My journey to minimalism has been the most rewarding process. By taking a little time to get rid of the excess in my life, I’ve been able to enjoy more of the world around me. I’ve been able to be present during times I used to run around the house like a crazy mom.
Picture this: A mom…you, me, your mom, my mom… whoever. It’s Saturday morning at 9 a.m. She’s wearing baggy sweats covered in a little dog hair. A t-shirt with no bra and a little spit up down the front of her. If she’s anything like me, she’s also leaking a little (from just one boob…the same boob that mastitis has claimed over and over again.) Her hair is in a messy bun and quite honestly, she’s not sure the last time she washed it. And lastly, she smells a little funky. Or something smells a little funky, she’s not sure what, but there’s a funk coming for under something or in something somewhere in the house. The baby just went down for a nap and the toddler is throwing a fit because he doesn’t want to wear pants… or a diaper for that matter. She turns on Noggin to direct his attention to anything but the fact that he is wearing pants and a diaper. She looks around the house and starts to make a game plan.
“If I hurry, I can get all the dishes into the dishwasher and get that running,” she thinks.
“I can get all these toys shoved into a corner and get all the laundry picked up and into a hamper. If I can just get to where I can see the floor, I might be able to vacuum it.”
“After I vacuum, I can hurry up and pick up all the crayons and construction paper and…” her thoughts trail off and panic comes over her. There, on the couch, lies a mom’s worst nightmare. A cap… TO A SHARPIE. But where is the sharpie. No one knows. We may never know.
She starts tearing into her house. Pillows and cushions come off of the couches. She’s moving the entertainment center. She’s dumping out the toy bins. And just like that, her house is 100 times messier than the mess it already was. She sits down and cries. Milk stained shirt and all. And then the baby cries.
I’ll be honest. I was this mom. And if I’m being more honest, I’m still this mom at times. But once I started my minimalist journey, this version of myself appears far less frequently than she used to. My “less is more” journey began about one year into mommyhood when we relocated. I had a baby and was packing a house by myself. It was easier to throw things away than it was to pack them but there really wasn’t a method to the madness. I just knew I didn’t want the junk anymore.
To begin a journey like this isn’t easy. It takes some serious motivation, the kind of motivation it takes to run a marathon, except without the running. This process is LONNNG and never-ending. But here is what I suggest to start: Find the time.
WHAT?! I know what you’re all thinking. “Karissa, the reason we are in this predicament is because we don’t have any time.” But you do have time. I’ll show you where I found mine. Pick up your cell phone (I know, I know. Just hear me out for a second!). Get into your settings. Select Battery. Wait for it to load. If you scroll just a little bit, a few graphs will pop up. Above those graphs it says “Last 24 hours”. Make sure that’s selected. Scroll past the graphs and it should list your activity by app. Tap the words “Show Activity” to the right. That will convert battery usage into a time. Your screen should look something like this:
Friends. This is my actual usage. And this is me actively trying to NOT bury myself in my phone. In my defense, I got lost in some cake and cookie decorating videos while on my lunch today and I know you all know what I’m talking about!
2 hours and 16 minutes on Instagram. What in the actual heck am I doing?! Blushing. I’m actually a little embarrassed.
41 minutes on Facebook.
26 minutes on Messenger (I was processing a few returns through Zulily. But it’s still unacceptable!)
AND IT’S NOT EVEN 3:00 P.M.
What do your hours/minutes look like? What apps do you find yourself buried in?
Trust me. I get it. Technology is ADDICTING. Clearly I know. But don’t tell me you don’t have a few minutes every day to just clean out a cupboard, or the kids bucket of coloring supplies, or the bathroom drawers.
Ladies. We can do this and I promise I’ll walk through this journey with you.
Until I post again, practice a little self control with your social media! The newest update for iPhones has a feature called “Screen Time”. Utilize that. Set a realistic expectation on your social media and try to stick to it. Mines set at 1 hour right now which is HARD to accomplish but I’m getting closer and closer every day! I also have my downtime set from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. meaning only the apps I choose can notify me during those 10 hours. It’s actually so refreshing!
I’ll have another update soon on the one thing I find to be the simplest and easiest thing to keep clutter-free before I even head out the door each and every morning: my purse!