It’s easy to advocate for simple living minimalism as a spoonie. We can start with the practical. Maintaining things uses spoons. Cleaning and dusting things uses spoons. Having to move things to get to other things uses spoons. Trying to not knock things over, because your motor skills aren’t all that great, uses spoons. Able-bodied people don’t always understand how stressful clutter can be. Less stuff immediately translates to less effort.
Mentally and emotionally, removing the demands of taking care of stuff eases a burden. It can become an issue of guilt, brought about by a society that often labels people with invisible illnesses as lazy. I don’t look sick, therefore I should be able to deal with *gestures broadly at the world*. When you add in the way possessions become equated with status, then the pressure to own things creates further demands on your spoons. It’s not worth it.
Unwashed dishes stress me out, for example, especially when I’m low on spoons. Having fewer dishes, two place settings for two people, means they have to get done. It means there’s a finite amount that can pile up, and even if I used every plate and bowl in the kitchen it won’t take more than a few minutes to do the washing up. Less stuff, less obligation, less anxiety.
Less stuff means less to keep track of. With my executive dysfunction, that’s important. I don’t want to have to remember to dust the knicknacks, or set reminders to water a large number of houseplants that each have specific needs. My world is already filled with white boards and sticky notes and bullet journal trackers. I don’t need visual noise to distract me from important tasks, or to make my reminders less visible.
This does not mean that I don’t have aesthetically pleasing or visually interesting things. Quite the opposite. It becomes more important to curate decor. The few things around me are soothing and make me happy. They don’t get lost in the clutter, so I can see them and appreciate them. It’s easier to dust what needs to be dusted, and to see when they need dusting.
Beyond the Material
There’s more to simple living than having less stuff, of course. Planning simple, easy-to-prepare meals saves time, money, and spoons. Maintaining a well-stocked, efficiently organized pantry cuts down on draining trips to the grocery store. Even keeping your social life manageable, with strategic outings and as little drama as possible, can be hugely helpful.
All of the things I’m talking about apply to everyone, not just spoonies. It’s just easier for spoonies to say no, because we understand the implications and complications. We’ve learned to filter out the necessary from the unnecessary. We know our limitations. Everyone has finite time and money, but spoonies seem to have a better grasp on the reality of finite energy as well. Simple living minimalism as a spoonie means being efficient and targeted in our efforts, because that’s how we’ve adapted in order to function in the world.
Simple Living Minimalism as a Spoonie
This is the latest in a series of posts on Simple Living Minimalism. If you enjoy my posts you can buy me a coffee. Consider subscribing below, so you can read my daily ramblings about the writer’s life, minimalist, being a spoonie, and the intersection of all of those things.