2018 Minimalist New Years Resolutions
Christmas is now over and the new year is fast approaching! I am big on goal setting, every year I make a list of 5-10 goals that set the tone for the entire year. In years passed I have focused on things like running longer distances, or reading a certain amount of books, or going to more yoga classes. This year is a little different for me because I have a baby! Not that I can’t reach similar goals as I have set in the past, but that I have different priorities and weaknesses that require diligence in strengthening. I’d like to spend this year focusing on minimalism more than I have in years passed. I would like to see minimalism take a broader meaning in my life, where it’s not just about keeping my closet clean and controlled, but also about keeping my schedule, finances and relationships simple so that there is more room for joy and less room for stress.
It’s easy to take on too many things; too many calendar items, too many responsibilities, too many purchases, too many calories for that matter. The more challenging and rewarding thing to do is to limit ourselves. It’s challenging because it means saying no to people that we would usually say yes to, and it means denying ourselves of having more than we really need, and possibly having to make due with what we already have. I’d like to get to the end of 2018 and see a clean and organized house filled with a happy, rested and purposeful family, doing productive activities that benefit ourselves and the people around us. Here are some goals of mine for 2018 that will help me to stay on track towards that result! Hopefully it will help you as well…
After spending so much time decluttering, why waste more money on things that we’ll have to declutter in the future?! I know I’ll be a lot more selective with my future purchases since I know how much money I’ve thrown out the window collecting a bunch of things in my house that I no longer want to keep. By choosing to bring home less stuff I’ll keep my space cleaner and less cluttered and save some money in the process.
Clean out that messy storage area
Think garage, spare room, laundry room, office etc.
For me, it’s a walk in closet that has been collecting miscellaneous items for years that I rarely go looking for. In fact there are a lot of things in there that I didn’t know we owned! So recently I got brave and started the process of organizing and paring down the items stored in that closet. I got rid of all of the obvious no’s. Next I’ll be finding creative ways to rearrange the closet so that I can easily access whatever I need and then I’ll continue to get rid of objects that I can’t find a reasonable place for.
Give gifts that won’t collect dust in other people’s homes
This is something that I haven’t heard talked about much when it comes to minimalism. It’s nice to be a minimalist yourself and put minimalism into practice in all sorts of ways for your own life, but what about how it can effect others? So a nice way to do gifts this year would be to stop giving people things that are going to clutter up their homes and offices, and instead give gifts that are more meaningful or useful. I have a post on minimalist Christmas gifts here if you’d like to get some ideas for how to implement this strategy.
Allow myself to purge the things I feel obligated to keep
Sometimes it feels impossible to get rid of any more of our things because they were given to us by someone who may or may not notice that they’re missing when they come over to our house. And sometimes we can feel guilty enough to keep things that we’ve received from others even if we truly don’t like those items and have no use for them. This year I gave myself permission to cleanse my space of all of these such items. Some of them were even things that I had purchased myself in years past, and now I no longer enjoy them the way that I used to. I had to let go of the guilt and obligation and just move on! This next year I will continue to get rid of some items that I no longer like and make space for creating a home that reflects my current style and priorities.
Try a capsule wardrobe
This is something that I haven’t officially tried yet. I tend to pare down what’s in my closet quite frequently. However I still have a closet full of clothing for all seasons and currently some things that I can’t wear because I prefer to wear outfits that make breastfeeding easy. So I plan to try a capsule wardrobe. This is where you only keep a selection of clothing from your wardrobe in your closet for 3-6 months and store the rest to simplify your clothing choices and free up space in your closet. Some people choose a specific number of pieces that they’re allowed to keep, like 33 items including shoes and jewelry. I plan to worry less about the number of pieces and focus more on freeing up the space available to me in my closet and paring down enough that all of my clothing will work together and nothing remains that isn’t currently useful to me even if I love it. I have a post all about my minimalist mommy wardrobe where I talk about only keeping clothes that work for me during this season of nursing my baby.
Spend less time looking at screens
A lot of people are hesitant to admit that this is a problem for them. I know it’s a problem for me! Between the TV, work desktop, laptop, iPad and smart phone, it’s really easy to have a screen in front of us at all times. My goal is to replace some of that screen time with other recreation and ways of resting. I have a post all about things to do instead of watching TV here.
Schedule regular times for doing nothing
This one is hard for me! I am CONSTANTLY multitasking. Having a baby makes all of life feel like a juggling act where a new ball is thrown into the mix every five seconds! I could literally be productive for every waking moment and still not get everything done. Ultimately the things that matter most to me have to take priority and there will be some other things that have to wait for now.
It doesn’t all have to happen today and for our mental health we have to be intentional about scheduling breaks in the chaos. For me, taking a walk is a great way to do this. My son is very content in his baby carrier and I can get some fresh air while clearing my mind and sorting through the usual thought clutter. It’s important to make space for our minds to wander and our imaginations to wake up. Opportunities for remembering who we are, what we’re aiming for and why we do all that we do in the first place, are few and far between. I intend to give myself the chance to do nothing in particular with more regularity this year.
What I mean is, say yes! Say yes to the people and things that take top priority in your life, by saying no to some things that don’t. There are a lot of good ways to spend our time, but not enough time to spend on all the good things. Placing the best and most important things at the top of the priority list will mean that some good things toward the bottom of the list get left undone. I’d rather say no to some things than say yes to everything and end up losing my mind!
I wish you all a Happy New Year, with minimal stress and abundant joy!