“I found my way to minimalism after a house fire and a very long hotel stay. This was before it was a trend or a hashtag. I was able to clearly see the contrast in my life because I went from a 3,000 sq. foot house filled with stuff to a little hotel room with nothing. Since then I have been telling our story in the hopes that other mothers can learn the truths, I found out the hard way.
These days I am writing and speaking, and I’ve found it can be hard to communicate the benefits of less.
I have been trying to figure out a way to convey to someone who has never experienced minimalism how it intersects daily life. I wanted an analogy but it can be difficult to grasp because so many women are drowning in stuff and existing in motherhood survival mode.
Then I threw my -should have washed it yesterday- hair into a quick ponytail and a light went off.
You know when you buy a fresh pack of hair ties and they are everywhere? There are hair ties in your car, your nightstand, surrounding the shower, shoved in the diaper bag, lost in the couch and forgotten in your pants pockets. Then the day comes when you’re suddenly down to one. The single lone hair tie. What do you do? You baby it. You put it back on your arm after you get out of the shower. You make sure it’s with you when you head to yoga class. You take care of it and you know where it is.
That’s minimalism. Except that hair tie is your entire freaking life.
You are able to care for your things and know where they are because nothing is in your life that you didn’t intentionally place there. Your belongings are carefully curated to your purposes. They serve you and your needs because they are either there doing a job or bringing you great joy. That’s it, nothing else.
The care of your home isn’t heavy. In the evening you do a quick load of dishes and put whatever is out in its place. In the morning you make your bed and start the coffee, enjoying the spaces around you and breathing deeply because you are present and not behind.
You are at peace because your life is not a war against stuff and chores. You have the time and mental energy to pour yourself into something you love. You are capable of flourishing.
That is minimalism.
Will minimalism save you? No. It’s a tool you use to save your journey through motherhood.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Katie Bryant, 31, of North Caroina. Follow Katie on Instagram here and Facebook here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
More from Katie here:
‘Most of the house was gone. Two different firemen carried my boys down and a third came up for me while their crew broke windows and doors to put out the fire.’: Terrifying house fire leads family down a new life path
‘Here buddy, I can help you down.’ The man I’d tried to wave around us couldn’t hold it in any longer. He was obviously annoyed.’: Mom urges importance of teaching kids lessons by letting them do things on their own
‘I got the call at 6 p.m., left my kids with my husband and drove to her house with my socks crammed into my Birkenstocks.’: Mom urges others to ‘just show up’ when friends need you, ‘She didn’t need Pinterest, she needed me’
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