Minimalism during a pandemic. For some, it may feel like a death trap…I mean, what if you get rid of too much?
None of us have ever experienced a pandemic. As an adult, I’ve lived through 9/11, the 2008 recession, and the ups and downs that come with being a young adult with no money.
However, I’ve never experienced runs on grocery stores, other than what happens right before a snow storm in Georgia. (Living in the snowy mountains now, this little bit of my history cracks me up.)
I’ve never known what it was like to want to go buy eggs or milk and that not be an option, until now. I’ve never known what it was like to not be able to buy toilet paper.
When you can’t get stuff that you need, it gets you thinking. I need to be more prepared. I need things for “just in case”.
Maybe Grandma wasn’t so crazy
No wonder our elders saved so much after living though the Great Depression. While I understood it on an intellectual level, I never really understood it. That is, I never understood it until recent events.
Faced with losing our income, seeing the stores running out of food, and being scared for our general health and what’s to come, life is scary right now.
As humans, being prepared gives us a sense of control. It’s the one thing we can do when the world is too scary.
I think this need for control is why people bought so much dang toilet paper. They didn’t know what to buy to prepare for 2 weeks or more at home, but they knew that was something they would likely need, and thus, something they could control.
Maybe you shouldn’t declutter…
I talk a lot about decluttering, the benefits of living with less, and all the wonderful benefits that come with a simpler life. I also like to talk about getting rid of things for “just in case”.
What’s the perfect balance of “just in case” so we don’t all turn into hoarders?
How does one live a simple, uncluttered life and still be prepared for times like this?
Is minimalism during a pandemic even possible?
Honestly, I don’t know what that perfect balance looks like. However, I do want to share with you some of my thoughts.
Minimalism during a pandemic: What does it look like?
1 – Life is better with less clutter.
My life is so much better with less clutter in it. I could preach on the benefits of decluttering and minimalism all day long.
My home feels comfortable. We saved more money by buying less over the years. We know how to be happy with less because we chose it, rather than be forced into it.
It’s really nice to have a decluttered home when you are trying to homeschool, run a business, and run a household. Life really is better with less clutter.
2 – “Just in case” is a real booger
More times than not, saving things and not getting rid of our excess for “just in case” can really booger up your decluttering efforts.
In fact, I have an entire lesson on “just in case” in my decluttering course, The Tidy Habit.
When we are evaluating our clutter, so many things have to be considered. One of the most important things is our space.
If you don’t have the space, you can’t have as much on hand for “just in case”, simple as that. If you save it anyway, you will not ever achieve the clutter-free home you desire.
3 – If you clear the clutter, you have more room for stuff you do need.
When we decluttered our home, entire closets opened up. Entire shelves were cleared off, and our garage was able to fit an actual car in it!
It seems when I got rid of the stuff I was saving for “one day”, I opened up a ton of space for NEEDED “just in case” items.
For example, I have 50 rolls of toilet paper in my linen closet right now. No, I’m not hoarding them. I bought them well before the outbreak, on super sale. I remember being ecstatic when I got a gift card just because I bought two super-sized packages.
If I was holding on to all those extra towels, bedsheets, etc, my linen closet would be full of excess things I don’t need, while now it is full of something that is strangely a scarcity.
Do I have more consumables on hand than usual? Yes. I’m used to grocery shopping once a week. Lately, I’m finding I grocery shop once every 2-3 weeks.
I can do this though because I already created the space. I already let go of the excess I knew we would never use, and I now have space for the stuff I do need.
That’s the beauty of having space in your home. If you need to fill it with items you need, you can. If you don’t need to, you have space. That space creates a place for you to breathe easy (and maybe store a few extra canned goods).