Due to interest in my posts concerning minimalism, I thought I’d touch on the subject again this month. (Quick background: in 2012 I became a widow, sold our house and most of our furniture, etc. at a huge auction, and moved into a studio apartment. I went from 3,000-ish square feet to around 500.)
I recently read a blog post listing 21 benefits of owning less. I completely agree with, and relate to, 20 of them, including Less Spending, Less Stress, More Freedom, Easier to Clean. The one that stopped me—and when I clicked the reference link I was still shaking my head—is this one: Be Happier.
Don’t get me wrong. I am happier with less, but I’m not certain this is a realistic guarantee. If I lived alone in our big house as the curator of all our possessions, I’d be miserable. I’m guessing that each time my son and daughter-in-law came to visit, I’d try to foist something off on them.
Another fact to consider is that each of us may have our own definition of minimalism. A bit of guidance I use is this, by William Morris: “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
Happiness is never guaranteed, but if you’re interested in dabbling without committing, here are some ideas:
- Box stuff up that you don’t love, and see what your place looks like when it’s streamlined. (It’s important to ask yourself What do I want to keep? instead of What do I want to get rid of?)
- Use your favorite dishes, pack the others up for donation (but don’t donate yet), and see if you miss what’s no longer in the cabinet.
- Put your seldom used clothing, shoes, handbags in the back of the closet, or another closet, and experience a smaller wardrobe for a while. (Confession: I still haven’t conquered my wardrobe!)
- If you have grown children whose belongings are still in your home, invite said children to come and pick them up. Perhaps they will, or perhaps those items are just there because nobody’s had the heart to re-home them. (Warning: this work is not for the faint-hearted. It can be quite an emotional drain.)
- Live in a smaller portion of your current home and “try on” small space living. (Hint: Windows help the small space seem larger.)
Owning fewer things and renting a small apartment has set me free to travel (photo above is in San Francisco this month), do the work I love, and donate to charity. I like to help spread the word about this lifestyle, but I know it’s not everyone’s cup—or dozens of cups, with matching saucers—of tea. You get to decide.
Magdalena is a USA Today Bestselling Author, and writes sweet romance and women's fiction with small town settings. Connect with her and read about her books on her website: www.magdalenascott.com
Recent Release: Book Two in the Serendipity, Indiana series, Emily’s Dreams. Emily Kincaid is recovering from an auto accident, and sheds her past—emotionally and physically—in order to move toward her future. Stories in the Serendipity, Indiana series always have a surprise ending, and I think you’ll love the resolution of the nudging voice Emily hears throughout her journey.