A few years ago, I ventured into minimalism but made it more about simplicity. I felt like it would help me be a better mom, wife, and worker. It helped me understand what being a working mom meant for me. Then the pandemic hit. We had to stock up on non-perishable items among other things. Everyone started to work, teach, learn from home and be around each other ALL THE TIME! It was a lot for us, but we made it work. Simplicity helped me get through the pandemic.
New Office, Same Dining Room
Before I found a place to use for my home office, I was forced into the dining room (like many of us) for a good three or four months. So I really had to keep my items to a minimum. Then I could easily pack up when it was time for dinner. With simplicity in mind, I really leaned on technology and the cloud. I had only one notebook to write in but tried to do everything on my computer. I also learned that I needed a quieter space so I could focus when the kids were home. So we made space in our bungalow attic room. I still only have a small desk that is taken up largely by a monitor and my laptop. The rest of the space is my small closet.
Business Casual has a New Meaning
I was already attempting to downsize my closet so that I could actually see what was in there. When the pandemic hit, I went straight into casual mode. Once I realized we would be home for the long haul, I started to sell some of my more “business” type clothes on Poshmark. I kept a few items I still loved so that I could go into the office if needed, but I mostly have loungewear. If I know I have a lot of meetings, I will wear a nicer blouse paired with joggers (with pockets). I love my smaller, simpler, more comfortable wardrobe. Does your shirt say, “Detroit Mom?” Why yes, yes it does!
We Are Resilient
Having to navigate Kindergarten from a computer to eventually in-person wearing a mask all day was tough, but my girl did it and she did it well. My youngest was able to go to daycare while my husband taught middle school math from his laptop in the basement. I set up my kindergartner in the main living room with a Chromebook while I was in the attic room. I still don’t know how many of us managed to teach, learn, and work at the same time, but we did it. While nothing about that was simple, having that mindset helped us reroute our house to make it work for us. Now I can’t imagine not working from home. I’ve learned to be efficient.
Simplicity is really about living in the moment. To quote Henry David Thoreau, “Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.” You don’t have to be a minimalist to practice simplicity. Just find your focus and everything else will fall into place.