What square footage do you have in your home and how many people do you share it with?
I’m in Australia so I am not familiar with square feet. By googling I got a lot of different answers, so I am not sure of the correct one. I live with my teenage son, just the two of us.
What was your motivation for embracing simplicity in your life?
It began with the need to pay off $45k of consumer debt and became a way of life. Stuff weighs me down, mentally and physically. It has taken me a long time to realise I need and want very little and the less I have the better. I just love having empty cupboards!
How has minimizing your possessions made your life better?
I physically feel like I can breathe and from a person with asthma, that’s a big deal. It gave me the strength to look at my life and realise I needed to make some changes. I feel like I have better focus and have finally come to understand that it is ok to do nothing. I don’t have to live at the mercy of my possessions, they enhance my life and no longer hinder it. When I do things it’s meaningful, it’s considered and it’s because I want to. Cleaning is a breeze, consisting of a vacuum once or twice a week and a damp cloth over the surfaces when necessary.
What was your biggest challenge in the middle of decluttering?
My biggest challenge was stopping. I got on a mission that showed no signs of slowing down. I am an avid reader for example, yet own no physical book (after owning several thousand in the past). I do own a Kindle and am probably one of the last people alive to still use the library. Another challenge was getting my family to see that if they wanted to gift me anything, I would prefer it be a consumable (coffee/flowers/cheese for example) or an experience. I just don’t need a vase thank you!
Did you involve your family or were you on your own?
As it’s only me and my son I have been pretty free to do as I please, when I please. I did move house in the last year and spent a bit of money on things I thought I needed, then promptly realised I didn’t. I have since eradicated those things. I am pretty trimmed down now. My child is also not a hoarder and whilst he has a little more than I do, he is in no way a messy sort and regularly culls his stash.
What unexpected reactions did you get from friends or family seen your new way to cluttered home?
I have received approval, and even though my mum claims she could never live with so little, she sees it works for me. My two favourite special people are both minimalists, so I have their continual blessing and one of them has benefited quite nicely from my cast off coffee table! A few other friends have also begun their own downsizing/simple living journeys and always let me know what they’ve been up to and it seems to just have a rub on effect with everyone. Most people I meet tell me they want to get started and focus on what matters most! It’s a subject I never get tired of talking about and I’m pretty obsessed in continually minimising.
Everyone’s way of embracing minimalism is different and that is very important to remember. When you are thinking about becoming minimalist, 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.