Minimalism and Me: How it All Started


Minimalism and me flowers on chair

Two years ago my home was filled with all the things I thought it should be; ornaments, sentimental keepsakes, wardrobes full of clothes, drawers full of makeup, furniture to fill the space in each room. It always felt a mess and this would really stress me out. I would clean up, and by the next day
everything had gone back to the way it was before. I could never figure out where I was going wrong. I love interior design, and scrolling those beautiful interior decor images on Pinterest is something I love to do. I’d always be left thinking, why can’t my home look like that?

The life changing magic of tidying

I’d been having a really tough time with my health and work and I felt the need for change. On reflection, my home and everything in it represented my life, and I was sick to death of it feeling like a mess. I was sick of it stressing me out. I was craving a simpler, calmer environment but I had no idea how to achieve it. Enter a little minimalism. It’s funny how things can find you at the exact time you need them too.

In a quest to what I thought was simply to improve my tidying skills and get my home a little more Pinterest worthy, I read THE LIFE CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING. I didn’t even know what decluttering was but the book was recommended by a friend as a quick read, so I thought it was worth a go. It is no secret, 4 million others have read it. If you’re interested in decluttering or simplifying your life, I urge you start here. It took me two days to read and I can honestly say it was life changing. It’s a ‘do it once and do it right’ method, which worked for me at that time, but some can find it too extreme. An alternative method, is the 30 day minimalism game, which has the same goal but takes a slower pace.

After reading the book, I threw out around 50 black bin liners full of stuff, followed by a lot of furniture. People thought I’d lost the plot, they’d say “This is ridiculous, why have you thrown that away?”, “You’ll have nothing left”, “But I bought you that!” They couldn’t understand it, but what utterly shocked me was how happy I felt. There was no talking me out of it. I knew I was onto something and I kept going. Everything was starting to feel simpler and with that came clarity and calm. I was addicted to the feeling and I wanted more.

I didn’t stop with possessions. I decluttered everything I could think of – my digital life, friendships, commitments, work life. Everything I purged felt like another weight had been lifted. I felt calmer and more in control of my life. Life in general began to feel more straight forward. Simple things like having less clothes made the process of getting dressed less stressful. Having less items in my house made cleaning it a breeze. I found myself with more time because of having less.

life after decluttering

Decluttering is just the beginning but it’s a great start to living a more minimal lifestyle. I knew nothing about Minimalism when I ordered The Life Changing Magic of Tidying, but I soon became obsessed with wanting to know more about living with less because of all the positive impacts having less had made. I’m still obsessed and read as much as I can on the subject. Wanting to share what I’ve learned and how it’s changed my life for the better is one of the reasons I wanted to start a blog. Pre-minimalism, I would never have time to write because my time was filled with all the wrong things.

Minimalism isn’t just about getting rid of all your things, for me this was just the start. It’s a way of carefully considering everything that makes up our lives by assessing its value. If it has no value or use then it is discarded. It is that simple and we can apply that method to every aspect of our lives. I can personally guarantee it works. The hard truth that not many of us want to admit, is that we choose what we allow to enter our lives. The part we forget is that we have a choice and realising that can be a scary thing. We allow a lot in because we think we should, instead of because it adds meaning.

life now

My home doesn’t stress me out anymore because it rarely needs tidying and takes less than an hour to deep clean from top to bottom. I wake up on a Sunday, and because I haven’t made any plans I never wanted to really keep, the day is mine to do with as I wish. I have more time to be creative, more money to spend on the things that add real value to my life like travel and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m so thankful to that little book that only took me two days to read.

The freedom I got in return for simplifying, is priceless. I used to ask myself how might my life be better with something, until I starting thinking about how I might be better off with less.

What are your thoughts on living with less? How might your life be better with less? Let me know in the comments below. 

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Minimalism and Me. Why I fell in love with a minimal lifestyle. I have Marie Kondo and decluttering to thank, but that was only the beginning | Minimalist living | Simple living | Minimalism | Minimal lifestyle



38 comments on “Minimalism and Me: How it All Started”

  1. Congrats on your minimalist journey! i completely agree that minimalism is about so much more than getting rid of your ‘stuff’. for me, downsizing and decluttering has helped bring into focus the things that are most important in my life. For me, that means stopping consuming for the sake of it and saving up to build my own tiny house! thanks for sharing your perspective!

    1. Thank you! I absolutely love the tiny houses. I will make sure I follow along. I’ve stopped consuming for the sake of it too. Feels so good.

  2. I really enjoyed this post, I found it so refreshing to hear someone taking minimalism to an emotional level, not just the ‘stuff’. Giving away unwanted gifts and disconnecting from stagnant relationships is a tough one- id love to hear more about how you tackled thOse issues X

    1. Firstly, I am so glad you enjoyed the post. It means the world that you took the time to leave me a comment and let me know. Gifts and relationships are what I found hardest and still do. I have so much to say on these two topics so I’ll definitely put them on my ‘to write’ list x

  3. Hi jessica.

    This totally resonateS with me, and i loved reading about your journey. I felt that exact same joy when i began to reduce all the cluTter, both physical and mental. I’m really tRying to work on ‘DecluTterinG’ my time right now – so rewarding but Not easy.

    Really loving The blog!

    Emily x

    1. Hi Emily! I’m so glad it resonated and you enjoyed it. Time is a difficult one and something I didn’t start tackling until all the physical clutter had gone. It is so worth it though and I know you’ll know in your gut what you have to do like I did. You’ll feel so much better xx

  4. I loved that book! I got teased quite a bit for how much I got into it too – I just kept on going for weeks on end spending every weekend getting rid of stuff (how on earth I had so much stuff is beyond me!) I’m finding it trickier to negotiate now I live with my partner though – would be great to hear your thoughts/tips on that! AndI definitely need to start applying this to time. Something for me to reflect on there. Thanks for the interesting read jess! 🙂

    1. I got teased too! Seriously, people thought I’d lost it. It’s amazing how much we accumulate without even realising it or taking into consideration what affect it has on our lives. I had a really tough time convincing Jason that all the stuff I was getting rid of would actually make things better. He’s completely on board now. I will do a post on this – thanks for the idea!

    2. I know, how on earth can we have so much stuff? What do we do, shop 24/7/365 our entire lives? How could I have clipped so many recipes, some even hanging from the drapes? Was it my full-time job, to clip recipes? I get disgusted with myself.

      1. I had About eight folders of cut out recipes that I collected over thirty years,hundreds of recipes that had no order . . .so when I wanted to find a Particular recipe it would tAke ages to find. . .I also have read “The life-changing magic of tidying”marie kondo . . .whicH i can highly recommend.
        I had an emotional attachment to the recipes,as it was my past.
        I needed help . . .after talking with my son and daughter in law,I culled them,I through out ninety percent . . .the releif was amazing . . .they had been a gigantic burden!

        1. Hi Donna, your story is encouraging, thank you for sharing. When my mother and sister came to visit when I had a baby, they threw out a bunch of my recipes without telling me, and life somehow went on, LOL. But that was a long time ago and what do you know, I have more recipes than ever. I think I can throw out a bunch of the newer recipes that are not my type. I also read where a well-known chef said that the home chef spreads herself too thin and should focus on mastering a few great recipes. That makes so much sense and appeals to my quality vs quantity mentality. My problem is sort of like yours, the recipes are disorganized but I know there are a few gems hidden away in there somewhere. Time to tackle it all. I’m glad you enjoyed success and feel so much lighter! I’ve got to get to that Freedom place!

  5. That’s great. I am on my way to always simplifying my life as well. less useful stuffs, less useful thoughts. I think living with less (stuff) is definitely a great start to a better and more effective life. Good for you!

    1. Yeah, getting rid of all the stuff gave me a lot of space and time to evaluate what was really important to me. Keep me updated on your simplifications too. I love hearing about them.

  6. I absolutely LOVE this post! It’s so interesting to think how the idea of ‘tidying’ and taking control back again applies not just to your stuff but to the digital, friendship and habit-making areas of your life. I find your story incredibly inspiring. I often grapple with guilt, ‘fear of missing out’ and anxiety of ‘should be doing’ so often that it’s almost become a part of my personality. I’m sure i’m not alone in this (at least I hope not!). And you’re right — why waste that mental energy? Declutter your stuff, declutter your mind. Your blog is becoming my life inspiration!

    Eire x

    1. You are definitely not alone, trust me. So many people are just like this but they never think there is a different approach. I was like this. That fear of missing out used to make me SO miserable. I’d go to things because I thought I should and didn’t want to miss out but I’d hate every minute of it. I never do that now.

  7. Everything you’ve written here sounds EXACTLY like me. I’ve only recently discovered the idea of minimalism; similarly to you this was driven by pouring over interiors on pinterest and becoming increasingly frUstrated that my house is always a mess. With 2 young children i tend to blame them and their Toys but actually as a family we just have too much ‘stuff’. We are moving house in a couple of months and this is now the Motivation For me to declutter. I can’t bear the idea of moving all of this unecEssary stuff with Us. I’ll be readinG with interest!

  8. We are often confined by the walls built by ourselves. Happiness n mental peace lies in the simple life. But we kill them by ourselves by making life complicated. We must travel the road to life with minimal desires n wordly possessions if we want freedom from he’ll on earth.

  9. This is a wonderful post! I too have gone through a shift in my lifestyle, to a daily mode of embracing minimalism. I used to think that material items would make me happy, but as it turns out less truly is more. Taking the time to have only what I consistently use, and to have minimal clutter, has been one of the best decisions that I have made. Thank you for writing this post, I will have to read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying!

    xx Alyssa

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