Why Minimalism May be the Solution to a Problem You Didn’t Know You Had

There’s something that’s been weighing on me lately, and pretty heavily,ย I might add.

I’ve been feeling overwhelmed, and I’ve finally figured out why. I feel that my life is too busy.

You may have just stifled a laugh, but hear me out.

I am craving something, and I’m on a mission to find it. I want to be a master of Slow Living. I want to be conscious, intentional, relaxed, and leisurely. Less work, more life. I want to work to live, not live to work.

I want to turn off my phone. Tell time only by the position of the sun. I want to live the soundtrack of my children’s laughter and watch their smiles instead of the television.

I want to be with my husband and enjoy the silence, or the sunshine, or the stars, or some wine. I want to dream, and imagine, and explore.

At first, I thought that this could only happen at the expense of something. My job, my duties as a mom, my home.

But what I’ve realized is that these things are all part of me, and I can have it all. It just all needs to be simplified. Deep breath. Simplify.

I feel as though I’m a slave to my stuff. To my chores. To my phone. To my e-mail. To social media. I’m living my life as a professional multitasker, but I think single tasking is more my style.

There are many words for what I’m trying to achieve. Minimalism. Simplification. Slow Living. Simple living. Voluntary Simplicity. But briefly, here’s what it means to me: collecting moments, not things. Less busywork and more impact. The Danish have a word for this that doesn’t even translate to English: hygge (HUE-guh).

in search of a feeling that cannot be defined

Hygge: 1. the art of building sanctuary and community, of inviting closeness and paying attention to what makes us feel open hearted and alive; 2. to create well-being, connection, and warmth; 3. a feeling of belonging to the moment and to each other; 4. celebrating the everyday.

This is a total lightbulb moment for me. You mean to tell me that the one feeling that I have always sought out has a name?

I could never define the feeling I felt while living in Italy in college. I had been there multiple times before and had a taste of this feeling. Living there resulted in several months of this continuous feeling of comfort, pleasure, and purposeful, meaningful living. I am always looking to recreate that feeling in my everyday life, without much success.

Up until now, I assumed that this feeling (which I can now call hygge) was only achievable on vacation. But, what if, I can apply hygge in my daily life, without being on vacation? Maybe the answer isn’t quitting my job or cutting my hours or working remotely or moving abroad or buying a Caribbean island. Maybe I need to reclaim hygge.

A simple vision

While minimalism does represent a style of home decor, that’s not the type of thing I’m talking about. I’m also not looking to only own one pen and pencil (but I probably have at least a hundred I could get rid of).

My goal for the next 6 weeks is to purge and declutter my entire home, my social media, my finances, and my calendar. As I purge the physical and virtual clutter, I hope to make space for what matters most to me. ย The slow passing of time and enjoyment of moments and human connection and that cozy, warm feeling that swells my heart but I can’t ever describe. I guess I’ve always just wanted hygge. Who knew.

Week One Goals

  • Purge and organize bathrooms (3)
  • Purge and organize linen closet
  • Purge and organize front hall closet
  • Purge basement
  • Stretch goal: purge and organize twins bedroom and closet

Great Expectations

The benefits of a simplified lifestyle are numerous. If all goes according to my plan, within the next six weeks I will achieve:

-A better mood

-More physical activity

-Better sleep

-More family time

After my initial purge, I hope to explore how to enrich my family’s life with newly discovered time, energy, and intentions.

Together is better

If you feel like your life is cluttered, whether it be by your stuff, commitments, social media platforms, work, or debts, I want you to know you aren’t alone! If you want to join me on this journey, not only do I want you, but I need you! Let’s keep each other accountable. Download the phone wallpaper (it’s free, and I ask only for your e-mail so I can get ahold of you to check in!). Set the image as your lock screen wallpaper as a reminder to be more intentional with your time (and perhaps to deter you from spending so much time on your phone!)

If you want to join me in cleansing your life and simplifying the busy so that you can slow down and enjoy the heart of living, tell me how I can help you. Leave me a comment below, and let’s do this thing. HUE-guh, HUE-guh, HUE-guh! (Too much? I’m just so excited!)