxiety. I was cleaning to the point of obsessing over it. If I couldn’t clean, I would have an anxiety attack. The cycle of anxiety and obsessing just kept going and going to the point of exhaustion until I finally had to get on a system or I was going to go crazy.
Since I am OCD, I like for things to be organized. I am very much a perfectionist. I love lists. I love having things exactly where they should be. If I can’t have things perfect, then it would be total chaos. My house was majorly chaotic and I was to the point that I honestly didn’t give a shit about it or myself. I felt like there was no light at the end of the tunnel so I wouldn’t even try. I was overwhelmed.
Then I found FlyLady. I can honestly say that I don’t follow everything word for word or exactly as she says because, let’s face it, I do what I want. Yes, I implemented what she teaches, but in my own way. She teaches you that you can do anything for 15 minutes. I would always try to tackle a huge mess all at once and then I’d end up giving up because I didn’t think I would ever get it done. Well, I’m here to tell you that yes you can! You just can’t look at it as a whole. Only do what you can within a certain time frame and eventually small progress turns into completely clean! I was well on my way to getting my house clean and decluttered, thanks to FlyLady.
Then I just felt like I wasn’t doing enough. I felt like I still just had way too much stuff in my house, in my way, and I still wasn’t happy even though my house was looking amazing for once in my adult life. So, I got on my Kindle and searched “organization.” I’m pretty good at organizing, but you can always learn a trick or two. Well, in my six degrees of separation type Kindle search I found the book “Miss Minimalist: Inspiration to Downsize, Declutter, and Simplify.” Hmm, interesting. It’s 99 cents. I can spare that from the budget. So, I read it. I’m inspired. I’ve found what I didn’t even know I was searching for!
I am currently reading “The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life” and I also bought “Frugillionaire: 500 Ways to Live Richly and Save a Fortune.” I will read it next and then I’ll have an amazing house and then I’ll be rich, bitch! Ha! Just kidding. Not kidding about the reading it next part though. That part is very much true.
The author of the three books I’ve mentioned also has a blog called miss minimalist. I would tell you to check it out, but I still haven’t even checked it out. I’ve been too busy decluttering my house! Check it out though for real. Do it. I promise I will too. Maybe. Okay I will!
I honestly have no idea how much I’ve actually pared down and moved out of my house, but it’s substantial. I still have so much more to go and my home is nowhere near where I’d like it to be, but it’s getting there and I’m happy with it, my life, and myself. Finally.