Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Becoming a Mother, Becoming a Minimalist?

I find it funny that most women who start nesting bring more things into a home to decorate and get ready for a baby, and I am trying to purge everything!

A few weeks ago, about the time I started this blog, I heard of the concept "minimalism" and "being a minimalist" from reading The Zero Waste Blog (I really need to stop mentioning this blog so much, but it is just so good!). The Dehoarding Diary had many websites listed to help the girl on her journey, and many being minimalist blogs.  My favorite of these has been, who has the same author as Zen Habits.  After reading all of his posts, I am now in the middle of reading, who is also great, and she even posts testimonies of other minimalists, many of whom also have blogs on the subject and lifestyle.

I believe embracing a more minimalist lifestyle goes hand in hand with all the goals I posted on the first post of this blog:

"I have so many things I want to try to save money and/or become more environmentally friendly such as:

  • quit using the dryer so much (if at all)
  • becoming a better cook
  • de-cluttering the house minimalism at its best
  • getting rid of my car minimalism at its best
  • cloth diapering
  • no more paper towels
  • greener cleaning (DIY cleaners I imagine) 
  • start a garde
  • living with less the definition of minimalism
  • etc. etc. etc. 
I also need to learn the "basics" of being a stay at home mom:
  • cleaning With less stuff, there is less to clean
  • cooking
  • taking care of a baby
  • less procrastination (the reason all the above as never been done) With less distractions in my life, there will be less reasons to procrastinate.
  • sticking to a schedule
  • sticking to a budget (I am determined to do what I have to do to stay at home with the baby at the least the first couple of years, and am willing to sacrifice a lot to do this) Not buying things is the best way to save money.
  • juggling a husband, baby, 2 dogs, 3 cats, 2 tanks (one with three turtles, one with the only fish the turtles didn't eat), and my dad whom we live with I won't have time for the rest of the junk in my life anyway!
  • becoming more patient Less stuff means less of a hassle to find things.
  • etc etc etc."

While reading all these blogs I mentioned above, I started getting rid of things.
  • Over half the papers in my desk and files (many I still have because I have not emptied the paper shredder-I am a work in progress)
  • My husband and I have 30 clothing items so far we are donating (and more to go)
  • I have started throwing trash away in the garage and sorting through those items
  • I have made many trips up and down the stairs to take things to the basement that I will eventually donate or I do not believe belong upstairs (please no lectures on pregnant women carrying things downstairs, I am being careful, and the loads are light) 
  • Many apps on my phone and Kindle Fire.  Including the Facebook app on my phone.
My thought process has changed.  For example, while working in the terrible hell of retail, I now just see Junk.  And lots of it.  Especially the Valentine's Day stuff.  I wanted some of that a month ago. I wanted a lot of things that now I simply see no point in. Looking at items in the house now I wonder "why do I have this?"
I even gave Husband official permission (in a text and on Facebook) to not get me anything on Valentine's Day.  He thought it was a trick, so I still ended up with two cards and a small stuffed animal. The point it, I loved cards and small gifts, but now I would rather just do something fun together.

I am also considering the following ideas (I have decided not to go into details on this because I feel these will be good posts later on):
  • Giving up my smart phone.
  • Giving up cable.
  • Giving up my car.
There are concerns with my new outlook on life:
  • Balance.  Especially for my daughter.  I do not want her to grow up with nothing, nor with everything.  I'll have to learn the right balance to the amount of toys she has, etc.
  • Family holidays, especially Christmas:  When I say I do not want anything, people do not listen. Just as I have not listened and bought things for others despite them saying "I don't want anything." I love the fact people want to give me things, but I really do not need anything at this point.  While Bea (from ZeroWasteHome) is good at refusing things, I am not going to do that.  Also, how to celebrate Christmas and other Holidays, such as Easter, with my family and with little waste as possible and with little junk as possible, but still be fun. 
  • Also gift giving to others now.  While it is my view we all have enough, should I still buy "gifts" for them as well, or go with consumable and experience gifts that I now want?  (Ex: baked items, tickets to museums, movies, promise to hang out, vs. physical objects)
  • Learning to compromise.  While decluttering now, I am leaving the kitchen for last because over half of those things are my dads.  I will have to learn how stay minimalist myself, even if my husband and dad don't embrace the lifestyle (I have not talked to them about this, so they may love the idea).
  • I do not want to hurt people's feelings if they find out I gave something away that they gave me.  I know many people who place a lot of worth on objects, but I am not one of them (I haven't been for a long time, I have just been too lazy to go through things and get rid of it).
  • I feel this way today.  Will I feel this way in a few months?
  • Habits take a long time to form.  I just hope I can stick to my guns long enough for these habits to take shape (I have started many new projects and habits, with no lasting success). 
Sorry for such a long post, but I wanted to include how I felt, and the new(er) journey I am going through.  For whatever reason I feel I have to explain myself (probably from experience-when I was a vegetarian it was always "why," and even considering cloth diapering has had me to defend my reasoning over and over).  I look forward to questions, comments, concerns, and even criticisms.  I think this post covers most of it, though.  :)


  1. I think you are doing a great thing! We are in the process of decluttering, a blog I hope to post soon, and it feels great! Having a daughter who loves the minimalist style sure helps! You are off to a great start...enjoying your "what I can do without" posts and cheering you on!

  2. Aww, Thanks :) I like reading yours too :)


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