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What?!? There's something to not like about minimalism?
Ya. And I'll share it with you in just a second.
You're probably somewhat familiar with this whole minimalist movement, or at least have heard of the idea of it before. There's definitely some good stuff happening in the world because of it and I'm glad it's gaining popularity and helping so many people. It's helping me, too.
And yet, there is one thing about it that has not settled in my heart and that is what I don't like about minimalism.
Minimalism in a nutshell...
To me, in a nutshell, minimalism is all about getting rid of things that clutter up your life and serve as distractions from things most important, and making room for all the good and beautiful things you really do want in life.
And that is really great. I really think this is all super important. In fact, I think this is a lifetime worthy pursuit.
But there is one thing that I don't like about minimalism, and that is...
Yup. I simply don't like the name "minimalism" or seeking to be a "minimalist."
Why, you ask?
I'll tell you.
Because the word minimum means: 'the least or smallest amount or quantity possible, attainable, or required.'
I realize that we live in a world where getting more and more material things is such a big deal, and this is likely the main audience to which this movement is speaking. And that's great, it seems to be helping a lot of people.
It's just that I don't want my main focus to be on getting everything in my life down to a minimum. I don't want my goal to have the least of everything.
I like to focus more on what I DO want.
So maybe a term like "True Abundance" would resonate more with me. Like it says in the Bible, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)
I know, I know.... True Abundance just doesn't have quite the same ring to it as minimalism. 🙂
But I don't want a minimal life.
I want a truly abundant life.
- I agree that simplicity is important.
- I agree that too much stuff is a distraction and a waste. (In fact, I'm in the middle of a whole-house declutter right now!)
- I agree that it's important to keep our values and what's most important to us in the forefront of our mind when we're confronted with so many options in this life.
And at the same time, I want more abundance in my life.
- more health
- more quality time with family
- more richness in learning and growth opportunities
- more awesome experiences in going places and meeting and serving new people
- and yes I do want a new car, because mine is breaking down 🙂 and I want a car big enough to tote my kids and their friends around.
I don't want the minimum of these things.
Yes, I do want:
- a bigger dining room table where my growing family with married kids and grandkids can all gather around.
- I do want a home that is quite large where extended family, friends, and groups can come and be together, even when it's just occasionally.
- A place to gather, a place for family reunions, a place for book discussions and parties and celebrations.
- So the rest of the year the house would be a little too big for just us, but it would always available to family and friends.
This is abundance to me and not too much to me. To have plenty to spare to help and serve others.♥️ (D&C 104:17)
So, call it semantics or whatever you want.
It's likely that I and a person who is all about minimalism have the same or a similar viewpoint, and that's great.
I just know that for me, words matter. And what we focus on is where we go in life.
And for me, I want True Abundance.
Which means basically this...
to have not only removed all the things that distract and keep me and my family from true joy and from progressing to our full potential, but to also purposely seek for and fill our lives with an overflow and abundance of all the beautiful things life has to offer. In the truest sense of the word. (Again, John 10:10.)
So I will focus on True Abundance and certainly be grateful for all the great lessons we can learn from the minimalist movement.
Here's what's really been helping me get my home in order:
...to truly get rid of the stuff that's holding me and my family back from True Abundance, and to move forward in our pursuit of living a life of abundance.
I've recently been reading the book, "The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo and she said something that caught my attention and applies to what I'm saying here.
As a teen, Marie had learned about the cool idea of decluttering and how important it is to get rid of stuff that's no longer used or important. She had been discarding and reducing things for three years but still didn't feel fulfilled by it. She was actually quite frustrated that all her efforts didn't seem to make her very happy.
She plopped down on the floor exasperated and wondered why she felt this way. Then she had a thought come to mind that said, "Look more closely at what is there."
She was so tired that she fell asleep, and when she awoke she understood fully what that statement meant. She said,
Focusing solely on throwing things away can only bring unhappiness. Why? Because we should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of.
I had been so focused on what to discard, on attacking the unwanted obstacles around me, that I had forgotten to cherish the things that I loved. The things I wanted to keep."
"The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up"
2 True Abundance/"Minimalism" helps I recommend:
Here's the super big delineation between the KonMarie method and minimalism (from her website):
"KonMarie is Not Minimalism: Focusing on what to discard obscures the most important part of the KonMari Method™: choosing what to keep. Minimalism champions living with less, but Marie's tidying method encourages living with items you truly cherish."
THIS is what I am talking about.
THIS is my focus.
THIS is my feeling behind writing this post in the first place.
My kids and I have really enjoyed watching the KonMarie series on Netflix. There are only 8 episodes and I feel that watching them has given me a further understanding of this inspiring method as well as shown me how-to-do-it. I have found them super motivating.
It's even motivated my kids! My 19 year old son and 14 year old daughter went ON THEIR OWN and cleaned out their closets and reduced things in their rooms, keeping only what they really love and want. Love it!
I've been listening to her book, "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" and I've loved it. I highly recommend it.
For some reason I had not ever felt drawn to her book but a friend introduced me to it a few weeks ago, and showed me her awesome, beautiful, and orderly house, and it totally clicked!!!
I immediately went online that night and ordered the audio version of it on audible and have devoured it.
I've already gone through my clothes and am currently going through all my books. And trust me, for a homeschooler, going through and giving away books can be hard! But I am doing it!
We're getting rid of about 2/3 of our books.
And it feels SOOOO good! The ones we're getting rid of were ones that I felt that for some reason we 'ought' to keep, or 'should' keep, or 'someone might use it someday'...
I went in to it all of this work prayerfully and I think that helped.
To go into all of this decluttering not with only a mindset of getting rid of things, but with a view of what do I really want in life, what do we want to keep that will make our home the most joyful...
...has been an absolute game changer for me and has made all the difference.
I have liked several of the youtube videos from The Minimal Mom. I feel like the main purpose behind her minimalism efforts is truly to have a more abundant life. To make more room and time for what matters most to them.
I think she's super relatable, kind, upbeat, and grounded in good principles. She makes things feel super doable and I am enjoying what I'm learning from her.
Here are few videos from her that you might like:
So there you have it... What I don't like about minimalism
Big deal, eh? Word choice. Does it really matter all that much?
To me it does.
Yes, I will still gratefully learn from people who espouse minimalism. And yes, I will still focus on what I really and truly do want in life...
... a truly abundant life.
What I Don't Like about Minimalism