I don't remember when I first heard about minimalism or when my desire to live with less was born. It had to have been around 10 years ago when my girls were very young and we found ourselves moving often. When my youngest was 5 months old we bought a new house and moved. 13 months later my husband took a new job in a new state so we sold our house and moved. 15 months after that my husband took yet another new job in another new state and we moved again. Repeat yet again 15 months later.
At some point during all the packing and unpacking, I must have realized we were drowning in stuff and I was spending way too much time taking care of the stuff and my young kids. I wanted something different.
Now, 10 years later, I am so grateful for the steps I have taken to pare down our material possessions and our commitments. Not only are there obvious benefits like having a tidy home and having more time to spend on things that matter, there are other benefits as well. We have managed to work our way out of debt and have learned to be content with what we have.
If you came to my home you probably wouldn't label me a minimalist. We have bookshelves full of books, cupboards full of dishes and closets full of clothes. To me minimalism isn't about owning less than 100 things or depriving myself of all material possessions. Minimalism in my life is an intentional attempt to promote what we value. It is about making room for what is essential. It is about creating margin in our lives and saying "yes" to what matters most. I can honestly say it makes a difference in how we live, and has given us a quality of life that we could not have purchased in any store.