challenges of living simply

I'm over a month into my journey on minimalism.
While I wish I could say I finished the house in one weekend,
that's proving to be impossible with a 4 month old.
(She's a demanding one. But oh so cute.)
With the help of Daddy-Daughter dates, 
I've been able to tackle small portions at a time.

Along the way, as with every new adventure, there have been some challenges.

First (and most prominent), I'm married to an "organized hoarder."
I say organized, because he's clean and keeps legitimate items,
but it's hard for him to let things go.
That cup I acquired from dorm life?
Gotta have it.
It's his favorite.
Do we have other, nicer, cleaner, newer cups?
But he needs that one.
(Love you, I do!)
And it may not always be a cup, 
but it's usually something here or there that we have to stop and evaluate.
I have to understand that this is my "ah ha!" moment and not necessarily his.
"Lauren, I love you and this whole minimal thing, but it's not me."
It's a give and take, and more often than not, 
he's so sweet and willing to let me do my thing.
(But you betcha he's got his cups.)

The other challenge I've come across is simple vs. empty.
I'm de-cluttering our rooms, wall space, furniture, etc.
But does that mean everything should be empty?
To live simply, we have to live empty?
I'm learning to find the balance without going against my interior designer mind.
For me, this is all leading to a happier, less stressful environment that provokes comfort and in turn declutters my mind and life.

So, no.
Simple doesn't mean empty. 
It means evaluating everything. 
Do I need this _____?
Do I use this _____?
How long have I had this _____?
Does this _____ serve a purpose?

If the answer is mostly "no's," 
put it in the yard sale pile.
Because, oh yeah, there's a major yard sale coming.
(And who doesn't love a little extra cash in the bank?)

With the kitchen mostly finished, I'm excited to share some pictures soon!


my must list (minimalism update)

The first thing anyone should do before drastically changing their lives is check their heart.
The past month or so, God has brought my anxiety to the forefront of my mind.
Little things, big things, stupid things, anxiety has always been my biggest companion.
Having Emmerson rocked my world in more than one way.
Suddenly the little things didn't matter anymore and the big things mattered even more.
I ventured into the world of minimalism because I needed to de-clutter.
Not just physically, but mentally.
I needed to let go of the expectations, the worry, the stress.
(Along with the excess clothes, furniture, and "stuff.")
So, here I am.
Starting with my "must list."

I must be healthy. Emmerson, my husband, and my future kids deserve me at my best. I must eat right, exercise, and treat this body with respect.
I must de-clutter. I don't need a closet full of clothes or 50 coffee mugs. That's just more to clean, more to wash, more that collects dust.
I must be joyful. Deliberately choose joy in all situations.
I must drink water. Because, it's water.
I must turn it off. Social media can clutter my mind with comparisons and bad news, turn it off. TV can replace good conversation with my husband and distract me from Emmerson, turn it off.
I must live in the moment. Today is the only today I get. My baby is only getting older and I don't want to miss out. I must be intentional with my life.