The Minimalist Within: A Review

As I begin this journey into minimalism, bringing my family along, I have discovered a great blog that is right in line with my life: Minimalist at Home written by a sweet woman, Faith. The mother of 3 who is living with not only her husband and kids, but her parents and siblings and grandmother! Three households under one roof – wow!  AND she homeschools. God bless you. 🙂

She recently came out with her first e-book:  The Minimalist Within.  A great thing about this book is that it is not really a how-to book. She even states that in the beginning with an entire section on what this book is not. But what the book is about includes:

  • A guidebook to help you get started on a journey toward minimalism.
  • A conversation starter to introduce minimalism to people.
  • A tool to determine your personal “why” for minimalism.
  • A reminder of the reasons we pursue less in order to discover more.
  • A method for learning to ask the right questions.

Right now I’m just at the beginning. And I’m not sure where to start or even how. But figuring out the “why” helps me determine my priorities when addressing the little things, like how many reusable bags do I REALLY need? 🙂

Faith’s definition of Minimalism:

Minimalism is simply a tangible way of prioritizing your life. Minimalism is available for everyone.  It’s not a concept to be afraid of or something for only a select few.  Some would refer to minimalism as a social movement while others define it as a lifestyle choice. While it means different things to different people, most would agree that minimalism is purposely focusing on the things that matter and letting go of the rest.

This is actually so comforting. Because the point I am at in my life is very different from many others following a minimalist lifestyle. I have 2 small children, a husband, a family, and commitments that I am not quite ready to let go of. I wish I had discovered this lifestyle 10-15 years ago- the things I wanted to do then that I feel I cannot right now… Of course, this view may change as I discover I CAN do those things with 2 kids in tow. But right now, that’s the point I am at. I can’t pack everything into my trusty backpack and leave for Haiti tomorrow to do mission work. No matter how much I want to.

But I can have a simple, balanced life.

Faith continues to outline how to define your priorities in a simple, easy manner. She also follows the mantra I’ve heard many times: “You can’t organize clutter.”

But the section that was especially helpful to me was her writings on Sentimental Clutter. The stuff that is always followed by one of these sentences:

“I have to keep this because [insert random person’s name] gave it to me as a gift.”

“But I’ve had it forever.”

“I might need it someday.”

“It might be worth a lot of money.”

If you are anything like me, you have mumbled one or more of these sentences any time you are sorting through stuff to give away or sell.  Faith asks some very hard, honest questions in response to each of these that have helped me see many of my “precious” items in a different light.

Her final thoughts include those about having more time when you have less stuff. When I first heard about this lifestyle, I was a bit skeptical of this. But I am discovering more and more that it is true.

If we get rid of that pile of cars and naked Barbies, then we spend less time picking up toys, and as a result, we end up having that extra time to take our kids to the park.

This was the light bulb moment. The Holy Grail. The goal of all of this: more time with my family and following my heart’s desire.

For anyone just starting their journey, or for those who are wanting to refocus, Faith’s book is a wonderful, informative read.  And the best part? It’s FREE!

Also, check out some of my other Favorite Things.


1 Comment

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One response to “The Minimalist Within: A Review

  1. Thank you so much for the nice review of my book. I am so very glad you enjoyed it.

    I’d love to send you a copy of my new book Family-Sized Minimalism. I didn’t see an email address on your site. Just send me an email and I’ll be glad to send you a review copy of my book that coming out in two weeks.

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