• sparkfireswan

A&A Discuss 7 Tips for Creating A Minimalist Lifestyle

Updated: Jan 13

End of Week #27


North Texas Jellystone Park, Burleson TX > Jamaica Beach RV Resort, Galveston TX


Miles traveled since last week’s post = 314


Total miles traveled to date = 4,884 with trailer


Here we are! This post is late, but you might have caught my update last night on Facebook that I was waiting to post until today due to last nights MN Vikings game. UGH… What a game by the way!


Anyways, we are here at THE OCEAN! We made it all the way to the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday, and we are very excited to be here. Palm trees at every RV site, blue skies, sunshine, and ocean air. It feels amazing! And our park is cute as a button. We will be staying here until Friday, January 3rd, and then we will be heading west to stay in between San Antonio and Austin for 1-2 weeks. So basically, this is the FURTHEST south we will be until next November/December 2020… woah! That’s crazy, and also scary in regards to the weather so I sure hope the temps and the crazy snow cooperates for the next few months. 🙂 [Especially after seeing the crazy blizzard our friends & family back home got last week!]

We made it to palm trees!

Looking back to the end of November – we had a wonderful first Thanksgiving in the RV. Sure it was lonely, and very different than what we are used to, but every year for as long as I can remember I have had to bust my ass to get to 2-3 different gatherings and this year I didn’t have to travel anywhere. Awesome! Adam whipped up a wonderful spread despite our limited stovetop and oven space, and we enjoyed most of the normal traditional Thanksgiving food, minus the turkey (ha, we had ahi tuna steaks instead!) And we video called our family too! I think I still technically “saw” most everyone and got to chat for awhile which was nice. 🙂

Alright, let’s get into it today folks! We are in the midst of the holiday season and the new year is just around the corner, so I figured it was a perfect time to start talking about minimalism.


7 Tips For Creating A Minimalist Lifestyle


How can you be more of a minimalist, when you absolutely LOVE ‘stuff’? Let’s talk about it!

The minimalist lifestyle is about living with only the things you need. Minimalists are free from the desire to buy and accumulate more. Instead, they find happiness in relationships and experiences.


Minimalism, as a lifestyle, is the art of letting go…


1. Donate this holiday season


Take 5 minutes each day this month to get rid of 5 things. If you do this each day for a month you will declutter HUNDREDS of things… if you do this for a whole year, THOUSANDS.

It feels SO GOOD to get rid of things. To unload. To let GO. A lot of times we have no concept on how little we actually need to survive, and to THRIVE. If we can take a step towards this realization it will helps us also see how powerful we actually are in life. To strip down to only things we need and to only hang on to what we can’d do without. This is a huge life lesson that can be beneficial for everyone to go through!

Selling things and donating things really does feel good!

You can easily start by picking one room to declutter first – this will help you not to feel overwhelmed by the process. And stick to a system and create a process to go through things and decided to keep, donate, or throw!


Remove things that distract you! Minimalism isn’t just about removing things in your life, it’s about removing things that DISTRACT you from living your freaking life! Things that distract you from what you actually do love most.


2. Think before you buy something new


I suppose I should have talked more about this BEFORE Black Friday/Cyber Monday, but it’s still relevant for this time of year with the holidays in the States. Shoutout to Dani Pavel who said on Facebook the other day that she resisted from buying ANYTHING during BF/CM! Woohoo!


Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Will I use it? Do I want to have to store it? Do I want to clean it and/or maintain it over and over? Would I rather put the same dollars somewhere else? Why am I even thinking of buying this, is it just because it’s on sale? Am I buying this item for the present day or for the “future” day that might not come? Do I really love this item with 100% of my being, or is it just a maybe item?

Only buy the things you really need or really desire to make your life feel more whole and complete.

I’ll admit, I used to struggle with this. I LOVE to online shop and I would always want to try new health products, buy new clothes, new books, etc. But oftentimes clothing items hung in my closet and were never even worn and products sat on the shelf and were never even used. WHAT A WASTE.


3. Go Marie Kondo on your closet


I’m serious here – put all that shit in your closet on the floor and one by one go through it to see if it sparks any damn joy in your life. If you’re not sure, leave it on the floor for a week and see if you even think about it once.


One good rule of thumb I used to always do is that if there are things hanging in my closet that I have legit not even worn for over a year, 2 years, 5 years, etc… DONATE IT. It goes. It’s just taking up space and it’s not doing you any good. Especially if those things still have their tags on them – then I will even try to sell them to a friend, sell them online or even try to return them!


As Marie says, “The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.” TRUTH. The things you own end up owning you, because most of us let them. We need to shift our mentality to get back our power over our possessions and in turn, our life!

The best part is that once you get rid of those things you never even use, or wear, you will feel more FREE. You won’t even think about them, you won’t even miss them. They will no longer take up space in your life and they will help to declutter your mind in the process. By hanging onto “skinny jeans we hope to wear one day” we are actually creating psychological negativity in our minds – unwanted anxiety for that “someday” and depression that it hasn’t happened yet. When we are in this state of mind our possessions are owning us, and not the other way around.


Really become aware of how the things you tell yourself about your possessions is ultimately affecting your own mental health too!


4. Implement ‘less is more’ into your life


Do you really need 14 pairs of the exact same pair of leggings? I mean I get it, I used to think I did too… until I didn’t anymore! Do you really need 45 different types of plates, cups, bowls, dishware saved for when family comes over one time a year? The answer is NO, you don’t! And you will feel so much better when you get rid of it all!


Getting rid of things that we had WAY TOO MUCH OF was my favorite part about converting to a minimalistic lifestyle this summer. I realized we were keeping entire cupboards full of cups and plates and dishware in our kitchen that we literally never even used! There were things I still had from college 10 years ago and had never used ONCE that entire 10 years. Less is absolutely more and if you think about it, it really only makes sense to hang onto the things you actually use.

Back in May we completely downsized and transformed our entire lives!

Same goes with shoes, books, clothes, blankets, pillows, bedding, TOYS FOR YOUR KIDS, products, decorations, electronics, furniture, EVERYTHING. Less is more! I encourage you to try this out in a room in your house and see firsthand the difference in how it makes you feel, physically and mentally, when the room only has the ESSENTIAL things you use in it.

In our RV we have 4 of each type of silverware, ONLY 4. We have 4 plates, 4 bowls, etc. We have essential pots and pans, one cutting board, and a few coffee mugs. ESSENTIALS.


“Minimalism is a repeated, daily choice to be intentional about what you allow into your life.” simplyfiercely.com


5. Stop holding onto things you don’t like just for sentimental value


This one is hard, I’m not going to lie. I probably struggled with this the most when we were making our big changes this past summer. But the truth here is that you should NOT hold onto things you don’t even like, purely for sentimental value. Unwanted gifts need to GO you guys! Same thing goes with anything being saved for “someday” or things you feel guilt towards saving just because so-and-so gave them to you. That guilt will take over your life and is completely unnecessary. There is no reason to keep anything you do not want to keep or that does not spark absolute JOY into your life.


In fact, as a rule of thumb – get rid of ALL things that you have never used or that don’t make you feel good. If you need help disposing you can offer to friends and family, sell online in FB Marketplace, Ebay, etc, or you can have a garage sale or make a trip to a thrift store. There are always ways to get rid of things!


I promise you that when you are no longer attached to your belongings is when you are finally free. Now I understand some things in your life might be passed down from generations and you feel obligated to keep – I have a FEW of those things too, but the key here is I only have a few. There is no need to keep holiday decorations I don’t even use, just because my family gave them to me. 🙂 I promise your grandma will not be upset if you get rid of something she gave you 20 years ago.


“Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.” Joshua Becker


6. Downsize


The easiest way to organize your stuff is to get rid of most of it. (READ THAT AGAIN.) Just think of how much less time you will spend on cleaning or organizing if you have less space to do it in and less THINGS in that space?? That has to be my favorite part about living in our wobby box – it only takes less than an hour to clean the entire place! I used to dread cleaning our 1,500 square foot townhouse because it would take up HOURS on a Saturday and I didn’t want to have to devote my precious weekend to something like that. Now I clean up things here and there and multiple times per week because it only takes me minutes compared to what it used to take.


Do you really need that humongous house? Do you really need 3 cars? Do you really need so much space and so many things? You don’t, but you might think you do, and the first step in downsizing is to change your perception. Open up your mind. By living in a smaller space our possessions suddenly become super essential in our life and there is no longer any room for “maybe one day” kind of things. Consider alternate living styles! [I fully support and promote tiny living, RV’s, van life, etc.]


Another key factor to downsizing is to FIX things in your home, instead of adding or buying a new one. A lot of things can be fixed up with a little TLC and don’t have to be completely duplicated with a new thing. This saves you money in the long run too!


7. Shift your mindset, get clear, & spend more on experiences – NOT THINGS


I saved this one for last, because it is the biggest contributing factor to help you live a more minimalist lifestyle. Make your intentions very clear – why do you want to make some lifestyle changes? How can this benefit you? Maybe it will help you save more money, to get out of debt or save up for something else. Maybe it will allow you more time to yourself or with your family because you won’t spend so much time cleaning or tidying up. Maybe it will bring you more peace and simplicity that you desperately need into your life. Maybe it will help you experience new things in life!

Your reasons could really be anything, but the most important thing is to be clear on your WHY. We must be conscious of our choices and our thoughts, and what THINGS we bring into our lives. We must be aware of where we are spending our time and money and how we can shift that awareness into action towards a better life. When we can clear our mind we can clear our environment too – they go hand in hand!


When we spend more money on experiences instead of having THINGS in life we actually live a more fulfilling and happier life. (There is actually research that has been done on this!) There are so many ways you can add valuable experiences, so the possibilities are endless. You can enrich your life with a new skill or a new weekend getaway or anything fun and memorable.


Make this lifestyle a habit by actively choosing it every day and doing something to help you move towards it. Minimalism means more FREEDOM, more time and more energy to do what you would rather be doing. Minimalism declutters our homes but also our minds and our spirits. It’s a beautiful thing to live life in more of a DETACHED way!


“Throw out the excess, clean up the mess, say no to stress, and live with less.” Joshua Becker

NEXT WEEK:


Let’s talk about different ways you can conquer fear and embrace opportunity in your life, especially with the upcoming new YEAR and new DECADE ahead. How can you work through your fears? What new opportunities can you finally go after in your life?


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For more reviews, content, and other adventures, be sure to follow me on Instagram at Spark Fire Swan.

xoxo




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About Me

Hi, I’m Amanda. Thanks for visiting my page!

I was born & raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. I lived there for 30 years of my life, and always dreamed of warmer winters, mountains & palm trees, and life outside of what I always knew. 

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