By: Laura Gardner, REALTOR® – Gardner Real Estate Team
We helped the Heilman family close on a beautiful new home. They appreciate the inner peac found in a minimalist lifestyle.
How much time do you spend cleaning your home? Are you organized? While modern lifestyles are anything but simple, minimalism is a growing trend, and it might affect you if you are buying a new home! Minimalism is the process of simplifying and clearing away clutter in a person’s life in order to find simplicity and inner peace. It is the process of eliminating anything that is not essential, only keeping those possessions, relationships and activities that bring you joy. It’s about being intentional, and reflecting on the purpose and outcome things bring to your life.
Recently, in a Facebook group about minimalism, someone posted, “We are a family of six, and we just moved into a 3,500 square foot monstrosity of a home. Our former home, only 1,600 square feet, felt too small, but now I wish we would have changed our lifestyle instead of changing our home.”
As realtors, Will and I try to help our clients look for a home that fits all their needs. Sometimes people want a yard with a lot of space and mature trees. Some people have a priority that their large dining room table must fit in the dining room with their whole family around the table. Some people want to be sure to have three bedrooms on the main floor for their children to be close to them at night. After years as a stay-at-home mom, also known as a “homemaker,” taking care of our home has been my full time job for many years! I LOVE the idea of eliminating clutter, paring down to the necessities, and then enjoying life to the fullest without too many unnecessary attachments.
Each member of the family has one winter coat and one spring jacket.
Recently, our good friends, Kim and Shawn Heilman, asked us to help them through the process of selling their home and buying a new one. They have seven children, homeschool, and are AMAZINGLY organized and efficient in the way they live. I asked Kim to give me some tips on what it means to her to be a minimalist and how she has accomplished this lifestyle in her family and in her home.
Kim said a couple years ago she took the initiative to really de-clutter and simplify after reading “Happy Are You Poor, The Simple Life and Spiritual Freedom,” by Fr. Thomas Dubay. This led her to the conviction that it’s a disorder to have too much “stuff” and not be able to part with it. She said she would recommend starting slow, and begin with the area you find to be most annoying or overwhelming. Once you decide where to start, pile up your belongings and pick through them. Make sure to look at each item and ask yourself whether you have used it in the last year, and consider how many of that item you really need – for example, keep only a limited number of shirts, only one towel per person, only two dolls for your child.
In the Heilman home, each child has one towel, and a hook in the bathroom to hang it on.
Kim also suggested that whenever something comes into the house, make sure something goes out. If your child gets a new doll for a Christmas gift, ask her which one she wants to get rid of…because she is only allowed to have two. She can choose to get rid of the new one if she wants, but she has to make a choice. Or, if you buy a new shirt, get rid of a shirt. Only keep a certain number (depending on your needs), and be sure not to acquire more than you need.
The next key to living a minimalist life is to make sure the items that you decide to keep each have a place in your home. Make sure the place you store the item is convenient for that item. Everything has a place, and there is room for it in that place. If it doesn’t have a spot, it doesn’t belong. Then you will spend much less time cleaning! Kim suggested that many times, your exterior life reflects your interior soul, and when you simplify your “stuff” you find an inner peace and become a happier person.
At the Heilman home, each child has one pair of pajamas for winter, one for summer, and a hook on which to hang them.
Sometimes with a bigger house, people acquire more “stuff” and it’s even harder to simplify and live a minimalist lifestyle. If you are going to be moving soon, it’s a good time to reflect on what you want to keep and what you want to throw away or donate. As Kim says, “Minimalism is about learning to want less! It’s about being intentional and making sure that what you have brings you joy. If it doesn’t bring joy, get rid of it.” Saying no is a skill that can be acquired through practice, and it can be empowering.
Kim and Shawn successfully sold their home and moved into a beautiful new construction home last fall. They are very happy with their beautiful new home! If you would like to read more about their lifestyle, you may want to follow Kim’s blog at musingsfromthehome.com. Will and I would LOVE to help you find a home that meets YOUR needs! Call/text us at 595-0688 or 663-5450 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.