Yes, I’m a Minimalist. No, I’m Not Getting Rid of That


Yes I'm a minimalist No I'm not getting rid of that - Jessica Rose Williams

So you want to be a minimalist? Well then, you’d better get rid of everything you own, stop attending any social events and basically move into a cave with the two items of clothing you have left. Wrong.

There is no ideal minimalist to aspire to—owning or doing the least does not make you the most minimal of all. There is no set goal or end point to achieve, only a mindset and a feeling.

We can live a minimal lifestyle and still fill it with things. The point is, that all those things add significant value to our lives. The important word here being OUR. Living a simpler life is individualistic and forces us to be a little selfish—which isn’t a bad thing. What adds value to one’s life may not add value to another’s.

I love fashion and I appreciate good design. Timeless quality clothes that are made to last are my weakness. I also love horse riding, traveling and quality skincare—none of which come cheap.

The Solution of Prioritising

When I made the decision to bring some minimalism into my life, obviously these things came into question. All of them could be viewed as luxuries and there’s no doubt they cost me time and money.

The solution was not to eliminate these passions from my life, but to prioritize them and eliminate something of less value to make room. All these things could be deemed luxury unnecessary items by a lot of people, inclined to judge my minimalist standards. That doesn’t matter because the point is to identify what really matters to us. Yes, there are ways to minimize these luxuries but you don’t have to get rid of them completely.

Travel is an experience I never regret spending time or money on. I travel more now because I have more time and money to do so. How? Because I stopped spending time and money on all the things I did, but never added any value.

Drinking alcohol is one example. I haven’t had a drink in over a year and don’t expect that to change. I realized I actually hated it and only drank because I thought I should. I say “no” to a lot so I can say “yes” to what I deem worthy.

Quality clothes that don’t date, high end skincare, travel and horses will never be eliminated from my life because I feel they add a lot of value to it—unless one day I feel that they don’t. In this case, it’s time to reassess and that’s OK because minimalism is an ethos applicable to every aspect of life and in doing so will remove the meaninglessness from it. We are left with only the meaningful.

The Secret to Having More

We don’t have to live without to be a minimalist. The beauty of minimalism or having a simpler lifestyle is that we live with more of what makes us truly happy. Imagine what you love doing the most. Now imagine how much more time you’d have to do that if you stopped doing all the stuff you hate, but do anyway.

Deprivation is not the goal, happiness is. What makes us happy is so individual there can be no ideal—just a feeling to aim for. That feeling of joy, contentment and freedom.

The perfect formula for minimalism cannot exist. People are too complex and our tastes and interests differ. The question should be “does that really make you happy?” If the answer is “yes” it stays, if “no” then it goes. It is this simple.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a luxury item like an expensive haircut or even a luxury holiday, if you feel it is absolutely necessary, you can afford it, and it adds real value to your life then I say don’t you dare let it go. Instead, consider giving up everything else that doesn’t make you feel this way so you can obtain it.

I don’t champion people to get rid of everything they own and make themselves miserable, I champion them to take the time to stop, look around and look a little deeper to really evaluate what they choose to make up their lives with. This is what I did and from my experience, it works.

Why Living Without Isn’t Always The Answer

Giving up everything, including what makes me happy and moving into the aforementioned cave, would only cause misery and that doesn’t appeal to me.

I’ve taken the time to really think about what it is that makes me happy and if I’ve been unsure, I’ve tried to live without something as a way to test myself. The results were interesting. Dry shampoo and hair straighteners soon found their way back into my bedroom drawers. Make up on the other hand, most of that can go—I only own 8 items of make up, including lip balm.

Whilst I will spend a fair amount of money on certain things such as travel, you can be sure that I am not doing that to impress anyone else or because I think I should. There’s plenty that I’m keeping. Some of which, others may think makes me less of a minimalist and that’s fine because everyone is entitled to an opinion but never the less, I’ll be doing things my own way.

So, what are you keeping? What couldn’t you live without?

This post was recently published on No Sidebar – one of my favourite websites, all about designing a simpler life for ourselves. If you enjoy my posts I think you’d really enjoy this website.

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Yes I'm Minimalist No I'm not getting rid of that. Being minimalist and living a minimal lifestyle doesn't mean you have to declutter the luxuries. Find out how I do both | Minimalist living | Simple living | Minimal lifestyle | Minimalism | Slow living | Decluttering tips



24 comments on “Yes, I’m a Minimalist. No, I’m Not Getting Rid of That”

  1. I love your approach! I completeLy agree. Minimilism is not about isolation and suffering to make a statement. It’s exactly as you sHared, a chance to eliminate the UNNECESSARY, the “shoulds”, from your life and only Do the things you honestly love :). BeautifulLy written, jessica!

    1. Thank you. i think so many people get a little overwhelmed by this term ‘minimalism’ and imagine having to live without anything. i wanted the chance to show a different side of things where we can actually have our cake and eat it too. it definitely isn’t about deprivation for me. it’s always so good to hear from like minded people. thanks for getting in touch.

    2. This is THE BEST article on minimalism I’ve ever read. Ive been decluttering “stuff “, all the while thinking i couldn’t do the minimalist thing because the pictures ive seen of minimalist decor are too antiseptic for me. I WAS guilty of thinking it meant a life of living without. Now i really understand~ ~this is a mindset I CAN live with and cultivate. Thank you so much!!

      1. That’s amazing to hear, thank you so much Wendy! You absolutely can live with, you can do it whatever way you want to as long as it works for you. Feeling excited for you based on that message, you sound so passionate about getting rid of your stuff. I love that.

  2. I completely and deeply agree with all you SAId. Since I’ve ELIMINATed unnecessary thing that don’t add value, I have more MONEY for charity.

  3. Great post! I’m 100% with you on travel + alcohol, Jessica. The hair straightEners made me laugh – mine broke (after 10 yearS!) right at the start of this year when I began purging. I thought it would be a good test to see if I could go without for a little while, turns out my hair is naturaLlY very straight…why I felt the need to straighten it for so long is beyond me. It’s amazing what we think we ‘need’ and the things we do out of habit for no real good reason.

  4. Great blog post. For me, minimalism is more about conscious consumption than going without. A simpler life without distractions can be the most fulfilling.

    1. Yes, that’s what it’s about for me too. I really enjoy the do I really need this process I go through when i buy anything now.

  5. Hi Jessica. You wrote an excellent article. Very balanced in your approach. I’m the kind of learner where I enjoy the philosophy of a subject, but concrete examples make it clear to me. So when you say you gave up drinking (smart move) but left in clothes, horses, travel, etc., that is what speaks to me the most. Would you be willing to share more of the things you let go from your life? I know we’re all individuals, but I need that extra inspiration as I’m kind of stuck about what things or activities I could eliminate. I do socialize less now, what a relief. Thank you for giving us your unique voice on minimalism – a breath of fresh air, for sure!

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment, it’s so great to hear from people. I let go of SO much. It all started with clutter in the house which I talk about in my MINIMALISM AND ME post. Basically anything I didn’t use or didn’t actually like. I got rid of so many clothes, furniture, ORNAMENTS, plates, mugs, wall art, beauty products, technology (we had two laptops and ipads). After the physical stuff I let friendships go that felt like hard work, I started saying no alot more so I could do more of what I loved. It wasn’t easy to start with but got so much easier. Writing down your top priorities helps because then you can cut out what doesn’t appear. Make sure you keep in touch and let me know how you get on.

  6. Wow very philosophicAl, so true, it has made me think about what items i could live without, brlieve me there are many, im truly inspired and would like to know more, how do i staRt this great process? 💖

    1. I am so happy to hear you’re inspired. I could talk for hours about how to get started, I really could. If you’re on PINTEREST come and find me @jessicarpins – I have loads of boards with useful articles, advice and tips on there that would save you having to read a book. Although there are so many great books available. Did you read the 5 questions to make decluttering easy post I did? I feel like that is a good way to get thinking about what you could eliminate. I really want to hear about how you get on with things.

  7. Hi jessica just a question may i ask where you got your lovely white shirt, im currently sErching for the perfect one 💖

    1. The one in the photo is from Equipment. And you’re right, you’re already wearing your capsule. It doesn’t always mean having to buy more.

  8. Fantastic post! For a long time, i was buying and spending so much money on make-up items that never saw the light of day. My thoughts were consumed with what I wanted to purchase next. I have found so much joy in getting rid of not only products that I don’t use, but the mindset that I need to buy more, like you, I’m down to about 8 essential items that I wear every day and couldn’t be happier!

    1. I love hearing other people’s stories! Thanks so much for getting in touch and letting me know. What are your 8 items? I’d love to know.

  9. Brilliant, lovely post! I always say that (my) minimalism is about saving resources (time, money, energy) where I CAN so I can spend resources (time, money, energy) where I WANT!!!

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