Is Simple Living Actually Better The Case for Moderate Minimalism from TheBlissfulPoet.com >> minimalism, moderate minimalism, simple living, simplify, declutter, organized, simple life

Is Simple, Intentional Living Actually Better? The Case for Moderate Minimalism

 

I’ve been reading a lot about minimalism lately. I’m hooked, actually. I can’t get enough. I don’t know if minimalism appeals to me because I’m tired of spending money on things that ultimately don’t satisfy me, or because it just seems…simpler. Think about it: the less you own, the less you spend (because you make fewer purchases, have less to clean, etc.).

It all seems very glamorous in the most unconventional way. I think it’s the freedom.

Maybe you’re the same way here, but sometimes I get so wrapped up in getting that next paycheck so I can keep checking things off of my list of items to purchase. And they’re usually things I want or only kind of need (if at all): new boots for the fall (I already have enough), a throw rug for the bedroom (already carpeted), new towels (we have 4 sets, but see, I want a different color), the t-shirt I saw in Target that I want to buy for my husband (he has approximately one gazillion t-shirts), etc. You get the point. It’s mentally and financially exhausting.

The thing is, I don’t actually need any of these things. Sure, they’d be nice to have, but they’ll get dirty and wear thin and become old hat soon. They’re just things, after all. Things can only enchant for so long. And it really sucks when I buy that rug I’ve been lusting after only to realize it looks terrible in our bedroom.

You don’t even have to have a lot of stuff to be materialistic, though — it can be a mindset, too. I’ve struggled with the idea that I need more to be happy — more clothes, more furniture, a new car that doesn’t overheat every other day. But when my mind is cluttered with that kind of thinking, my life is cluttered too, regardless of what I actually own.

Mental vs. Physical Clutter

Have you ever noticed a correlation between how cluttered your environment is and how productive or inspired you are? I can’t focus on what I need to do when my physical environment is cluttered with too much stuff. I get overwhelmed and lose track of my daily goals. Instead, I get sidetracked and end up working on things that weren’t on my to do list yet. I start new projects instead of finishing the ones that are already in progress. Ultimately, I feel unaccomplished at the end of the day because I jumped from task to task instead of focusing on what was most important.

Physical clutter really contributes to mental clutter.

However, my house isn’t the only place clutter accumulates. The Internet — especially social media — gets me sidetracked more easily than anything. I’m a digital hoarder, and I can spend hours perusing Twitter and Pinterest and saving, pinning, and sharing articles and products I love.

Social media is necessary for work-at-home moms like me, but if I’m not careful, it contributes to my lack of focus. I get distracted. I compare my progress to others’ progress, and I start to believe that my home isn’t clean enough, green enough, pretty enough, or my blog isn’t successful enough, my books don’t sell enough, my parenting isn’t healthy or thorough enough, and my finances aren’t organized enough. It’s a dangerous road, but for some reason I continue to take it.

That’s why I’ve adopted a philosophy of moderate minimalism. I have goals for myself and my family, but I can’t excel at everything. Not everything I do will be perfect, or even close to perfect. I cannot cook every meal following a certain diet, because sometimes we have a scarce month and need to improvise with rice and beans and ramen noodles. I cannot make all of our cleaning and personal care products from scratch, because even though I love my essential oils and use them daily, I simply don’t have time for that. Sometimes I run out of coconut oil and have to use store-bought lotion for a few days instead. I can’t launch a book, an e-course, a new website, and a new Facebook community all at once. I have to choose one and do it well.

I can’t do everything I want to do to maintain a “perfect” home, family, or business. Nobody can. It doesn’t matter what you read on the Internet.

I think the idea of moderate minimalism applies in other places, too. I want to do my best to make healthy food, cleaning, and personal care products from scratch for my family. But I can’t do it all, and I can’t do it all the time. So I take a 50/50 approach. I work with what I have today, whether it’s perfect or not. I thank God for what we have, even as we work toward something better.

Maybe what I actually need is my favorite pair of jeans, one little black dress, and a few favorite photos on the wall…but I don’t need any more if it than I need time and space for a few creative projects an the people I love more than anything.

There’s something very satisfying about rejecting mindless consumerism in favor of simple, intentional living. I don’t always succeed in the process, but I’m learning and trying one day at a time.

Is simpler better? That’s a matter of opinion.
Is simpler easier? Sometimes, but not always.
Is simpler smarter? Definitely.

How have you simplified your home or lifestyle to make more space for enjoyment? I’d love to hear from you, so let me know in the comments below!

Is Simple Living Actually Better? Article from TheBlissfulPoet.com >> minimalism, moderate minimalism, simple living, simplicity, simplify, simple home, declutter

7 comments

  1. lillynlilly

    I enjoy reading your posts! It is harder to reject mindless consumerism when you live in a society where your judged by what you own and don’t own. Looking forward to your next post! 🙂

  2. Tim

    It seems you go through stages as we did with material things. Now we are simplified and our priorities have changed. We now save for retirement and travel. Sometimes you have to get the material stage out of your system first before you simplify.
    Great article Meghan.

  3. Meghan Post author

    Thanks so much! That’s awesome. 🙂 It’s amazing how your priorities can shift when you start focusing on different things. I’m trying to stop putting so much weight on things, too, because it just makes for an easier (and less expensive) life. And I’m totally with you on saving for travel…that’s become a huge priority here.

  4. Meghan Post author

    You’re absolutely right. It’s easy to do until step outside, start interacting with other people, and basically just living…because material possessions are such a priority for so many people. Simplifying is a challenge, that’s for sure. Thanks so much for your input!! 🙂

  5. Andre Palko

    Living simpler makes it easy for the things that DO matter to enter your life. We always get what we need, so why worry about it! Great article and a great way to live.

  6. Meghan Post author

    Much agreed…thank you!

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