A year ago, I dove headfirst into embracing minimalism as a lifestyle.
Kyla’s grandmother passed at the end of June 2016. It blindsided all of us. Less than 24 hours after the ambulance took her to the hospital, she was gone. At that time, I had also recently quit my job of nine years and began to do work with Kyla. Our work together was put on hold for all of July 2016, so I could help prep her grandmother’s house for sale.
As this was happening, I had also recently rediscovered The Minimalists. I had looked at their blog a few times before, but never with any seriousness. It was interesting, but I wasn’t ready for it. Their documentary, Minimalism, had a screening in town a few weeks before the death in the family. I connected with Joshua and Ryan as someone who had quit a corporate job and was looking for something else. Being tasked with cleaning out a house of almost 50 years, made their words even stronger. I would spend my entire time purging, cleaning, and prepping items for sale listening to their podcast. Completely emptying a house in a couple of weeks made me want to do the same to our house and life.
Two weeks after we finished prepping the house for sale, Kyla was pregnant.
For the next eight months, I spent my time making myself live more deliberately. Around our house, we went room by room, purging items we no longer needed. We evaluated our responsibilities to identify what wasn’t crucial. We made our life simpler – all in anticipation of becoming parents.
What I gained by embracing Minimalism
It has given me time
The purging has never truly stopped, but after the initial push through the house, I was amazed by the amount of time I gained. With less around, there is less to maintain. Cleaning the house is quicker. Everything has a purpose and a place. By limiting the items around us, I reduced our time requirements to them. By evaluating our commitments, we were able to make better decisions on how to spend our days. It freed Kyla and me to be ready to add another to the mix.
It has given me space
The house is much more livable. My mind is much clearer. My calendar is more open than before. Minimalism took out the superfluous to give room to breathe. The ability to breathe extended to how we designed and thought of our son’s room. It started as a blank slate and we only added what was required. Now, his room is my favorite in our home.
It has given me perspective
Seeing how much waste I had in my life was eye opening. I did not want to continue to bring items into our house for the sake of ownership. These things took away from my time, took up space in my home and my mind. By minimizing our belongings and our commitments, we were making space for our son. I am grateful we decided to do this before he arrived. We never wanted to say “no” because of him. Minimalism made us prepared to say “Yes” to more once we brought him home.
Minimalism allowed me to become the parent I want to be
Knowing we were to be parents changed my motivation. The minimalism project was not just for me, or Kyla, but for our son. By embracing minimalism, I’ve created a space and a life where I can spend more time connecting with my son. By not worrying about working towards owning the next new shiny thing, our home is more welcoming. A child only knows what we teach them. My son will grow up knowing experiences are far more valuable than things.