Below is the podcast version of this blog post. I hope you enjoy it! If you’d like to subscribe to the podcast, go to the podcast app you use and type “Balanced Working Moms” into search.
What is Minimalism?
So many people believe that minimalism is owning nothing! When most people think of a minimalist, they picture bare walls, two beach chairs in the living room, and no stuff.
I would say that this is extreme minimalism.
I love the definition from Mia Danielle’s blog. She writes:
“. . . Modern Minimalism is a practice of awareness and intention regarding your belongings, time and energy. . .” She writes that it’s not “. . . characterized by extreme scarcity.”
Here’s her exact definition:
At the end of the day, modern minimalism is a practice of awareness and intention regarding your belongings, time, and energy. Some people mistakenly try to use the word in the same way you would for minimalist design which would be “characterized by extreme scarcity.”
I love this definition because she shows that minimalism isn’t about extremism. It’s not just having nothing. It’s about being aware and having an intention for your belongings, time and energy.
It’s not about owning nothing, as most people believe. It’s about being aware and intentional about what you own, and how you spend your time and energy. Isn’t that a beautiful definition?
Minimalism Applies to All Parts of Your Life
Most people think minimalism is about owning less stuff, and it is, but it’s also more about a mindset than about stuff.
It’s how you think about your things.
Being a minimalist is about creating MARGIN in your life and being intentional about the things you buy and the things you let into your life.
It’s about owning your things instead of having them own you.
As with every post, I don’t want you to listen, be inspired and then forget.
I have a free printable to help you with this. It has 6 helpful questions to ask yourself before buying anything.
I made it a smaller size so you can print it and keep it in your planner or wallet. If you want, when you print it, you can shrink it down to whatever size you want so it’s where you need it the most.
Why Working Moms Need Minimalism
Working Moms need minimalism in their lives because
1. Buying stuff takes a lot of time and energy
I’m always amazed at how much time it takes to acquire things. From researching what to buy, to actually buying it, setting it up, learning how to use it, storing it (that one’s bigger than that one word can ever describe!), maintaining it, cleaning it, to finally getting rid of it when you no longer need it.
OMG, that’s exhausting just listing that.
But everything you buy goes through that process, even if it’s a simple item.
2. It keeps our Houses Neater
One of the biggest challenges of being a working mom is our homes, since we’re not there a lot and when we are home, we don’t have a lot of energy to put towards housework.
Less stuff is less clutter, and that’s one of our biggest pet peeves and challenges.
3. It simplifies our lives
This is the most important reason to be minimalistic.
Having less work to do (fewer items) and fewer commitments (a minimalistic schedule) is a fantasy for many working moms. Any step we take towards minimalism in our physical spaces, as well as our calendars and commitments, it will help create ease in our lives. It’s so important for anyone to do this since we’re all feeling pressed and burdened, but especially people who are short on time.
Practical Tips For Becoming a Minimalist
1. Don’t Over-Schedule your Family.
This is a great place to start. And if you do nothing else from this blog post, if you do just a bit less over-scheduling, you will see a big improvement in your life.
The trend these days is to do so many activities and “things” that your head may feel like it’s going to explode. These commitments may not work for you or your family.
Don’t Over-Schedule Weekends, Either
Try to keep things light on weekends, too. Kids need to be bored. It’s how they develop their creativity. And you need time to do things around the house and also squeeze in some time to rest. So don’t feel guilty about saying no to activities or parties. It’s good for you and your family to have breathing space in your schedule.
2. Only Buy Things You Love or Need, Not Things That are on Sale or that are “Meh.”
This is a lesson I learned from my Mama. She taught me it’s better to have one thing you love than 5 things you feel “meh” about.
If you don’t love something, you’re not to use it. Done and done. There’s no question in my mind.
For me, I’d rather buy 1 beautiful dress that I wear a few times a month than 5 itchy dresses that were cheap, which I wear a couple of times and then give away. I don’t have time for that. And our planet doesn’t have the resources to sustain that.
Plus, the benefit is that you’ll LOVE how you look (or you’ll appreciate the item so much more.)
When you buy things you love, there’s no going back. It feels amazing to be surrounded by clothes or objects that make you smile.
3. Buy the Best Quality you can Afford.
This tip is related to the one above. Don’t only buy things you love, also buy things that are of high quality. This will also save you money and time in the long-term.
4. Wait before you buy.
One of my favorite tips is to wait 24 hours before buying anything. Add it to your online cart but don’t hit “buy” just yet. Think about the purchase overnight. Do you love it? Is it good quality? Do you have a place to put it?
I do this all the time and more than half the time, I end up not getting the item.
Don’t fall for these online flash sales. Marketers know about pressuring us to buy stuff right away! But often just taking a break and putting some space between you and item will help you to decide if it’s something that will truly add value to you or your home.
5. Keep a List of Things you DIDN’T Buy!
I recently started doing this when I wanted to increase my minimalism.
It’s so satisfying to see a list of things you were tempted to buy, but didn’t. As the list grows you’ll feel so thankful to yourself from resisting the impulse to buy something that would have just added clutter to your home.
The list will also make you feel proud of your commitment to buy less.
6. View Minimalism as Self-Care.
My last tip on how to become a minimalist is the most important. Instead of seeing interpreting being a minimalist as “doing without,” see it as taking care of yourself.
It’s self-care to:
- own only things you love
- have fewer things to clean and declutter
- have more space in your house
- have more time in your schedule
- have more time freed up from going to stores or researching things to buy
It’s One of the Secrets
I’m excited for your journey into being more a minimalist. I believe it’s one of the biggest secrets to being more balanced.
Stuff takes more time than you’d ever realize.
Wishing you so much joy that a minimalist lifestyle can give you. Remember that you don’t have to have an empty home to view yourself as a minimalist. You just need a mindset to being intentional about the things you do buy and the commitments you let into your life.
Any small amount of moving towards this goal will help you create so much ease in your life. Wishing you so much margin and ease!