Why the Minimalist Lifestyle Appeals to Me

Minimalistroom One of my favorite blogs is Zen Habits. I started reading Zen Habits for the productivity tips, but lately I’ve been fascinated with Leo’s posts on minimalism. If you were to come into my home, you’d never guess that I even think about minimalism. My home isn’t a disaster area, but it has plenty of clutter. It’s definitely well lived in.

So why does the minimalist lifestyle appeal to me? I see several benefits.

Minimalism Means Less Clutter

I have lots of clutter in my house, and I hate it. I would love to actually have a place for everything, but in order to do that, I need to get rid of a lot of stuff. I don’t have a garage, and my outside storage shed is very small. So everything I store would need to fit in one of my five closets. I have to admit, I like the thought of only owning as much stuff as I can fit comfortably in my house.

Minimalism Means Less Waste

If I bring less stuff home, I don’t have as much opportunity to waste. I really try hard not to waste anyway, but sometimes that’s hard in a cluttered home. If the refrigerator or freezer gets cluttered, I forget what I have, and sometimes the yogurt hiding behind the milk goes bad.

The same goes for clothes. If I own the minimal amount of clothing I need to get by, I’m not likely to forget about an outfit hanging at the back of the closet. I can’t count how many times that happened when my daughter was a baby. She had so many baby clothes, that I’d forget exactly what she had. Then I’d pull out an outfit, only to find that she had outgrown it already.

Minimalism Means Learning to be Content

I really believe that having an overabundance of stuff breeds discontentment. It seems that the more things a person has, the more they need. I know that’s true in my life. When I have the ability to buy more, I find that I start buying to fill some sort of unmet need in my life. By cutting down the amount of stuff I allow myself to buy, I force myself to deal with my discontentment. I need to learn to be content with what I have and find satisfaction in my relationship with God, my family life, and with who I am as a person.

Minimalism Means Really Loving What I Have

By forcing myself to cut down on the amount of stuff I own, I cut out the stuff that I’m ambivalent about. By embracing minimalism, I cut out everything but what I really love.

I remember reading Little House in the Big Woods as a child, and I remember reading about Laura and her doll, Charlotte. Laura LOVED Charlotte. I think she loved her so much because Charlotte was her only doll. Charlotte was precious. Charlotte was special. How many things do I own that I consider to be truly special? My photographs are special. Everything else? Not so much.

Though I doubt I have it in me to become truly minimalist, I am setting a goal for getting rid of stuff. Cutting my things to what I really use and love lends itself to my quest to live a more frugal life. So by the end of the year, I will go through every room in my house and get rid of what I don’t use or love. And to be really frugal, I’ll sell what I can and put it toward my debt.

Photo by decor8.

Lynnae has the very popular frugal living site –BeingFrugal.net.

What do you think?



  1. 5
    J. C. Wolf says:

    Clutter is everywhere in my house. I am determined to empty every room, paint and only put back what I will use often. The kitchen is where I am now. Oh my, what memories I will have to part with. I have lived a lot of places and had two children, four step children two husbands, and several pets.
    I know my children will not want my antique silver or my White Fife Minton China, although thankfully, my granddaughter expressed an interest in my blue plates. I have paintings no one loves accept me, I have old furniture some antiques. All have memories attached. I even have a huge linen table cloth which came out of a castle. No one will use that again accept to cut it up I suppose for some temporary delight.
    Anyway, getting rid of personal clutter is a very personal task. I know the reward for collectors who unclutter is simply a clutter free space, but will I spend the rest of my life chatting about the stuff I got rid of?

  2. 6

    For the last six months or so I have been embracing the idea of having less stuff. I am in the process of organizing my house and getting rid of anything we truly don’t need or love. We have a small house so I think it will help our storage problems and the clutter.

  3. 7

    So true!

    Not to mention, a way to be frugal and green at the same time.


  4. 8

    I have found that as I get older, I want fewer things around me, and more people near me. The hard part of getting rid of some of the clutter is not offending the giver of the clutter – such as the cute but dust collecting dollar store figurines your little one’s give you EVERY SINGLE MOTHER’S DAY for 20+ years (multiply that times 4 for me). Or the little gifts co-workers give you during the holidays that you can’t regift because you may give it back to the person who gave it to you in the first place or the stuff your mother gives you because she doesn’t have the heart to throw it out but God forbid if you toss it because at some point she’s gonna ask you about it or want it back…..

  5. 9

    I definitely consider myself a minimalist. Not in a modern, stark sort of way, but I love to “edit” unnecessary objects out of my home. I find that with a more minimal decorating approach my home feels less cluttered, so in turn I feel less stressed and more serene.

    Now, I realize this doesn’t apply to everyone. My mother loves to decorate with a lot of stuff (where I would prefer 1 statement piece, she prefers to group 8 little things), and does it well, and she feels more homey and cozy that way.