So every few months I return to the subject of minimalism.
I can’t help it. On a near weekly basis I see how adjusting my thinking to a “less is more” frame has improved my life. I believe, with my whole heart, that it can improve yours as well.
Just the other day I sat with a group of moms talking about our “organizational tricks and tips” I, of course, returned to my favorite The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up penned by the Japanese sweetheart of tidiness Marie Kondo.
Why do I promote this sweet little book every chance I get? Because it (I’m not kidding) has changed my life. I’ve never been much of a hoarder, in fact I find myself incredibly uncomfortable in spaces littered with stuff, I feel boxed-in, trapped. But when in a space that is open and airy I can breathe and feel at home. I want more room to breathe in my life. My life is busy balancing marriage, ministry, two amazing and wild-test-your-limits children, writing, dreaming etc. I want more room for this kind of stuff, the good stuff, and if I’m totally honest with myself I just don’t have a lot of time for stuff stuff. I view things as tools, clothing, my car, my home, and yes I’d love for all of these to be lovely, clean, and free of ketchup smears, so I find that having less helps me keep that balance.
I talked with these moms, and I kid you not this is a conversation I feel like I’ve had a thousand times, about how much stuff they have. I’ve been there, every Christmas and kids birthday I worry I might be there again, which is why much to the chagrin of some people have asked that you gift my children with experiences and necessities, oh and yeah for my little guy just about any Lego set from the new Batman Lego movie, but that is where I draw the line. So, my kid has about a thousand Legos…he builds them every single day and when he is done puts the extra pieces away in his super-duper-amazing-got-to-have-it Lego table.
Thankfully the majority of the gift givers in our circle are more than happy to hook my super blessed kiddos up with a pass to the aquarium or ski lessons rather than more stuff to fill my home. As a mom, I totally get that not all in-laws will understand the “experiential” gift, however I really encourage you to encourage those you can in that direction. Kids do not need more stuff, plus, the majority of the toys I see out there these days are utter crap—don’t mind my language, but seriously.
I’m hoping that this minimal approach to the things that are allowed in my home will help teach my children some super valuable life lessons. Here are a few that I can think of:
- To be relationally-focused rather than stuff-centric
- A desire to go, see, do
These examples are really just the tip of the iceberg. So, I’ll leave you with this kind of obvious reminder: We aren’t taking any of this stuff with us, so don’t allow your possessions to possess you. Teach your children young about quality over quantity this will help them to become responsible with their things at a young age. I also believe that it will help them be wise with their money in adulthood—check back with me in 15 years or so on that one!
I hope you had a great January, stay posted for February as I feature some of my favorite love stories, and I be back at the end of the month with a monthly minimalist thought for you.