Minimalism is a movement where people are clearing out clutter and living with just what they consider to be necessary or items that truly bring them happiness or joy ( as the magical art of tidying up book would say).
The more I read about minimalism and the more I read about using frugality to achieve financial independence long before many of us would ever have dreamed of retiring the more I realized these really are connected. When you embrace minimalism fully or even partly you do not have the feeling of going without when you don’t buy the latest gadget and it makes living frugally almost second nature. I actually feel buying things is a burden now in many ways- I’ve often regret purchases due to lack of quality, or the novelty wears off (you know when you felt like you just had to have that kitchen gadget but two weeks later it’s just gathering dust).
Minimalism and kids seems to be a near impossible task. My daughter is generally not great about giving things up and when she does- it’s almost always an item I’m reluctant to give away. I have started a ritual and putting things in a cupboard for 6 months that no longer get played with or I’ve stepped on one too many times that day – if she asks for the item we keep it for a bit longer but the items that are completely forgotten about get donated or passed onto friends. Once you’ve decided something is going out get rid out asap — if the bags sit around in the house or car you can almost guarantee the kids will end up going through them and pulling stuff back out.
Minimalism without kids – I imagine would be a much easier task; however, you don’t get to claim the same excuses. When we visit a relatives place my daughter comments it’s like a hotel room – comfortable but very uncluttered and clean. It’s something we’d be unlikely to attain as a family of 3 but maybe I’m selling myself short.
I find that the more things you discard from your life and your home the easier it is to continue to get rid of the clutter and the easier it is to stop the incoming stream of new goods that you’ll eventually be sorting- trashing or donating- not to mention how much better it is for the planet when we are not constantly chasing after the new lip stick or the latest colour shirt.
When I truly realized that in the pursuit of happiness stuff has very little affect once our basic needs are met… I let go of a lot of “wanting” because I was now aware that I did not need those things to live a happy life. I would actually have been trading some of the money I could be investing towards future freedom in order to pile up more stuff I didn’t need. What sense does that make?!