The Truth About What Happens When You Become a Minimalist

It’s funny to me how this happened. I remember hanging out at a bar, talking to my new friend Phil and learning about minimalism for the very first time. He talked about how much it changed his life, how little he owned now, and this new-found freedom he felt.

Well, here I am about six months later… I caught the bug.

Diagnosis: Minimalist in Training

I have significantly decreased my belongings to about 25% of what I used to own (yes, literally). And. you know what? I have to say, minimalism has made my life a lot less enjoyable in a lot of ways.

It was a few weeks ago that I stumbled on Erin’s post on A Welder’s Wife that talked about some of the same feelings that I have had and am currently processing: 10 Ways Minimalism Ruined My Life Forever. Here are some of my own takeaways…

Shopping pretty much sucks now

One of the top things that I now struggle with is shopping.

I used to be a shopaholic.

I used to shop for therapeutic enjoyment and to try and fill whatever void was manifesting itself within my heart or mind. It was the instant gratification that I used like a drug. There was a thrill of the buy. I could even get a fix by just putting something in a virtual shopping cart. Needless to say, I had a problem.

Today? Ugh. The thrill is gone. Now, when I’m at the store, instead of having this itch to fill a void, I walk around Target (yes, the mother of all money sucking stores) and look at all the useless things that I don’t need to buy.

Before, I could have easily filled a shopping cart with anything and everything to put into my apartment without getting rid of a single thing, just adding to the chaos. Today, I look at the beautiful light gray linen comforter set and know that I would love to have it and get rid of the one I have, but I really don’t need to drop $130 on something that I really don’t need right now.

I have so much time to dwell on … life

Since I am doing less dishes, cleaning less junk up, cleaning less junk, and not spending a half an hour before I got to bed picking out an outfit out of the zillion clothes that I barely wear, I now have all this time for my brain to stew about life.

I have been feeling this big, empty void, like I have all this time to think about heavy life changing things that I was able to push aside. I now have all this time to ponder about all the debt I have racked up over the past couple years, about how I’m going to be able to afford life, and how to try to retire when I’m in my 40’s. (Yes, financial independence is on my bucket list.) This is all instead of worrying about what smokey eye look to go with for the day, I am having to pay attention to the big stuff…

I feel like I don’t make any easy choices anymore

Since I have drastically downsized my wardrobe and gotten into such a set routine, I feel like I’m not actually making any everyday decisions anymore. I just go through the motions for my basic needs and get on with my day. There’s no more hemming and hawing about what to wear because I just look at what I have and make a choice. It’s not a huge ordeal when you have way fewer things to pick from!

When I get ready in the morning, I listen to a podcast or an audio book, which focuses on how to pursue what I believe is my purpose. See, more life dwelling again…

I save so much time that my free time is overwhelming

Minimalism = less cleaning, less decision fatigue, less organizing, less having to think about how to try to use things that haven’t been being used.

Before I got rid of half of my dishes, I would spend at least an hour loading and unloading my dishwasher a few times a week. Now, I barely have to do any dishes, because there are barely any to do.

Like I said, I used to spend a half an hour sometimes before going to bed just trying to look for outfit inspiration. (And, if I’m lazy, this time would spill itself into my morning routine instead.) Time on Pinterest, time trying things on, time deciding whether or not what I was trying on was a good choice. In the morning, I now decide shirt or dress and then throw on what I have that goes with just that. I have go-to outfits for each thing. This gives me time to read more of a book before bed and make a breakfast shake for myself in the morning too.

Just this morning I reflected on how clean my apartment always is and realized that I am not going to have to spend hours upon hours trying to clean my place for move out. It’s already clean! I’m thinking during that time saved I could go for a hike or a bike ride or go to the beach. The options I have are endless now.

I have less hobbies to choose from

I can’t tell you how many times I have taken out some old craft stuff and stewed about how to create something new that I just didn’t feel like making just because I had the stuff lying around. About five or six years ago, I was a drawer. I loved to draw cartoons and create collages. About four years ago, I was going to teach myself how to play the guitar. Paper crafts? I stopped doing those about five years ago.

Guess who still owned all the stuff to do that stuff? Me. 

Today, I love to read, write and crochet. So, I have only kept the books around that I actually think I will read (I still have a good number of  books, because #forevernerd), I downsized my powerhouse laptop down to a writer-friendly Chromebook, and all of my yarn has been lovingly displayed in my bedroom ready for inspiration to hit. The only extra things that I am really holding onto are the sewing machine that my grandma gave to me and the box of jewelry making stuff, because I know that making jewelry for me is a seasonal craft.

So, now when I want to decide what to do or what to create, I spend less time trying to decide between so many different options and just role with what I’ve got.

I am forced to get to know myself

Since I am spending less time working on aesthetic decisions, I am now forced to work on intrinsic decisions. I am now reading who knows how many blog posts on minimalism and wellness and clean living and fitness and clean eating and all other things to do with bettering my life habits. I have been reading books that make me think deeper about life and I am spending a lot of time alone with myself and with my thoughts.

Over the past few months of major purging, I have been forced to make real decisions about who I am and what I want to surround myself with. Some days are a struggle and I really don’t like myself or I am frustrated with myself because I can’t make up my mind, but, overall, it has been a totally radical process.

As I look around at my world, I am now surrounded by things that truly represent me and the life that I want to live. It hasn’t been an easy process by any means, but it’s been worth it ten times over.

Have you given minimalism a shot? How have you felt along your minimalist journey?

The Truth About What Happens When You Become a Minimalist


How Minimalism has made Me More Grateful

As you know, for the past few months I have been going H.A.M. simplifying my life. From downsizing my closet, to stripping down my kitchen, to limiting myself to one everyday purse (yes, that’s a thing) — I have been embodying the minimalist movement in my life.

I had no idea the impact that this journey would have on my psyche and how I interpret the world.Minimalism-Respectful-Grateful.png

How minimalism has affected my attitude towards my home

Since I have significantly decreased my possessions, I have a new-found appreciation for the environment I have cultivated for myself. As I look around my apartment, I see the things that I have kept for myself that fit my cozy minimalist criteria:Read More »

My 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge: Love, Meditation & Gratitude

Have you ever had a second thought about what is happening right now? Become more cognizant of the thoughts you are having revolving around your moment? How you feel, what is occurring in your surroundings, how you are interpreting your immediate situation? And when you take that moment to take care of your thoughts, to make yourself completely present, how does it in turn affect your mind?

All of the questions that I have posed are ones that I am going to answer over the next 30 days through my new 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge!

30 Day Mindfulness Challenge

So, what is mindfulness?

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Your “It will get better.” Mentality: It’s not Working

I think we’ve all been there one way or another. We find ourselves in a situation that’s stuck. But, despite spending each day in a loop of stagnation and realizing that it is just that, we think “it will get better“.


I used to be one of those people. I used to be the person that, even though all signs pointed to not going anywhere, still believed that there was something bright and shiny on the other side. No matter how hurt or torn down or trapped by the situation I was, I always found myself looking at the (usually pretty short) list of pro’s versus the (usually very long) list of con’s. A “glass a quarter full” kind of girl.

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My 180: Sometimes Quitting is the Answer

A few years ago I was in a completely different place. I was working towards finishing my degree in psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and heading towards a future with more school with a side of school and a dash of, you guessed it, school. I was on track to pursuing my PhD in Counseling Psychology and looking towards a life of research, students, and academic writing. It wasn’t until I finished my undergraduate degree, started my first semester of graduate school, and decided to quit that I truly felt like I was making a decision for me.

Making the choice to quit graduate school was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. I was essentially derailing any life plan that I had devised for myself up until that point and I put myself in a place where I had no idea where I was going. Read More »

Who Am I: Me & All the Faces of Me

Artsy photo of a mirror to illustrate self-reflection.

Over the years I have struggled with the same question: Who am I? Now, I know that is another one out of the big book of clichés, but I’m sure you’ve asked yourself that same question, even just once.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to reinvent who I think I am. Like everyone growing up, I have gone through the numerous stages of style and self-discovery that consistently lead to another reinvention of the one new and improved version of who I think I actually I am. One of the greatest parts of this journey has led me to believe something very important about myselfRead More »

It’s All About Me: Taking Time for (Thank) You

I call it craft time or writing time or cooking time or spa time or movie time or book time or sit next to my cat and binge Netflix time, but all the same it is what it is: Me Time. It is time that I dedicate all to me, something that I like to do by myself, for myself, and for the gain of no one else except for myself (sort of).

Now, I am an unmarried, female who lives alone (-ish, kitty counts), so getting some alone time isn’t that great of a feat for me. When someone asks if I have plans on my “Me Time” nights my answer is a well resounded “YES!”, because date night with just me (and some cameos of my cat) is a huge contributor to my overall mental and emotional health.

My favorite doily and a proof of one of my favorite books, The Curated Closet.

This is all speaking from the perspective of someone who has established

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Living as Your Other Self: You, Your Past, and Now

Sometimes life can make you feel like you’re messed up. Like the version of yourself that you are currently living as isn’t the actual version of you that you should be. That who you are living as isn’t the person that you were meant to be, but there is this other person in your place that just can’t seem to get out of this funk. I get that.

Five years ago I wasn’t myself and even two seconds ago I wasn’t myself, but I accept that who I am because of what I’ve been through is the self that I have been meant to become. Now this may sound like a silly riddle to you, but that’s what it feels like living on after life strikes you in ways that you wouldn’t have asked for.


When life comes at you with a vengeance so great that you think you must begin to question everything, you do just that: Question everything. You sit and second guess your Read More »

The “Measurables”: What am I worth?

So many times I have sat and struggled with that exact question: What am I worth? 

For many years I was stumped. Stumped and unable to define exactly what I was worth to the world. How I brought value. How I contributed to society and what impact, if even any, I had on the people around me.

For many years I sat and believed that I, quite frankly, wasn’t worth much. That the sacrifice of myself in my entirety was the only way that I was worth anything to this world. That only by giving myself to others with no regard for my own well-being was the only way that I was able to truly serve the world. I was wallowing in a place where I thought Read More »