Everyone’s idea of minimalism is different and that is very important to remember. When you are thinking about embracing minimalism, the whole point of it is to keep true to your authentic self. What is important to you, the things you enjoy and the life you want to live. I’m excited to share some real life examples of what minimalism looks like in different homes around the world. If you would like to share a tour of your home, please contact me here with “HOME TOUR” in the subject line.
And now, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Cori. Cori blogs over at theflyingc.net and has kindly offered to share some images of her home with us:
I’m an RN, a small business owner, a sporadic blogger, and wife of a retired military man. We’ve been married for 28 years, and have lived all over the US. We have three children, all grown, with two finishing college in May (hurray!) I am a junker at heart, and I love rusty or forgotten things. They are a part of our history, and it brings me a lot of joy to save some of it from the landfills. One of my biggest challenges with minimalism has been to mesh my junkin’ tendencies to collect or rescue things with the desire to keep clutter out of my life.
Our house is 1100 sf. Now that we are almost empty nesters (one child here who is moving in May), it’s really too large; we’ve never even furnished the “breakfast” room. We plan on purchasing in a few years and I hope to get a smaller home. I’ve had to do some convincing to sell the idea of a smaller house to my hubby. We’ve had conversations about how much of our square footage we really use, and I think he is starting to get it. The idea of a house we can pay off in a few years appeals to him more than anything, I think.
I have never had a lot of “things” in my house. I’ve always felt like blank spaces give your eyes a place to rest. If every nook and cranny is filled up it feels overwhelming to me. However, I had never approached these things with intention. “Do I love this? Does it add joy to my life or create more work?” These were concepts I didn’t have until I discovered the minimalist movement. When I applied these questions to what was around me, the answer to a surprising amount of stuff was “No.” Even after the initial purge of décor, clothing, and kitchen items, I would find myself looking at something and thinking “why do I still have this?” On the other hand, some of the things I’ve kept surprised me. A pinecone found on a vacation trip, a piece of driftwood found at the lake. A really kitschy collection of shot glasses from all the places we’ve been. I just couldn’t put them into the donation bin. For the most part, I’ve been on this journey without much comment from family. My mom thinks my house looks empty, and says she prefers a house that is “decorated.” My husband’s only comment was that the house feels cleaner. He’s even helped a little bit by cleaning out his closet and desk.
Minimalism has had quite an impact on other facets of my life as well. I have a minimalist wardrobe, so I could literally get dressed in the dark, and know that whatever I put on works together. I no longer carry a purse, just a wristlet if I’m out running errands. I’ve started meal planning and cooking with real food. We’ve eliminated fast food and eating out all the time. It’s saving us a ton of money, and we cook together, so it’s fun. I’ve downsized my digital life; eliminated social media and email accounts, turned off notifications on my phone, and purchased software that helps me run my business more efficiently. The digital downsizing has literally saved hours in my day.
Until recently, I filled up every day with busy-ness. I’m an RN, and my schedule is three 12 hour shifts per week, but I always picked up an extra shift, so worked 48 hours a week. I also have a small business. Last year this involved refinishing and reselling furniture and home décor at two boutiques, selling my own brand of furniture paint, and hosting a handmade & vintage market twice a year. So when I wasn’t working as an RN, I was painting furniture, pouring and shipping paint, recruiting vendors for the shows, and on and on. I truly never had a day off. In early November, I decided to apply minimalist principals to all I was doing. I realized I had to let something go, because I had not left any space in my life for people or other pursuits I enjoyed. Even something as simple as reading a book. At the end of a somewhat difficult decision-making process, I no longer work extra shifts, and I still host the markets. I left the boutiques and stopped selling paint because these aspects of the business took up a lot of time without much profit. It’s been almost three months since that decision was made. At first, I truly did not know what to do with myself. But I sleep until 8 now on my days off, instead of getting up at 6. I have read an entire series of books. I started journaling again, and blogging more often. I spend evenings in the living room with my husband, instead of in the office working. The mental litany of to-do’s has stopped. It is peaceful inside my head.
Currently, I’m participating in the 2017 in 2017 Challenge to help me clean out the nooks and crannies I’ve been putting off. Going through photos, cleaning out the coat closet and garage. I’m honestly not sure if I’ll get to 2017 things, but it’s very helpful to have that goal. Eventually, there are a few things around here I’d like to replace. I need some decent cookware because now that we cook, it’s become painfully obvious we are lacking some things in the kitchen. Most of the linens we own need to be replaced. My wardrobe needs some tweaking. But as new things come in, old things will be donated. My goal is that we have “just enough,” and that what we own is of good quality and in good repair.
I’m so pleased to be invited to participate in the home tour. I love seeing what minimalism looks like to others, and I’m excited to share my version of a minimalist home.