A Lesson in Minimalism—Living with Intention
December 15, 2022
I recently had an opportunity to visit my Pro Organizer colleague and friend Xiomara Romero of Lilly’s Organizing and her hubby’s home for the last three years. You see, this was not your ordinary expected structure, but their home on wheels—a lovely 200 square foot Airstream (a luxurious RV); their home for at least the next two years.
Of course, I went in with preconceived expectations, but nothing prepared me (us), hubby went too, for the life lessons received during our tour and the impact it would have on my thinking and life outlook. I expected organization and perfectly sized containers, very limited food and minimal clothing and decor—a sterile and maybe even cramped spaces. Instead what we discovered is that they had everything they need and even some wants in a very airy, ample natural light and warm home. While they have some space restrictions, and are therefore intentional with what they bring into their home, they have made a way to enjoy the things that matter most to them. They don’t over-consume food nor buy in bulk, but are able to buy and store a week’s worth at time. What this means is they are intentional with food purchases, rarely throw-out cans and expired goods, and eat fresh and healthy at home. But, they also treat themselves to beautiful outings and dinners as a couple or with friends.
Going back to the feeling upon entering the Airstream and I thought of Christine Platt’s “less is liberation;” XiXi is living it! Greeted by their beautiful and friendly dog Scooter, a warm candle, lights around the windows and a PEACE garland for the holidays was no different than entering any other home. They had just enough to convey the same welcoming feeling in a simplified way. Then XiXi graciously gave us a their home tour to include every overhead bin—every square inch thoughtfully and purposefully organized. Her limited closet space now means she owns 8 pairs of shoes and 4 small handbags, a 2-drawer jewelry case with mostly treasured pieces inherited from her mom and all casual clothing. In other words, her wardrobe matches her current lifestyle and she only holds on to things loved, used and needed; not how she lived in the past or desires to live in the future. However, even with limited space neither of them skimp on self-care and grooming. They have beautifully organized health and beauty/grooming prods—they live simply but luxurious.
So many lessons during our visit and if one is open to learning them, you will be all the better for it. They gave-up square footage in exchange for freedom to do and see life through a different set of lens. Yes, their living arrangements caters to minimalism but their experiences are grand—breath taking sunrises and sunsets, waterfalls and sometimes ocean views. As they tour all 50 states over a 2-yr period, XiXi has taken her passion for functional living on the road to organize homes and impact lives one state at a time. Ultimately, the deposits they are making are much bigger—they are long-lasting and life changing. I immediately assessed that my current love of purses, shoes and all things accessories, doesn’t subscribe to an overall minimalist lifestyle. However, it pricked me to reassess and make changes in our home to continue living with INTENTION and releasing items which no longer serve me. As I’ve said before you can select one area of your home or life to take a more minimalist approach. It doesn’t happen overnight, XiXi and Frank’s journey occurred over a period before they even hit the road!
As we plan for 2023, I am focused on creating meaningful experiences and acquiring less vs. consuming and retaining things that really do not lend itself to living with purpose. Whether in a 200 or 2,000 sq ft home, make it a priority to assess what is really important to you right now. Is it more vacations, increased family dinners, having less things that require constant decision making (e.g., way too many clothes), or having less things to maintain at home (i.e.,reducing time spent cleaning)? Whatever your goal, pause, write it down and make a plan to live with intent. In case you haven’t figured it out as yet, my word for 2023 is INTENTIONAL.