Wednesday, March 18, 2015

How Minimalism has Saved me Money (Even though I'm not a minimalist)

A few years ago we had friends who embarked on a journey towards minimalism.  Up until that point I had not ever even heard the term, much less have been aware that it was a lifestyle.  And as I learned more about it I was suddenly very aware of the piles of junk we owned.

Actually, after years of marriage, and three kids later, I realized we hadn't ever really "de-cluttered".  It wasn't because we didn't want to get rid of anything (okay, my husband WAS a bit of a packrat).  For me, it was that I had never really learned the importance of decluttering or even how to do it.  It wasn't until I felt like the mess just NEVER WENT AWAY that I started realizing it could be managed more easily if there was just less stuff.

So it began, my mission to get rid of stuff.  Some of the things that stand out in my mind that we got rid of was some furniture, about 7 big garbage bags full of extra clothes (often hand me downs, but NO ONE needs that many clothes) and about 7 boxes of National Geographics that had been passed down to us but not ONE of them had been read by anyone in our house.

Like the title says, I am far from a minimalist. I step on way too many action figures, wash way too many dishes, and still own way too many outfits to classify as one.  But I have definitely downsized from years before, and here is how minimalism has saved me money, even though I am not a minimalist.

1. I was able to sell some things.  We don't have a lot of high valued items, but we were able to make a little bit of cash because we let some things go, instead of hanging on to them.

2.  I buy less.  I am more careful about my purchases.  I don't just buy things because I like how they look or it is a good deal.  I think about if I really want to add more clutter to my home.   And now I would rather spend my money on experiences way more than buy myself stuff.  Just my personal preference.

3. Owning a smaller home means less bills.  Okay, so this wasn't a conscious choice we made.  We bought the house we could afford at the time which is a very old, smaller home.  And we do hope to have something a little bigger one day.  But we often talk about getting something that is not that much bigger because with it often comes higher heating and electricity bills, and of course the obvious, a bigger mortgage.  Living in a small home has allowed our living costs to be lower.

4.  We own one vehicle.  Again, this is another thing we expect could change in the future as it is getting harder to co-ordinate our schedules as the kids get older.  But for now, one vehicle means less insurance and car expenses.  We have spent our whole marriage so far (over 11 years) with one vehicle.  I actually kind of like how it provides quality family time because we spend a lot of time together in the van instead of two separate vehicles.

There is still plenty of junk in this house, and too much mess for my liking, but every once in awhile I go through another decluttering phase and it always feels very refreshing and often brings me back to the right frame of mind of where I want to spend my money.  However, there are a few things I will not downsize to a small amount:

1.  Matchbox cars and legos.  Can a kid really have too many?  They have provided endless hours of entertainment in this house.
2.  Pens.  Seriously, they go missing all the time anyways, so basically, they are downsized organically.
3.  Books.  I have decluttered these over the years, but never to an extremely low amount.  because my life is incomplete without books.  and don't even try to tell me just to load a bunch of books onto an E-reader.  There is something about holding a book in your hand, about the smell of the pages that no E-reader can fulfill.

The cutest  little book store I was
ever in.

4,  Underwear.  It has to be said.  Everyone should be well-stocked in this area. :)
5.  Blankets.  My house is old and COLD.  And I live in CANADA.  Every Canadian should have a never ending supply of warmth in their linen closet.

What about you?  Are you a minimalist?  Are there things you would NEVER downsize?

Peace & Love. :)


  1. Ahh, books! As we are planning to downsize in a couple of years when I retire, I am finding the hardest things to get rid of are books. After hubby and I checked out apartments to get some idea of what we will be looking at down the road, I was able to look around the house and say ok, that goes, and that goes and so does that. But when it comes to books, like my late mom used to say, some of them are old friends and how do you get rid of them? lol

    1. I totally can't get rid of old friends! :)



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