I’m pretty sure the first reaction my husband Matt had when I told him I was getting interested in “minimalism” was pure terror. We have lived together for almost 5 years, got married last year, and there is definitely a reason I affectionately refer to him as “Hurricane Matthew” from time to time. Our home is a cornucopia of clutter and chaos, stemming mostly from laziness and bad habits, coupled with too many hobbies and a hectic work schedule.
The home we live in is a shared-rental with other students that is owned by my parents. They purchased the property in 2009 when I was attending the University of Lethbridge, as an investment property. Matt and I are both finished school, but as we have set up a business here in Lethbridge, we are continuing to live in the house.
Last year I spent some time working for a local non-profit called Environment Lethbridge (amazing organization with an incredibly dedicated and talented team, check them out). While working there was an incredible experience, it also opened my eyes to the devastating effect modern western culture is having on the environment. It highlighted some of my own bad habits, and brought to my attention just how harmful some of my more innocuous habits have been on an environmental and economical scale.
I began to pay attention to things: habits that we had that were harmful to the environment, attitudes towards recycling and re-use, even our spending and purchasing habits were having a negative effect. Couple that with the general stress of my full-time job (running your own start-up brewery is no easy feat) and Matt having to cover bills for both of us, and the weight of the world was really settling in.
So I began to think about changes we could be making, and the first thing I noticed after frantically cleaning my house before a biannual Parental Visit (you know, getting the house clean enough that the parents don’t bemoan your house-keeping skills aka: getting it “mom clean”) I noticed that my stress levels were significantly lower in a cleaner environment.
Of course, after my parents left the house fell back into its usual state of chaos.
The more I looked into the Minimalist Movement the more I began to understand the general culture and began to crave the apparent ease minimalists had navigating their environments. Each object in a Minimalist’s space is intentional, and it has a home within that space so you can always find it. No tripping over clothing on the floor, no stepping on belts, or pens, or random bits of plastic packaging that hasn’t made its way to the garbage bin yet. (Seriously, our house-keeping skills suck.)
I began looking up videos about tips and tricks to sort through the mound of stuff and the message was simple: Minimalism is hard work! But Minimalism is also worth it.
Now, before we end for today I will let you in on another honest fact about me: I believe myself to be a candidate for undiagnosed depression and anxiety issues. Typing that made my nose prickle and my eyes start to well up. Thank you, weird cortisol fluctuations in my brain.
So in addition to being overworked, over stressed, and living in an environment that is compounding my stress levels, there are other mental-health issues at play. This blog is going to be an honest reflection of my experiences (that’s what blogs are, right?) and how I, and my family/friends, interact with those experiences.
One thing I have noticed doing research on Minimalism is that most people producing videos or blogs or what-not have adopted the minimalist lifestyle successfully and are offering their own personal tips and tricks. There are indeed very few resources where you can watch that person in their journey. This is what this blog aims to be.
While the city-specific pages of Hic Habito will be all about local businesses and supporting local culture, the Minimalism blog will be about my personal journey into a more sustainable, minimal lifestyle. My goal will be to write a post weekly updating you on my progress, likely complete with pictures and anecdotes. It will occasionally feature special-interest topics like how to do holidays in Minimalist Culture, and if you want to see anything in particular, be sure to let me know. Thanks for coming along for the ride.