March 21, 2023
I’m an accidental minimalist. In 2001, I was medically discharged from the military because I had asthma induced allergies and was allergic to, well, just about everything. Apparently, traveling to so many new places had jarred my immune system and tipped me over the edge–or that was how a doctor explained to me how a perfectly healthy person could be a disabled vet by 22.
Since my biggest allergies included grass, dust, mold, and fragrances, I had a huge battle trying to figure out how to live. I was on so many medications that my immune system was non-existent and the side effects were awful.
I watched decorating shows all the time and even went to EPCOT’s HGTV guest host talks to do the meet and greets with the stars to pick their brains. Nada. Still awaiting a call back from Genevieve Gorder when she has some ideas…about 10 years ago.
On a boredom Google sesh for how to decorate a home when allergic to the world, I stumbled across minimalism. The Konmari method was a hot trend and grabbed my attention. Sparking joy for me was breathing without reaction. I jumped in full swing to decluttering our overly stuffed home–who knew you didn’t have to keep everything? (My family connected across multi-generations and still lived with many practices learned during the depression–foil and ziplocks, as well as butter and cool whip containers were cleaned for future use).
Turns out the Konmari method wasn’t a success for me in the long run. While those leggings or long johns didn’t spark joy, wearing them in the cold did–and I didn’t have them. And I found I was just storing too much stuff better, but not downsizing enough. But, I started reading other books and following other bloggers and vloggers, and developed my own sense of minimalism that worked for my health and lifestyle, and blended with my family’s pack rat/always prepared nature. (Some of my favorites are Becoming Minimalist, Pick Up Limes, Dawn the Minimal Mom, Natalie Bennett, and Clean My Space).
While there was great resistance at first, eventually, everyone came around. Even my parents purged a lot and loved the freedom they found in it. The deep cleaning needed to keep me from getting sick didn’t take as long and could be done in a very short period of time without having to play tetris moving everything around as we cleaned each area.
Our success with it helped me get off many medications, improve my health, and even find our way into the RV life, affording us even more options for traveling and avoiding allergy triggers, but we are still working on figuring it all out.
While you may not have the health issues I do, minimalism can still be for you–and look totally different based on your needs and your life. So take the first step and start making room for life.
If you are already a minimalist (because, even if you are on the journey, you are one!), I’d love to hear what launched you on your journey!
Like or comment below, and share with others to support the blog. I post weekly about teaching, traveling and family. Until next time, you can find me on Tiktok @sonya.BOMSquadleader or our adventures at BarnesOnMove.com, Facebook & TikTok at @BarnesOnMove