My Road to Minimalism: It’s Been a Long and Lovely Ride

Like the highway that winds through our little mountain town, my road to minimalism was long and unpredictable, but I’m so happy to be living and loving a minimalist life. Here’s a look back down the road that brought us here…

In June of 2015, six months after jumping into Near-O Waste, I read this article about minimalism. I became a tornado -spinning through the house, tearing open every drawer and cabinet- getting rid of things we didn’t need. When the dust settled, we had a lot less stuff.

In October, I tackled my wardrobe (but it wouldn’t be the last time!).

In November, I finally climbed into the attic and removed 95% of what was in it, leaving a family play space for Saturday mornings and a satisfying sense of calm. I also told my friends and family how I feel about gifts.

In January of 2016, I deciding to stop buying souvenirs and committed to keeping clutter away by adopting a “one in, one out” policy.

In February, after realizing most of my clothes were made of plastic, I did a final minimization of my closet (and my husband did his!), finally went through the boys’ clothes, and tackled the shed, camping gear, and outside toys.

In March, I binge-read Zero Waste Home and minimized my kitchen gadgets. Then I started The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and did a final sweep of paperwork, barware, and kids’ toys. I got rid of another two bags of garbage, brought two bags to Goodwill, and removed 4 shelves and 40 hangers from our home.

In June, I vowed to minimize my mind by limiting the time I spend checking email and Facebook.

Later that month, I took inventory to make sure I was sticking to my #1 rule of minimalism.

In August, I finished Tidying Up, which confirmed what I already knew; that it feels amazing to get rid of stuff you don’t need, and to keep what remains in order. 

At the end of summer, I (stealthily and successfully) went through my kids’ paper piles from the previous school year to curb their accumulation of stuff.

And now, 15 months after starting Near-O Waste, I’m reflecting on the path that lead us to minimalism. It didn’t happen quickly or easily, but it was worth every mile.