Jazmin, who has been a minimalist for years, is a one-woman wonder. Working as a doula, she serves military families through providing support through childbirth and postpartum. Armed with knowledge and experience around bringing children into the world, she makes all the difference when it comes to labor and delivery. Jazmin and I have known each other for the better part of 15 years and I have loved watching her compassion for our community grow.
Another fun fact about Jazmin is that she loves to clean. Really guys, I would totally eat a steak off of her bathroom floor. Every time people visit her home, they are completely bowled over by how tidy she keeps it, in spite of having two high-energy children. She has a knack for seeing the possibility an empty room provides and she also has a vast knowledge of how to make any space shine.
Her secret to cleanliness isn’t a mystery. She attributes her success to a lifestyle of minimalism.
A seasoned spouse, Jazmin has moved homes eight times over four duty stations. Developing the skill of minimal living has allowed her to seamlessly transition from place to place because she owns a manageable amount of household goods.
While their Air Force family was stationed at MacDill AFB in Florida, they opted out of base housing and found a home in the community. The house was large and spacious, prompting Jazmin to purchase a myriad of items to “fill up the space.” After a lengthy TDY, she and her husband decided it was time to move on base for a little more peace of mind. Their new home, however, was much smaller than their previous residence. Less space in their home forced all of the extra stuff to be moved into storage.
After the “lather, rinse, and repeat” of moving houses and shoving things in open spaces, Jazmin had a realization.
“I realized we are not going to fit our spaces. Our spaces will be made to fit us.”
She said she began asking herself, “How much less can I actually live with?”
Becoming a minimalist family allows the Gates to release the need for more things, manage the things they do own, and keep an environment that cultivates peace. Running up big bills at the home interior store is no longer a problem. Moving is less of a hassle because the packing process is much improved. Finally, keeping things clean and easy around the house lets stress melt away.
In a recent interview, Jazmin shared a few “myth busters” when it comes to minimalism.
First, Minimalism does not have to be all or nothing. You can be a minimalist and still have what you love.
Second, minimalism isn’t only about reducing the number of things you own. Minimalism is a lifestyle. It can be about more than getting rid of things. Instead, being minimalist can mean less commitments, less technology, or less waste of your time.
Lastly, everyone can minimize to scale. You can start anywhere.
Here are some tips from The Tidy Minimalist.
Start Easy. Start with one room, or a junk drawer even.
Buy simple. Minimalist designs and classic lines last longer. Buy quality furniture that will outlast trends.
Filter every new purchase through this question. “Do I need this?” Or, when you are sorting through old items, ask the same question and then add “Do I love this?”
Lastly, reward yourself for taking small steps. Did you clean out your linen closet or sift through an entire room? Reward yourself with a treat.
Learn more about Jazmin, the Founder and Head content creator of The Tidy Minimalist, at her website www.guidinggatesdoula.com or on social media @TheTidyMinimalist.