Minimalism for Beginners

The Imperfect Party Podcast Cover Featuring Jese Gary of Green Eyed Ambition Talking About Minimalism

Whenever I think of minimalism I look around at the mountain of toys my kids have, or the clothes crumpled up in their drawers and think, “Maybe I’ll revisit that idea in 18 years when they are out of the house.”

Funny story: I bought that book about Sparking Joy and I lost it. Legit, I couldn’t find it anywhere. As a person who struggles with organization and ADHD, the idea of minimalism feels almost impossible to me. 

I have stuff in my kitchen from my popsicle making phase, my vegan cupcake phase, and even a macaroon phase. But it’s hard for me to get rid of it because what if I want to do those things again?

I’ve tried to incorporate some minimalism into my life in the past and I jump in head first. I fill up my car with a ton of stuff and drive over to the thrift store. I feel accomplished until I need those things and then I’m mad at myself for getting rid of it, and usually go buy it again. It’s a vicious cycle that I think many people can relate to.

Chatting with Jese Gary really put into perspective what embracing minimalism means. It’s not always about material things, it can be about so much more. But more importantly, she made me realize that I too can embrace a minimalist lifestyle, and you can too!

pink graphic illustration of a calendar on a bright blue background

HOW ARE YOU SPENDING YOUR TIME?

If you’re saying “yes” to too many things you can end up with a schedule that feels crowded and overwhelming. Setting boundaries around what you allow yourself to commit to can help you clear out the noise on your calendar.

If you have trouble saying no, don’t worry, you’re not alone. I recently read the book, Codependent No More by Melody Beattie and it really helped me work through some of my issues with not setting clear boundaries. But I’m definitely still a work in progress. 

I talk a lot about how time is a nonrenewable resource. Once it’s gone, you can’t get it back. And the idea of infusing a minimalist approach to my schedule is something I hadn’t even considered before. I thought it was all about kitchen junk drawers and folding my kids leggings a certain way. 

I think the idea of starting to be more intentional about how I spend my time would be a totally game changer. So think about some things that maybe you could start to be more intentional about when it comes to your time. 

Melted pink popsicle on the sidewalk

HOW ARE YOU SPENDING YOUR MONEY?

Jese opens up about helping her mother write a bucket list after being diagnosed with terminal cancer back in May of 2018. At the time Jese was selling items on Poshmark and she and her mother decided to see if they could sell some of her clothing to pay for some trips. 

After going through all of the clothing, Jese recalls looking at them and thinking, “This is legitimately probably, like $30,000 worth of clothes.” It was a real lightbulb moment for her. “It’s like we do all of this stuff and we cumulate all of this stuff that once we’re gone is left here.”

Jese would rather spend her money on experiences. But that doesn’t mean that has to be your priority too. She does talk about the fact that sometimes we collect things to cover up feelings, or numb things. She reminds us to focus on just being intentional about what we spend our money on, and why we’re buying what we’re buying.

There can be a lot of pressure because of social media to hop on the next big thing. But it’s super important that you try to ignore that influence and just buy into the things that really spark joy for you.

I will be the first to admit that I can get overly excited about things and jump on an impulse buy. Hello, $50 Williams Sonoma popsicle maker. Yup, bought it. Oops.

So how can you tell if the things you’re buying or spending time on are really things that spark joy for you? I got ya covered, keep reading…

White toy airplane on pink and teal background

WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU?

Jese is super open and encouraging for people starting their minimalism journey. She truly believes that it’s up to you to decide how much you want to embrace it or not. Maybe that popsicle maker from Williams Sonoma would really spark joy for you. Turns out it didn’t for me, and it ended up at the thrift store.

The important thing to note is that no two people’s journey with minimalism has to look the same. You can totally write your own rules. But how do you know what your rules are? You need to get super clear on what’s important in your life.

What do you want to focus on or devote your time and money and energy to? You have to have a set of principles so you know what to keep and what to get rid of. 

Jese has a rule in her house that in order for something new to come in, something else has to go out. She either sells it or donates it. That’s a principle in her house that she uses to make sure she keeps the “stuff” at bay.

She knows that having too much stuff around can lead to anxiety and lack of motivation for her. So that’s a rule she made for herself. The amazing thing is that you get to decide on your own rules and create your own little version of minimalism that works for you.

Minimalist stack of books with a white wall and minimal clutter

IT’S A PROCESS

Jese recommends not just jumping in head first and doing anything too drastic. If you throw away every other utensil in your kitchen you might end up feeling remorseful about your purge and giving up on your minimalism journey all together.

You have to pace yourself. It’s a journey. And don’t forget, you’re in charge. 

On more simple tip is to just ask yourself these questions when you’re gonna bring something new into your life:
1.) Do I really want this?
2.) Do I really need this?
3.) Will I really use this?

Seems simple enough, right? 

MORE FROM JESE GARY

Jese added Naughty by Nature’s “Hip Hop Hooray” to The Imperfect Party Playlist. Check out the entire playlist on Spotify or Amazon Music.

We also chat about Jese’s time as a model on QVC and white chocolate waffles with fresh strawberry compote. Did I mention she’s also a great cook? And, she’s killin’ it on Clubhouse? You can learn more about how she can help you infuse a more minimalist mindset into your life and business here. Follow along with her on Instagram @greeneyedambition.

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