I often see Youtube videos and blog posts preaching the benefits of decluttering, downsizing and adopting the minimalist lifestyle. But how does this relate to adopting the small farm minimalism?
Firstly what is minimalism?
“Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.” – The Minimalists at TheMinimalists.com
Essentially, Minimalism is a thought process that aides you in making conscious choices about that items you choose to or choose not surround yourself with in your life.
This can be applied to any life, however the results will be different because we all want different things.
This apartment is a good example of an extremely minimalist space. Extreme minimalism can be easy to adopt if you live in the city with a high income. Living in close proximity to stores and eating out every night. Having TV and surfing the net as your hobbies.
Here in this house (with quite a few items on display) is an example of a less extreme and more simple form of minimalism. This must be adopted on our small farm where we cook all our meals, grow all the food, mend all our clothes, fix all our machinery and maintain the house. Because these are the activities that we value me must keep the items required to do them. So with all these activities extreme minimalism can be a little less easy.
This being said I still wish to have a home with a calm and cleansed energy. This can be a hard thing to do if you are living in a single-wide trailer house like we are.
Starting this process of decluttering was daunting at first because my mind was so entrenched with the idea”… what if I need that…” But the more stuff I got rid of, the more I realized that I was learning what it was that I really wanted. Not just out of my stuff, but out of my life.
Step 1: Think about what your life is now and what you want your life to be, keep only the items that are in both categories.
For me an example of this was me getting rid of all the clothes I had that only went with one or 2 other items. You know, all those super colourful patterned items. They took up a lot of space and I rarely wore them. Now I am left with items that all match with one another and they all fit me. I kept all the clothing that was in a warmer neutral tone because that Is what I feel best in. This is where you start to learn more about yourself and what it is that makes you happy.
Step 2: Keep only what Sparks Joy
Marie Kondos book “Spark Joy” is an amazing read that can really transform the way you think about your things. She says to only keep the items that spark joy in your heart. This means that you can get rid of that pen you’ve been keeping cause “its a good pen” even though you don’t like it and you never use it. If it doesn’t bring you joy, it doesn’t deserve to be in your life.
Step 3: Open Up to the Potential of Finding Something New
Imagine the following scenario. You are going through all your hair pins and clips and realize that none of them spark joy. You don’t like any of them and none of them are practical for your way of life. What do you do in this situation?
…Get rid of them ALL.
Even if that means that you need to do your hair differently for a couple of weeks. Removing those toxic items from your life will allow for you to energetically open up to the potential of finding the perfect hairclip that you will really love. This however will only work if you transcend the emotional energy of feeling “lack.” If you can feel empowered about only choosing what is right for you than this is a method that will work for you.
Here’s another example of this. My sewing machine had been on the fritz for the past 3 weeks or so. So I flopped the machine down into the table and didn’t think about it that much. Last week my boyfriend called me at work saying that he had found a commercial serger at a thrift-store!
Now that opportunity wouldn’t have presented itself to me if I wasn’t using my sewing table as a side table at the time. However after I thought about how much space this commercial machine would take up in my livingroom I decided not to get it. Luckily later that day I realized how I could fix my sewing machine(just a quick tighten of the belt.) I would have never realized how to fix my sewing machine had I not been confident that not getting the serger was the right decision. Because I was in the emotional space of confidence and faith in the universe. The Universe told my how to fix the machine that I already love!
Step 4: Know the Difference between “…MIGHT need..” and “…WILL need.”
For me being a crafter this used to be hard, but it really comes down to the idea that, if you don’t like the craft supplies that you are starting with, then you likely wont like whatever you make out of those supplies. This is a Spark Joy idea as well. If you really don’t see yourself making anything out of all those pop tabs you’ve been saving for years, get rid of them. Don’t feel guilty about it because if you were meant to keep them, you would want to keep them. This is a thought that you should also apply whenever you bring something else into your home going forward.
Step 5: Where does all This Stuff go? Donate? Sell? Garbage?
As for all the items you are getting rid of, I prefer to donate them. My system is as soon as I fill up a brown paper bag full of stuff I want to donate, I put that bag in the back of my car. That way I can start filling up the next bag right away, and the next time I am in town it is easy to donate everything.
If I feel like something I have is too valuable or too cumbersome to donate, I will either list it on craigslist or the letgo app, or I will save it in a shed for the summer when I am going to have a garage sale!
Just make sure that the items you choose to leave your life do just that. You deserve that sense of calm and happiness.
Do you guys have minimalistic farms? How do you manage your farm minimalism?