10 tips for the Christian in Love with MinimalismPayton Foeller
I told you, at the start of March, all the reasons I’m so drawn to this sweeping trend; minimalism. Then after that, we talked about why ‘minimalists’ are really no better off than materialists. Yep. I said it. Those who brag about having little to nothing are not much better off than those who want it all. They’re both just trying to fill a void they just don’t understand. Anyway, this week we’re going to go over the ways our family has implemented minimalism and some other fun things you could try as a Christian taking on a minimalist lifestyle. It’s different than just calling yourself a minimalist. Like we said last week, people are using minimalism to fill this whole and try to find ‘lasting happiness.’ You, however, are trying to use minimalist ideas to help fulfill your God-given purpose, to simplify your home life and make more room for the best things. You want to use it to glorify God when many want to use it to glorify themselves.
Here we go; 10 tips to implement minimalism into your Christian Life.
When you clean around all those trinkets and shelved items be thinking, is this item worth the time it takes to clean it?
Is it worth the money it cost me?
Could someone else love it more than I do?When you shop around, take an extra moment to question, do I really need this?
Do I have something that could serve a similar purpose?
Could I find this elsewhere for less?
Could I borrow this item?
3. Remember Why You’re Here: Minimalism is founded on a ‘search for happiness.’ You know that happiness is fleeting and God is a source of Joy that will never flee from you. If you are going to stick with the minimalist lifestyle remember this will not make you any happier than those who want to ‘have it all.’ Remember you’re doing this out of a servant’s heart.After you remember where your joy comes from you’ll see that it’s not a matter of stuff. It’s about the attitude with which you hold onto that stuff. The value you give to your stuff. The ways you use your stuff. The reasons you do or do not have a lot of stuff!
4. Realize that ‘Stuff’ is not the Problem: The basis of minimalism is having less stuff. They looked at materialism, saw that it wasn’t making people happy, and ran the other way. ‘Well if that’s not working let’s try the opposite! Surely that’s where happiness lies!’ [Don’t you wish you could here my fake mocking voice?]
5. Acknowledge Stuff Might be Good: Here’s where I have had to do some soul searching. I jumped on this bandwagon and thought… less stuff … less stuff to clean… okay…THROW IT ALL OUT. Am I the only one?
I jumped in so deep I had to sort of… talk myself back to shore. We genuinely need some things. We actually use a lot of things. I started diving into this trend when we listed our home for sale. I did a huge purge of everything in the house. And I’ve done several smaller sessions since then. We have yet to sell our house so getting in this minimalist mindset has helped me cope with our small space, and on occasion makes me want to stay here forever.
Then we have a few friends over. Literally a few.. like 3. And we’re crunched into the main space and I think… ‘it’d be great to have a larger living space to be able to host more friends and family.’ Our small group had to start meeting at our church because we’re too big to meet in our home! I was so bummed because I really do like hosting! And it gives me a reason to clean the house!
There may be elements of service that you are bent toward that require certain ‘things.’ Or might just make it a whole lot easier. And that’s okay!
I am acknowledging that having a larger space, although not in line with most minimalists, could be a good thing, and can still utilize a minimalist’s principals; simple decor, keeping only what we need and LOVE, streamlining tasks, creating systems to simplify our home, etc. Which reminds me….
6. Simple Decor: This is a homemaking tip in general but is very minimalist at heart. Have only what you LOVE. Why would you want to dust around something you only kind of like? It’s that simple.
7. Create Systems: bring minimalism out of the ‘physical item’ realm and into your daily life. Simplify everyday tasks by creating systems that work for you.
Here are some easy things I put in place to shave some time off of daily tasks:
- switch all my pharmacy/prescriptions to Walgreens. I’m not getting any kickbacks for this, I just love it. Two reasons: Drive through and Online refill requests. I talk to know one to order refills, click a box on their website. So Easy. They send email reminders if I forget! I felt like I was always making special trips rather than combining this with our shopping run so in case that happens, now I don’t have to get out and make it a huge ordeal. Moms know – drive through’s rock.
- simplify your shopping. Take a few weeks to shop around various stores near you. Do some research. Find a happy medium. You want a store that has great deals but also has a majority of what you need. You don’t need to go to three grocery stores just because one store has bananas on sale. Not worth the time. Am I right moms who shop with their toddlers?
- meal planning. We go through seasons with this but the seasons we keep up with it I know our weeks go more smoothly. Here’s our family favorites meal plan.
- create a schedule. I’m still working on this and it will be something that adapts as months go by. But if you can, create a schedule where most of your time is accounted for and you know where you need to be!
8. Sell or Donate: If you take on the challenge from number one you’re going to have to do something with the stuff. Why not sell if for some cash? If that doesn’t work out just donate it! Just try to avoid trashing stuff that other people could certainly use. And also, don’t cheat by saying one of your ‘items’ is the banana peel from lunch. If it’s garbage then it probably shouldn’t count toward your list!9. Re-purpose: If you have a need or just a really big want, see if there is something in your unwanted items that could be re-purposed! Recently I got it in my head that I needed to fix the terrible blind situation in our kitchen. Since we moved in we’ve had over-sized blinds that don’t fit inside the windows right. It finally got to me and I was about to order some window tint off of amazon. Instead, I took to Pinterest and decided to use up another stretch of burlap leftover from our wedding… years ago. I hacked up the blinds we already had, shortened the frame, removed the actual blind part, and replaced it with some fabric and ribbon and staples. It’s not terrible and it satisfied the itch. Somewhere down the road, we will likely replace them because in the process I made them just as dysfunction as before. But at least they look better right?!10. Examine: After you’ve spent some time going through your things, scheduling your time, donating unwanted items, spending less time cleaning those items, simplifying your things and your time, and all the things we’ve talked about, examine your efforts! How has it made life better? How has it enabled you to serve better? Has it given you a greater appreciation for other things? More time with family? Less time cleaning? What has been the best result? Was it a challenge? Do you love it?
Are you a minimalist – for the better? Let me know! I wanna hear how you’ve changed!
Love this? Heading out to start the Challenge?! Wait! Would you share it first?! I’d love you forever but maybe, more importantly, others can get in on the fun too. Sharing is caring or something like that…