I haven’t always considered myself a minimalist.
Even now when I describe myself to others I tend to say that we choose to live simply and that I am an aspiring minimalist. This lifestyle has been a process for me, but now that I am here I would never choose a different path.
When my husband and I bought our first home I was obsessed with old houses. We were in a bit of a rush because we had signed up to house-sit through an agency since we had just relocated. They moved us into a house and then 3 weeks later told us we had to move out. This brought on a mad dash to see as many houses as possible, we saw a lot that were suitable but few that were instantly livable.
One day as we were running out of time our realtor took us to a little old brick house in historic neighborhood. It was so charming with its arched front door, nooks and crannies, and vintage glass hardware. Immediately I fell for the romantic details. We signed the dotted line and in 30 days the house was ours.
That house was small. I had one child, and one on the way. It was just about a thousand square feet and it was only 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. Fast forward two years later and we were a family of five with a dog and 7 chickens in the back yard.
While we were there it slowly became apparent to me that less is more and that I had to be careful of what came into the house.
A few months before we sold the house (I didn’t know our path even then) I picked up Marie Kondo’s book The Magic of Tidying Up. I read it in a flash and took to action. I cleared 33 extra large black garbage bags out of that house and gave it all away. At the time I couldn’t believe it since we really did try to limit our possessions so we could fit neatly inside. This sparked an intense desire in me to learn more about living simply and minimally even though Marie Kondo’s method is not about being minimalist.
I loved that house dearly, all the way into my bones. Even now looking back it brings me to tears that we eventually had to sell it and move away. Now we live in a new state with a much bigger piece of land and a much bigger house. Coincidentally, even though our current house was built in 1991, it doesn’t have many closets. I don’t have a coat closet, or a pantry, or a closet for my clothes in the master bedroom. We still choose to live simply and I don’t really think about this odd floor plan very much. I am able to feel gratitude for what we have. Every day I am grateful I was able to build the skill set of living simply, as it can be valuable at any stage of life, for any size of home, and for any income.
My personality stepped easily into simple living, it may not be as easy for someone else, but it will always be worth it.
I love the freedom I have knowing that I can take care of myself and my family. I love the value it brings to my life to work with my hands and be industrious with my time. I love feeling productive and resourceful. I love finding the things I need because we live without clutter and everything has a home.
A FEW OTHER FUN FACTS ABOUT ME
I am an artist with a degree in fine art specializing in painting.
I am a shoestring gardener, obsessed with veggies, flowers and economic landscaping.
I loved to snowboard but rarely get to anymore because for now, it doesn’t fit in with our simple lifestyle.
I grew up in Wyoming, I called it the middle of nowhere.
I am married and have three kids, one dog, a rabbit and 8 chickens.
I love to decorate. I love to decorate on a budget and refinish and restore furniture.
I recently recovered a chair; it was my first upholstery project.
I love to read.
I love to be outdoors especially with my family in a National Forrest.
We now call the Inland Northwest home.