Podcast: Creating Meaningful Internships
September 25, 2017
Strengths Coaching with a Higher Purpose
October 4, 2017
Podcast: Creating Meaningful Internships
September 25, 2017
Strengths Coaching with a Higher Purpose
October 4, 2017

For the past 6 months, I have been on a quest to downsize my home; ultimately, though, it was not about the house, but simplifying my life.   Believe me, I’m a long way from being a minimalist, but I have been trying.  Due to an unanticipated turn of events, we actually ended up downsizing a bit more than we had planned, and we moved into a small apartment temporarily.  On one hand, this forced me to downsize really quickly; on the other hand, that’s what self-storage units are for, right?  Even with the storage units, though, it has been a great exercise in helping me to focus on what I need (or want?) on a daily basis.  The rest is in storage.

We did get rid of a lot of stuff.  It seems we have been selling and giving away to friends and strangers for months!  It has been a good reminder of how easy it is to accumulate “stuff” when you have a place to keep it.  But, this exercise at home has been a good reminder for me to think about decluttering or minimizing my “stuff” at work, unsubscribing to emails I don’t read, cleaning up my car, and clearing my mind of unimportant thoughts.

One definition of minimalism that I found described it as:

“If you desire to live with fewer material possessions, or not own a car or a television, or travel all over the world, then minimalism can lend a hand. But that’s not the point. Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom.”

I have definitely found some freedom in this process.  My home already seems simpler – less to clean, less clutter, less walking within the house itself, and less expense – all of these are giving us more freedom to focus on what is more important to us. What questions might you ask to give you more freedom?

  • What emails are you getting and not reading?
  • What clothes and shoes do you have that you are not wearing?
  • How many shopping bags do you need to keep “just in case”?  (I won’t tell you how many I had)
  • How many cans of food do you need to keep on hand?  (we had a family of 5 in the house, and now it’s mostly just 2 of us, but I hadn’t decreased the number of cans)
  • How many Christmas and holiday decorations do you really need?

Donald Clifton once said, “What will happen when we think about what is right with people rather than fixating on what is wrong with them?”  I try to think about this quote every day, but I have focused on it many times a day during this temporary living arrangement.   It would be easy to fret about space and more walking, but I’m looking for what is right:

  1. There is free popcorn in the leasing office…every day
  2. I now have the option to call a maintenance man at any time
  3. There are so many new places to walk, and I get more steps just walking to my car
  4. We have less to clean and to keep track of
  5. I have found more gratefulness in what I do have; as I have realized the excessiveness of some of the things I did have

What’s my point of all this?

  1. Value your time; it is so precious, so ensure you are spending more of it on what is “right”
  2. In our crazy hectic lives, pick a few things to simplify; they don’t have to be the same things I picked, just pick something.  Is it email? Grocery shopping?  Living space? activities?
  3. Be grateful for what you have already have; do you really need more?

How might you focus on minimalism in just one part of your life; think not about just having less stuff, but in gaining more freedom?

We’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas on what you are doing.

Here are a couple of articles that might help you if you are interested in gaining more freedom:

How Digital And Physical Clutter Are More Similar Than You Think

The 12 things minimalism gives you, from a new book that makes me think differently about everything I own

JoDee Curtis
JoDee Curtis
JoDee Curtis is the Founder of Purple Ink, author of several books in the JoyPowered® series, and co-host of The JoyPowered® Workspace Podcast. She has a passion for helping organizations and individuals discover their talents, do more of what they do well through her speaking and training, and find joy in their work.

1 Comment

  1. Angie Brawdy says:

    Great info JoDee!! I would like to minimalize…..except for shoes! Can’t do that!!! ????

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