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7.29.2015

Why I'm a Minimalist

i actually put this link up in my calendar so i wouldn't forget - why wednesday.  (a) i really wanted to do it because i like helping people reach their goals, and lizzy's goal was to host a link up and (b) the theme is simply 'why.'  that's it.  why anything - why you blog, why you like dogs more than cats, why being an only child is awesome, why you hate tacos (do you people exist?  what's wrong with you?)  i had so many ideas i think i could do a why wednesday post for months to come.  but i decided to start with a relatively easy one - why i'm a minimalist.  something i get asked a lot.  especially living in a big city, as if somehow city living = stuff and country living = simple.

but i am.  a minimalist that is.  i was originally going to say minimalist adjacent, because i don't have a tiny house or live off the land or have no cell phone.  but there's a lot of different ways you can be a minimalist.  i would say i started it at least 3 years ago.  maybe 4. the moment i gave up my entire dvd collection - sold them, gave them away, donated them.  there were a lot.  and i was tired of moving dvds i never used from apartment to apartment and finally just had a breakdown fit and let them all go at once.  it was freeing.  so i started doing it with everything else.  clothes.  makeup.  decor.  kitchenware.  it's been a process (i certainly didn't do it as fast as marie kondo recommends in the life changing magic of tidying up) but it's actually been fun.  and now, i'm definitely a minimalist.  why do i love it so much?  less mess, less stuff to move, more freedom, less stress, more time, there's so many reasons.  but here my main two:

being a minimalist means less to take care of.  which sounds lazy, and it is.  while there are some cleaning tasks, like laundry, that i find relaxing, and while i'll certainly do the other things like washing floors and mirrors, i don't enjoy cleaning.  it's a pain.  there's just a lot of things i want to do with my time, and dusting collections of dvds i never watch isn't one of them.  having less stuff means less cleaning, plan and simple.  less dusting, less moving things around, less washing and spraying and wiping and less finding a place for things once you've cleaned them.  beyond cleaning, it's just less to maintain in general.  less to pack and move, less to worry about someone breaking in and stealing, less to maintain (like a car - no oil changes or engine checks here!)  i don't worry about switching out decor by season, i can always find what i need, i don't need to have anything in storage, anywhere.  those little tasks related to owning stuff used to stress me out, and now they don't even exist.  and my house is always clean for people to come over, because keeping up with cleaning takes 5 minutes a day.

being a minimalist helps me stay debt free.  i hated owing money.  being in debt is awful.  now i admit, i've always been at least semi-responsible, in that i never had credit card debt.  only student loans and only from law school.  but debt is debt, even if it's so called 'good debt' like a school loan.  no debt is good debt.  (i love this article 'you have a debt problem' from money after graduation, you really should read it if you have debt!)  being a minimalist means, to me, not acquiring stuff just to acquire it.  i don't need to spend the money on things like clothes or furniture or decor because to me that's all just clutter and i don't want it around.  not after i decluttered my whole apartment and worked so hard to really get rid of everything i didn't want.  i can ignore things like lilly for target or amazon bigger than black friday sales because i know there's nothing else i want to bring into this house.  and if i do spend money on 'stuff', you know it was a long thought out decision and it actually has a place.  (doesn't help me spend less on experiences or food, but hey, baby steps!)

some people are proud non-minimalists.  my friend steph for example - she declutters and organizes and has a warm and inviting house.  she's a proud non-minimalist; she has throw pillows and picture frames but she has the right amount for her and loves to decorate for holidays.  that doesn't mean she's a hoarder!  she's so neat, even in her utility closet.  it just means she found the right balance for her.

i certainly don't think i'd ever turn into a hoarder if i went non-minimalist, but i just truly enjoy having less stuff.  my life feels simpler and less chaotic.  not everyone feels that way about their belongings, but i sure did.  switching out decor by season, cleaning off picture frames, organizing forever but getting nowhere because you can't organize clutter - it made me practically itchy with anxiety.  plus i move every year and i was moving stuff i didn't even use!  such a waste.  but now there's peace.

what about you?  minimalist, hoarder, somewhere in between?  why?  (or link up any 'why' post, i think i would really like to read these.)

Stumbling Upon Lizzy

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