It is my pleasure to introduce you to Cheryl, who has kindly offered to share some images of her home with us:
I’m a 46-year old professional organizer living in downtown Lynn, Massachusetts; it’s a very artsy community on the North Shore. Lynn was recently recognized for its artist murals: Beyond Walls. My apartment is on the 8th (top) floor of a historic flatiron building. It’s 500 square feet (one bedroom; one bath). I live alone. In some ways, I think I’ve always been a minimalist, even before the term became popular, but nowadays, I fully embrace it. I don’t own a car, a TV, a desktop computer, or sets of anything (books, CDs, DVDs, etc.). I use online sharing tools instead of owning things (e.g., Spotify, Pandora, and Tidal for music; Zipcar, Uber, Lyft for transportation along with the train and subway system here).
I wanted to simplify my life after my divorce several years ago. I had been living in a good-sized house with a car, a large TV, and lots of stuff. It was overwhelming. I just felt stressed trying to maintain everything: the yard, the house, the cleaning, etc. When my marriage ended, I used that as an opportunity to live minimally; I rented a 425-square foot apartment in Boston’s North End, and after that, I knew that I could live in small spaces. I lived there for three years, and then I moved to my current home.
With fewer things, life is simpler, less-stressful, and efficient. It’s easier to find things when you don’t have a lot of clutter. When you have a minimalist wardrobe with fewer than 40 items of clothing and fewer than 30 shoes total, it’s easy to get dressed in the morning. Decisions are quicker; I save time.
My biggest challenge in decluttering was feeling like I might need to keep something “just in case.” I kept thinking, “Will I need these baking things?” But I soon realized that I rarely baked, so I decided to donate them. I kept only two items: a hand mixer and a baking pan. The old me used to bake, but the new me liked to get out and support small, local bakeries and shops, so I now spend less time baking and more time out visiting new establishments in my community.
I realized that if I ever really needed anything that I donated, I could always borrow that item from a friend or family member. Or I could run to the store to buy it if I really needed it. But so far, I’ve needed nothing that I donated! I also try to follow the wisdom of Marie Kondo, Joshua Becker, the Minimalists, and Courtney Carver. They are all minimalists, and they live what they preach. I adore them!
My friends and family love visiting! They often compliment my apartment for being so organized. It’s great having friends and family visit with so much space and no clutter! I love it!
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.