How Minimalism Can Steal Your Joy

I’ve spent the better part of the last five years uncovering something that changed my entire life.

When I first began, I didn’t know what it was called, or even that it was an actual thing.

I was just a desperate girl trying to find a way out of survival mode, because I believed in my heart that I was created for more.

It’s minimalism.

And it took me from overwhelmed, depressed, and fighting to barely get by to loving my motherhood, thriving in my role, and being the mom I always wanted to be.

For me, minimalism is about simplifying what I have in my house so that I’m a person who has the time and joy to focus on my family, offering them the best of me, not what’s left of me after I pick up, wash a thousand dishes, fold six hours’ worth of laundry, and reorganize all the toys.

The point of minimalism for me is where my focus is. It’s about taking the power of my time and how I spend my days away from stuff.

It's more time in your day, more time for what matters, more time for pursuing what lights you up and makes you feel alive!

It's more space in your home, more space in your calendar, more space to breathe and rest and enjoy and live

It's less yelling, less stress, less fighting with your family to just clean the eff up.

It's less organizing and developing routine because you don't need to rearrange your junk, you need to LET IT GO.

It's less crap in your way, less on your to do list and more checks on your bucket list. 

It's more money in your bank account because you spend mindfully now. 

 

It's being the mom you always wanted to be but have struggled so hard to find.

The mom who isn't stretched incredibly thin every dang day.

The mom who doesn't resort to yelling because she's just not that stressed out! 

As I’ve gotten to the heart of this idea, I’ve spread the secret of less to my fellow women as much as I can.

My message has reached people in Russia, China, Australia, Canada, and parts of the world I barely knew existed.

It’s gotten me on television more than once, landed me an interview with Jenny McCarthy, and had my experience spread all over major websites for months.

It’s been incredibly unexpected and amazing, and I love seeing other once-overwhelmed moms break the chains and find a new purposeful way to do this mom thing.

However, one thing breaks my heart every time I see it.

Women missing the point, obsessing over the details and the numbers, and continuing to give the power to their stuff, just in a different way.

Many minimalist leaders encourage this. Meaning well, they inspire others by counting how many of each things they own and focusing on the numbers.

There are no minimalist rules, there’s really no right way to do this, but I think we’d all agree that the point of living this way is the power. By removing the excess from your home, you are now in charge of your space, how much time you spend on mundane things, and how you spend your days.

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
— Annie Dillard

If you’re focusing on counting, you’ve missed the point, because your things still rule you. In this case, minimalism is still about the stuff.

Sure, some people do really well with numbers and just want a little guidance with what works, but there’s a big difference between guidelines and obsession.

There are people who pride themselves on living with less than one hundred things.

That’s great and I’m happy you’ve freed yourself from consumerism, but I can’t help but wonder why you feel the need to wear it like a badge, pointing a big red arrow to the number of things you own.

I can’t help but feel you may have missed out on the freedom aspect and chained yourself to your things with a fresh pair of handcuffs.

This isn’t a spartan race where the most hardcore wins.

It’s not about comparison or being the biggest badass.

It’s about getting back what was stolen from us by our own selves.

It’s about more time, more joy, more living, more mothering, more being present, less yelling, less being stretched thin over your life like saran wrap over leftovers.

So what do you do then?

The way I love teaching the art of simple is this: focus on the intent.

What’s the why behind each item?

What is it doing for you?

Who cares how many you have… why do you have it?

Do you love it or need it enough to continue allowing it to take up your space and time?

Because what takes up your space takes up your time.

You buy everything twice- once with your dollars, then again with your minutes.

Could you live the next 30 days without buying it again? If so, do you really need it?

When you focus on asking yourself purpose-driven questions about what you own rather than counting and following what someone else is doing, you create a philosophy of minimalism that works for you, and it’ll actually last that way.

I know that I only need to clean up for about thirty minutes a day to maintain a house ready for company to drop by.

 

I know that my day is mine to live sitting on the floor building Legos, schooling my kids, running a business I love, and snuggled up with my husband watching The Office without the stress of how much housework I’ll have to catch up on tomorrow.

I know that I have the things that make me happy and the things I need to live life well, but nothing else. I want for nothing, I count nothing, I obsess over nothing.

Stuff has absolutely no hold on me.

I want that for you, friend.

I don’t want you to be bound by the stress of how much is too much or what number of jeans is the magic one that will make you a real minimalist.

I want you to make your own way and do what sets you free.

I want you to simplify and then see how you feel.

If you want even more free time, then go again. Move through your house in another wave of less.

Find your own magic number and don’t even count enough to know what it is.

Let go of the stuff and the need to follow rules.

Life is waiting to be lived!

Take the power from your stuff and put it in your own hands.


Want to start but don't know how? Download my FREE Minimalism Starter Kit now!

  • 20 Things You Can Get Rid of Right Now (and not even miss)
  • How to Destress Your Home in Ten Minutes
  • How to Declutter the Laundry & Dishes
  • Finding Your Deepest Why Behind Minimalism
  • An inspiring desktop background
 

Allie Casazza

Allie Casazza , Murrieta, CA