I’ve been on a minimalism kick since both a few weeks ago and my entire life. I’ve always had a tendency for less and a constant anxiety that my stuff will get the best of me and/or slowly consume me. I would say it comes from having moved a lot in the last ten years of my life, but then my mother would point out that I’ve always been this way.
In lieu of googling and pinning everything TTC-related, I’ve been looking at minimal living and stoking my inner minimalist flames. It’s certainly not a lifestyle for everyone, but living with less has always been a part of my philosophy. To help shift my attention away from checking my basal temp daily and fretting about when my cycle will start and we can (finally) try again, I think it’s better to focus all that nervous energy on clearing out the clutter in my life – both physical and mental.
As is best, I’m starting small. Every day I take a moment to look around our apartment and remove one thing. I even have this marked as a daily on my HabitRPG. So far I’ve gone eleven days doing this and we already have a small pile of things to be donated. Things we’ve been hanging onto for no good reason or meaning to donate for a while are no longer taking up space on our countertops, in our cabinets, or on our floor. The living room already feels a little more free and clear, and I’ve barely started.
I have a few plans for other areas of our apartment, but I’m trying to keep it simple and slow to stop from burning out. I want to take a box to the kitchen and do a version of the hanger trick there. The hanger trick, if you’ve never heard of it, is a simple way to weed out the clothes in your closet you never wear over a season. You turn all the hangers one way at the beginning, then reverse them as you wear each item of clothing. Whatever hasn’t been turned by the end of the season gets donated.
It’s the same idea for the box – I’m going to put whatever we don’t use daily into the box and keep it in the pantry for six months. As we use things, they’ll get put in their proper places. Whatever is still in there at the end will be donated. Six months is a long time, but that way we can get partially into baking season, since a lot of my baking supplies will definitely sit unused during the hotter summer months. Who wants to bake cupcakes when it’s 110+?
Aside from the physical, I am also working on decluttering my life. Right now our weekends can be a bit nerve-wracking, what with all the cleaning and errands and cooking and whatnot that gets crammed into those too-short 48 hours. Ideally, we would have time to breathe and relax and go for the occasional hike.
A big part of that requires less procrastination on my part. Stop putting off cleaning out the sink. Stop leaving all the chores to the weekend. Start learning to cook a little more during the week. The big Sunday cook up has been a lifesaver in the past, but as my diet diversifies and summer comes into full swing, no one really wants or needs to spend six hours in front of a hot stove.
It’s easy to say I’ll stop this and start that, but what I really need to do is come up with a new habit. To tackle the interminable wall of things-to-do that is the weekend, I’m setting a goal to do 5 minutes of clean-up/pick-up each day. Just five minutes to wipe down all the counters, put away all the dishes, and tidy up the kitchen. Just five minutes to take out the vacuum and suck up all that cat fur in the living room. Just five minutes to throw a load of laundry in the wash and take another out and fold. With a different area each day, maybe I’ll actually stay on top of things.
I’ll also take advantage of the fact that it’s summer and start upping my fat intake and eating more cold meals, i.e., more salads. I’m really not much of a soup fan, so no cold soup for me, but a salad is a whole lot easier to prep than, say, a boatload of AIP lasagna or zucchini boats. And more fat = less I have to eat, ideally.
Those are the three major things I’m starting with: declutter one thing, simple cold meals, and clean up for five minutes. So far, so good. The real tell will be this coming three-day weekend. If it can be somewhat more relaxed than usual, than I can introduce some other small thing.