The ART of Minimal, Simple Living
Often when we think of what entails a creation, we associate making something out of nothing. What we often don’t see is the possibility to also create nothing out of something. Turns out it is an art to eliminate excess… an art in creating down to the core.
For my soul delighteth in plainness; for after this manner doth the Lord God work among the children of men. For the Lord God giveth light unto the understanding; for he speaketh unto men according to their language, unto their understanding. (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 31:3)
How does this relate to being RAW? A cluttered life is a covered and hidden life. When we expose the core of where and how we live by eliminating anything that does not bring us joy, not only will we come to be more alive, but the remaining joyous objects around us will come to life as well.
When we continue to eliminate excess we will be able to clearly live in harmony within our living space. Make it a truly alive space, and really live! Every thing you consciously choose to surround yourself by will enliven you.
“The space I live in is graced only with those things that speak to my heart.” (1)
“Don’t aim for perfection” they say, “start off slowly and discard just one item a day.” What lovely words to ease the hearts of those who lack confidence in their ability!
Make it a drastic change. A change that will catapult you into a standard of living so wonderfully simple, you will never let yourself digress.
Once free and clear of clutter, you will be able to address the reason you let disorder inhabit your life.
“Visible mess helps distract us from the true source of the disorder. The act of cluttering is really an instinctive reflex that draws our attention away from the heart of an issue.” (2)
The way I actually began was by unintentionally becoming a minimalist foodie. I was choosing to eat the most delectable and surprisingly simple food.
I was (and still am) playing around with the 80/10/10 lifestyle, which is essentially food in its most bare, naked, raw form.
Simply put, it comprises a plethora of fruit and vegetables, being mostly dark leafy greens.
Fruit and vegetables=the original fast food.
Seeing as it seems a bit extreme, here is a glance at a typical day:
If I have time: fresh pressed juice (usually comprising of some or all of these: carrots, celery, apples, cucumbers, beets, ginger, lemon/lime, parsley, garlic). Or, high water content fruit, mostly melons, as they are in season (making them so fantastically delicious!).
A huge green smoothie, or 5-6 mangoes (my all time favorite), or 6-8 bananas (sometimes dipped in coconut sugar), or peaches (another favorite), or other ripe fruit.
Humungous salad, sometimes cooked veggies (sweet potato fries are a fun go-to), or gluten-free pasta, rice and beans, etc.
I try to always:
-Stay away from animal products (eliminates excess environmental waste and energy not to mention creates excess mucus in the body).
-keep prep time + cleanup time under 5 minutes.
-save my body energy by eating instant energy. This way my body doesn’t have to break down heavy proteins, etc into energy, when I can eat readily available energy. I am also saving my body energy by eating foods that digest with ease.
When I started eating like this, my kitchen never got messy. I was able to see beyond the would-be dishes and declutter the medicine cabinet next to the sink.
After the kitchen I went to my wardrobe.
I got rid of half of my closet, and I am still continually trying to narrow it down.
I am probably around 60 items, and apparently 33 is the magic number.
Seriously, I am constantly surprised by how many emotions I have attached to my clothes!
After my initial closet sweep I went through the garage and then the rest of the house decluttering and eliminating by holding something, then asking myself if this items is bringing me joy…if not, out it goes.
Luckily, our Boy Scouts were holding a yard sale around this time, so I had them come pick up what was pretty much the bulk of their event.
I probably should have stayed home, but I wanted to support these little hooligans the morning of the sale. Turns out it was incredibly hard seeing all of my old treasures being sold for pennies. I was tempted at multiple points to buy back a majority of it, figuring that no one else would appreciate it like I did! In the end I only bought back a pair of white leather gloves that used to be my great-grandmother’s. Instead is hoarding them away in a box, they are being kept in my car console for winter driving (Missouri boasts coldest steering wheels ever).
Now, a few months later, I am again prepping to get rid of another load of excess. Although this time it is less of a choice, though regardless I am still thankful. The first load was pretty easy, but trying to eliminate things that I am even more attached to can be tough! [Luckily] our garage has a mold problem. Even though most of our belongings are in boxes, we are going to have to get rid of most of the contents in the garage. I am grateful because I was doubting myself, being able to get rid of this last load on my own free will. Now I don’t have a choice!
It’s just boxes of more things we don’t use. The only things I am going to salvage is our winter box and our outdoors/camping box. Beyond that I’ll be honest and tell you I don’t even remember what is in the rest of the boxes! Even going through the contents a few months ago I have already forgotten, so I guess that is a good sign I am not very attached, right? Yikes.
I am also really grateful that the simple life comes so easily to my husband, (which thankfully leaves only me as the issue at hand). Sure he can be a little messy (can’t all wives relate?), but clean up is quick considering he pretty much prefers living out of a suitcase. Not joking, when we were first married I seriously had to hide his suitcase multiple times because he was so accustomed to his preferred ‘travel light’ system.
Well looking back, maybe I should have let him keep it up…at the very least we wouldn’t have to toss a moldy suitcase!
Lookk at everything you surround yourself with-does it fit at least one of these criteria, if not more?
Beauty | Function | Capacity
Let your possessions bring JOY.
Simple. Less. Create less.
It is ART!
(1,2): The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo