Mindset Shifts with Minimalism
Mindset matters - shifting your mindset helps ensure you take baby steps towards accomplishing your goals. The mantra I say to myself on REPEAT now is “progress over perfection” and although whatever I imagined might not be EXACTLY what I envisioned, I get more accomplished and make small strides towards my goals (where as before, I might have had DREAMS, that I wouldn’t even act on).
Here are 3 ways I’ve adjusted my mindset since beginning my minimal-ish journey…
💫 You’ll always have to take care of your home, why not do it in the most efficient way possible?
💫 Make time to make memories; stop wasting it on stuff you don’t need or care about
💫 When something needs to get done, ask for help, make it fun, and take care of it quickly so you can shift your focus to what matters more to you and your family
Remember, anyone and everyone can be a minimalist - there is no “end goal”, you can call yourself a “minimalist” if you just decided the lifestyle was right for you! It’s a journey, not a destination.
What’s a mindset shift you’ve made recently?
Self Care for Minimalists
Before this Valentine’s Day, let’s talk about taking care of OURSELVES - the person we should LOVE the most and care for the most, although as moms, it can sometimes feel like (and even be) the complete opposite.
“Self care” is a huge buzzword (in my opinion). It’s a great concept, but can actually be frustrating - so many moms try to treat themselves and think, “Is this self care? Am I taking enough/too much time away for myself?” It can be hard to get a “break” - we’re small business owners, I am a stay at home mom and the primary caregiver of my kiddos. BUT - there are still ways to indulge, even if you DON’T have the luxury to take a bigger chunk of time away from your every day.
Three Minimalist Mantras
As you’re hopefully relaxing this Sunday, here are three mantras that can help you shift your mindset if your goal is minimalish living.
✨ BE present and intentional
✨ LESS is usually more
✨ LIVE in the moment
Remember, dumping the stuff is great and the first step to a simpler, more efficient, minimalist home/life - BUT, it’s a mindset shift that will help you maintain it. I'm working hard to be more present and live in the moment - I've been trying to go from "this age/stage is so frustrating/difficult (...my almost 2.5 year old who has been fighting sleep lately)" to "there will always be new challenges, how can I best meet her/my needs right now". Sh*t's easier said than done.
Are you going thru a challenging phase at home right now (I'm sure that's PLENTY of us!)?
New year, new you - like we haven’t heard that before. As a former ecomm marketing manager, that was a favorite catchphrase for January. Ironically, it gets old.
Instead of “starting over” for the new year, why not make specific changes that really WORK for you? Live a life you love, once and for all.
When I discovered “minimalism”, and that it was OKAY to let go and make my home actually work for me and not against me, a lightbulb went off. Multiple studies have proven (love this one from Stanford - bewell.stanford.edu/a-clean-well-lighted-place/) that clutter raises cortisol (the STRESS hormone). According to the NIH, stress is linked to the six leading causes of death. If you’re stressed at home, frustrated with your environment and your daily life with kids is chaos, know that it doesn’t have to be that way.
Stop wasting your precious time, re-establish routine and create a beautiful, functional (and uniquely your own) home at whatever stage of life your growing family is in.
As a mom of two toddlers 13 months apart, I get the frustration that is a chaotic, cluttered and messy house. I’ve been there. I had already started on a path of minimal-ish living a few years ago but my “wake-up call” happened as a new mom when a close friend and neighbor had to watch our two month old as my husband rushed me to the ER with a medical emergency (minus one gallbladder later, I’m fine!). I had nothing prepared, no notes, and my house was a wreck - I had two bags of pumped milk in the fridge, dishes in the sink and crap all over my counters (even dirty toilets - yuck). When I returned home I knew I never wanted to feel embarrassed by my home again - something had to change.
Don’t let your pursuit of minimalism interfere with your gratitude.
If you’re trying to live a more minimal-ish lifestyle, holidays and gifts can make you nervous, anxious and fear that clutter will enter your home.
As we start talking about the holidays, especially in relation to children, this is your reminder that gift-givers love and appreciate you and your children and want to spend their hard-earned money to demonstrate that. Receiving gifts gratefully and appreciating the thought behind the gift and thanking the giver is much more important than fearing that it could contribute to unwanted clutter.
If you’ve already fully decluttered your home, you’re starting off ahead of the game and a few new things won’t “undo” any of your efforts. If you haven’t started and have clutter in your home, a few new things won’t contribute much more than you already have. You’re also not obligated to keep what you were gifted forever!
If your family and friends are like ours and ask for gift ideas for you or the kids, I have a few tips coming up that will help you gently guide them in the right direction!
You don’t have to have a dedicated room for guests, but you can do a few simple, inexpensive things to help make them more comfortable.
These little things go a long way to help friends and family feel welcome and relaxed, (plus you probably already have most of this around!) - clean linens, a set of towels for each person, an extra pillow/blanket, night light, alarm clock, water bottles (and snacks if you want!), a few notes about how to work the TV and about your area. As a minimalist, you don't have to go overboard, just include purposeful and helpful items.
While it’s nice to have a designated guest space, it’s totally unnecessary - especially if you host infrequently or consider guests when you make furniture purchases (ex. a pull-out couch). I love multi-purpose and multi-use pieces!
A small toiletry basket in the bathroom is awesome to keep tucked away and pull out when guests arrive and covers anything they may have forgotten. Most of this you probably already have extras laying around, or if you want to “stock” your basket, go for travel-sized items.
🌼Asprin (travel bottles or packets)
🌼Tums / stomach medications
🌼Makeup remover wipes
🌼Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, soap, lotion (gender neutral or set for men and set for women)
🌼Blow dryer and a few hair accessories (bobby pins, hair spray)
🌼Feminine hygiene products
Once of my favorite things about having guests is taking that extra step to really make them feel welcome. It’s those little touches that make them feel appreciated, and are great for easing the travel transition.
Love hosting? Tell me, what is your favorite thing about it?
Ohhhhh, the emotions that surround clothing. This alone makes it one of the hardest things to completely clean out, detach from and minimize.
The first step before doing absolutely ANYTHING in your closet is to be completely honest with yourself.
Sit in your closet, and take a few minutes to consider the following:
👗 You are trying to be your BEST self
👖 IT DOESN’T MATTER what size you are
👕 Your clothing should FIT you properly
🛍️ Wear what you LOVE and what makes you feel good
👒 Emphasize the parts of your body that you LOVE
👟 Clothing can be sentimental, BUT, that doesn’t mean everything should stay
👜 LET GO of anything that you associate with bad feelings or negativity
While clothing is a positive form of self expression and style, it can also be frustrating, depressing, and mask emotions. When we’re honest with ourselves, dress for the stage of life we’re in, AND in what fits us and what feels comfortable, the closet stops becoming a battlefield and instead becomes exciting, easy and efficient.
Everyone knows the feeling of stepping into their closet and saying, “I have nothing to wear.” So many women also shop for new clothes (because we “have nothing to wear”) every few months. Save time, save money, and save your sanity. Are you ready to clean out your closet?
One of my hubby’s favorite sayings, “Buy once, cry once,” is a reminder to spend a bit more (hence the “cry”), and buy a higher quality item that will outlast something cheaper and of lesser value.
Living a more intentional, efficient and minimalist lifestyle means reevaluating your mindset as a consumer - making deliberate purchase decisions, delaying gratification and seriously considering the quality, purpose and benefit of your purchases. When you shift your mindset, you bring less into your home and the items you DO buy are more…
Whatever you bring into your home should serve you and your family a distinct purpose. While I think LOVING what you buy is important, I’m also realistic - you may not LOVE your cleaning products, but you can love the brand/scent/ingredients!
I have been consciously trying to avoid impulse buys and seriously considering the “why” behind my purchases. My bank account is benefitting too - I buy higher quality products less frequently and spend less money replacing and duplicating!
Have you changed how and what you buy and bring into your home? How has it affected your family?
DECLUTTER (as defined by Merriam Webster) - Verb: ‘to remove clutter from a room, an area, etc.’. Sounds pretty simple, but decluttering can be incredibly hard. Over the years, you’ve accumulated SO much STUFF. And while you may not enjoy all of it, or want it around you, it can be a daunting task to remove it from your home and life. Especially when that stuff evokes powerful emotions.
When I first started decluttering, the sentimental factor really got to me, but I faced additional hangups too, like “this was expensive”, “this was a gift” and "what if my mom asks if I still have that?".
While these thoughts were well-intentioned, they prevented me from being utterly ruthless, relentless and cutthroat with the limited number of things I really wanted to keep. It’s normal during this process for these feelings to creep up, but you’re stronger than them. You’re growing into a new mindset of minimal, intentional living, which is meant to benefit YOU and YOUR FAMILY and no one else. As a sentimental person, it took a deep dive into my brain to realize that whatever it is, it’s simply a REMINDER of a memory, NOT the actual memory itself. Before that realization, I wouldn’t have been able to declutter as ruthlessly as I really wanted to, even if I tried.
You don’t have to get rid of everything. You can keep some momentos from your wedding, your grandma’s bracelet or that book from Aunt Mary. As long as you love it and it’s benefitting you, it has purpose in your life. Once it becomes a stressful burden or frustration, it’s time to go.
What’s something sentimental that you’re ready to get rid of?