Minimalism is a cool trend – embraced perhaps by the young more than the old, as evidenced by this entire website dedicated to minimalism, authored by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. I truly believe that minimalist living is something that Boomer women, especially, should look into. After years of home making, traveling, careers, and maybe children and grandchildren, chances are we’ve accumulated a lot of things. Many of us at this point are feeling more than a little overwhelmed by the large-to-huge collection of objects in our lives ranging from kitchenware to clothing to mementos that have no earthly value but that we cannot part with.
My Long-Term Effort To Rid My House Of “Stuff”
I myself am making a long-term effort to inch my way toward some version of minimalism – at least to clear out a significant portion of the belongings in my life that are multiples of each other, or that I just don’t need. And it’s not always easy, for emotional reasons as well as the simple fact that it can be daunting and it’s not fun to sort through what may feel like an endless supply of things. I’ve written before about how difficult it can be to sort through the things your son has left behind, after he’s gone off to college. And even though my son finished high school a number of years ago, I’m still not ready to start throwing away objects that were a part of his life when he was younger. So, right now I’m tackling less memory-laden belongings; books, paperwork, my own clothes, gifts from so long ago that I can’t even remember who gave them to me. Even then it’s slow, but I don’t feel like I’ve been through the wringer when I finish an hour or two of the work, and I can face doing more. That’s a start.
Minimalism From a Woman’s Perspective – FlyLady.net
Perhaps a less snazzy looking site than Joshua and Ryan’s, but very useful and full of encouraging words, here’s another website run by a woman, and someone closer to our age, that looks like a great source of ideas and inspiration on paring down, streamlining, and minimalizing all the “stuff” we have: FlyLady.net. Some of her tips and discussions revolve around life as a mother whose children are still in the house, but let’s face it – a lot of us do still have children in the house, even if they’re young adults well past the teen years. The site is filled with ideas, suggestions, planning tools, and, best of all, encouragement and inspiration that apply to everyone, regardless of family situation.
One of the sections I especially like – useful for the overwhelmed who just don’t know where to start, is called “Launch Pad.” There FlyLady gives you a choice of areas to choose from: detail cleaning, flight plan, zones, daily focus, and a habit of the month, among others. You can simply pick one, follow the do-able list of actions she suggests you take, and know that you’re doing something good for your home and your sense of well-being. The Get Started series of blog posts and videos is useful to “get your mind right,” too, though it does deal with regular cleaning tips as much as it does with de-cluttering. If that’s not your thing, you might want to concentrate only on her clutter-clearing advice. Best quote of the site: “FlyLady’s principle is that anyone can do anything for 15 minutes. Just set a timer and declutter something for 15 minutes every day.” Seems simple. It is. And if you do the math – 15 minutes x 6 days/week (everyone needs a day off, right?) x 52 weeks = 78 hours of clearing clutter out of your home over the course of a year. That’s a lot of progress right there.
This article was originally published on Sixty and Me.