My Minimalism Journey [So Far]

2016 was a huge year for me in terms of discovering what material items I felt were no longer important or essential for me. I have grown so much from this journey so far, especially because I moved out of my parent’s home and into my own home. I didn’t want to have a cluttered or disorganized home; I wanted my home to be a space that was calming, relaxing, and simple.

Why I chose Minimalism:

1| I felt less anxious

For those who don’t know, I have struggled with anxiety and OCD for several years. When I removed unnecessary clutter and items from my life, I felt my anxiety decrease significantly. The fewer items I owned, the less I had to clean, wash, sort and organize. Needless to say, it has helped me SO much!

2| It brought me joy

I went into this minimalism journey with one concept it mind: if the item didn’t bring me happiness, there was no need to keep it in my life. More than 90 percent of the things I got rid of were simply because they were things I didn’t love. This is the best mindset to have when beginning your journey.

3| It gave me perspective

It can be difficult to focus on the bigger things in life, but minimalism helped me to understand there is more to life than owning an article of clothing in every color. Or, making sure you’re saving a handbag or belt for an occasion that may never come up again. There’s more to life than things. Life should be about adventure and experiences.


With these concepts in mind, I knew minimalism was something that would help me achieve the lifestyle and space I craved. So, I began with my own items in my room. I sat in a mountain of clothes taller than my nightstand, and felt the negative impact of having stuff I didn’t love. But I also knew that getting rid of things was going to be difficult, so I promised myself to take the process slow. There was no need to rush.

Over the course of a month, I removed more than 60 percent of my clothes, jewelry, accessories and shoes. I felt incredibly relieved—but I was itching to keep getting rid of things. Here is how I was able to declutter my closet.

There becomes a point in your minimalism journey where you become addicted to the process. Every week, I would find myself going through my closet to find another item (or 10) to donate, sell or toss.  By summer, I truly felt blissful with where I was in my minimalism journey.

Throughout summer and fall, I craved a desire for adopting minimalism and simplicity even further in my life. I began to simplify my routine and practice mindfulness more and more. I began practicing conscious shopping and truly monitored my shopping habits to become more aware of what was necessary and unnecessary. I also focused on my daily routine and leading a minimalist lifestyle.

Now, I am almost a year into my minimalism journey, and although I am still learning throughout the process, I am very satisfied with where I am with my journey right now. I think it’s important to appreciate every step in the journey. I know 2017 will be another year filled with progressing on my minimalism journey, and I hope to document more of this journey along the way!

If you’re new to minimalism, what has been the best part of your journey so far? If you’re a veteran minimalist, what tips would you share with those who are new to the process or considering becoming a minimalist? Make sure to share in the comments below!

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  • Sarah Jean

    The best part of minimalism for me is really enjoying what I have. instead of having a whole bathroom full of beauty products, I just have the few i know and love. Same with clothes!

    • YES, SARAH! This is so true. Now that I only own things that I truly love, I have such a stronger appreciation for these items.

  • I agree that it’s addicting. I got rid of most of my clothes and they fit in less than half of a small closet in our bedroom. I now know what I need and don’t need whenever I do shop for something, so I am not just randomly buying clothing just because it’s cute. It really does change your life!

    • I’m so glad to know that you also have seen the positive affects that minimalism and conscious shopping can have on your life (and wallet, haha!) Thank you so much for sharing your experience with this!

  • There are so many benefits to minimalism! It’s definitely helped cure my anxiety too. 🙂

    • That’s so wonderful to hear! I’m happy to know that working toward this lifestyle has helped you as well!

  • I love that you are seeing so many benefits to becoming a minimalist! My anxiety and stress have really subsided since I started my journey. I have learned more about who I am and how to control situations better. My number one tip is take your time in this journey. Really hone in on what you want from it, and adjust this vision along the way. I had no idea how my life would change in the beginning. I just knew I wanted to change.

    • I’m so glad we are on the same page with this, Erin! I can definitely say that I have taken my time while pursuing this lifestyle, and that has made the process more enjoyable and has allowed me to reflect in the process!

  • I have slowly been getting rid of stuff that I have. I know I will not get rid of a lot of things but I feel that decluttering little by little is always a great thing. It can be overwhelming when you have too much stuff in your home. It gives me anxiety, which is why I have gotten better with getting rid of items I no longer need.

    • That’s wonderful that you have been working on getting rid of things you don’t need! It truly does help with the stressful feeling. Now when I walk in my home, I feel at peace and calm!

  • I am slowly learning to let go of things. I felt like I turned a big corner last week when my husband started talking about turning the attic into storage space (it is currently unused/unusable) and I said I don’t think we need more storage, we just need less stuff. I have a long ways to go to simplify our lives, but I know I’ll be happier when it is done.

    • Yes! What you said is absolutely true. You don’t need to organize, you need to eliminate! This will help so much in the long run!

  • Leah

    I keep thinking about the minimalist trend. I like the idea of it, but I still haven’t committed.

    • Just remember that you don’t have to follow any “rules” of minimalism you may find online. Customize the term to fit YOUR life and help suit your needs!

  • I’ve always noticed the freeing peaceful feeling after giving things away.

    • I couldn’t agree with you more. That’s why pursuing this lifestyle can be a little addicting when you’re first starting out!

  • Since I have been on winter break from school, I have really been working at this too. Having so much stuff just stresses me out! I only have my bedroom really to clean out, but it is amazing how many things you hold on to for whatever reason. I applaud you for sticking to these changes!

    • Thank you so much, Jess! It means a lot! It has helped so much with my anxiety and OCD personally. I feel more at ease and less stressed!

  • YES! I’ve been feeling the itch to declutter + get rid of a lot of the things I have for these exact reasons!

    • The time of year definitely have something to do with that! Late winter/early spring is a huge period of time where we are highly motivated to clean out the clutter and downsize!

  • Nicole Leith

    I want to work harder on getting rid of unnecessary things in my life. I want to start with getting rid of the clothes that I don’t wear on focus on not buying things that I don’t need.

    • Exactly! One of the best things about this lifestyle is that you save money!

  • I haven’t FULLY committed to minimalism, but after living with only half of my things last summer, I learned how nice it was to not have those things! When Dustin and I got to the stuff in our storage unit after our summer in LA, I got rid of SO many things because I knew I could live without them! I am trying to be better about what clothes I buy and keep – and donate anything that I haven’t worn in a few months!

    • There are so many things that we accumulate over time that we truly don’t love or need–yet we keep they anyway! I’m happy to hear that you were able to get rid of things that you don’t need! It probably helps a lot with moving as well! Thanks for sharing, Chelsie!

  • Abbey Phipps

    This is so great to hear! I’m not really jumping into minimalism, but I am trying to declutter and just clear out our house and it feels so good! You’re so right about it causing less anxiety! 🙂

    • I definitely know where you’re coming from with not jumping right into minimalism. In the beginning, I had no intention of defining myself as a minimalist, but now I have worked my way into this lifestyle over a year! There’s no need to rush the process!

  • Jae

    When I saw The True Cost and Minimalism documentaries last year, I felt the urge to peruse my closet, and get rid of clothes I haven’t worn in the last two years (since I moved here in the US). It felt SO good to have donated at least three bags full of clothes to Goodwill at the end of the day!

    • I completely understand! I have seen snip-its of Minimalism, but The True Cost is still high on my list to watch for 2017. My closet was the easiest place to begin. Now, I am very mindful and intentional with what I buy.

  • I’ve been working on going through stuff too. Like you, I realized how much stuff I had (and how much of it I don’t love) and I just felt heavy with it. Each time I get rid of stuff, I feel so much lighter!

    • I’m so glad you used the term, “Lighter,” because that’s exactly how we should feel! We shouldn’t have so many things that it weighs us down. Glad you found this in the process of decluttering!

  • Jessica Jade

    For a year now I’ve gravitated more and more to the minimalist lifestyle. I think it’s time to purge 🙂

    • You definitely will feel better once you do so, Jessica! I’m happy to know you’ve been enjoying that lifestyle as well.

  • I would love to take up a minimalist lifestyle. Right now my life is quite chaotic: living by myself, graduating and handling a job. Hope I’ll manage to go full time minimalist soon.

    Cristina | *janded

    • I completely understand where you’re coming from! Sometimes, that is the best time to go through your home because you’ll find clarity and peace while you’re finishing school, working and balancing your life in between!

  • Rachel Golden

    I’ve loved reading about your minimalism journey in 2016! I especially loved how you didn’t rush yourself. You inspired me to go through my closet and get rid of things I don’t want. In the past, I had only done that when I moved from place to place (in college), but since reading your story, I made a conscious effort to get rid of things at least once a month. I’ve definitely decluttered a lot of things in my room & I can’t wait to go through more things and lighten my load in 2017! 🙂

    • Rachel, Thank you so much for your comment! It makes me so happy to know that you have found the inspiration to go through your closet as well! Would love to stay up-to-date as you move through your home to see your progress! 🙂

  • I really need to declutter my closet. I think it will help me on my journey to having less stuff.

    • One of my favorite quotes is, “The less stuff you own, the less that owns you.” Definitely inspires me to go back through my things again!

  • That’s amazing! To ALREADY be feeling better is great!

    • Thank you, Kristin! It has truly helped me more than I have ever imagined, and I feel so blessed!

  • Kat

    I started downsizing my clothes last year but I nowhere near the minimalist lifestyle. It would take time but I saved my money but not buying too many clothes anymore.

    • Yes! One of the best things about this lifestyle is that you’re saving money in the process instead of wasting it!

  • I love reading about what you’ve gotten out of your minimalism journey so far – I feel like the benefits are what speak to people because they want that in their lives as well. I know I do!

    • Thank you so much, Erin! I am happy to know that reading the benefits are inspiring you and others as well to consider going through their homes and possessions!