The Ripple Effects of Minimalism

If you’ve committed to a capsule wardrobe, you might have done so with the subconscious (or conscious!) realization that your closet is hardly the only place in your home that’s been neglected by excessive materialism. After reading Marie Kondo’s book, I noticed that nearly every nook and cranny in my apartment was the resting place for something that I didn’t love, or find useful, or believe to be beautiful. (Which is a really pretty way of saying I have a bunch of CRAP.)

It’s suffocating.

Brett and I have committed to KonMari our entire apartment. We’ve taken a day off work in June to do a full court press. (BECAUSE WE’RE LIKE THAT). We’ve started in on Clothes and Books, and we’ll spend our long weekend addressing Papers, Komono, and Mementos.

Simply by starting a capsule wardrobe and cleaning up our bookshelves, we are already enjoying the first benefits of minimalism. We have noticeably less laundry. (PRAISE BE UNTO HIM) Packing for a trip is simple. Getting dressed is easy. We’ve decided to sell our book collection and already pocketed $20! (Which we will add to our travel fund, a true source of joy for the Mosers). (Traveling. Not squirreling away money. No one LIKES saving money.)

Marie Kondo recommends handling each item in your home and accessing it individually. Track your reaction- does it spark joy? And don’t stop at your house.

That committee you are in- “Pick” it up, does it spark joy? That invitation to a weekend trip- when you examine it, how does it make you feel? Your cable subscription, your collection of old Cosmo magazines, your bookshelf full of dusty shot glasses- does it bring you joy to simply own them? Even if you never use them?

In a recent conversation with Brett, I stated- “I want to count my commitments on one hand.”

1. My personal life. (Brett, my friends, drinking on the patio, grilling hot dogs, helping plan my best friend’s wedding)
2. My work. (Which is a joy, a challenge, a pleasure.)
3. My education. (I’m going back to school in August!)
4. My service. (Which I’ve scaled back to include a committee in my young professionals group and a position on the Chamber of Commerce board.)
5. A rotating position for time delineated events. If I’m hosting a birthday party this month, then I’m sorry, I can’t help plan a community service event.

There’s a good chance this sounds silly to you. (Actually, for your sake, I hope it does.) But as a “yes” gal from way-back, it’s transformative for me to declare, My time is the most important. 

Call it a toast to selfishness, but if you need me this summer, I’ll be drinking on my patio, grilling hot dogs and planning my best friend’s wedding. I hope you’re making time to do exactly the things you want to do as well!

7 thoughts on “The Ripple Effects of Minimalism

  1. I’m very proud of you! Sometimes, we get excited and thrilled about the idea of things and ending up executing poorly. It’s refreshing to see someone actually doing it. Not that I had doubts. You know that! One of the best things I like to hear is that I’ve inspired or motivated someone to do something, and you’re definitely getting me onto this mindset.

    1. I am so guilty of this! I say “yes” for a lot of reasons.. sometimes out of guilt, but more often because of what you identified- I’m excited and I react before I can respond thoughtful. Then when it comes time to live it out, I’m frustrated that I’ve committed to something I don’t really enjoy. Us “yes girls” have a lot to bring to the table, but we bring quality, rather than quantity when we prioritize our “yes”!

  2. THIS is such a fantastic post. Thank you for the idea of expanding the Maria Kondo idea into your life…not just your “stuff.” It’s such a simple idea, but the fact that you put it into writing, and I read it gave me just the little kick in the bum that I think I needed. Recently, my over-committing has been a hot button argument topic between Brad and me. As a fellow “yes girl” I am certain that robbing your what I’m calling Top 5 Plan will be super beneficial. Don’t worry, plans made with you are always on my top 5 plan! 😉

  3. I love that you are doing this! I immediately get heart palpitations at the thought of saying NO and dealing with people’s reactions. Ultimately, I don’t think I’m ready to completely simplify. ha. But small changes would be good! I constantly notice all the CRAP I don’t wear…and stuff I’m holding onto because maybe it’ll fit and look good again one day. Then, I basically just wear the same thing. Plus, I have other things I’d like to concentrate on. I want to do a full triathlon when I turn 30–that takes time and a commitment to myself. Let alone…the time I spend over scheduling and saying YES…the time Chris sits at home alone..and the time I’m missing out with him. Needless to say, I feel conflicted.

    Your posts are most definitely brave and inspiring.

    1. A few strategies that I try-
      1. Re: “But what if I lose weight?” Let’s be honest, if I ever actually lose those 30 pounds, I’m rewarding myself with some new jeans. I’m not going to want to wear that old ones that have been HAUNTING me.

      2. When I say no, I try to suggest a solution. When I leave an organization, I always try to nominate a replacement.

      3. Brett is my safe place. He has a really good work-life balance and I strive to be like him. I think prioritizing Chris and your marriage is one easy way to say NO, but not be selfish.

      I love you!

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