How Minimalism Makes Parenthood Easier

  • November 19, 2019
  • By: Greenpath Financial Wellness

Our friend, Andy Hill interviews the best and brightest minds in finance. Through his website and podcast, Marriage, Kids and Money, he provides tips and tools to help others save money and achieve financial success. Here is an article from his blog:

Back by popular demand from the MKM Community, we’ll be chatting about how embracing minimalism allows us to have a happier and less stressed home life.

Here’s an abbreviated transcript of our conversation below. Enjoy!

Andy Hill: Why do you like minimalism?

Nicole Hill: Two reasons really. The first being I didn’t grow up with a ton, and that way of life stuck with me. I just kind of got used to not having a lot of things and not having a lot of space to put them in.

I grew up with a single mom and we were in a small apartment. There were four of us in a two-bedroom apartment. So I didn’t have room for a ton of toys or a ton of clothes. When stuff came in, other stuff had to go out and I got used to that. I think that’s one of the reasons.

Also, I like to have things tidy and I like the philosophy of “less is more”. I like the idea of having one thing and having it be special and not drowning in too many options.

As a professional organizer, how do you approach a new client’s home or your own? Where do you start?

It sounds very simple, but you start in a corner and you just start working. The main thing is that you just start. That is really the key because sitting there looking at a room that needs to be organized can get very overwhelming.

So I think the most important thing and the best way to start a job is to start it, to just start doing it. Turn on some music, kind of zone out, pull everything out of the room, and then start only putting back the things that are important to you. Make piles for stuff to donate, make piles for stuff to trash. But yeah, the key is just to start.

A lot of times people try to make a plan or they’ll go out and buy a bunch of stuff so that they can start. But what happens is then that stuff that they’ve bought, the bins and the shelving also become clutter in the room because they’re planning and they’re not doing the work.

What feelings come from an organized space?

When we complete a job with a client, they typically feel extremely relieved because basically what you see on the outside is kind of how you feel on the inside. So if you’re in a home that’s extremely messy and you can’t find what you’re looking for, that’s how you’re going to feel inside. When we are able to come in and help somebody create structure and order in their home, they feel relieved because I think they feel structure and order inside themselves.

I try to do that in our house. I know that I personally can’t sit down unless I’m in a room and my surroundings are in order. Otherwise, I’m just sitting there and I feel stressed.

I know I need to make my bed. I need to have all the laundry put away. The countertops need to be cleared off. And then my mind feels clear and I can sit down and do the task that I need to do without looking around me and thinking of all of the other things that need to be done. I think that it’s extremely important to have our surroundings in order so that we, inside ourselves, can feel in order.

What tips do you have for someone who’s feeling overwhelmed by the stuff in their house?

1. Get Inspired

The very first thing I’d recommend somebody do if they’re ready to get their lives in order and they’re annoyed with the clutter around them is to get themselves inspired. So whether that’s watching the Marie Kondo show on Netflix, the Minimalists documentary or reading blog posts, get inspired because it’s going to be a lot of work. And in order to get through it, you’re really going to need some passion around it. Read a book, watch a show, do something that’s going to put a fire under you.

2. Schedule It

The next thing I’d recommend is to schedule it on your calendar. Don’t schedule anything else for that day or that weekend. Just plan on really working really hard for a day, a weekend or whatever it is that you can do.

I don’t really recommend doing much more than 6-8 hours. I think the brain starts doing funny things after that and you don’t want to burn yourself out. But after you’re done for the day, take a shower, have a glass of wine and relax. But I wouldn’t schedule a dinner with friends after an entire day of organizing your house. It’s just too much.

Need help prioritizing your expenses and adopting minimalism with your finances?

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minimalism makes parenthood easier with andy hill

Andy Hill is the host of the Marriage, Kids and Money Podcast which focuses on helping young families build wealth. This 5-star rated podcast was nominated as “Best New Personal Finance Podcast” by Plutus. Andy’s advice and personal finance experience have been featured in major media outlets like Business Insider, MarketWatch and NBC News.