I have said before here on the blog that I don’t want to be a minimalist.
Then I go and throw away all my children’s toys.
And give away a whole mess of my clothes.
And refuse to furnish an entire room.
So clearly….something is there.
Here’s the problem I have
Actually… 3 problems.
One… I just don’t like the label of it. I’m not the most “joiner” personality. I may fall in to many categories, but I don’t identify strongly with them. I feel like if I say “I’m a hippie” or “I’m a minimalist” that it’s just too limiting to who I really am.
Two… Minimalism feels good to me in theory and then when I see blogs, or pinterest images of what minimalism is and “supposed to” look like… it’s horrible. It looks like… poverty and missing out and lack and bare bones and sad boredom. I saw a child’s room that looked like one of those places the bad guy on law n order SVU stashes the little girl he kidnapped to sell on the black market.
Three… The attitude around minimalism always seemed to rub me the wrong way. It was kind of… holier than thou. As if anyone who doesn’t want to live with just a capsule wardrobe, a cot and a single spoon in their barren home is a mindless sheep who’s fucking up the environment and getting played by “the man.” Umm…Dude… you can’t shame me for liking what I like and wanting to have what I have.
So yeah, I don’t like that kind of minimalism. It just doesn’t feel good. And that’s the whole point of all of this, right? Feeling good.
This struck me:
To me, minimalism is about feeling free, light, uncluttered. And also feeling comfortable and safe. Having everything I need and want and love and use often. It’s not about getting rid of the ninja blender because I also have a nutribullet. (I use both regularly) But more about keeping the things we love and use daily, weekly, monthly (travel gear), annually (xmas decorations) and not feeling overwhelmed by “stuff.”
In searching for yoga for kids the other day I somehow fell down the google search rabbit hole and discovered the term “cozy minimalism.” I think I’ve found something more my speed! Cozy minimalism isn’t about having only 4 shirts and 2 pants, counting your belongings or having your worth determined by how little you own. It’s more about having a home (and wardrobe) that feels perfectly right for you while using the fewest pieces necessary.
So for now I’m going to embrace the term “cozy minimalist.” You can too! If you’re feeling overwhelmed by stuff, in need of paring down, but not interested in being a minimalist… try this:
Step 1: Take a honest look at your life, schedules and how you use your home
Step 2: Plan out how you desire your home to look, feel and serve you and your family
Step 3: Clear out what doesn’t fit the vision in step 2
Step 4: Decorate and Replenish items where appropriate (and necessary)
For me this looks like:
Realizing (and accepting) that we are 1000% homebodies. Our home is mostly used by the kids and I, is a huge play space for them, not feeling as “us” as we want it to, and is much more “fixer upper” than we expected.
We want our home to feel peaceful for us and serve the kids in a smart way while keeping the grown-up balance. I want our bedroom to be a sanctuary and have the kids area more appealing to them. (They haul their toys into the family room all the time)
Giving away most of my clothes and shoes…and then s-l-o-w-l-y replenishing with select pieces I love (granted…90% of it will be workout clothes… but that’s ME so…shutup.)
Clearing out the kids’ rooms and playroom (AGAIN!) and replacing only with items that are simple, educational and promote imagination play. (I’m not even attempting to pare down their clothes because it’s useless…my family buys them clothes and shoes by the bushel)
Decorating/Redecorating the rooms in the house that don’t feel good or don’t serve me best. (First up: Making the second bathroom bright and friendly for the kids to actually use it instead of mine.)
Forcing…er…encouraging John to go through his clothes, gadgets…and the entire garage (which is a hot mess in itself and looks like the hovel where the killer on SVU was hiding from the cops)
I’ll be blogging my way through it all so stay tuned…
Are you a “cozy” minimalist?