19 Aug Minimalism – How a life with less made us richer
The time in which our second child was born was one of the most difficult of our lives.
We had just moved into a new house and had spent a lot of money on renovations. An endless household, the needs of a 3-year-old, one photography job after the other and a difficult pregnancy led to the fact that we simply could no longer keep our accounting up to date. A few months after the birth of our son we were caught cold by a tax claim that was much higher than expected. Unfortunately, the money to pay for it was now already manifested in the beautiful new kitchen and the great wooden floor of our house!
Looking for ways out of the chaos, I read a lot about debt reduction and quickly stumbled across blogs dedicated to a minimalist way of life. In shortest terms, minimalism means: less is more. Less stuff, work and tasks equals more time, life and freedom!
For us, the discovery of the minimalist lifestyle was the turning point in our crisis. Concentrating on the essentials, a more sustainable, environmentally friendly life by avoiding consumption, less stress and more time for ourselves and our children – that was what we wanted!
Left: Our former kitchen, uncluttered (5% of the time). To the right: Our kitchen in real life (95% of the time).
Incidentally, this comprehensive study by Harvard University comes to a similar conclusion as we did. What counts most for personal happiness in life is not professional success or account balance. It’s not even health! The most important factor is by far: Good, profound, genuine relationships with other people!
Above: Our living room cleaned up for the photo. Below: In real life with small children. Does that look familiar?
The challenge for us as a family was to restructure our daily family life in such a way that it allows us to live and create good relationships. And for that we had to create space and time! Minimalism was enormously helpful for us and the key to a sustainable change in our lives.
We began to sort out items that we no longer needed or used. We stopped buying things that weren’t really necessary. We terminated unnecessary contracts. All this went very slowly with two small children and sometimes it felt as if we were not progressing at all.
But piece by piece our house emptied and we made the wonderful experience that less is in fact more. And that means more time and quality of life! The less we had, the less stuff lay around and the easier it became to keep the household under control. And the craziest thing: we didn’t miss anything! Not a single old record, no toys, no spare towel, no pair of shoes. On the contrary! The less we had, the more lightly we felt inside. And suddenly there was also room for an inner change and a step into a new direction in life.
A few snapshots from one of our many minimization actions: A garage sale. Many further steps followed.
Our minimalized wardrobe with all (!) our clothes and bed linen (except jackets and shoes) after sorting out. Today, I think we have even less clothes.
With a lot of support from our family, a lot of work and persistence and certainly also a bit of luck, we finally managed to make our way out of the crisis and create a more sustainable, conscious and minimalist way of life.
I look very much forward to sharing with you how we voluntarily live with very little material possessions in everyday life. I am convinced that minimalism can help us all to come closer to our dreams and lead a more sustainable, environmentally friendly and fulfilling life!