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Better New Year!

Updated: Aug 22, 2021

It’s December: Christmas. Hanukkah. Kwanza. Are you exhausted yet? Did you find a place for all the new “stuff?” How about one more gift—to yourself: Minimalism—or at least minimizing? How about more quality and less quantity—in both “stuff” and activities for the New Year?

Minimalism takes many forms, but the bottom line is: do more with less. That’s everything from lightening your load with a whiter calendar (fewer activities and shorter to-do lists) to living more simply. Pare down your possessions and gear up your quiet, relaxing ME time.

The concept of minimalism began with the visual arts in the 1950’s and 60’s in which paintings and sculpture were reduced to their barest form, forcing viewers to focus on art’s essentials. Minimalism in life encourages you to choose only those things which give you great joy, or are necessary for survival.

As leading minimalist lifestyle authority Joshua Becker states:

“The minimalist lifestyle is about living with only the things you need. Minimalists are free from the desire to buy and accumulate more. Instead, they find happiness in relationships and experiences.”

When we free ourselves from the materialism which advertisers push, and the race to do more than your colleagues, you are at last free to own—and do—only what is essential.

Only what means the most to you. Imagine being freed from that book club you attend but don’t enjoy because you never read the book. What about those monthly co-worker after-hour gatherings that find you wishing you were home relaxing? And do you really want to serve as PTA president for the fourth straight year? When is enough, ENOUGH? Do we force ourselves to do these things because we want to—or because we think we need to, to keep up or exceed everyone else’s expectations? What about your expectations?

As Becker says,

“Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.”

This doesn’t mean we all have to downsize to a Tiny House or an RV. But it does mean that we live more intentionally. Don’t buy something purely because it’s on sale. Don’t join a club simply because your friends are—it really may not be for you, after all.

Next time you’re shopping, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Do I want this because I cherish it, or because I can afford it?

  2. Is this so valuable to me, I would pay 3x as much for it?

  3. Do I want this or freedom?

As Beth Gibson Lilja says, “If it doesn’t bring you joy, or if you haven’t used it in 6-12 months…it’s time for a new home (Goodwill, ARC, a homeless Shelter like St Francis House in Sioux Falls, SD).” The more you declutter your space, the more you free your space—and mind.

Where to begin…how to begin? Start with Beth’s 2019 blogs which feature stories on downsizing, transitioning to a smaller space and decluttering. Then, check out Netflix. They are now airing: Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things.

Next, here are great resources used for this story with many more ideas for you:

In addition, check out the January 13 meeting of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals. Aimee Olsen will be presenting, “Organized to Free: Using Minimalism to Right-Size Your Life”. You can register online:

Organized to Free: Using Minimalism to Right-Size Your Life- (Public, with registration)

Now, it’s not just Happy New Year, it’s Better New Year. May 2020 see you enjoying a more intentional life living the life you truly want to live. Count on Beth to help you get there in 2020.

Let’s get started. Contact us today:, visit our web site or call: 612-616-215.


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