Why I Choose Minimalism

Minimal is Relative.png

I’ve come across a few other blogs, comments, or conversations about what people believe minimalism is about and who the people are that practice it.

There’s the notion that minimalism is classist, elitist, or for people that “can afford to live with nothing.”

So, I want to share who I am and why and how I practice minimalism.

Who I Am

I’m a stay at home mom with two children.  My husband provides our one income.  I homeschool our children using homemade curricula.  We have a three bedroom, two bathroom home that we purchased with 100% financing from USDA.

We have two vehicles.  One being an almost fifteen year old car my husband purchased used in college.  The other an SUV that was hand-me-downed to us and paid off quickly.

We do not utilize any cable providers or entertainment streaming services.  We buy refurbished or used cell phones and choose inexpensive prepaid plans.  We do not own any laptops, tablets, smartwatches, DVD players, MP3 players, etc.  We have a television connected to a computer in our family room.

We have a strict $100 weekly budget that covers all food (including any take out or dining), hygiene items, and household items.  We do not have any credit cards.  Our debt consists of school loans, our home mortgage, and a loan we took on for lawn care equipment.  (Why??  My husband, bless his beautiful heart, decided to organize a small group for the purpose of providing free lawncare services for the elderly, sick, disabled, or otherwise unabled in our community.  We have made every payment on time and do not regret this expense for a moment.)  

We keep our A/C and heat off unless necessary and only rarely utilize our dishwasher or dryer.  We do not own a microwave.

I never buy clothes.  We receive clothing as gifts during the holidays and also exchange hand-me-downs between friends.  I wear $1 flip flops in the summer and seven year old boots in the winter.

Toilet paper is our only paper product, and its value is being heavily questioned as well.  I cut my own hair, frequently bathe without soaps, sew, repurpose, upcycle, conserve, etc.

We are not elitist or classist.

Do we live this way due to financial constrictions or because it’s what we’ve chosen?

Would you assume we are wealthy and can afford to not buy things?

or

Would you assume we are poor and can’t afford to buy things?

You have no idea and that’s precisely my point.

Why I Choose Minimalism

I choose minimalism because owning gadgets or having overflowing kitchen cabinets is not what makes me happy.  My preferences are mine alone and do not speak to those of anyone else.

And minimalism is not about money.  Minimalism is not about money.  Should I say it again?

I choose to clear out drinking glasses I don’t need because I don’t need them.  Not because I can afford to buy new ones or would rather just buy a package of plastic cups every other week.  I choose to narrow down our wardrobes because three shirts are enough.  Not because I plan to buy a slew of new things three months from now.

The excess we have(had) in our home was not the result of shopping sprees or frivolous spending. The build up of things in our home was due to indecisiveness, irrational fear of “needing” unneeded things, poor health choices, and wasteful habits. 

How I Minimize

I minimize by keeping what’s truly necessary, what makes me happy, and what makes my life productive.  I minimize by ridding my home of the things that I don’t need.

That’s it.

How and why I minimize, and how other people minimize, is about adjusting what we own (however little or much it may be) to how we feel.  A rich person keeping things they don’t need is the same as a poor person keeping things they don’t need.  

You do you.

Let me do me.

No name calling or assumptions necessary.

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19 thoughts on “Why I Choose Minimalism

    • I get the intended meaning… As in, “Look at how empty my cabinets are due to the fact that I eat out for every meal!” But I’ve literally never once heard of anyone, minimalist or not, actually living like that. It’s a very inaccurate assumption, I agree.

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    • Hi, Kat! Thanks for checking out my blog. ☺

      I’m honestly not even sure how to answer this question. I’ve never really viewed any of us as “coping with minimalism.” It’s just us changing our home to a more enjoyable space. 😊 They have toys, books, their favorite outfits, and so on. They want for nothing. (other than a pet unicorn and cake for supper)

      My oldest, who is only five, seems to understand and embrace the concept. Just today she came to me and said she was ready to pass on a certain toy. She recognizes that things we don’t need or no longer enjoy can be removed or passed on. I also make a point to involve my children in any instances where their belongings are up for destash. They have the end say in what stays or goes when it comes to their stuff.

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      • That’s so nice to hear! I thought they might be older (teenage years) that’s why I had to ask how they cope.

        I am amazed by your story and frankly, I am inspired. I hope someday when I have my own kids I could do the same and instill the same sets of values. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • I imagine it would be tough to change lifestyles as a teenager. I was most definitely *not* minimal as a teenager lol. I’m so thrilled that you’ve found a little bit of inspiration here! We are still making changes and “getting there,” but life is all about the journey!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Thanks for sharing, you are an inspiration! Our life looks very different than yours, but I hate clutter and am always looking to cut out extras. As far as food we splurge on others, we love to cook and bake and feed people extravagantly. And my husband loves good food like fine wine and expensive cheeses, God is good and food reminds us of that. Another way our life looks a bit different than yours is that my husband is a computer programmer, so we’ve got some pretty fancy computer technology both for his work and for his enjoyment. I definitely encourage my husband to try to cut out clutter, but I think ultimately I have to let him do what he needs to with him personal belongings while I work hard on minimizing my own belongs and our household belongings. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent, excellent post. People want to make it all about the money. I’ve had times in my life when I worry about money and times when I have more than enough. It’s just not about that. For me, it’s about having room to breathe and not be weighed down by possessions. It’s also about being responsible to our environment. It’s not a race or a competition. It’s about possessing things and not letting them possess us.

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  3. Enjoyed your article and appreciate your perspective. Being in the moving and storage business, I find it unbelievable how weighed down people are by STUFF. It’s really unbelievable. To me, minimalism is all about simplicity and freedom – just that feeling of “aaaaah” when you can relax in an environment free of clutter and things you don’t really need. It just FEELS so much better!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! It’s all about the feelings, not the things or lack thereof. It’s interesting you mention the storage business. I’ve seen several new storage unit facilities open in my area lately, and I can’t help but wonder what’s in them!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Honestly, I think a lot of it is what I would call “junk” that people are sentimentally attached to I guess. I’ve seen some of them opened up when people don’t pay and it’s like, “they were paying every month to store THIS??!!”. Just crazy. It’s funny – when I look back, I realize that I have almost always been something of a minimalist without even realizing it. And I’ve had people say to me, “why don’t you get this?” or “why don’t you have this?” – basically being judgmental about how I lived. Yet I always felt that I had just what I needed and enjoyed the simplicity of it and a more free lifestyle. Society/people will definitely put the pressure on you to fit in to the mentality of thinking you need lots of stuff!

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  5. I’ve just started blogging about living a simple and minimalist lifestyle. After reading a blog the other day about how minimalism was elitist I felt almost guilty for doing so. So thank you for writing this post as I feel some of that weight lifted.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This! We are so similar. We are also a family of four. My husband works a normal job, I am home, and will be homeschooling. Our cars are really old and we don’t have extras (cable, fancy phones, ect). We spend $100 a week on groceries, despite living in one of the most expensive states. I have found that we actually spend less since embracing a minimalist-ish lifestyle. Minimalism can really be a wonderful tool financially speaking. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Twinsies! I’ll be following your blog for sure 🙂

      You’re totally right about minimalism having the potential to be financially beneficial! My minimalism really took off at the same time my husband decided to crack down on our budget to increase our savings. It’s been awesome, and we’re both seeing such great results!

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