Hands up who knows what I am talking about when I say Konmari…surely the articles haven’t only taken over my Facebook newsfeed!? Well for those out of the loop it’s a term coined by Author of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo, a philosophy for decluttering your life. I am yet to read the book (STILL on hold at our local library) but I believe I have the gist from several articles. Only keep what you need and only if it gives you joy. The whole concept lead me to read ‘Clutterfree with Kids’ by Joshua Becker and discover a lifestyle which people call ‘Minimalism’. I have never been overly motivated by ‘stuff’ so lets say I find the idea of ‘less stuff’ appealing, therefore I have started the process of cutting down and here are 5 reasons why.
- Less stuff means less mess
Most parents will admit they spend a lot of time chasing their tails, cleaning up, as the path of destruction continues behind them. But, let me be honest, my home was littered with things well before the kids arrived; clothes, books, shoes, photos, pens, towels, rotting food 😛 Owning less simply decreases the number of mess possibilities. I gave half of our children’s books to goodwill this week and I tell you it has made a HUGE difference.
When we strive to live like a minimalist we resist the trap to unnecessarily upgrade, buy duplicates or impulse purchase. Easier said then done when all the advertising in the WORLD is telling us that more = happiness. But a shift away from consumerism leaves us with cash in our pockets, or at the very least, less debt. Depending on exactly how much your habits change it could even mean following a career path that offers less money but is more aligned with your life passion.
3. Less stuff grants us more time and energy
Organising and looking after our things takes time. Searching for what we need through clutter takes time. Buying more unnecessary items takes time…. You get the point…TIME.
Also did you know there is something called decision fatigue? it’s why shopping for groceries can be so exhausting (seriously have you seen the cereal aisle??) and why American President Obama wears only gray or blue suits. “I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.” Minimalism requires less energy because we are not overwhelmed with choice. Barry Schwartz’s TED talk on the Paradox of Choice is another great testament to this, and much more.
Remember back to childhood days when you had one special doll. You cherished it with all your life, it would not easily be replaced and so you knew care needed to be taken. These days children have mountains of toys, each birthday and christmas adds 5 new Barbies to the pile. But it is not just children. How many pairs of shoes do you own? Now think about if you could only own one pair…. seriously think about it…How would it change the way you choose those shoes, the way you looked after them, the importance they would have?
The fact is appreciation gets lost within a lifestyle of excess. One more pair of new shoes may bring us short term happiness, but sooner rather then later they become one in the pile of many.
5. Less stuff means more freedom to pursue meaningful experiences
Less mess, more money, more time and more energy means MORE EXPERIENCES. Whether that is spending time reading to your children before bed instead of bulldozing toys into cupboards, giving a spa treatment instead of a new blender for Christmas, or taking a family trip to the insanely beautiful Great Barrier Reef using money saved not unnecessarily upgrading.
I love that this concept is being shared, embraced and celebrated so widely. I believe it is testament to a growing concern we all have in our consumer society. More does not = happiness. No…happiness comes from the meaningful connections in our lives. It is grown through the care and respect we have for the environment we live within. And nurtured by living with an abundance of wonder filled experiences shared with all those quirky people we love.
So I dare you to look around and pay attention to your stuff. Does it rule your life? Do you feel obligated to add more or improve what is there? How much of it brings you joy and appreciation? How much never gets used? Looking forward to sharing our Minimalism journey with you more xo