7 years ago I was so interested in living a simple/minimalism life that we moved out of our traditional sized home and renovated a 1,600 square foot home. Several garage sales and donation pick ups later, we moved into our tiny home where everything we owned was either useful or beautiful. That was my intention. It was lovely. Then baby #3 came and we got the itch to renovate another home, and another and with it our 4th baby. Our current home is a perfect home for making roots and someday having 4 teenagers that will want their own space. We still talk about our "tiny home" as our favorite. We had very few places to put stuff, therefore less stuff. It forced us to live with our minimum needs. This gave us more time and space to make room for the people and life experiences that were important to us.
The subject of minimalism is, of course, quite subjective. I think of minimalism as less is more. But it's also a mindset. For instance, if we are talking about clutter in the home... I can live with the rooms on our second floor cluttered, but my mind will feel cluttered if my kitchen counters and master bedroom is cluttered. I have found this as my personal balance. The spectrum of minimalism is extremely wide. Like everything, we each need to do what is best for ourselves.
Isn't life all about balance. I balance my consumption of chocolate with my consumption of greens. And I balance my splurges with my frugality and thriftiness. Balancing a life of living with less helps me live with more intention.
I don't have this lifestyle mastered, nor would I want to. The words "simple and balanced" are simply a reminder to keep myself in check with all the temptations life brings. What to wear, how to discipline, what to feed my family, how to decorate my home or my child's birthday party, the list goes on. These words have taken the pressure off mothering and have allowed me to focus on my top priorities.
One mindset I have changed to encourage minimalism is eliminating the word "busy" from my vocabulary. Busy is a choice. In our daily life I don't want my family to be busy - but rather productive. Intentional on how we go about our day.
If you are curious about adding more simplicity or minimalism in your life try writing down all the areas in your life that feel cluttered. Physically and emotionally. Start small. Few people have an entire day they can spend organizing their closet. Start with your shoe collection and pull everything out. Make 3 piles. Sell. Donate. Keep. Then move on to your jeans. repeat. Then see how you feel. Maybe the minimalism balance doesn't start in your closet but in your head. Write down what's making you feel "busy" and cross out everything that's not important. Then tackle the rest.
Now that you know my story I plan to share many more thoughts on how I use simple living to simply live. Follow your own path and don't let anyone tell you how to live your life according to theirs.