So, I have been on a journey for the last six months to embrace minimalism in my personal life and in my home. This came out of a need to simplify my life when it felt chaotic. I had just had our little baby boy and had moved back to the Middle East after a six month stint in the US to have him. Someone else had been living in our home for that time and as I spent several weeks getting everything just how I wanted it again as well as redesigning the place for our new family of five, I found myself overwhelmed.
My solution: Get rid of everything that we don’t use and that is excess.
So I began…much to the fear of my dear husband, who thought I’d regret it all and eventually want to replace everything I got rid of. He knows me well and he knows that, truly, minimalism is against my personality. I’m faaaaaar from a hoarder. I’ve always been easily able to part with things that seem useless to me. My biggest downfall is that I always seem to want more. I’m never quite satisfied with what I have. As I recognized this more and more in myself, an approach to minimalism not only helped to simplify our home, it also became a personal challenge not to just let go of what I deemed useless, but also push myself to give things to others that I still loved.
But it was also an immense blessing.
We currently live in a part of the world where mothers are packing up their babies and carrying them across continents in hopes of a better, safer life of freedom. And they sometimes end up staying in our country with nothing. So, giving to them when I have so much still left, became a mission for me. If I have two zip up sweatshirts (both of which I love, mind you), one needs to go. If I have five serving bowls (for the gigantic parties I’ve never had in our tiny place), three need to go. If my kids have ten pairs of leggings but really only wear the five or so that they love…
the rest need to go
to someone who has nothing.
So, minimalism became not only a way to simplify my home and our lives, but also a way to give to those who have far less, maybe nothing.
I look forward to continuing my minimalist journey. And it is a journey. Just last night I told Justin we need a new shelving unit in our entry for those little hats and gloves that seem to float around the hall and rooms at this cold time of year. It’s so practical. A place for the odds and ends you want to dump when you walk through the door and something the little girls can access themselves so that my job becomes easier. And he reminded me…
Nicole, remember you don’t want to go back. Remember, you wanted me to help you consider what you purchase. Don’t seek out what we don’t absolutely need.
And so I will wait. I will see if this is a continued need over a span of a few more weeks. Because minimalism is also teaching me to wait. If I still want the shelf in a few weeks I’ll bring it up again. This is the painful part for me to because I’m a very quick mover, maybe some would say impulsive. So, this part of myself is being redefined as well.
And it’s good.