How little could you live with, and still be comfortable?

Take a moment and look around your living space. Is there anything that you would consider to be nonessential (i.e., not absolutely necessary)? 

We have begun a 30 Day Minimalism Challenge in our home. Now we already live in a smaller space, and really don’t have many possessions to begin with. So the purpose of this challenge for us is not necessarily to get rid of more stuff. Rather, it’s to remind ourselves of the things that matter, and remove some additional clutter in our lives. 

In this post I want to discuss two main topics as we begin this challenge. I want to discuss the definition of minimalism, and discuss our reasons for doing it.

Defining Minimalism.

When you hear the term, Minimalism, what do you think of? Most people hear that term and immediately think of having very few possessions, only having one plate, one fork, and so on. There are plenty of people who do live by this definition of minimalism, and live with very few possessions. There are even some people who can fit every one of their possessions in to one suitcase, or backpack. 

Their seasons of life affect how little they can live comfortably with.

The truth is that minimalism can have several different meanings, and it will look different for everyone. Your personality, current season of life, whether your married, if you have children, and so on, will all affect what minimalism will look like for you.

Joshua Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, better known as “The Minimalists”, provide a wonderful definition of minimalism; 

“Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.”

Since downsizing a year and a half ago we have been living by the motto, “live simple and live happy”, which sounds like a shorter version of their definition.

When it comes to defining minimalism for your own life, remember it is not about how much you can do WITHOUT. Instead, it’s about how little you can live comfortably WITH.

Why are we taking this challenge?

When we downsized a year and a half ago, we got rid of a lot of stuff, the excess. But no matter how hard you try, especially when there are 5 people in one home, the excess will often find its way back into your lives. This is what has been happening with us. 

We have been noticing lately that we have too much clutter in our home. We have too much stuff. Now since we live in a smaller space, and there are 5 of us with number 6 on the way, the smaller space tends to fill up faster. If you do not pick up after yourself immediately, the space will immediately feel cluttered. This is a problem we run into often having three small children.

So we sat down and discussed ways to improve on this. The solution immediately became clear to us. You’ve seen us write and talk about how ‘less is more’ in the past. This mindset rekindled itself and we made the decision to try and live even more, with even less, for one month.

The Purpose.

The purpose of this challenge is not to live with one fork and plate for a month, although we are doing that. The purpose of this challenge is to limit the clutter, limit the distractions, and try to focus on the things that make us more happy.

We often find ourselves becoming stressed when the dishes stack up, or the children leave stuff scattered around the floor, and the house begins to get messy. So we decided to relieve this stress by getting rid of the excess in our home. 

Regarding the kitchen, we each have one bow, one plate, one fork, one spoon, and one cup for the entire month. Once we use it, we wash it and put in the right side of our sink to dry on the rack. Our hope is that this will help to alleviate the clutter of having so many dishes, and lessen our stress when the dishes stack up. 

We also went around the house and boxed or bagged up all nonessential items. Basically, if it does not serve a purpose, it’s gone. You can store it, donate it, sell it, whatever. The goal is to limit the material possessions during these 30 days. Again, the hope is that by reducing or removing the clutter and distractions in our home, we will be able to be more happy and more engaged with one another. 

I don’t want to get ahead of myself. After all, this challenge has really only just begun. We are gong to be posting as often as we can during the next 30 days of this challenge. We’ll be discussing what we’re learning, tips and advice we have, and more. 

Some upcoming posts will include more details about what we got rid of, how we downsized our closets even more, what we’re doing with our kids possessions (toys, clothes, crafts, etc.) So check back for updates on those.

Do you want to take the challenge with us? 

Do you want to take the Minimalists 30 day challenge? What are your thoughts about the challenge? Is there anything you consider to be nonessential in your home that you could do without? Let us know in the comments. You can watch our video about this challenge below.

-The Hidys