First of all, can we be a minimalist person these days? I’ve really been trying to declutter my kitchen, my bedroom closets, the bathroom cupboards, the dresser drawers in every room, the hall closet, and the garage. I want less stuff on the horizontal spaces in my house. First of all, I do not like to dust. Thankfully Mark dusts the house. I can’t say he loves dusting, but he is quick to grab the dusting can and the rags to get the job done. I never judge how he dusts, if he doesn’t dust NO ONE WILL. So there you have it. I detest dusting. It’s so crazy because I love cleaning bathrooms and all the tile floors in the house. Remember, we only have a 1900-square-foot home so it’s pretty easy and fast to clean. My entire house has tile, no carpet. I have a rug in the living room and two small rugs by the front and back door. A mop works great.
In 2009 we moved from northern Utah where we had a 4800 square foot home with two kitchens, two living rooms, six bedrooms, and four bathrooms. It was great to have the grandkids over and they had a playroom with dress-ups and toys galore. It was the gathering home. Well, one day my doctor told me I needed to get rid of the stress in my life at the time for the sake of my health. I owned my own mortgage company and I worked 60-80 hours a week. Lunches at my desk. No sick leave, no vacation. If I left my staff would not get a paycheck. I did this for 15 years. Enough is enough. We gave all of our furniture to our kids and friends when we decided the time was right to make the move. I hate selling stuff. It’s me, if someone needs it they can have it.
So we loaded up and moved to Southern Utah. I thought this will be nice, a smaller home that we had purchased for the “downsizing time” called semi-retirement. Mark and I are both type “A” and will never entirely retire because we love helping out with our neighbors and the community.
Here’s the deal, I thought I could never be a minimalist person. Now I want a tiny home with my food storage and emergency preparedness items pulled behind the tiny house in a trailer. Mark won’t go for the tiny house, but that’s my goal if I still have my health to do it.
Minimalist Person Ideas
You may ask what the in the world is a minimalist person. Here are my thoughts. Just because I want this doesn’t mean it’s right for you, or anyone else.
- Less consumerism: I never NEED the newest and greatest electronic gadget.
- Clutter-free life: this has taken me several years, it’s still a work in progress.
- I want fewer clothes: I want 5 shirts, 5 pairs of pants, 1 sweater, and one skirt.
- I want fewer pairs of shoes: I used to buy ten pairs of shoes at once. That was downright dumb. I had zero time to shop when I worked. I’m down to three to five pairs and that is changing this weekend when I purge again.
- I want less furniture: I’m still giving away furniture to this day. I want less….more empty space.
- Simplify my life: I want FREE time.
- Simple environment: I want to SMELL the roses, literally.
- Quiet surroundings: I want five or maybe ten acres with trees and no sounds except my dog.
- Less cleaning: tile rocks in a desert home and is so clean.
- Less stuff: this is still a work in progress. I take stuff to the thrift store weekly.
- No valuables to hang onto: I have no valuables.
- Fewer material things: we bought the cheapest large TV we could find because Mark loves sports. It works, that’s our entertainment.
- NO deadlines or schedules: I want to be able to get up in the morning and say…I’m walking five miles today..in another town.
- Continue living a frugal life: this is easy for me.
- I gave up my second car to see if we could live with one car: we have had one car for 7-1/2 years now (I do not carpool kids).
- I rarely eat out because the food is expensive and the food is way too salty or greasy.
- I want to eat healthier and eat less meat, yep I said it. Actually no meat or liquid meat like milk, or any dairy. Mark still eats milk and cold cereal. He takes zero prescriptions, and all his blood work is excellent. Not sure how he does it!
- Donate stuff while people will still wear it or use it. YES, clothes go out of style.
- Buy right the first time, it will save you money in the long run. Don’t step over dimes to save pennies, or whatever the statement may be. I know some people who made big mistakes spending less on something of less quality only to end up buying the better item within months. In other words, it cost them more the second time because now they have two saws (one that works and one that is not workable). We have had ours for 35 years and finished more than a dozen houses or home remodels with that DeWalt!
- Live like today is your last day on earth.
- Make a bucket list or imagination board and DO IT!
- Think of all the money you will save.
- Grow a garden and put your hands in the earth, it feels wonderful.
- Check on your older neighbors on your street: it costs nothing to make them smile, I promise.
- Check-in with friends and family and talk to them about THEM, not about you, just listen, it’s free and so rewarding.
I have to finish this post with a story about some close friends of ours. Brent and Kathleen were out of town a few years ago and a friend of theirs died up north where they were visiting. Brent called me and asked to go to their house here and get his jacket, a shirt, and a tie to overnight them to him. He was speaking at a funeral. I know the garage code, and as I’m going into their house I said “Brent, which jacket, shirt, and tie do want me to ship? He said, “What do you mean, I only have one jacket, one shirt, and one tie”. My life changed that day about “stuff”. Brent said “I can’t wear more than one jacket, shirt, or tie at once. Just go and get the ones in the closet.” Sure enough, there was ONE jacket, ONE shirt, and ONE tie. He is my hero and so is his wife. She is exactly like him.
Let me know if you have the feeling of wanting to be a minimalist person, one step at a time. I would love to hear. Kathleen, my friend above, and I have helped at least 50-60 people move out of their homes over the last 7-8 years. Trust me, start decluttering NOW. I promise you’ll be a lot happier, and so will the movers helping you move. Your kids will be glad after you die. I promise, they don’t want all those trinkets or some of the “valuables” you have. SELL them NOW. Remember, you can’t take it with you, and the kids probably don’t want it. Let’s all try to simplify!