How Minimalism Makes Me a Better Work-From-Home Mom
When I was searching for guest writers for Practigal Blog, I was looking for people who felt that minimalism improved any area of their life. When I asked the question, Bre said, “minimalism makes me a better mom”, and I couldn’t agree more!
So today, I’m excited to share a guest post with you by Bre Hamilton, a beauty blogger over at Bre Writes Beauty. Bre is a beauty lover. She has been a mother for a decade and has learned the importance of self-care and how beauty has fit into that. Through her blog, Bre wants to help other women feel valued and beautiful both on the outside and the inside.
In this post, Bre gives us amazing advice for how we all can be better moms and comes from the angle of being a work-from-home mom. I love what she says about the importance of being present with our kids. Being a minimalist with a family has its challenges, but it really does improve family life as a whole!
She also talks about what attracted her to minimalism, how she got started with minimalism by decluttering, and some of the productivity benefits she has experienced.
This is the fifth post in our summer series on how minimalism has changed so many people’s lives for the better. Each week we will be hearing from a different person who has adopted some aspect of the minimalist lifestyle.
Make sure to check out the other posts in the series:
Minimalism and Mental Health
Minimalism and Finances
Minimalism and Traveling
Minimalism and Sustainability
Minimalism and Organizing
Minimalism and Decorating
Minimalism and Productivity
I’m sure that you will enjoy finding out how minimalism made Bre a better mom, and how it can do the same for you.
Be sure to leave a comment to let Bre and me know what you think of her post!
How Minimalism Makes Me a Better Work-From-Home Mom
We have all heard the saying ¨less is more¨ a million times in our lives, right? Probably, we have heard it so much that it has lost the true weight of its own words. There is so much gold in that saying, though. Gold that is really beneath the surface of what we see and feel when we hear it.
When I first heard about minimalism, I just brushed it aside. It was a strange thing that crazy people did when they wanted to not live a fulfilled life. They didn’t spend money or go anywhere or own, well, anything! They had stark white walls and one single chair and probably no children.
It has taken me quite a while to get past those images, but I was so wrong about what minimalism really should be about!
The first time I heard anything about it was when I was introduced to Allie Casazza in a business group I was a part of on Facebook. I started following her page and when she started a podcast with another lady, I followed it religiously.
I truly couldn’t get enough of the idea that minimalism was for the sole purpose of making my life happier, more fulfilled and less overwhelmed! This was a mom that had children too, just like me. Yet, she didn’t just get rid of everything she owned and live a joyless life – it was very purposeful!
Today I want to share with you how minimalism makes me a better mom, but first I’ll tell you a little bit about how I got started.
How I Started Adding Minimalism to My Life
When I started the journey of discovering how minimalism would make me a happier and more intentional mom, including how it would help free up time for me to work on business things, I felt a peace about getting rid of things for the first time in my life.
I have never been a hoarder or a true pack rat, but I do tend to hang on to things for a long time. I am very emotional at my core, so I hang on to things like poems and songs I wrote as a kid, letters from my family, pictures (all 500 million of them) of the kids from school (you know, the ones that are just extras and you never use again but you hang onto for some reason?) and other sentimental things like that.
It was hard for me at first, so I started with areas that were less sentimental to me and moved up from there. When I got to those sentimental items, I was able to actually deal with them because I knew that I didn’t need the things to remind me of the person or the memories.
I started with going through all of our clothes, kitchen belongings, extra blankets and sheets, and bookshelves. It was a long process the first time I did this, and it really is an ongoing process because if you stop then things just pile up again!
One of the hardest areas for me was my makeup. Part of my business working from home is as a makeup coach and beauty blogger and vlogger, so you can imagine how this area might add up fairly quickly!
I knew that I would feel better if I got rid of some of the excess and just used what I needed- so I did it! Some just needed to be tossed, and some I was able to give away and share with others who don’t have as much as I do!
How Minimalism Helped Me Work From Home
I have been working from home now for a few years and I don’t regret the vast majority of the choices that led me to it, even if it is lonely sometimes. Minimalism was a key to being productive though and without it, I just know that I wouldn’t be able to function as well.
Some of the key things for me to be productive when it comes to minimalism are:
- Having a process, whether it is weekly or monthly, to go through all the paperwork and either file it away or throw it out
- Keeping a lot of notes and files on the computer rather than on paper, so there is less cluttering of books and papers that I have written on or in at my desk
- Knowing that my house cleaning for the day will only take me 30 minutes or less has helped immensely, because when I know that I don’t feel stressed about working on my job while the house is a disaster
- Realizing I no longer have to stress as much about not being the best organizer because I just have less to deal with
When I am able to put minimalism to work in my life in this way, I no longer need to stress about organizing a million different things, spending hours cleaning my house instead of being able to work and not being a present mother as well!
How Minimalism Makes Me a Better Mom
There are so many ways that minimalism makes me a better mom, so I could probably go on and on for this point.
I love my kids and I love to spend time with them. I need to make money and work. When I was disorganized and over-cluttered before, I found it very hard to just get work done because of all of the distraction that clutter creates, physically as well as mentally.
This also meant that when the kids were around I was unfocused for one of two reasons- either I needed to get more work done to make a pay cheque because I was distracted before OR I had too much cleaning and housework that needed to get done!
When I was able to clear out both the physical clutter and the brain clutter, I was absolutely amazed that all of the things I had read and heard about were actually true!
Minimalism makes me a better mom, because I’m able to be more present and intentional. I’m able to get my work done in the scheduled time I set and then be available when my kids wanted to be with me or talk to me after school or on the weekends.
And minimalism makes me a better mom, because I worry less about things like company dropping by unexpectedly and how many things I could be doing instead of playing with my kids!
Your kids WILL notice if you aren’t truly present with them. They don’t know why you aren’t and let’s be honest, they don’t really care about the housework! They just want to be with you and build a relationship with you.
You don’t want to look back and see that instead of being able to build relationships with your kids, you were just busy cleaning and decluttering all the time.
Where to Go From Here
Minimalism makes me a better mom, and I know that it can do the same for you. This won’t all happen at once. Heck, it won’t even happen in one week or one month.
But you have to start somewhere and if this seems like something that you want to make a priority, then definitely just start with something. Your kids will thank you, your partner will thank you and you will thank yourself for doing something that will help you get more done in your business, as well as be present for your kids and your family.
I hope this post has helped and encouraged you! It is not always easy to get going and if you need help, Sheila is more than willing to help you get started.
What is your biggest struggle when you think of getting started in minimalism as it relates to working from home or motherhood? I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!
Bre Hamilton is a mom of three girls and works from home as a makeup coach for work-from-home ladies and as a freelance writer and beauty blogger. You can check out her site Bre Writes Beauty to find out more about what she blogs about and offers.
Bre is a beauty lover. She has been a mother for a decade and has learned the importance of self-care and how beauty has fit into that in her own life. She wants to help other women feel valued and beautiful both on the outside and the inside.
As a business owner, she has seen how important it is to learn how to balance both aspects of her life well. She wants to help you design and create content and learn how to be productive and balance both the parenting and business aspects of life even in the busiest of seasons.
You can follow her on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook page and her Facebook group to get more great content!
Theresa Bedford is a syndicated freelance home and travel writer with regular contributions to the Associated Press wire and MSN. She helps everyday people love the life they have through simplicity, organization, and prioritization.
This article takes an approach I hadn’t thought of relating to minimalism. I associate the term more with downsizing and eliminating the desire to own more possessions than others. This approach- one that emphasizes elimination of clutter, controlling the urge to hoard things, etc- is actually far more achievable and something anyone can start immediately. Good post!
It’s true what they say “Cleared space, clearer mind”
I personally find it hard to work when there is clutter around me as well!
Decluttering our home absolutely changed how I am as a mom. It changed how I spend my time, as there is no more picking up constantly, I no longer shop for “fun” or out of boredom, and we now choose experiences over buying new things for our kids. We are not minimalists with X number of items, but we do live simply and without much stuff. You are so right with the sentimental items! Start with the easy stuff first. The sentimental items will be a lot easier after you are practiced. My biggest lesson learned, don’t start with your husband’s sentimental stuff! That doesn’t go over well. 🙂
Not a SAHM, but I work from home and I completely agree. Minimalism is a god-send. It clears the brain of extra thoughts and things to do to make me a more effective person.
It sounds like practicing a minimalist life has helped Bree in so many different ways in her daily life.. it’s an inspiration to see how much she has been able to put in place and how it has helped.
Loved your article, have been trying to practice minimalist life since long but haven’t been able to achieve so, will try and follow your processes and definitely strive towards a better life
The practical and straightforward tips on how to live a clutter-free life is well appreciated. The advantages of a minimalist lifestyle is quite easy to see.
This is such a great way to think about working from home. I run a freelance business from home and I homeschool my kids so we’re always together but I still find myself not being as mindful as I’d like to be when it’s time to turn off my laptop for the day. Being present is such a struggle sometimes because I’m a single mom and the sole financial provider and I feel like I have to always be in hustle mode.
This is a great perspective – often as a mother, when the seemingly endless gifts from grandparents roll in despite asking for experiences instead, or that gleaming piece of plastic promising to end the toddler meltdown shows up, minimalism can seem so hard in a practical family setting. But honestly, this is a great perspective – simply having only what is most important instead of the mindless stuff can free up time and brain space for the things that matter more than worry and the endless hamster wheel of cleaning around stuff. I shared this with my Pin and Twitter followings, thanks!
This is such great advice for everyone. I too find it difficult to get work done if my space is cluttered! I own so much “stuff” that isn’t necessary. Great post!
Minimalism saved my life, for real! When I was pregnant with baby girl #3 I knew we had to pare down because I was so overwhelmed. I’m still always trying to simplify but the key is understanding how minimalism ADDS to your life not focusing on what you don’t have. Great post!