Sunday, January 31, 2016

Some of My Favorite Resources on Living Simply & Minimalism


I first encountered the idea of minimalism back in 2013, and it has held me riveted ever since. I first got into the idea while I was in the throes of doing my 50 Weeks to Organized Project and was looking for inspiration to keep on going. Since then, what had simply been a way of helping me get rid of a bunch of clutter has turned into a complete paradigm shift that influences many of my decisions.

There are many different definitions of minimalism, but to me, it means cutting out all the unnecessary in order to give full attention to the most important. For me, it started out with massively paring down our possessions (which I'm in the process of doing again now that we have a baby in the mix and way more stuff than I'd like) and has led to me intentionally carving out more time to pursue my interests, cutting back on unnecessary spending, and pursuing experiences and learning rather than "stuff."

A few years back, there were only a few places to really glean inspiration, but nowadays, the idea of minimalism and simple living is having a major moment.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Websites

Becoming Minimalist

This is the one that started it all for me. In it, you'll find pages upon pages of resources and inspiration and real-life examples of people letting go of the excess in order to embrace more fully the most important. 

The Art of Simple 

This one is more all-encompassing than Becoming Minimalist, in that it includes posts on other topics such as books, travel, parenting, etc. But what I love about this particular resource is that the same thread of pursuing the simple but meaningful life is throughout the entire thing.

Cait Flanders

If you need a kick in the pants to cut down on excess spending, this is the source to go to for motivation. The blogger behind Blonde on a Budget is now in the middle of a two-year shopping ban, and reading her rejection of living the typical consumerist lifestyle is inspiring and informative.

Valerie Keinsley

These last two blogs are more "simple living lifestyle" (meaning that rather than just including resources and tips, they offer beautiful snapshots into the lives of people actively pursuing a simpler life). I love The Peace Notes because its messages and personal stories are uplifting and beautiful without being unattainable.

Practising Simplicity

Like I said above, this is another example of someone trying to put into practice the tenets of the simple life. The photography on this site is gorgeous and is what first drew me in, but I've loved her take on the benefits of living a simpler life, too.

Books

Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Pursuing the simple life is not a new idea; it's not a new idea now, nor was it a new idea in Thoreau's time. But Thoreau was perhaps one of the first to document his journey about his pursuit of simplicity. See more of my thoughts on Walden here and here.

7 by Jen Hatmaker

I mentioned this one just a few blog posts ago when I was cataloging the books I'd read the last half of 2015. In case you missed the post, this book made it to the top of the list due to the fact that I considered it "life-changing." In case you missed the review, check out what the book's all about here.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

This book has been everywhere, and for good reason--this little volume is equal parts philosophy and practical to-do, and it will change the way you think of "tidying" your house forever. I only wish this would have been around when I was in the middle of the 50 Weeks to Organized project. (Read my more full review on the book here.)

Essentialism by Greg McKeown

Confession: I haven't actually read all of this one yet, but I do own it and have started to read it. From my readings so far, I'd say this book will do for your time what Kondo's Tidying Up will do for your physical space.

Living with Less: an Unexpected Key to Happiness by Joshua Becker

This tiny book by the blogger behind Becoming Minimalist was a delightful surprise--I had been looking for motivation to keep on going with my massive clutter overhaul, and I found plenty of inspiration in this little volume that not only gives practical advice on how to pare down your life but also gives you the author's scriptural take on the whole idea of simple living. Ever since I read this, I have not failed to notice that holy writ is absolutely chock-full of scriptures exhorting us to pursue only the most essential in life.

Posts

I've done several posts myself on what simple living and minimalism mean for me. Here are a few of my favorites:

The Bare Necessities 

A post on how living with a chronic condition has taught me to only do what is absolutely essential and not worry about the rest. I did a similar post while pregnant here.

Life After My 50 Weeks to Organized Project (+ an Apartment Tour)

A recap of what life has looked like for me after wrapping up the 50 WTO project and what I've actually carried over from the experience (and what things I'm still working on).

19 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Clean the House

Since I have a terrible time working up the motivation and energy to clean (since I hate it so much), I came up with a list of 19 tricks I use to get myself going on tidying when it's the last thing I feel like doing.

One Truth About Simplifying 

A post about an important realization I had while going through each item in our home and asking myself if I really wanted to hang onto it or not.

Thoughts on Minimalism 

Here's where I put my thoughts down for the very first time on the whole concept of minimalism and what it was starting to mean for me in my own life. It's interesting for me to look back and and see how much my ideas have evolved and been added upon since then.

Thoughts on Simplifying & Taking Back Control of My Life

This post marked a gigantic shift in my life, both on the blog and with my personal life in general. This is where I took the idea of minimalism one step further, evolving it from where it had been before about my possessions to where it is now, which is the pursuit of what is the most important.


Hope you'll take some time to check out some of these resources and get inspired on how you can seek out what truly matters in your own life.

And by all means, if you know of other resources, please recommend them in the comments!





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