I blogged regularly about life and dogs in NYC at nycgadgetgirl.com from 2004 through 2008, and then about dogs and responsible pet ownership at jennaandsnickers.com from 2008 till 2014. I met some wonderful people through blogging… people I’ve met in person and stayed in touch with all these years.
I decided to start blogging again in April 2018, so I started this site to create conversations about simple ways anyone can work toward minimalism at home and at work. Minimalism can help you be more focused, relaxed, and efficient, whether you are a Fortune 500 CEO, a stay-at-home mom, a college student, a retiree, or really anyone at all. I truly believe that minimalism will help you be the best version of yourself – your exceptional self.
I believe many people would like to simplify their lives, but can’t figure out where to start. I frequently see questions on social media regarding minimalism, getting rid of “stuff,” and streamlining day-to-day life. There are a lot of websites and books about minimalism, but I haven’t seen a simple guide with steps that can realistically be implemented right away. Who wants to undertake a huge project in order to simplify your life? If your life is already complicated and cluttered, a big, new undertaking is not the answer.
Most of the sites and books that I have read about minimalism fall into one of two categories. They are either (1) mostly about style and de-cluttering, or (2) they are very new-agey, woo woo, emotional, self-help type stuff.
I think something is missing from the conversation… Practical Minimalism.
Minimalism and Me
I was a minimalist before minimalism was a thing. I’d say that minimalism is my default setting, simply because I was raised by a minimalist mother. My mom absolutely adheres to “a place for everything and everything in its place,” (and since there are only so many places, you can only have a certain amount of stuff). That was simply the norm for me growing up. Of course, it became practically a survival tactic when I was the mom raising my own daughter in a 600 square foot Manhattan apartment (with our two dogs)!
Minimalism isn’t just how I store things or how I decorate. It is part of who I am and it affects every facet of my life.
Minimalism and Productivity
Throughout my entire career people have marveled at my clean desk/cubicle/office. The messier types always joke that I must not have much to do if I’m able to keep my desk so clean. My usual response is that I need organization in the physical world to help balance the chaos in my mind. That is an oversimplification, but it is essentially true. My mind tends to go full speed in three or four directions. Having an organized workspace (physical and virtual) helps keep everything in my mind moving ahead and not tangled up.
I was reviewing my resume recently and pondering the variety of jobs and industries in it. I love to learn new things, so it’s not a surprise that I’ve worked in multiple industries (retail, investment banking, manufacturing, IT, and now a law firm). I’ve also held a variety of jobs, such as administrative assistant, project manager, fundraiser, office manager, bookkeeper, VP of Operations, volunteer coordinator, etc. The common thread that runs through all the positions (paid and volunteer) that I have enjoyed and excelled at is a need for extreme organization. I can organize volunteers, employees, tasks, project plans, information, etc. Even when I was building websites as a freelancer, I succeeded because information architecture comes naturally to me. I could easily take a brain dump of ideas from a client and produce a simple, navigable, and useful website.
Another philospohy that helps me succeed in my projects – whether they are work, personal, or volunteer – is Getting Things Done. GTD is a method of time management and productivity which I find fits incredibly well with my minimalist lifestyle.
I plan to write about these things and more, while providing strategies for implementing minimalism in your life.
Help Me Build a Useful Resource
One way I hope to grow the site and have it become a useful resource is to answer questions from visitors. Please feel free to ask questions! I will answer them all on the blog.