“Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.”
Minimalism for Beginners- You Have To Find Your “Why”
You are being drawn toward living a simpler life, and have recognized the stress and mess that years of accumulation has brought you.
You know that more stuff does not = more happiness and maybe there is another way to ‘do’ life outside the lines of more, more, more, bigger, bigger, bigger that have been drawn around us.
Understanding why we do something or why we want to create a better, more minimalist life helps us see the beauty in what we’ve created. We form an appreciation for our why. Without knowing why we’re headed where we are, we cannot truly embrace the process or idea of simple living.
You could make a list of all the reasons you want to live more simply. If you are sick of not having enough money, write it down. Mad that you never get any time with your kids? Write it down. Tired of all the stuff that is piled up? Write it down. Too stressed out to sleep at night? Put it on paper.
Related- The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify
I came to the realization that the way we are “told” to live is basically bullshit.
Get a job(that you may not even really like), buy a bunch of stuff, and be in debt.
I realized that I wanted something different.
For me, minimalism is creating life habits that align with your values to allow you to live a purposeful, happy life.
How Do I Start Living Like A Minimalist?
First of all, minimalism is whatever you want it to be for you. It does not mean you have to get rid of everything.
You will figure out what your version of living a minimalist lifestyle looks like as you go through the process.
And the process is ongoing. It is more of a journey than a destination.
I have identified as being a minimalist for quite a few years now and I am still learning and evolving as I go.
One of the best things you can do on your journey to minimalist living is to start small.
You know how easy it is to be too enthusiastic about getting started with a new project. You want to dive in and get everything done in a day.
Slow down there Captain!
Trying to do too much at once is going to lead to burnout. You are in this for the long haul, remember?
This is a complete shift in your way of living and it is going to take time to figure it all out.
If you want to live a more minimalist lifestyle to try and simplify your life I applaud your decision. You are going against the mainstream in choosing to make this major life change.
Related– The 10 Best Books On Minimalism
Start With One Small Area To Declutter
If it is the amount of clutter that is bothering you, focus on one area and spend 10 or 20 minutes a day going through that area.
You may find it overwhelming at first. We have an emotional attachment to our belongings and it can be difficult to part with them.
Consistency is key when it comes to developing new habits. Really focus on staying with your decluttering trend every day. Yes, this may take a while and that is okay.
Keep only what is truly essential. If it serves a real purpose then it stays. It can even be for aesthetic purposes. I have wall art. I just like looking at it.
Keep doing this. There is no end to this process. Keep at it until you are satisfied with the amount of stuff you have. Remember that this is your journey.
Learn To Live With Less
Our Western society would have us believe that more is better. Be busy all the time. Spend your money on useless stuff. Be in debt.
There is a better way to live. It takes courage to actually make a change.
Those of us who choose to live a more minimalist lifestyle eschew this philosophy. We realize that marketers and advertisers just want our money.
We have come to the realization that consumerism is out of control.
So maybe you should write down all your debts.
Um, yeah. Get at it. So many people want to bury their head in the sand when it comes to how much money they owe creditors. The debts are not just going to disappear. And BTW, making the minimum payment on your credit card bill means you will basically NEVER get it paid off.
So get out a pen and paper and start writing. Sobering isn’t? Hopefully this will help you realize that you do not need more freaking stuff.
Ask yourself “do I really need this?” all the time.
Before you swipe your credit card, ask yourself “Do I really need this?” And ask yourself all the time. At first you may easily justify purchases out of habit, but as the question sinks in, you might find yourself realizing you don’t need many of the items you impulsively buy.
You will eventually create a fulfilling life that isn’t rooted in consumerism.
Ask questions! What things, people and activities are currently adding value to your life and which aren’t? What do you wish you had more time for? Here are some questions to get you started:
- Which 3-5 things are most important to you in life? Does the way you spend your time reflect these?
- What part of the day do you usually look forward to the most? Why?
- How does your living space make you feel?
- How many hours per day do you spend feeling rushed, stressed or anxious? What (or who) is causing that?
- What is your favourite place in your house/apartment? Why?
- How often do you do things just for fun?
- What activities always leave you feeling fresh and re-energised?
- Which of your commitments (side projects, clubs, memberships, etc.) truly add value to your life and which don’t?
- If this week had an extra day, how would you spend it? How good are you at saying no?
As a beginner minimalist you want more time for ourselves and those close to us.
We are realizing that less is more.
LESS clutter, time commitments, negative thought patterns and toxic relationships
MORE time, space, money, peace, and energy for things that really matter to you.
You will learn that it is okay to be quiet and still.
You may have to dig deep in order to do this. To let go of certain ingrained beliefs you have about what life is supposed to look like.
So what does living a minimalist lifestyle mean to you?
What draws you to minimalist living?
456 thoughts on “A Minimalist Living Starter Guide”
I just stumbled onto your site- I have been this way for yaers, but reading more about others doing i t helps. I too live in eastern Canada (st. John’s NL) and hvae been doing the “A thing a day” decluttering. It’s funny how even a minimalist can find stuff he or she doesn’t neeed!
Thanks for your site, I enjoy it! I find it to be positive and inspiring. Hello from Newfoundland!
‘A thing a day’. What a perfect way to do it!
Yes it really is a good way to embrace minimalist living. That way you don’t have to tackle evrything at once. Too overwhelming for a lot of folks.
Thanks for commenting.
A thing a day – what a great idea!! I have so much stuff that I don’t use. Some of it has sentimental value, I got it from my parents when they passed away… but I really need to just keep those things that have a significant meaning for me, or that I actually use. Thanks for posting!!
I so enjoy your site. I was searching for tips on reduction of items and came across your site. Very informative. i am having a yard sale on May 5–your right, less is more.
Good job on the yard sale. My neighbors just had one on Saturday and made over 200.00$ AND got rid of some stuff of course!
I love the “thing a day” approach (as well as this post, of course!).
My partner leans toward saving everything “just in case” and I actually tend to “over-purge”. Our compromise is a de-cluttering system of assessing the cost versus practicality. In other words, how much did I pay for it and how often do I use it? 🙂
Good approach and seems like you have a good compromise thing going on. Very important of course.
Well, I guess a 9×4 meter house in the mountians in Mexico and an income of 50 bucks a week is what minimalist living means to mean.How did I get here? The short version, I followed my dream to have a horse. paz, Abby
OMG Tell me more! I am in. I want this life you speak of. No really!
Yes Abby I want to know more!!
I just stumbled onto your site- I have been this way for yaers, but reading more about others doing it helps. I too live in eastern Canada (St. John’s NL) and have been doing the “A thing a day” decluttering. It’s funny how even a minimalist can find stuff he or she doesn’t neeed!
Thanks for your site, I enjoy it! I find it to be positive and inspiring. Hello from Newfoundland!
Yup. I still look around and think, do I REALLY need this??!!
I just stumbled on to your blog by entertaining the idea of searching for a tiny house online. Great blog! I am going to subscribe.
I have very recently started to re-design and simplify my life.
Your site is a great guide for ideas and inspiration!
Thanks very much. Good luck with your simplification:)
I’ll be sure to check out your blog as well.
You should check out the Texas Tiny Tumbleweed Houses built on trailers. They are exquisite inside and awesome cool!!!
I have indeed seen them. Love it!
I really enjoyed reading your posts, and I would love to read more. I have started looking into minimalist lifestyle tips… it’s something I’ve always been interested in. I do live this way but not to any extreme in the slightest, and I would like to try harder.
I’m drawn to a minimalist lifestyle because I don’t like the idea of being attached to my things. I often think if my house caught fire, what would I miss? Or if I was forced to leave right now, what would I take with me? I don’t want to take anything. I want to be free.
Your site is really helpful!
Thanks very much for your comment. I am certainly not an extreme minimalist either. My minimalism is a work in progress and I took could do more to live more minimalist..
Just do your best!
Hi, I just had to comment on this post in particular because my house did catch fire, really it was set on fire, and I can tell you what I miss. 🙂 The biggest thing I miss is my bed. Other than that, I can’t even tell you what I have sitting in a warehouse in storage right now. Obviously I didn’t need any of it. I missed it at first, but now I’m kind of getting used to not having it. I’m hoping that when I finally get my own place again I can keep it as simple as possible. I find that clean and simple is very calming. Thanks for the great post on minimalist living too. I really enjoyed it.
Wow. so sorry to hear about this. That is crazy. But it sounds like it put things in perspective in a crazy kind of way!
Thanks so much for sharing this.
If I was forced to leave, what would I bring?
Um…my flash drive. Maybe my tablet and keyboard.
I’d miss the books I’ve been reading, but those can eventually be replaced. I couldn’t ever replace the ones I’ve been WRITING.
Which reminds me–I really need to back up my work. And keep it backed up.
Hello! Minimalist living is a long term goal for me, something that I would love to achieve. Thanks for your post!
Yes living a minimalist lifestyle is a long term goal for me as well! I am a work in progress.
Thanks for commenting and I’ll be sure to check out your blog.
good thoughts and not a bad way to live life if it’s for you. what draws me to this style is a lack of clutter…
Minimalist living can be anything you want it to be or need it to be.
Thanks for commenting.
Strange enough, when I was living in Canada (coming from the US), I found people to be much more attached to their things and materialistic than the US. Perhaps because the economy has been recognized as in a downward cycle since around 2000-2001 people have learned to economize and be less attached to things. It is a great consolation to me to be able to pick up my stuff in 15 minutes or so and be off to the next town. “Tickets, money, passport” as they said in ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS and I would add “laptop, phone, camera” and everything else is expendable.
I am sure you have noticed the cobb house and mini-house movements; very interesting. Thank you! -‘tarotworldtour’
Yes Canadians are bad for materialism as well. Shopping is a national pastime . Such a waste. You hit the nail on the head with being able to pack up quickly and go. The joys of minimalist living and having less stuff weighing you down.
Thanks so much for commenting.
A fellow minimalist! Great post. I’ll have to keep an eye on your blog. My blog is along similar lines, but I’ve narrowed my writing subject down to a carefully maintained bookshelf. It’s tough to be a minimalist and an avid reader, but it’s also a fun challenge: http://minimalistbookshelf.wordpress.com/
The trick to being a minimalist and an avid reader is making sure you live close to the library and never buy a book. If there is a long waiting list for the book you want to read, reread the classics, they are always there.
Perfect tip David. Thanks!
This is wonderful. I’m so excited to read the rest of your posts.
Thanks! Dive in and comment often. Share your tips, tricks and ideas.
I like your comment that minimalist living is not actually always about LESS, but can actually be seen as having MORE in terms of money, time, contentedness, and health. It’s a matter of priorities. This way of living is definitely MORE beneficial to the self, to the relationships we cultivate with others, and to the environment.
People think they are missing out with minimalist living. Not so.
Thanks for commenting!
This is very interesting. It is a very useful concept for anyone to at least understand. Learning to differentiate between materialistic ways of life and the love of the simple things should be common place and the more people are aware of this, the more of life people will have to enjoy! Great post. Check out my media label http://holdupnow.com/ I hope you find something that interests you on there.
It is an interesting concept. I still struggle a bit with wanting stuff at times but realize it is just a passing fancy. I like the way you mention a love for the simple things/
I’ll be sure to check out your site.
Thanks for commenting,
Of course. When you have advertisements pushed onto you all the time, it is understandable to desire certain things for at least a brief period of time. I mean after all, something has to appeal out of the hundred of ads you see everyday – indoors and outdoors.
The love of simple things is something that I am passionate about. I have told my friends and family for many years that once they can embrace a love for the simple things in life, life will become much more than it currently is.
This is nice as it is really the first post on here I have seen about anything like this so thanks.
Thanks and yes you are right. There is just so much simple joy that comes from taking it easy loving simply pleasures.
People call you a ‘hippy’ if they see anyone abiding by this ethos. It’s a shame how narrow-minded people have become, both to nature and to living naturally.
Thank you for sharing this. I agree completely. 3+ years ago I stopped buying clothes and started making my own. All I buy now are socks + shoes+ innerwear (I’m working on getting better at the last one so I don’t have to buy it anymore). When you have to spend time and effort on every article of clothing it very quickly starts going through the ‘do I actually need this and does it in any way flatter me + my existing wardrobe’ test. This, combined with the amount of fabric wasted when cutting out clothing (there are ways to minimise it but there is always a little wasted..) really means I only make perhaps one out of ten things that I want. It costs more than buying 10 fast fashion sweatshop made things a week but its cruelty free and it lasts.
I probably have too much in the way of clothes. I need to do wardrobe purge.
What a great post ! I was told once to start by pretending I had to move to a place 1/2 my current size; and always ask “what purpose does this serve” when deciding to keep something.
Wow. What a great idea. I am going to incorporate that thinking into my own minimalist lifestyle!
One of the things I try to do is to always downsize when I move. Fewer rooms means fewer things can go with me. The ultimate goal (which may actually be the next step) is to get something like an airstream and live in it.
This year I gave up cable in preparation for the final step.
Part of this whole minimalist thing, tho, is eliminating debt. You can’t be dedicated to a minimalist lifestyle if you are shackled by debt, credit cards, etc. I’ve paid off my car which is expected to last me a long time. The plan is to buy the airstream or RV outright. Then all I will have to pay is a monthly KOA fee, my insurance, and food and gas.
Yes! Debt free is the only way to live. I cannot imagine being shackled by huge credit card debt. No way. Love the Airstream idea. Let us know how you make out with your plans.
Amen! I’ll get there one day 🙂 We just moved overseas, so had to downsize about half of our belongings. While we are waiting for our stuff to ship, we ended up living out of 2 suitcases each for almost 9 weeks now – and realized that we’ve been doing pretty well that way! We went and bought some extra things that we didn’t have… but it’s been very liberating learning that we CAN get by with less, and comfortably so!
That is the thing most people probably do not realize. That they can get by with less. Much less. Life would be so much more open if they just gave minimalist living a try.
Thanks for commenting and sharing this.
Great post. Three years ago while going through a separation and eventual divorce I was forced to downgrade. I have always been fair about creating balance and prioritization of values, but for about a year I was very intentional about simplification and only focusing on a few things. The impact and lesson was significant.
When I work with people I have them break their life up into six areas: health, finances, relationships, careers, fun, and impact. We don’t deal with any stress that doesn’t fall into the first four (health, finances, relationships, careers) so I coach them to only set one or two goals in each area to help them prioritize and simplify their world.
Great message and so needed!
Great tips. Are you a life coach?
Simplify your world. Great concept! I may have to use that.
I work with a group called Man-Up which is life skill and leadership development for boys 13-17 years old. I also work with young professionals on the exact things we’re talking about. Taking time to understand their passions and values before they make decisions and commitments that don’t align with who they really are. You can learn more at http://www.vision30.com.
What do you do?
I was a business owner-a defensive driving school franchise and a school teacher.
Got out of the business during my split from my wife-she kept it.
I became very tainted against the ways of the education system and got out of that. I now work in a local Michelin Tire plant. I actually kind of like it. Physically demanding and shift work but oh well. Not my dream job but a means to an end.
Perfect. Thank you for this 🙂
You are very welcome!
Reblogged this on Lissy Geiss and commented:
This is my ideal lifestyle.
Great post! I have often thought how strange we humans are. We spend years buying new things, years storing them, putting them on display, but rarely touching many of our possessions. Then, as we get too much clutter we upsize our homes, buy more storage solutions and spend hours cleaning and rearranging because of our clutter. Years later, usually as we age we suddenly realise that we can’t take it all with us, it hasen’t been used for years and therefore we don’t need it. We then downsize housing and declutter! What was the point in the first place? I believe less is more. Beauty in simplicity. Choose your items well, choose quality and style. Live with less and get rid of the stress!
Why is it that we choose to live this way??
Magpie syndrome! lol!
Great post. I am a minimalist wanna be, but I always seem to get overly attached to useless items . . . a sentimental thing. However, these principles are also great to apply to your own mind. When you have a negative thought then try to assess it for utility. Do I need this thought? Is it helping me? Sometimes you do need them and they can be helpful, or serve as warnings. But most of the time you don’t. While my life may be physically cluttered, I try to maintain this uncluttered mental view. It changes your life.
Great post. Definitely an interesting read.
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Hi , I have been living this way for a long time. Although, it is time to start letting go of some more stuff. Loved your blog.
A minimalist way of living is less about reducing the clutter in your life and more about living with less. I have been doing this my whole life, and it is what I am used to. In liked the way you put it into words, defining the whole spirit of leading such a life.
Just one query. Do you think the digitalization of our everyday life promotes a more minimalist way of life. I think it does. What do you think?
Great post, btw!
I highly enjoy being a minimalist. It’s taken a while to get to this point but it feels so good!
Thanks for sharing. Inspirational and motivating post. Since spending a year travelling last year, I have really tried to start living with more meaning, simplifying life and living with the necesities, avoiding overconsumerism and it is a challenge in today’s society. Good to know that there are more people with the same thoughts in the world!
Simple is sweet. A breath of fresh air to an otherwise cluttered existence. Thanks.
Very interesting post! I was reminded of the fundamentals of my faith as a Muslim as I read this. Here is some food for thought (just thought you might find it interesting!):
And here’s a TEDx talk from a popular Muslim poet:
Well said and a great blog. One of the silver linings behind the whole shift in the economy is that more people are confronting situations where they are tapped out financially and waking up to new realizations that trying to keep up with the Jones’ maybe is not the answer. We have for a long time been taught that all this materialsim was the American dream. It is incredibly intriguing and a lot of fun, as long as the income is there. However, even if the income is there, we become addicted to wanting more.
Then something happens which is the nature of life to disrupt the income or our circumstances (e.g divorce). Many stress at all costs to retain this “standard of living” because to give this up would mean that they were a failure. Those that shed their ways of life often find less stress and ironically more freedom and happiness.
I have had to recently return to a higher degree of materialism than I would prefer due to a move with a job to a high rent district and having children. This is difficult for me since I once left corporate America for a backpack and a ticket overseas. However, at least the awareness remains that this is temporary and at some point we will return to a more simple way of life.
Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to future posts.
I like to look for ways to decrease my impact on resources. Materialism is one attribute to it’s own, but we all must eat to survive. Minimalism to me goes beyond scrapping the plastic and figuring out how I can reduce my overall impact to the resources that I am sharing with the world and my community. This may look different in time, it takes more time to grind flour, collect and culture yeast and bake bread in a wood stove than to go buy it from the grocer. I feel it’s worthy and time well spent. I am industrial to myself, my family, and my community. I share these ways with those who want to learn.
I’m not sure what my lifestyle is called but my philosophy is that if it ain’t broke don’t buy a new one. I drive a 1988 Toyota Corolla. I have a 20 year old fridge-freezer and only bought a new tv when the old one gave up the ghost. My computers tend to last for about 5 years and get upgraded when what I can’t do on them out weighs what I can. My old clothes rarely go to the op. shop coz I either keep things for a very long time or wear them until they are ready to be turned into cleaning cloths. I do however have hundreds of books. And I’m happy.
Great post. Thank you.
i’m driving a 82 toyota corolla that i bought back in ’96 for $1000.00 and i’m an embarassment to my friends.as long as it works i will keep on driving it
Yes! Why waste a perfectly good car? Or tv? Or fridge or whatever? The whole idea behind planned obsolescence is obscene and I can’t believe we’ve all bought into it for so long. 😦
Very good point
About a year ago, I downsized from a 1000 sq ft, 2-bedroom apartment to a one-room cabin in the woods that did not even have a closet. I ended up getting rid of a lot of stuff. A move like that makes you assess what you really do and don’t need and what kinds of things you won’t miss if you don’t have them. In addition to getting rid of a lot of material stuff, the move also meant no more cable TV, internet, or phone service at home (I did have electricity and running water, though!). Without those things, it becomes much easier to find meaning in your life and find the time for the things you really want to do. Not to mention it saves money!
And four months ago, I packed up and moved to the other side of the world, which meant even more downsizing. I didn’t think I had much left to get rid of. I did put a lot of things in storage (mostly sentimental things), but I got rid of plenty, too, and came to Australia with only the bare essentials.
My fiance, unfortunately, is a pack-rat who has never moved even once in his life and the amount of clutter he has is extremely overwhelming. I am constantly trying to get him to downsize and always telling him to stop buying crap we don’t need. We’re in a small flat while our house is renovated and we do not have the room for all his clutter. I told him that he is not allowed to bring anything else into the flat unless it has a specific purpose and he has a place to put it that is not on the floor or dining table. He is gradually coming around to the idea that less is more and that one does not need stuff in order to be happy.
I think your starter guide is excellent for people who are thinking about downsizing their lifestyles a bit. Thank you for sharing and congrats on being Freshly Pressed. 🙂
This is an incredible story. I am envious of your dedication to what you believe in.
Hi! I really think your post is really encouraging, and it’s actually what the world now needs. I always think, “Why try so hard to do everything?” when trying to do less or sometimes even doing nothing can be rewarding. (I think you know what I mean.) I recently tossed out my mobile phone…am just trying it out for a month. I am now on my second week…feels great, no beeps and interrupting calls…it’s working out so far. I’m really grateful to stumble upon your post. Congratulations for Freshly Pressed. But more than that, Congratulations for successfully living out a minimalist life! I am still trying to do that…
Another thing, I always remember Gandhi’s very powerful thought, “Live simple so others may simply live.” I love its meaning. I try to remember this everyday. Keep sharing. Thanks!
It’s very liberating and freeing to let go of material things and ideals and expectations. I spent all of my savings this past winter so I could write. I thought I would feel naked without a retirement fund, but actually I feel relieved. No more looking at the stock market, no more senseless worry. I love your blog!
I have been decluttering our lives for over two years now. I don’t know if what we end up with will be considered minimilist but maybe something like another blogger “Living Lagom” – just enough. No more (well maybe a few fun extra things), no less – just right. I definately want to get to a very reduced amount of waste.
Thanks for the great advice. We should all strive to live this way. I am content with what I have and prefer to spend my time and money on things that make me truly happy.
Hi, I just read this through freshly pressed. After years of sorting, buying, chucking out then more hoarding, etc the viscious cycle of consumerism, I am now a mad minimalist. It soothes me and I feel content mentally, spiritually and of course physically because it does as you say impact all areas of life. I am keen to keep reading your blog. If you’re interested, I wrote a post recently about the fine art of decluttering one’s life and some theories behind why it is good for you see here> http://artheoryinlife.com/2012/03/29/something-like-that/ Thanks for a great read 🙂
the above was a minimalist response to your wonderful post.
This is something I need to practice more. Letting go can just be soooo hard!
Reblogged this on Seasons of lust and commented:
Goal for 2012
Many thanks for the elegantly simple and profound ideas. Particularly inspiring were your (and those of others commenting on your blog) experience of and struggle to actually live those ideas, walk the tallk. I know deep within me that that is the way to go; I am still taking baby steps, am still far from becoming an instinctive minimalist. I shall certainly be following your blog for a sense of community.
Inspirational, and something that is honestly worth continually striving for. Thank you for the gentle reminder.
Excellent reading (even your page is minimalist!) I’ve never been one for lots of things, I’m quite particular with my taste so this makes it somewhat easier. When I do occasionally splurge on unnecessary stuff, I’ll feel guilty after. I feel even more guilty when I have a clear out, coz I think of all the waste that’s accumulated (even though as much as possible is donated to charity). When I lived o/s I lived very minimalist because I always had in mind that I eventually when I went back home I would have to dispose of it, pay to send it home or carry it (and pay excess baggage fees!)
When you aren’t amongst material clutter the space is wide open for things in life that cannot be quantified.
My husband and I have been looking to get rid of a lot of extra stuff we have around! While I know we will probably never truly live a minimalist lifestyle this is inspiring us to make a change. Thanks!
Minimalist Comment – Awesome post
Great topic! I’ve moved around North America five times this past year, so I’ve kind of had to force myself to simplify/minimize, which has been nice in the long-run. Even right now, I’m separated from about 80% of my possessions by a couple states. Despite my initial freakouts over not having my books/trinkets/miscellaneous with me where I am now, I’m doing absolutely fine without (most of) it.
Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!
Reblogged this on sweetdreamzztextiles and commented:
I’ve been striving for this for a few years, obviously I need to keep pressing forward.
This is great and how I feel life should be lived!
Thank you very much for this. As a family and group of friends we try to live a minimalistic lifestyle since years. It´s always ecouraging to get to know other who do like this. We startet in our house, wardrobe, electronics, … use an old car as long as possible, and now, instead of a holiday resort – going by bicycle in the nearby woods …
Great message and writing, Mark. It’s high time that the “hoarding” mentality of past decades is abandoned as foolish as it was, and your positive take on living with minimal helps us see the benefit rather than viewing it as “letting things go.” It’s more like opening up to new possibilities.
Thank you for your post and thank you for your minimalist approach to writing too! I totally agree with what you’re saying. My husband and I are now starting to enact minimalist ways – clean-ups, de-cluttering, donating unwanted things and shopping only for necessities. We’re now finding that we have more disposable income to travel the world and enjoy time together by going to restaurants, seeing movies and art exhibitions, etc. We also have more money to donate to charities and worthy causes. I’m also discovering that my stress levels are starting to become minimal too 🙂
superb like your post….
Great post — you summed up the benefits of minimalism quite nicely. I’m not quite where I want to be yet, but hope to get there in a few years!
very nice post.
thanks for sharing .
the thing which you mentioned in post is very true.
wonderful post. got inspiration for living simply. liked it.
I love this post because of the recognition that we are a work in progress! Each time I DON’T buy something I give myself a little pat on the back. Having work that requires a move every 3-5 years has done wonders for our sense of what we really need. When you’ve grown up with lots of clutter around you, sometimes just seeing space between your furniture is a huge step. Thanks!
i have always been living this lifestyle. my philosophy has been take what you need not what you want and it has served me well. cheers!
I strive evry day to have less
I always felt bad for not wanting the things that everyone else seem to live their lives working for. I grew up poor in a three room, tiny house with about nine other people and we had waaaay less stuff than your average suburban family. To this day, I don’t like having a lot of stuff, it makes me feel tied down to life. I like having a few, quality things because it makes me remember how little I had and how great it felt to get one good thing sparingly. Plus, I’m a college student and moving yearly is a hassle. I’m trying to be minimalist with spending, and I’ve got a 10k loan debt to minimize too!
I’d love to try living a minimalist life. It seems to be a more peaceful and simpler way of life. But I guess, there will be lots of homeworks to do. And confession to make, sometimes, I keep things even though I don’t really know what to do with them.
You are not alone. One step at a time. Try just donating or selling one thing and see how it makes you feel.
Great post, very inspiring
I really like the direction you sketch up, even though I still have a lot I can do better.
But I do come to think of three things that I managed to do to head in the “less is more” direction.
First I always try to walk, to where I need to go, it is the simplest way to move, and when I combine it with using public transportation, when its too far, it make it possible for me to have much more time wandering of, and the biggest bonus is I never have to go all the way back to where I parked the car 🙂
Second I use the library, This is a superb invention, great to have free access to almost all the books in the world, and still only 4-5 books on my shelf at a time.
Third a draw my impressions and thoughts up with watercolors, instead of taking photos, its so much more simple, and actually help me to stop and see much more of something, I might otherwise just click by with yet another snapshot.
Look forward to follow your posts on simple living
Great tips and advice. Thanks for commenting
ok I know I could never be a minimalist (I just like my stuff too much) but I am glad I found your blog because there is something about the philosophy behind it that really appeals…. looking forward to understanding more about it!
I love this and share your philosophy exactly!!!! No, it’s not easy to achieve but I’m working on it (and have been, consciously, for the past five years) with a new-found energy; totally motivated by the sense of release, freedom and, most astonishingly of all, the ‘inner peace’, it brings!
Many Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!
Thanks for stopping by and checking it out.
Great post! These are the ideas I try to live by every day..
that is very important topic for making our life valuable thank u
Thanks for commenting!
Congratulations on being freshly pressed.
Whilst I love the idea of getting rid of stuff I don’t need I find it very hard, It takes me ages just sort out one closet. I find the process exhausting. Even clothes that I haven’t worn for years I think – maybe I will need it – maybe I will gain / lose weight – maybe an occasion will arrive when I can use that.
There is a law somewhere that says the moment I chuck something out I will immediately find a need for it.
Thanks for the congrats!
I know how you feel but I find if you have not used or worn something for a few months then it really should go. You will probably find that you will not miss the items as much as you think you do. Recruit a friend to help you sort through some stuff and tell them to be honest about the clothing and ruthless!
Thanks for stopping by.
Thanks for the reply. Yes – I should take a deep breath and just do it. I’ll let you know.
Thanks very much for stopping by my minimalist blog.
My favorite thing about choosing simplicity is the resources it frees up to bless others with — my favorite thing to do with my $$ is make lavish meals for friends struggling financially. Everyone deserves hospitality, and this for me is the soul of minimalist living.
I was thinking the other day while in Halifax that if every person just gave a quarter to the man panhandling he would really be able to have a nice meal. But so many people just pass him by. We have so much.
Great idea you have there.
Thanks for commenting.
What a great blog! I’m so glad I came across this. My wife has been teaching/helping me to become this way for the 6 years we’ve been together, and I’m glad. I used to want to keep everything, and collected stuff I said I would “get to” at one time or another, realizing I never would. I’m far from my goals, but I’m well on my way, thanks to my better half!
Good for you. It is a journey that’s for sure. There is nothing wrong with collecting something if it does bring you joy or pleasure.
Thanks for reading and commenting.
Just what I need at this time in my life. I am going thru a divorce. I have been tearig apart a 4000sf house and planning ot move to NYC and with space so limited there I am making choices and at the same time realizing how much more money I would have if I didn’t buy all this stuff
Sorry to hear about the divorce. It can be stressful. Hopefully you can sell some of your items to recoup some of the money.
I am planning on a trip to NYC in October for some sightseeing.
Good luck and thanks so much for commenting.
When I was 12, my family moved state. We spent 3 months in a rental house with most of our stuff in boxes. By the time we moved into our own house and my sister and I got to help unpack the boxes, we discovered that we each literally had an entire box worth of stuff we hadn’t missed for even a second. I have to say, I’m not a very good minimalist. I come from a family of hoarders and I love pretty things. I love this philosophy though, and every so often I do a massive clean out.
It can be hard to embrace when we have become conditioned to keep all of our stuff forever! A good purge every now and again does the soul good.
Great post. Over the past few years I’ve adopted this mentality, having very little money but somehow feeling much more enriched. I LOVE decluttering, giving to friends or charity and selling things on ebay, it is so satisfying. Glad to have found your blog!
I do feel so much more enriched as well. Great description! Money is just money. It comes and goes but experiences and being with nature are priceless.
Thanks for commenting!
I love the “place for everything and everything in its place.” That’s me to a T. Now I have to apply that to my “cramped in a very small place studio where I have to move large and small containers constantly. (online shop) I’m getting there. I’ve done a lot of vertical organizing to save floor and surface space. I am a detailed person and I love organizing. My embellishments, supplies, found objects, tools, etc. won’t go….as they are very necessary. But, the unnecessary……well that’s another story. lol
Thank you for your blog posts on minimalism. I hope more articles and helps will be coming up.
I will admit that I could be a tad more organized. I am not terrible but could be more on the ball.
I see photos of perfectly organized pantries and closets and bathrooms and I love it. Then reality sets in:)
Thanks for commenting and stay tuned!
I recently left 95% of my possessions behind and plan to live out of my car for, at the very least, the summer. The things that were important to me fit into a shoebox (and oddly enough, all my shoes…) Aside from that, I have my dog, and some clothes. I’ve never liked materialistic things, and feel weighted down when I’m surrounded by too many possessions. Thanks for the post. I very much enjoyed it, and didn’t know there was a name for it. 🙂
Wow a huge step to make. Why are you choosing to do this? Just curious. I think I could really get by with much much less than I have now. I’m sure a lot of us could.
There’s not really one specific reason…it seems like it’s more a case of the straw that broke the camel’s back. I think in doing this, I’m going to discover why I’ve made the choice. It will be an ever evolving journey I’m sure. Check out where I end up on my blog! lol
Gioia Sciliano use to say, “When you have nothing, you have your freedom.” If put in prespective that is the truth…Share what you have and if whomever they are don’t understand, PHUQUE EM!!!!
Ha ha. Very well stated!
I think of it as a way to cleanse my life from all the STUFF that is keeping me trapped and bound to places.. 2 years ago, I decided to sell all the stuff that I hardly ever use. What could not be sold, went into the trash. When I was done, everything was nice and clean and I felt great, as if I had “unburdoned” myself.
I even sold my car. I now take the bus/the train and guess what – it works perfectly fine.
Trapped and bound. So true. Good for you for selling your car. Thanks for commenting.
Thanks for the post. Driving less makes me feel like a minimalist. When a car comes with me I feel like I am dragging massive clutter around. It’s like bringing an entire room along. Often I drive because I don’t feel I have enough time to get to a place by walking, biking, or busing. Or maybe because I need to carry something. But I try not to let myself off the hook too often with these excuses because if the place I am going is important, then I have time to get there. Go fewer places, take your time, arrive clutter-free!
Nice dimension to a refreshing thought process – the idea that less is actually more! I think without even thinking about it we accumulate way too many things that are not even used once in a blue moon. It’s always about I want and I want now, rather than thinking thrice before making a purchase decision. It’s sort of an impulse thing that provides a sort of high for that particular moment. That always happens with me – even if I go with a shopping list, I tend to over buy – will definitely read your blog and try to adopt some of the ways suggested – as a clutter free existence would mean peace of mind and I would definitely want to look around my home and see it chaos free for once!
I have been a Minimalist my entire life! And I don’t know anyone else who lives this way, so it’s great to meet you virtually! We definitely need to share our ideas and show everyone how WONDERFUL life feels to live this way! Cheers for leading the way with your blog!
Having healthy relationships is conducive to a minimalist lifestyle.
Thanks for this post and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. I agree that less is definitely more. When I make the effort to clear papers from my desk, discard useless bits of clutter from my handbag and keep everything neat, tidy and minimal I feel so much better. Thank you for reminding me…I think it is time for a clear-out session. Simplicity = less stress.
Don’t even get me started on this topic!!!! LOL. I’m only 38yrs old but I feel very “old fashioned”. I don’t really care about stuff, posessions, keeping up the Joneses…etc. The commercialized western world that I live in sickens me most of the time. I long for a much more simple life in the mountains away from the rat race of making a living in the modern world. I sometimes feel that I was born in the wrong century. I think more & more people are just starting to realize that life isn’t all about money & acquiring more material things. Somewhere along the line we’ve lost who we are as a society and as individuals.
I agree with you, Mark. I don’t like lugging around all kinds of stuff. I too, want only the bare essentials. That being said, I still have stacks of papers (valued information?) and bookshelves of books. You might say that I’m moving away from being an information “junkie”. It’s way better than it was, but I still feel a need to recycle more “crap.” I like your idea of starting with one room at a time. How hard can that be with only four rooms (including bathroom). I could be done in no time, if I found some quiet time to focus on it. Oh well, maybe after tax season. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!
Great post! Unloading the unnecessary takes time and practice. At the start of 2012, I decided to reduce what I was doing with my time. I found that if I substituted the word “money” for “time” when I was deciding whether to spend my time/energy on a person/project/task, it helped me weed out unnecessary things. Our family also sequestered Tuesday as a day to do “nothing”. . . so far, this has reduced stress. And I have made progress toward some of my goals that bring me real satisfaction.
Brilliant advice. We have such a hard time saying no it seems. Good for you on slowing down and dedicating a day/evening for family time.
Hi minimalist, I like your thoughs. It is so simple….The real resources are limited, so why do we expect steady groth – in all spheres of live…
Yes why do feel the need to keep expanding our collection of stuff???
Reblogged this on Krystianastacykelly's Blog.
Thanks so much!
IN the ’70s I sailed in the South Pacific for seven years,crew on different sailboats to remote islands. I carried what I had on my back (a couple pair of pants, a few shirts, bikinis, pareus — and at that time, always a portable Olivetti typewriter). They were the best years of my life. Then I had children, and this “mad nesting Instinct” began a process that lasted over 30 years of “providing for them”: After they all left home, we moved into a lovely 2,000-square foot home with a large shop for my husband and a greenhouse on 10 acres. And one day I woke up and said it was all insanity; that I didn’t need nor want all that accumulated crap. We sold the house and five acres, first with the intention of building a small 400-square foot house in the woods on the other five acres, but then there were building codes to contend with, this requirement and that to meet for someone else’s standard as to how we could live; and then I thought, gee, just having to work to pay the electricity, the taxes, the insurance, etc means I have to have this and this and this and this (I was running my own business which required computers and printers and binders and stores of paper and supplies; my husband was running his own cabinetry and construction business which required him to have a shop and equipment).. So for me, to minimize, I needed to get out of the States where just the process of living seemed to force me to have more than I needed or wanted. So we moved to Costa Rica, bought a small Tico house, a bed, a couple chairs, a table, kitchen appliances. I now live on about $380 a month — my most expensive bill is to pay for my monthly internet. Even here, I find the little things starting to accumulate, a lot like the tropical jungle that just keeps growing back. But if I feel like It’s starting to again control me, I might just sell it all and move to the jungles of Peru or Thailand, but not bother to buy a house at all. Oh, and my Olivetti got traded long ago for a nice laptop.
Okay. You are singing my song!! I long for a simple existence such as what you speak of!! I was just thinking this today. I go to work at a factory that really cares nothing about me. I do this to pay for stuff. And rent. And utilities and insurance and gas and on and on.
What if I did not have these expenses?
Incredible comment. I want to know more!!
Reblogged this on rosepetaldreams.
I love it! Way to go. I like this so much
Thanks! Glad you liked it!
We are going to go 1 week without electricity. Blog will be up soon as a starter. Perhaps next week? We are really looking forward to this. Soon we will be downsizing EVEN MORE. WOO HOO!! Thanks again for your awesome wisdom!
Great post! You’ve inspired me to write a new post. Looking forward to more great tips!
Concentrating on core values is my inspiration too. Aim for what you really want and it will come. A recent survey asking dying people what they most regretted revealed many felt they had worked too much and hadn’t followed their real desires. Once I asked my father for a little financial help and he looked at me incredulously and said, “I gave you your life!”
Fantastic = great post. Thanks for sharing these tips, it’s a great reminder to continue to do my decluttering and clean out. I’m mid way through my purge of ‘stuff’ and it feels good. Thanks for the inspiration – and congrats on being Freshly Pressed.
I loved your post! I am not minimalist, but am definitely not a big consumer. My family lives pretty simply and we like it that way.
Thank you so much for this!!!! I started understanding this way of life a few years ago. My mother is a hoarder and I promised myself and children that we would never live that way. I struggle a bit with the “live below your means”, however I am working on it… thanks and I look forward to future blogs….
We are conditioned to spend all the time. Heaven forbid we save for something. Good for you for trying to live a more minimalist type of lifestyle.
Thanks so much for reading and commenting!
Reblogged this on haystaxxx.
I have been living this lifestyle for a while and it’s great!
I am just about to move again and noticed that I still had stuff that I hadn’t used in several months. I gave all of it away – and feel more free for it.
I would like to live more minimalist, but it seems so difficult.
If you think something is difficult then it is.
Start small. Try getting rid of just one item and see how it makes you feel. Minimalist living can take whatever for you want it to take. Walk more. Spend less money. Enjoy every moment. These are just examples.
The ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui supports a minimalist lifestyle. It’s about surrounding yourself only with items you “LOVE!” (makes it easier to decide what is clutter and what is important to you), keeping your environment clean and clear, and freeing up space for all kinds of good opportunity to find you.
I have read about Feng Shui and love the concept. I will be sure to check out your blog!
How is it in life that we accumulate so much stuff? My husband and I have been restoring a 1910 Victorian home. We understand the concept of minimalist living to some degree…like how we went without a toilet for several weeks (construction port-o-potty out back), or a shower for several months (go to the gym or…use the hose), or how we are still using a utility sink in our kitchen to wash dishes. As we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel on this project, we are now moving to a different city. I have begun the process of “packing” and, as I look around, I cannot believe or understand how we got so much stuff over the past 8 years. There are things that I forgot I even owned. And why do we need a frozen yogurt maker and an ice cream maker? Crazy. Insane. I am doing just as you have suggested in my own life right now and CULLING room by room. Having very little closet space, I have been good at culling with clothes and getting rid of things each year that are not worn or are worn thin, but I am not as good with the rest of my life, and TERRIBLE with papers. Papers are destroying my life! I was just in Paris on vacation for a week and never listened to the radio and only turned on CNN twice for about 20 minutes each time. I also left my cell phone at home in the states. It was so freeing to not be TIED, BOUND and GAGGED to technology. I am hoping to see a piece on this aspect from your blog in the future. Thank you for creating a medium for people to talk about the difference in things that are really WANTS versus NEEDS. I think we all NEED a wake-up call here. – Amanda
Wow thanks so much for the comment!
Not being tied to technology for a time is amazing. No one can get you and that is nice!
There is something to be said for being disconnected from the world. It does keep turning without us being tuned in 24/7.
I’ve been minimalizing, slowly, for about 15 years at this point. I started with a three-bedroom house. I then minimized my marriage (lost about 115 pounds, ha ha!) and moved to a one-bedroom apartment in a high-rise (no garage or yard). Then I moved across the country to a smaller one-bedroom. Then another, half that size. Then I moved in with roommates and distilled down to a 13×13 room. Now I’m living with my girlfriend and further disposed of about seven boxes.
My trouble is that a lot of my memories are triggered by artifacts. Every time I go through a box, I relive the past (sometimes good, sometimes bad). I think I’ve gone about as far as I can go.
I hear you on memories being triggered. Some good, some bad. It has made you who you are.
I already have too much stuff in my room so no matter how much I throw I eventually buy some more. When I mean more its actually computers, laptops and other things. My room is bedroom, studying room, computer lab all in one, so pretty difficult to manage as I don’t have so much space. But I keep it organized as best as I can. Thanks for the reminder again. Great Post
What brought me to a minimalist life was a visit to Nigera in 1988. It opened my eyes that there was so much in my life that I didn’t need, and that there were so many people in the world who had less, but were still happy. I can’t say I fully live in a minimal life, but am constantly pursuing that goal. Having children has put a crimp in my plan. What I learned from this is that it reduced my stress in life. Some of the rules I live by include:
– don’t waste money on “decorating” our home, everything has to provide a value
– no longer putting on fake fronts for people
– it’s okay to not like all people
– eliminate unnecessary people from my life
– stick close to the family
– invest in the family
Thanks for this blog. It reinforced what I think.
Great points about connecting with and investing in the family. So many people in the world have very little but make do and are probably happier than many of us in the developed world who are slaving away to pay for all their possessions.
A terrific post with some great advice, I especially appreciate the way you show the multiple benefits of a minimalist lifestyle. It’s a refreshing attitude, in a world where people are increasingly indoctrinated into buying more crappy electronic gadgets they don’t need or can’t afford (a handy distraction to the world’s problems).
Ah yes, distracting ourselves so we don’thave to deal with stuff or have real and meaningful relationships.
I think I am going to really love your blog! Have you ever met a minimalist who has been at it into old age? That’s me! Always decluttering, but with a lot more to learn. Perhaps your blog will help. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!
So what does your minimalist lifestyle look like??
Thanks so much for commenting!
You’re welcome! My life? -Uncluttered, rural living, wood stove, well water, fresh air, natural local foods, plus, plus plus – with things still to be improved and much to learn.
I’ve been car-free for past 3 decades (I returned to cycling @32 yrs.) and believe me when you cycle for shopping, you only buy what you will use. Very little junk impulsive buying. Then cycle travelling on vacation and cycling with one’s own clothing means one is less tempted to buy alot of souveniers.
Minimalist living also comes for a person who has had to move several times in life for job changes in different provinces/states or worldwide. You start to cut down extraneous stuff: it’s just cheaper and less effort to move when you have less!
Yes you would forced to live clutter free and certainly adopt a minimalist lifestyle when cycling everywhere.
I think this is a terrific idea. I actually have way too much excess, and I don’t really like spending money on new things unless they are strictly necessary. The people surrounding me do though, and don’t really understand how I’d like to have only what is necessary in my space. It’s nice to find a blog run by someone that understands that desire for clear, open space.
(: minimalist here! Travelling for a year around South America with one 60L backpack weighing 9kg. 4 months in right now
Sold/ donated/ recycled everything ‘back at the homebase’.
It’s so liberating!!
I met a senior lady a few years back while I was backpacking around Europe(with one small backpack) and she had done the same thing you are doing! I so want/need to do the same thing. Thanks so much for sharing.
I love this phrase: “a place for everything and everything in its place.” It describes exactly how I feel about space. Living in and moving around NY within 5 years opened my eyes to the amount of stuff I was carrying around, even emotionally. I recall something I once read that everything in our lives is borrowed – while we are alive we may own many things, but once dead our things are given to someone else or even thrown away. I have very little attachment to stuff and prefer to rely on memory or my journal for things that ought to be kept. Thanks for the post – a great reminder while attempting to clean out my mother’s cluttered house!
Very good concept that everything we have is really just borrowed. What happens to all this stuff when we die? Someone has to deal with it.
Good luck with clearing out your mom’s place!
I like to think that I am getting better with time. I have even started to elmnt non-essntl ltrs.
It is great that I move around so much, I get to reevaluate my junk and kind of reset my room. A new thing that I’m trying to do is upcycle, which I think is a great way to recycle olf things that can’t really be recycled and are of no use in their current state. I am collecting old items and creating a new, functional home decor that is artistic yet useable. Imagine eating at a table made from a suitcase and old wood. I like to think of it as a way to make the best out of the things we can’t reuse. Minimalistic and artistic!
I seriously need to adopt this, at least to a degree. Over the years, I’ve picked up multiples of everything, and can see that I will never use many of the items that seemed like necessities not that long ago.
After a couple of near life-ending strokes, I had to relearn to play guitar to overcome lingering memory and physical problems. During the past few months I’ve spent considerable time trying to concentrate ( to the degree possible) on playing, and decided to post guitar licks along with the tabs I made to make it easier for me to remember what I wanted to play. If interested, you can find them by clicking on my name.
During this new phase of my life, by concentrating on what is important to me, I found that most of the clutter in my home is useless to me. I recently joined the local freecycle group so that the items I no longer need or want don’t end up in a landfill. Everybody wins.
Congratulations for the freshly pressed honor!
A lot of us do this. But you have recognized that you need to adopt some aspects of minimalist living.
Freecycle. Great tip!!
The idea of a minimalist lifestyle is so appealing. However, I see clutter and do not know where to start. The first step is always the hardest.
Great post. Thank you for the motivation. Maybe I should begin with all of the papers on this desk.
Yes it is. But you do have to start. One step at a time.
Fantastic post. I am almost 50 and the best thing I did for myself was sell everything that I owned. (I do mean everything) It was completely liberating. Now when I walk in my home it is decorated by things I do. (bike, snowboard, backpack) The last thing that I sold was my Grandmother’s Dining Room Suit. I held onto this furniture for years because my Mom gave it to me. My Mother and I watched this couple drive off smiling and my Mom hugged me and said, “sorry I imprisioned you with those things.” Whew…what a load off!!!! Yeah…I won’t do that to my children.
I’ve been living the minimalist lifestyle for over ten years now, and the thing that I like the most about it… I have all kinds of free time to spend with my child… I don’t HAVE to work if I don’t want to…in fact I haven’t for three years now… it’s not laziness on my part… it’s the fact that we have cut down our expenses so much, that my daughter and I live on 22 dollars a month… It’s a great lifestyle to have and a great way to learn to appreciate not only the things you DO have… but the people that are in your life.
I’ve been wanting to do this for some time now. I’ve been really good in getting rid of things I don’t need. I always start in my closet. I send unwanted items to relatives in the Philippines and donate to St.Vincent. Then, I tackle my daughter’s closet. I think (now) she needs summer clothes, which is another reason for me to shop…so I will look in her closet to see how many still fits and will tell my mind she has enough.
Thank you for this post. I will keep it in mind and continue in my quest of getting rid of clutter, and to save more money by not buying frivolously.
People are in such need and others have so much. Good for you for helping others.
I have always lived below my means. Most recently, I haven’t worked for over a year and I’ve been able to live on my savings. I credit this to low expenses. When I was working, I think I still spent too much (some impulse buying) When I am working again, which I think will be soon, I am going to try my darndest to stay on the same kind of budget I’ve been living on. There will be a few more expenses I know, like transportation, etc….but I will save, work to live and travel!
To travel!! The best reason to save and live a minimalist lifestyle for sure.
Well said. I just got completely ruthless in my garage. And I now realize that only two boxes in the entire place have any meaning for me. The rest is just superfluous. I will be clearing and donating again in the summer.
Ruthless is the way to go!
I am desperately trying to minimize our “stuff.” I have cleaned out a lot, but still feel as though there is too much. I love the “item a day” idea mentioned above and look forward to the rest of your posts!
One day at a time. Keep up the great work. You will feel better in the end.
“A thing a day” is the only way…living simply means clutter happens faster and is more overwhelming than just the typical time taken for ‘spring cleaning.’ I started living simply about 1990, moving from a huge house to a small house for about a year, then a small cottage for a couple of years, then a small apt a couple of years, then to a rented room for a little over a year, then a 10 X 18 office which I made into a studio and finally down to an 8X15 office space made into a studio. It was an arduous process downsizing, but I have long ached to ‘live simply’ and now I am there. I got REAL serious about it when my first grandchild was on the way and I needed to move across the nation to be part of her life…I wasn’t going to miss a minute of it, having been waiting for that day since the 8th grade! LOL! I now have it down to an art and if anyone needs some technical advice, comment on my blog below and I will respond and happy to help! Being a workaholic for over half a century, it took me about 4 years to ‘downsize’ my attitude of productivity, learning to ‘be still and listen.’ I changed those habits from punching a time clock to that of writing (published, my second passion after the grand kids – 2 now!) and riding my bicycle. Between those three favorite pastimes, I have time for meditating and growing spiritually, too. It is a marvelous way to live. I have to say, part of my incentive to live simply was to help me develop new habits, many of which you listed above. Going into living simply has been loaded with reaching goal after goal in changing my health, the way I think, my actions and reactions, and relationships. A single woman, 63, I even cut my long cherished hair just short of a buzz cut and I have to tell you, with all that I’ve stated above, I have never had such a feeling of liberation! GREAT, ENCOURAGING BLOG! spiritwinepub.com
I want to live a minimalist life but I live with a husband who likes lots of stuff – we are currently trying to reach a balance on that! I will be following your blog thanks for posting this!
A bit tricky when one partner wants more stuff than the other!
yes – but it’s finding that balance thing you mentioned in your blog – I”m still looking!
This is great – I’m not bad at getting rid of stuff at home – but in my workshop I still keep hoarding stuff in case anyone wants it. Strangely nobody ever does and if they did I wouldn’t know where to find it anyway.
your digital presence confirms that your minimalism is half-hearted. A true minimalist does not waste his life on the internet. You seem to have one foot on the platform and one foot on the train. I find myself in a similar predicament.
May we both have the courage too free ourselves of the maze that has taken our appetite for life and replaced it with piles of junk and infinite useless information.
Perhaps you are correct in this. But while I do blog and enjoy it very much this is the only form of technology I partake in. I have no cell phone and do not waste time with social media. A small step perhaps but a step non the less. I do need to have more technology free days!
Thanks so much for commenting
Minimalist living for me is to be thankful and grateful for what I got. Enjoy every moment.
Reblogged this on Trail-Hike . com.
Reblogged this on Healthy Demeanor and commented:
Something to consider
I thought this was great. I am very new to the blogging community and just figuring things out. So, I liked your post, reblogged it to share and I am now following you! I hope that’s ok?
This was posted on feb 2011 and you got freshly pressed in April 2012? It sure took them long to apreciate this!! Anyhow great post. I’m slowly converting to that lifestyle it’s a proccess but worth it.
This is a timely confirmation. I think that oftentimes, we choose trends/lifestyles for the wrong reasons. This post really begs the question/ need for examining the motives for living a minimalist lifestyle. Though I am in a different place in my journey, at the core, I believe that a minimalist lifestyle can really allow me to focus on the truly important things: self-care, nurture and time with family, care of the environment, and moreover, being resourceful with the material and spiritual gifts that I have been bestowed. I don’t seek to define this lifestyle, but I am aspiring to embrace the true benefits that such a lifestyle affords. Ultimately, I imagine that one would be more centered as a result. More immediately, knowing exactly what one has, where those “things/possessions” are, and that they are providing some utility or purpose can bring one true Joy, and more time to tap into one’s authentic self.
I love the concept…thanks for posting (and I hope it’s okay that I reblogged this I’m a newbie blogger). I see how having so many possessions has tied me down and has caused so much stress. I am now follower of your blog to help keep me motivated as I learn to appreciate what I already have…and now my creative juices are flowing because of it. Cheers!
Love that you have a blog on this topic and am going to have a good look around now. I wrote a post only a few days ago about focussing more on life than on stuff and how my dog was reinforcing this. It’s close to the start of the journey for me still but good to get inspiration from others 🙂
I am not sure I will ever be truly minimalist, and I will admit that in the past I have been a bit of a hoarder. However, just recently I have been making a change, and trying to get rid of stuff. I have a charity bag on the go at all times, and aim to donate at least a bag a week. Even just those few bags that have gone have made me feel less stressed…… 🙂
Awesome stuff. Living a minimalist lifestyle is something I’ve known i should be doing for some time now, but just this brief (minimalist) post inspired me to actually get rid of all my crap that’s just taking up space. Great post.
Ah, if only to were that easy. I’ve been struggling with this for many years (coming from generations of hoarders). 🙂 Thanks for the reminder to get back on track.
Reblogged this on ℱractal♥ℒịf℮lịn℮.
This is a nice set of commandments for those burdened with the capitalist lie.
My own take on a minimalist life is that it should involve a shift from an obsession with the material to the ephemeral, that we should focus less on stuff, and more on existence and experience.
This philosophy is why I started writing in the first place, so I’m glad to see it has such support here. My own slant on this is set out in greater detail on my blog, I’d love to hear what people think.
Keep up the good work.
Good post. 🙂 Here’s another thought on minimalism: “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'” (Hebrews 13:5) 🙂
Thank you…I’m trying…I must…
I really think you’re on to something here 🙂
I’m starting this weekend with my dressing room!
Lovely blog. So struck a chord with me. I strive for a simple life. But struggle with my “artist”. I can not live without painting. When I paint I sometimes feel I’m just making more “stuff”. But if I don’t paint, I’m missing a piece of my soul. So while my home is pretty much filled with only what I love, my studio is aburst with paintings…..any suggestions, or tips would be welcome.
ironically just wrote a post today about getting rid of clutter. great piece!
Seven years ago I started a minimalist lifestyle and sold everything I owned. The trouble is that seven years later I have as much useless stuff as I had before. Thanks for a great lesson in life. It ain’t easy bein’ green.
Reblogged this on Modern Plum and commented:
This post is so right on, I have to reprint it today. I think minimalism is so modern. Very keyed into today. It makes sense as a roadmap for living well right now.
I think a lot about minimalist living and a simple life. We currently live in a school bus renovated into our home (see: http://glitterandgritgirl.com/category/our-house-bus/) and have been simplifying for the past year. It’s wonderful to find advice on such endeavors. Thank you for putting the information out there!
We are defenently becoming more minimalist. I find having outside outdoor interests likes gardening, cycling, running etc helps change your aspect on life too.
Reblogged this on 1,000 Words or less and commented:
I crave this lifestyle. One room. I can do this. Thank you for blogging about it!
Reblogged this on 1,000 Words or less and commented:
I crave this lifestyle. One room. I can do this. Thank you for blogging about it!
Good blog. I am trying to become more minimalist, it is hard!! Have you heard of http://www.zenhabits.com? Good site too…
Difinately not describing me here! But, I like the idea. 🙂
Reblogged this on bloggingforfuninfo.
I have been on this path for a couple of months now. Everyday, I aim to declutter one object…sometimes I have monthly targets…and slowly I have realized that how life changes. Still a long long way to go but yes, I have more time for my family and more time to blog!
Your shoreline photo brought me back to a happy memory. Can’t wait to read more! 🙂
Your beach photo took me back to a happier memory. I also loved what you wrote. Happier times call for simpler ones.
Reblogged this on leonehopkins and commented:
College has put life into perspective (i.e. budget, personal space, time), not that I lived an extravagant life before, but I thought this blogger has some interesting points.
I like this philosophy…I am going to begin this soon by getting rid of one thing I no longer need…my family house! Of course there will be a lot of getting rid of things before I get rid of the house! Thanks for the inspiration! Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!
Reblogged this on Sağlıklı Ye Mutlu Yaşa and commented:
Minimalist Living is simply optimal for a life with minimum stress and maximum efficiency of happiness and the work you do. So, love it.
great blog like it very much…
Reblogged this on Things I grab, motley collection .
minimalist lifestyle …..beautifully described.specially 1-Your budget and spending
I am verymuch grateful to you and your suggestion.Thanks for sharing.
This is great!
Finally I have a published work that confirms my passion for ‘Minimalism.’
If you don’t mind I’ll quote you as an authority – when I need to justify my minimalistic tendency.
I’m a Christian LIfe Coach and would have thought simplicity is a Biblical virtue worth pursuing. Not so!
I spend much time coaching folk to get rid of those things that bind them to their ‘stuff!’; but it’s a struggle!
If you’d like a scripture that backs this up: Ecclesiastes 4:6: “Better is a handful with quiet than two handfuls with toil, and a chasing after wind.”
I agreee, awesome and well said!!
I don’t think I will ever get close to what you see as minimalism, but I do try to cut the clutter and succeed at living within my means.
Do the best you can in your personal circumstances.
I think obsession with material things has brought a lot of ills for humanity
You have got a nice idea fellow. i like it. But what if anyone offer you all the comfort you wanted in free.
I can honestly say that even if I won the lottery I would NOT go out and buy a bunch of stuff. I just want to travel and explore and see the world. I would want to help others. Easy for me to say this, I know. But I feel this in my soul. I hate material things and rampant consumerism.
Great post. This is a really good read for me. I agree what you said “To travel!! The best reason to save and live a minimalist lifestyle for sure.”
Yes! Yes! Yes. Travel is my PASSION! I do not get to do enough of it but I will!
Thank you for your blog. It has come to me at a time when i am struggling with the clutter in my mind, getting in the way of me finding what i really want.
I’ve not always had a choice about living minimalistically, but am attracted to it nonetheless. I look forward to more insight from you.
Clutter of the mind. Such a good point and so many of us suffer from this as well! What do you find yourself doing to help deal with this??
A couple things suggested to me by a friend;
1. Write it all out, first thing in the morning – anything that comes to mind – and THEN glue up the page ! and never have to deal with it again 🙂
2. Practicing thinking nothing. meditation.
I think getting rid of stuff certainly helps in decluttering the mind too – as many of our thought s are centered around what we have and dont have or would like to have, and when we break the habit of having a lot, we stop thinking about it too…i hope
Interesting stuff. I consider myself a maturing practical minimalist. I really do hate clutter and think we are better off when not attached to our possessions, especially the most worthless of them. However, sometimes I cannot gather the energy to just toss stuff. But, there is a beauty and financial benefit to living by only what is essential.
Thank you so much for reading, commenting and adding me to your follow list!
Interesting blog. I am trying to lead a simpler life after realising that my children have been bombarded by consumerism since birth and now think it’s normal to get everything they want. If things break they expect them to be replaced without any thought to the cost. And TV seems to have robbed them of the ability to use their imagination. We’ve started simplifying and are in the process of getting rid of all our junk – and we have a lot of it! I hope that the kids (and I ) will learn that it’s important to be defined by what you do, not by what you own.
I’m writing snippets of our journey at http://www.oursimplerlife.wordpress.com
Good for you! It is a different world even from when I was a kid(not THAT long ago!) Kids really do expect thing to be replaced right away. A limited concept of money and how much stuff actually costs.
I’ll be sure to check out your blog.
Thanks for commenting
I like this article. To me, minimalist living is simply living within your means, in all areas of life. Not going into more debt to pay for the brand new iPhone when yours works; having an organized DVD shelf because you got rid of the ones you don’t watch; owning a car that works and will run for a long time, not one that’s brand new or flashy. It’s good stuff and a lot of people could use the info. Good post.
Living within your means. Our grandparents did it, why can’t we seem to get this message?
Ha, didn’t you get the memo? Our grandparents are SOOOO outdated. This is the NOW, man, get with the picture, grandpa! Nobody takes wisdom from the past anymore.
He he. Perhaps that’s part of the problem. Not learning from past mistakes or behaviors.
Thanks for commenting.
I have a feeling that a good deal more of the problems we encounter in the developed world would be minimized if more people subscribed to this way of life. Thanks for posting.
I agree so please pass this blog on to others! Thanks so much!
Great post, really happy I came across it. I especially like the idea of not living the lifestyle other people expect you to live. The question is ‘when does it stop?’. The pay raise you were hoping for in the past two years is not enough to cover your new expenses and growing expectations of others. Because you’re supposed to have a car, and a big house, and refurbish it every couple of years, and go on holiday to the tropics and stay in a room with a seaview (others mean you’re just cheap)…I could go on and on. I’m really happy I discovered I can do it my way and I shouldn’t feel bad about it.
You really hit the nail on the head. We just can’t keep going the way we are as a society! Can we? I feel like the earth is going to just say “ENOUGH!!”
Just to keep up with “expectations”. Live simply and enjoy the things that are truly important.
I always found that when I had nothing, I actually had everything I needed… LIFE… which in my opinion is the most beautiful blessing we could ever have asked for… Thank you for sharing this 🙂
Good point. Even when we have “nothing” we still have life! Choose to live dammit!
Thanks so much for this.
This is a great site. I have just started my journey into minimalism. I am tired of stuff that keeps me working harder to maintain, tired of the choices that comes about by having too many clothes. I have given away a lot to Value Village and other Charitable organizations. The more I give the lighter I feel. I guess there is a season for everything and my season is downsizing, zeroing on what’s important and what I need not want.Thanks for this blog.
It really is amazing how much better one can feel from a more minimalist lifestyle. Lighter is a very good word you have used. Having and trying to maintain so many material possessions is draining.
Good for you and good luck on your journey!
I initially embraced minimalism to try to combat the messy/hoarder habits I learned from my parents (“if I don’t have much stuff, it’s pretty hard for it to look messy!”) but I’ve kept up with it because everything I buy requires some of my attention to organize it, fix it when it breaks, etc, so having less stuff leaves me able to focus on stuff that I really care about.
Exactly. Less is soooooo much more. More time. More freedom, more money. Good for you!
Reblogged this on theconcretemountaineer.
Thanks for reblogging!!
Really enjoyed reading this post, as a life of minimalism is something I’m aspiring to.
I like the idea of getting rid of needless stuff one room at a time, and with an imminent house move, feel it could prove useful.
The journey continues…
Thanks for sharing!
Good blog! Everyone learns from “leaning” their possessions. Please visit my blog entitled “the thing about clutter” and know that “leaning” is part of my daily life. As I prepare to sell and move, the process begins again. Great reminder for FP readers. Thanks.
Great way of thinking. “leaning” I like it!
I came across your blog via Freshly Pressed (congrats!) and it really speaks to me. As a recent college grad, I’m looking to move across the US (Arizona –> North Carolina) to look for some job opportunities and continue my education. I’ve always been a fan (and am implementing) the minimalist lifestyle. My goal is to be able to fit everything I “need” in my car and drive to NC. I’ve been getting on my family to cut down how much stuff they have for years and I agree, a clutter-free life is so freeing. Although, I admit, if I need some extra motivation, I just watch an episode of Hoarders and that gets the job done! I enjoy your blog! Thanks for posting!
Yes to Hoarders being a help. I find almost any interior design show a bit inspirational really. The rooms seem so wonderfully minimalist of course when they are done! Having all of ones possessions able to fit in their car is a worthwhile goal for sure!
Minimalist living is about finding the art, style and humour in even the most mundane and simple activities, then making the most of those small but honest pleasures. Even shifting dung can be a pleasure if you approach it in the right way!
On the other hand, that may be taking minimalist living a step too far. 😀
Ha ha. But you may be right. Watching the shifting sands of a dune, or just watching the ocean are so pleasing to me.
Great comment. Thanks so much!
Reblogged this on theliftblog and commented:
I’m moving towards this path in life, found it interesting! 🙂
Thanks for following!
I have a habit of being a packrat. Mostly, due to my ability to see a use or a value in anything. However, this leads to a desperate need to de-clutter regularly.
With my “Infinity tour” fast approaching, the need to reduce dramatically is even more apparent. I found that the best way to achieve this is a very simple method. When I use something, anything, I place it on the carpet in my bedroom. I leave it there indefinitely. When I need it again I use it directly from the floor and replace it again to the same spot. After months you will notice that the floor although perhaps a bit more cluttered than usual, has relatively few items on the floor.
These items are the essentials. Everything left in the closet needs to go!
Very interesting approach to decluttering one’s space!
Very interesting post! I don’t know know if I would fully consider my husband and I fully minimalist but we have been looking to live simpler lives materialistically and focus our time and effort in self-actualization, things like education, a fulfilling job and our other passions in life. It’s nice to finally find a movement that I can relate to more then what I often find I am surrounded with; I look forward to reading more.
“Live simply so that others may simply live” – great blog post and reminder of the really great things in life. Simplicity is a great way to get to peace. Thanks!
Love the quote!
I think that, for those who already left their parents place, the first thing is to make sure you live in a small place and then keep this standard your whole life + no car.
Wouldn’t that be amazing. Maybe their should be a law enacted that says your first place HAS to be 1000 sq feet or less. I can’t believe the places I see young people or couples buying. 2500 sq feet and much bigger for their first places!
Thank you for writing this, all very true points! I guess I’ve been living a minimalist lifestyle for years now without meaning/trying to, every now and again a colleague would stop by my work space and remark that “My this is rather minimalist!” and I would defend myself that I had put some pictures up and that I had a tiny alpaca on my desk, and they said yeah but still – it looks empty! And I thought they were wrong, and they thought I was wrong and we went on our separate ways 😉 but then it struck me when you said this “A place for everything and everything in its place” – my grandma has been saying that to me since I was a very young girl, and she said her mom used to always say that to her. I just thought it made good sense so I practice it at home, and at work – if I am not working on a file I put it away and as such my work space is very neat and organized, AND if I need to find something later I know where to look – it’s amazing 😉 ditto for the home-space! Although I am sure it’s all relative – I bet there are some hard core minimalists who would see my tiny desk alpaca and scream “clutter” so hey, each to their own right? Great post, cheers!
Yes. To each their own. It is your space and you like it neat and tidy and open and SPACIOUS-not “empty”.
Thanks for commenting.
I remember explaining minimalism to a friend “No my living room is not half empty, just spacious”. Mine is still work in progress though. Great blog!
Ha ha. Very funny!
Great post! It’s strange, because we feel we must buy things to keep up with others, and then we feel behind when we don’t have any money left over. It’s a problem. 🙂 Minimalistic thinking helped me overcome anxiety and occasional insomnia. I lost my job two weeks ago and I feel energized instead of panicky. Others wonder at this mindset. I just point out I don’t have much to buy and I will get by. What a beautiful difference. 🙂
Everything happens for a reason. Hard to see that at the moment something happens of course. Good for you for staying positive
I have been getting rid of stuff for 4 years, since my children graduated high school. They are now finishing up college and I am finally getting to the bone of things! It is so liberating! I like to cook and do crafts and so I buy supplies for this. I am starting to see an accumulation so I’ll have to make a plan of action before it’s too late. Funny how fast things pile up! Great post and congratulations on being FP’d!
Have stuff around that lends to enjoyment(crafts) is okay as long as it is not too cluttered. Good for you for purging some stuff for the past few years.
Reblogged this on MANUEL PUENTE COLORS.
Thanks you for reblogging the minimalist living guide!
I’m with you. Possibly the greatest challenge is respecting the conflicting positions of our intimate others. Thanks for doing this blog!
It certainly can pose some challenges…
Thank you for stopping by and commenting!
I would love to hear if there is such a thing as a minimalist farmer!! Those of you from Australia will understand… 🙂 Nothing is eve thrown out… when you have all that space, why not I suppose.
On second thought, being minimalist in a remote place that many farmers are, one can make good use of time by not spending the big effort to throw stuff out. I’m not a farmer if you are wondering….
Brilliant! Thank you so much for sharing!
♥ Love and light ♥
I just checked out your blog and really enjoyed. You do have an energy that even comes through in your blog. I feel more alive just for having read some of your posts.
Love and light
Thank you so much for the kind words! One of my greatest intentions for my blog was for people to be able to walk with those exact feelings, so it is great to hear that you were able to take some of that energy with you. I hope you visit again!
I will be visiting again. Thank you so much.
Reblogged this on .
I suppose growing up without the ability to be frivolous makes for an easy transition into a minimalist lifestyle…My longtime, shall we say, shoestring budget, has allowed me to appreciate simple living. Now that I have a choice, I can’t seem to shake the less is more idea…I always looked at it like stuff was here to serve me, and not me to serve my stuff. Now all things within reason though…I am, after all typing this on my new laptop!
Oh I understand. It is okay to have things that have a purpose and that you enjoy. I have been using a friend’s netbook for 5 months! So I need to actually go out and my own!
When each pic is one history
When each pic is a history
I’m so in. This sounds great.
Agreed. One with a beating heart & able 2 breathe fresh air oughtta separate WANTS from NEEDS. Simple is smoother.
Wants vs needs. 95% of folks probably don’t get that!
They get too busy with life that they dont stop to think or “smell the roses” as people say. We do what we can & hope it makes a difference. Keep up the good writing! U just never know.
Reblogged this on AntiDysfunctional's Blog.
I’ve found great joy in taking things that are otherwise not perfect for me that I already owned and making them perfect in my own way. I don’t buy a new thing that is the same as what I can create, and I get to have a personalized ‘something’ that means more to me than the alternative. Recycling, saving, and enjoying life = happiness.
No one is “perfect” and yet you are perfect just the way you are! A bit of a conundrum!
I love it.
I have always loved to travel but never had the time. I’ve always loved to write, same story. A year ago, exhausted from the rat-race and grieving the loss of a younger friend to cancer, I came face-to-face with reality. We don’t know how much time we have to do what we put off until later. I worked out my budget and realized if I lived much more simply I could afford to experiment with a traveling, writing life. Please understand, I was an interior designer, I had BEAUTIFUL THINGS. But the desire to finally do what I had always wanted to do fueled my resolve. Then I started writing a novel. I found I loved writing fiction. It took nine months of Craigs List and consignment stores, but I got my belongings down to just a few things I loved. They fit in one room. I rented a room, moved my ‘keeps’ into it, and booked my flight for two months in Bali. I’m down to two more weeks here. I’ve finished the rough draft of my first fiction novel and have had the absolute time of my life. My advice: Know your dream. If you aren’t living it, figure out why then do whatever it takes no matter what anyone else thinks. Live courageously!
thank for sharing a nice stuff
Reblogged this on Maximising Potential and commented:
I have not reblogged a post in a very long time but this was necessary. I enjoyed this post and this touches on the philosophy of Maximising Potential. I hope you enjoy this post as much as I did
So cool that you have the word “maximize”. I was going to use the word “maximalist” in a blog post today!
Thanks for reblogging and I’ll be sure to check your blog!
Minimalist living means to me being able to go to bed and waking up not feeling tired, managing my money, feeling comfortable with my standard of living and living in an organized place.
So perfectly simple! You don’t want to make minimalist living complicated. Kind of defeats the purpose:)
I am already in this “business” (sorry for this fake word – but I do really this way of speaking…). Well, in fact we have to change the meaning of the words, too. “business” need not to be dirty. It was a good idea of yours putting together an algorithm do start living simple. Of course I will be back visiting the site, but let me say, I put the car at side and I am mainly biking now and I am trying to make this a new trend in my life.
Baby steps. Biking is a great step to living a minimalist lifestyle.
Just found you on the Freshly Pressed page…. We have way too much stuff and I’m trying to get rid of it. I just have the overwhelming feeling that as soon as I ditch some things I’ll need it and have to rebuy and I don’t want to do that…. With that said, and I put it out there, I’m still going to cull the stuff, especially in my son’s room and bathroom. Just painted in those rooms and everything is not returning to load up the shelves and cabinets… this post came at a good time.
Just start with some stuff or one room. You MAY need something in the future. So what? Borrow it from someone! Goodness know there are others that have too much stuff around as well!
Good for you for realizing you need to make a change!
I admit… it’s all my fault… I’m curious… do you see a connection between the urge to hoard things and then bursts of deep sixing everything in sight… or in my case, freecycling the stuff?
Reblogged this on Robyn Caddell, World Dreamings and commented:
Live Simply how fantastic! Now if only I could get move past my obsession with books and clothes 🙂
Just pare down to the bare essentials. share your books so others can love them as well!
Minimalist Living slandered is so much harvested for all so that no all people accept them…
I agree! I just blogged about something along these lines last night. Glad to see others sharing this mindset!
On day. I want this 🙂
Reblogged this on Lavender Blume and commented:
Ethical living and common sense… there is really no difference when you consider living consciously. Excellent post.
Great stuff, I really like your ideas and feel that until more people can learn (and live) this philosophy the world will continue down a self destructive path. Having said that, its tough! I too have difficulty getting rid of books, and you should see my garage. Definitley not minimilist.
The world is going to hell in a hand basket I am afraid. I do not mean to be doom and gloom but…
Interesting blog. About one year ago, I heard someone say that “the less you have, the more free you are.” They explained their reasoning and a lot of it makes sence to me. Obviously, I am not going to go out and quit my job and sell everything. I need a job but not this job. If I were single, I could get by with a futon, a laptop, a basic kitchen and a smart car. But, definitely not single. I have three kids, a wife and a dog that we inherited from my mom. Still, I am slowly getting rid of everything I don’t use. Or that doesn’t serve a purpose. I have been doing this for more or less for the last year.
I just remember being in college. I was so happy and had next to nothing. I felt fulfilled and life was great.
You can’t take it with you. 🙂 I will be watching this blog over time. May teach me a lot of useful things. Minimal living is also kind of a spiritual experience to me. I am learning to be content, fulfilled and happy with what I have now.
Thanks for posting.
Life has a way of taking over and we seem to forget the more simple times in our lives. You are on a path like everyone. Now it is a path towards minimalist living and freedom.
This post is amazing! One of my goals for 2012 is to buy less and I am happy that so far I have only purchased one book! No new clothes or anything. It is rather liberating.
We buy so much rubbish without even realizing! Great blog!
Didn’t see myself as one but mentally I’m already there.The slowing down and keeping stuff off my surfaces gets in the way but l’m working on that. Great post!
Love this post… this is the focus of my blog… how to simplify one’s life. It definitely is a process and a journey – like many things – you are correct! You broke down the minimalist lifestyle well here. Will be following you!
For 37 yrs I lived with a total pack rat/hoarder, plus I co-owned a vintage furniture store and constantly went to auctions. Needless to say when I got divorced I had a lot of adjusting to do. It is a process, a way of living and not something to be done in one week. Glad I found your site.
Reblogged this on thepearlguideuganda.
I just found your blog and just wanted to applaud the philosophy. My girlfriend and I lost our house and quite a few belongings in the earthquake here in Christchurch, New Zealand last year. Due to the inevitable housing shortage following we ended up living in a caravan for over a year, 3 months of this was in a very small camper van (RV) on the road travelling around the country. Rather than being the frustrating experience I expected, the clarity that came out of this experience was quite life-changing for both of us as we came to realise the unnecessary excesses of our lifestyle prior to the ‘quake. It became obvious that not only were we ok with not having access to quite a lot of these “things” we were actually happier. Life became distilled down to a minimal state, admittedly sometimes too minimal, but we had pretty much everything we needed for happiness in that tiny little 16ft caravan. I rediscovered the simple pleasures in life of sitting in the sun reading a book for a few hours, no internet access, no big-screen tv, no playstation but a much more relaxed mind. We went for walks, we explored, we went climbing and fishing and just sat on the beach watching nature. We expanded our love of foraging for wild foods and growing good healthy veg to the point that now we very very rarely buy vegetables or much of anything actually but are both healthier and happier as a result.
I left my IT job that I’d hated for many years and am now writing music full-time, working on a couple of ideas for books and we are hoping to build just enough money to buy a small property up in the Golden Bay area in New Zealand, a place where many people of similar philosophy gravitate. We don’t want some huge mansion and we don’t want every bigger piles of cash, just enough to give us what we need to make us happy and now we realise how little that actually is.
Too many people have forgotten the simple pleasures of life before all this technology and rampant desire for money, if the technology is genuinely enriching your life then all the best but I wonder how many people are stuck, as we were, blind to the fact that without all that stuff and with much less money to buy more stuff you really can actually be much much happier.
Looking forward to more of your posts, thanks for the blog.
All the best from New Zealand!
May I share this with my readers in a blog post?
It truly is an amazing story!
of course! 🙂
interesting page i have been slowly decluttering lately and have become interested in bringing my daily living down to simple things and make life less complicated enjoyed the post. thanks Royce
This isn’t going to help our economic recovery chances.
Thanks for the comment.
Please read this new post and comment away.
Living A Minimalist Lifestyle Will NOT Kill The Economy
This is so totally me and I highly recommend this lifestyle. It is so freeing. It is a gradual process but I’m getting there and fully enjoying the journey. It feels so good to focus on health (yes, eight hours of sleep is needed and is rejuvenating and health-protective), to have a good savings account—debt-free except modest mortgage for modest home—key relationships that are good for you, and just have time—to enjoy nature, to read, to think, to walk, to pray. Let’s hope the trend of hoarding and consumerism is waning. As to clothes, I need nice clothes but I shop rarely and it is at a small shop where they wait on you hand and foot. The clothing is classic so it works for years = less money and time spent shopping = more time enjoying life. Thank you for this.
I would LOVE to think that the trend of minimalist living is taking over but realistically consumerism is alive and well.
Like you say a simpler way of living is so freeing and we have so much more time to just enjoy LIFE!!!
Yes, it allows you to “be” in every moment—to soak in life because you don’t have this “stuff” weighing you down. It evokes peace. Thanks for your reply and congrats on Freshly Pressed!
I’ve wanted to make both my lifestyle and my closet “minimalist” for a while now, but I’ve always found difficulty in doing this because I always think that maybe I could use these things in the future. However, a lot of items (especially clothes) have been neglected in my closet and I’ve decided to sell some of them online soon! Thank you for this inspiring post. 🙂
Good for you Dana. A positive move on your part. You will feel very liberated for doing this.
Interesting, I see that you chosen a template that is bare and devoid of any frills. Even the language is simple and straightforward. I guess you do practice what you preach..:))
Well I hope so. Sometime I think I want to “jazz” up the template a bit but I just cannot bring myself to do it. It just isn’t “me”.
I am amazed at the amount of people out there who are excited about this! I’m one of them. I have a “five item per day” rule at my house. When I’m doing the normal cleaning (vacuum, dust, etc. with usually happens one room per day) I have to get rid of five small items in the room. I don’t care if I’m getting rid of one of two pens in the drawer in the kitchen – it still makes me feel that I’ve done something. When I get the small clutter gone…I’ll move on the bigger stuff.
The interest in minimalist living is really amazing.
You have a great system going on there. I may have to start following it as well.
This is so true – I’m sorry that I adopted the practice so late. I wish I listened to my parents!
It’s okay. We all have to follow our own path. Better late than never!
Just the guide we all need to follow.
Reblogged this on newfoundlandtraveller and commented:
Thought we could all take a look at living a simpler life..I constantly do this, but haven’t perfected it yet!
Thanks for the reblog
You’re welcome! I’m happy I did it.
I have books and papers in Rubbermaid tubs. First, I go through each tub and recycle the paper. Then I pass on the tub for friends who are moving. When I buy two new tops or pants, then I go through my closet and give away four items of clothing. I ask myself if I will miss this item, or can I pass it on to someone as a gift or put it in a bag for my favorite charity. I often go shopping and have six items in my cart, and before I go to the checkout I put four items back on the shelves or racks. I share my books and tell my friends to pass them on or donate to their charities. I’m sure there’s more that I do, but these are the ones that come to mind right now. I had to reblog as I know that many people want to do this, but do not know where to start.
Sounds like a good system that is working for you.
Reblogged this on Bethesda Design Web Blog.
Reblogged this on ELECTRIC CAVES.
For me a minimalist lifestyle means satisfying my needs and following my rules, rather than following the consumerist mainstream. I can live comfortably within my means when I get to define “comfortable” and decide for myself what’s actually necessary.
Congratulations on being “Freshly Pressed” and I’d also like to say it’s nice to see another male minimalist blogger. Nothing against the women, but they overwhelmingly outnumber us in this niche and we guys have to stick together!
Great code you have going on there.
And I have also wondered about the male/female divide when it comes to minimalist living etc.
When I was 19 I got everything I owned stolen from me (long story). The only thing I miss are my pictures, poems/short stories I had written, & friends/family obituaries. Everything else is either replaceable or wasn’t even being used anyway. I learned from that to quit being such a packrat. Since then I’ve moved cross-country many times & each time I go through my things & get rid of everything that I can’t fit into my car; its the best way for me to get rid of the clutter. Of course I have a few things stored with my parents: pictures, keepsakes & college textbooks. I don’t even own a TV or microwave, & I love it <3. I would love to someday live off the land & really live minimally… I need to overcome my fear of bugs & mosquitoes & living without plumbing first lol!!
Well I am sorry that happened but it sounds like it may have been a blessing (maybe).
And I am so with you on living off the land and just being self sufficient. Not a hermit or anything drastic. Just something more peaceful!
Love this. Have been practicing this all my life. My friends make fun of me because I throw out (or donate or give away) anything that is no longer of use to me. I just tell them, “I like to travel light!” Great post!!
Travel light! Exactly!
Reblogged this on Thekellygeorge's Blog and commented:
Such a poignant philosophy! Love it-
Everything you say is so very true. We need to get rid of clutter, become more mindful of our surroundings and our finances. Cheers Mate.. I’ve shared your page with My Facebook Fans!! Cheers Mr.CBB
Thanks for sharing it with your FB Fans.
No problem mate, it received a couple comments.
Over the last year or so circumstances have led to us living a more minimalist lifestyle and, as you say, we’re much happier for it. We’re also healthier as we’ve taken advantage of our current situation and are utilising & enjoying the vegetable garden like we were never able or wont to do in our previous urban-spender lifestyle. These have been changes that were sudden and distressing at the time, but have become such an enjoyable, satisfying part of our lives that we know we would never consider going back to our wasteful, stressed ways. After reading your post there are many more things we could be doing to unclutter our lifestyle, and I know from our recent experiences that we will be even happier for it if we do – I’ll be following your posts for more anticipated inspiration!
I would love to be able to be more self sufficient in the ways you mention!
Glad to hear things are going well.
I agree with everything you’ve said with one exception. It’s that stupid and over use expression “less is more.” NOT IT’S NOT!!! MORE IS MORE!!! I happen to believe that less is BETTER, but it’s not more.
For me less is more freeing. less is more peaceful. That’s all. Thanks for commenting.
That may be a good topic for a blog post…
I too have been de-cluttering like crazy. I was a hoarder when I was younger. More shoes, more bags, more make up and designer stuff was my whole world, but I found that when I bought a new “something”, it only took a few days or weeks until I craved for something else and that I had to have it. The new “something” was quickly pushed back at the back of my closet.
I’ve gotten rid of a lot of my things. I looked at them and had no emotional attachment at all, which told me that I had to stop. Now, I live a much happier, peaceful, organised life. I am still working on de-cluttering, but hopefully one day I will have a clutter free home.
This was a great post, thank you. I will be following you. Have a great day. 🙂
I hear ya! I have a shirt or two with tags still on them. Yikes!
It’s a on going process, this de-cluttering thing. If you close your eyes, it can creep up on you, can’t it?
What a breath of fresh air! Thanks! I teach spirit and money matters (the balance between knowing we live in an infinitely abundant universe, and that we must also do our part (pay bills, budget time, money, resources.) It all comes down to priorities. I’ve been without a T.V. for 7 years. I went 2 years without a couch, but decided people who came over were worthy of a nice piece of furniture. Living simply isn’t about being cheap—it’s about living spaciously, and having good energy around. So glad to have found your blog. Peace, C
Exactly. Great points. People think that minimalist living is about not having anything and some extreme minimalists MAY subscribe to that. I like nice things. But I save up and pay cash for them. And all my bills are paid first..
Good energy. Love that!
Reblogged this on CallowLea and commented:
This blog is quite interesting. I think you will agree!
Thanks a million C-Lea!
You’re very welcome! I love the ideas, and am trying to do the same in my life. Looking forward to reading more from you:)
Gave me the inspiration I need to clean my room 🙂
Ha ha! A great place to start.
It is nice to find people like you who share similar interests and views about life. Minimalist living is indeed a very peaceful way to live. After all, it’s the values, relationship & peace of mind in life that matters most and not the stuff. Materialistic world doesn’t bring any real happiness.
Yes, I couldn’t agree more. Especially about decluttering your space, this is a microcosm/macrocosm thing. Clean on the outside and you’ll find it is clean on the inside and vice versa.
Very good thoughts. And your blog is beautiful!
Thank you for coming to have a look 😉 I appreciate that. xxx
It is STUNNING!
This posting is beautify my info and required details which really great matter of admiration and worth praising.Since i’ve received this blog my level of confidence improving day by day.
Very kind words. Thank you.
Reblogged this on Die With Dignity and commented:
SimplyfyTo simplify our lives can mean to give our lives more meaning and quality. “Live Simply” is simply fabulous…follow some great advice and apply some terrific methods to simplify our over-complicated messy lives! 🙂
Reblogged this on Elevated Mindstates and commented:
Live simply, simply live. Be happy.
Reblogged this on monoculturedilemma and commented:
Check out this blog. It has some things we should all apply to our lives.
Love this! I believe you need to find the thing in life (activity?) that helps to find what’s deep inside you, whatever it is that makes you tick. The thing that makes you listen to your inner voice. Once you’ve found that, you realise that you don’t NEED anything else. Life is complete without all that “stuff” to fill the otherwise void space. For me, yoga did it. Just me and my mat, that’s all I need. 🙂
So many people ignore that inner voice. They know they should not be buying yet another ________. But they do it anyway.
Sigh. I need to do more yoga!
This titled life style just came to me when I lived aboard a 27 ft motor boat -( a 1983′) then I knew after some time, I preferred the open view of the sky line, the water, the access to the city ,The people I met a the marina LIVED – I am hooked and lived so much more- over 4 legs trips, I finished 18k miles around the country in 8 months- Now geting ready to leave July 20 from Nj to Alaska 60 days
Love the “open view..” Part of the comment. Even in an apartment or house it is the open view and clear space that is so appealing about minimalist living and living clutter free.
I lead a minimalist lifestyle and that’s why many people don’t understand me. Yet, I still feel like I need more time, life is too cluttered with stuff that needs to be done, and sometimes it’s hard to find time to meditate and do other things. However, I don’t have many clothes or shoes and just the necessary furniture in my home. Unlike you, I only have two paintings in my walls. 🙂
We all have our own path of course. I wonder too about having more time and when I think “gee I wish I had time to sit quietly…” I just do it! I close my eyes for even a minute and try to zone out.
Not much but every little bit helps
Thanks for commenting!
Reblogged this on Carlosalho's Blog.
Reblogged this on Carlosalho's Blog.
I should clean my room soon. 😀
A good friend of mine started “The Summer of 1000 Things” about three years ago. She challenges us all to get rid of 1000 things each summer. It sounds like a lot but when you can hit that number just clearing out an old desk or dresser once you start thinking dried up pens and markers, bottles of paint or nail polish, mismatched socks, etc. It really is amazing what we keep for no good reason whatsoever. My whole basement is full of “just in case I need it” items. I’m trying. It’s amazing how emotional it is to let go of things. Thanks for the inspiration! I’ll be following you!
I am LOVING this idea. Great tip!
This is a nice idea for a blog. Unlike most things, you can never have too many reminders of simplicity. I was an extreme minimalist for a while and I can agree with you that it is better to take changes slowly for the sake of mental balance.
You have inspired me to “Spring Clean” this weekend. It is very freeing to have less. I am considering converting old CDs to digital and then selling them at a 2nd hand store. I would only download the songs I liked from the “album” so it would reduce my collection of songs but it would make it more accessible and save room (I have 500 CDs from 1992- present). I could sell them and earn money too. Have you done this? Do you buy a separate hard drive for music only that can be plugged in to different computers? If it was on one PC without back-up and that PC died the music would die too. Have you any advice for minimalistic music storage?
My dad introduced me to minimalism few weeks back. And it is making a lot of sense to my 25 year old brain. Decluttering is something which I’m gonna start with. Keep up the good work… 🙂
Great post. I myself am in the process of getting rid of excess material possessions, in order to simplify my life. It’s wierd to look at all these things I own, and realize I haven’t used half of them in months or years. I’ve only gotten rid of a few things so far, but I already feel liberated.
When I started reading about minimalism I had one of those moments where I realized I’d been one most of my life (or at least since my teens). The only thing I’ve ever really accumulated were books, and I’m starting to let go of those in favor of keeping a few and getting a Kindle. Minimalism/Simplicity just feels like a superior, more life-affirming philosophy to me.
Reblogged this on Redviolin65's Blog and commented:
I think this is worth contemplating! Interesting blog 🙂
Hello! Someone in my Facebook group shared this website with us so
I came to take a look. I’m definitely loving the
information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers!
Superb blog and superb style and design.
thanks a lot for stopping by. glad you are finding some useful info.
After I initially left a comment I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I get 4 emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is a means you can remove me from that service? Thanks!
I will see what I can do. You also must be able to get off the list from your end.
I’m a working minimalist myself,,love your writing ,,just simple,to the point,,Thanks. Keep up the good work.
Spot on with this write-up, I honestly think this website needs
a lot more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read more, thanks for the information!
Thanks for stopping by.
Inspirational and well-written starter guide Mark, glad to see a fellow Canadian sharing his journey to live with less!
Reblogged this on Change The Code.