Minimalism, Maximalism, Then There is Simply Me
By Melissa Marie
I love minimalism. I love the idea of clean, open space. My home is mostly minimalist and I could not stand that I did not have an appropriate office and since we live debt free it was a choice between a comfortable bed ( ours is a real pain literally) or have a pretty desk and write from there. Um. we chose the king size bed with a frame and of course the comforter and comfy pillows. Sleep is extremely important to success and for our sanity.
I was tired of doing the budget and bills on the kitchen table or the living room coffee table. So, guess what? I got creative and chose a closet space.
I straight up cleared the stuff out and getting rid of some of it so that I can write to you in my hobbit space. It is my version of tiny living, my hobbit sphere.
It feels quite weird because I am a bit claustrophobic, but this somehow feels cozy. When I need to journal I can just snap my laptop closed and stick it on the top shelf.
Now, this is why the minimalist word is driving me crazy. I feel that most of my home is clean and clear, but in my workspace, everything that you see is used.
I budget like a boss since I run our home like a business, I side hustle, I do homemaker work like laundry, painting, taking out the garbage, cooking from scratch and now scheduling a driver for the errands that I need to run.
Beyond that, I write to you in my favorite strappy heels and lipgloss. Like I said, I work as a boss because I am one.
My title is a Homistical Economizer, I leverage the assets and liabilities of our contractual companies ( home, car, jobs). I believe women should show up with strong shoes and a nice lip gloss. It shows that you are in control even when things may be a little harried. At least you have the shoes that were made for business and a strong lip that will help you form better words.
Here are some close-up details of my office closet.♥
Note: My calendar is turned around for privacy purposes.
You see the last photo of my office space, above the binders?
That is my happy empty space.
Nothing belongs there except my thinking space unless of course as mentioned above, when I need to unplug from the internet and journal write.
I have been trying for two days to cut the “clutter” from my office space, but that is no beuno (good).
I decluttered so much that the empty space made me feel empty.
I did not feel I could accomplish what I needed to without my personal things. Hence, the non-minimal items.
I cannot stand clutter but is stuff clutter?
Well, let me define stuff.
My interpretation is just enough stuff. To another “real minimalist” my stuff is may be way too much, but for me, it is just right.
I can function, I can thrive and that to me is home.
I jokingly say a real minimalist because I know that we all come from different shapes, colors, and sizes and just enough is what describes a real minimalist. Often it is less for some and for others just a tad more.
However, I am a maximalist when it comes to food. I believe a wise homemaker should have storage and food from scratch for her home. That is WHOLE another topic for another post.
Now when it comes to my office I have been cutting the paper clutter by having a place for everything with a few pretties. However, I have this thing for lamps. The lighting is just much cozier.
If I could I would probably write from an Amish type home with no electricity by a gas lamp and then go to a cafe to write a blog to Y’all.
Who knows, maybe a yurt by a river and write until my soul is so empty that it is full again.
What I am trying to say is that Minimalism should be home to you.
However, that feels.
Minimalism to me is being free from the things that hold me back. Breaking free from the overflow of too much stuff that owns me.
The gifts that I keep out of guilt rather than fondness, the cluttered space because there is supposed to be a picture there rather than an empty wall.
My imagination is enough that empty walls inspire my brain to think outside the box more.
For example, why do I do what I do every day? What are the most important ideas and things that need to be done without excuses?
Things like life at the moment, read, read, and read. Educate. At least that is what is most important to me in my free headspace.
I don’t need just in case of items ( except food, I am weird about this one) but to know that I can be free from stuff alone is great.
Now let me give you some context of what I mean to free from stuff owning me.
Close people to me have suggested I put more into my home when I am happy in my own space.
They think it should look a certain way and it often makes me question if I should add more.
I go to their huge beautiful and expensively decorated homes and feel compelled that this may be what I want.
But even then, one day I may own a big, gorgeous home but it does not mean that just because where I am in life that I should go max out a credit card or spend our savings so that our rental home could look fahbulous. Ya know?
They may be able to afford it AND be debt free. I am not downing them because of their possessions, I am merely saying that just because Becka down the street has a nicer home does not mean that I should aspire to her standards when we do not allow our budget to fund it at this time in our lives.
Frugality plays a lot into our minimalism, but even when we have achieved our beautiful dream home, I want our home to be a piece of art not filled with stuff.
The home alone will be a statement of frugality, delayed gratification, simple joys, the no’s , the yes’, the time when we staycationed, the time when we just loved on one another rather than going to a concert, or blow-out vacations.
That to me is the ultimate goal for my dream home, the sacrifice of love, the hard work and the love that lives inside.
So to those who do not understand the reason of why we are frugal or why I refuse to allow extra clutter into my home and wonder why the big answer is no.
It is because I can think more in this empty space that makes me happy.
The empty space reminds me that I have important tasks to do.
I have businesses to build, I have homemaking and nesting to complete, I have to care for my body, I have to fill my calendar with days of enjoyment and work so that one day we can be financially independent.
Now, my husband is more of a cozy person. He likes home to be filled with books, light, food, coffee, and comfy chairs.
I agree and this is how our home has become.
In my first year of minimalism I went for stark, and empty and loved it, my dear husband was miserable.
“I don’t want it so empty that it looks like I don’t live here”, he would tell me so I made a simple haven and he is happy.
Clutter can’t stand me but I enjoy the interior decor and this has helped me know that I am a minimalist who can appreciate possesions in moderation. I finally accept the challenge of doing this lifestyle for life, of course with balance for and with the person that sensibly balances me out.
I once met this older woman of 88 years old who asked me about the cities buildings projects and commented on how sad she was to see the fields gone. She said, ” When is enough, enough?”
That is the mantra for my home and my life when is enough, enough?
When it comes to my wardrobe, music, business ventures and our lives I go with being a maximalist.
But our maximalist is a bit different from most.
We don’t attend costly concerts, charity balls, expensive $50 dollar plate restaurants or wear the most expensive clothing.
We don’t do this because we have dreams of financial independence and often that means that we must say no to a lot of things.
We find other ways to enjoy our life frugally, but honestly, we hustle every single day to be financially independent.
What I mean by financial independence is to be able to stop HAVING to go to work.
Now my husband loves his career and would probably not quit until he physically isn’t able to work, but until then..it is frugality, punching into work, side hustling, a lot of lonely hours to build a legacy for our family.
To build orphanages, to help convicts be able to work and to donate anonymously HUGE sums of money to finish a church or hospital or to a struggling family and more.
To firmly provide care and a home near us and lovingly take care of our parents as they age.
That is where we are maximalist and that is what brings us joy.
I have been on this minimalism journey for over 4 years and have obsessed with stuff because I don’t want to spend a dime on something that does not bring value or joy to my life.
I don’t like titles but I am more of a minimalist than I would like to admit because I know the future that we are building is maximalist in a way that will change lives.
So, I restate that I am a minimalist for the sake of being a better person, not spending God’s provisions frivolously and as long as He allows we will be building a legacy for a generation that we may never see.
Money does not buy happiness.
It does, however, bring comfort when you don’t have to worry about money but it is not our idol.
Our drive in minimalism ( my husband says he isn’t but totally is, you should see his wardrobe and how he lives personally, he definitely keeps my clutter in check by his natural habits) is to focus on the most important things and that is building business ventures, investing and saving our money, focusing on God and living a full life.
The legacy that we leave behind will be a garden that we plant, but may never see bloom, however, it does not really matter because the time, money, the work, the provision, the breath in our bodies was never ours, to begin with.
We do our work unto the Lord in everything so it takes the selfishness of financial independence, frugality, saving, or giving out of our hands and into His.
I strive harder because I know that every day that I have is limited time because of the disease that lurks deep within my body. I must maximalize my time on building, changing and surviving to see our dreams come to fruition, but if I never shall pass then my life spent working toward it is enough to make me smile to die with such a passion!
So there you have it, where I am a minimalist on possessions, a maximalist on life and then there is simply me.
This has been an enormous journey on my path to changing my life and it is getting my life into a wide open perspective.
I feel as though I am like Anne of Green Gables seeing the ocean for the first time and being able to call Green Gables her permanent home and thinking of how wonderful it is to know that life is finally changing for the better.
Where is the change happening in your life? How do you feel about your change progress? Do you apply minimalism or frugality in your lives?
I would love to learn from you! Comment below!