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How I Became a Minimalist: My Story of Living with Less

Growing up, I would never have imagined that I’d one day be talking about my life as a minimalist because, at the time, the idea of choosing to live with less was completely foreign to me.

In fact, by my twenties, I was a full-blown shopaholic and workaholic— about as far from a minimalist lifestyle as you could get!

But here I am, living proof that change is possible. Over the past decade, I have completely transformed my life. I no longer live in a constant state of exhaustion and overwhelm.

Instead, I feel a deep sense of freedom and ease that I didn’t believe was possible for many years. It was such a transformative experience that I decided to start writing a minimalist blog (this one!).

Having said that, minimalism didn’t come easy for me. As you’ll soon see, it was a long and often painful journey that required learning and unlearning a lifetime of beliefs about myself and my place in the world.

If you’d like to learn more about living with less, then here is the complete story of my minimalist life.

"How I Became a Minimalist: My Story of Living with Less" in white letters on a translucent black overlay on an image of a white chair with throw pillows beside a small table with a plant and a vase beside it and a throw pillow on the floor.

What Is A Minimalist?

Before we get started, I just want to clarify what a minimalist is because I think there are some common misconceptions.

Contrary to popular belief, minimalism is not about living life with as few possessions as possible—or at least, this isn’t the belief I subscribe to.

Instead, my definition of minimalism is rooted in intentionality and alignment.

I define a minimalist as someone who chooses to be intentional with what they allow in their life. This often refers to physical stuff, but it can also refer to people, tasks, or even ideas.

Overall, the purpose of a minimalist life is to have more of what matters and less of what doesn’t. It’s simple (but not always easy!).

Related Post: What Is Minimalism + Why Is Everyone Talking About It

A Tale of Too Much Stuff

Now on to my minimalist story. Let’s start at the beginning.

I have always, always had a lot of stuff. I wasn’t raised to be particularly materialistic, but I grew up in middle-class America, and I think it was hard not to be in that environment.

(For some perspective, when I was a ten-year-old Girl Scout, we actually went camping inside the local shopping mall! We sang Kumbaya in the food court and then went shopping all night.)

Also, like many teenagers, I lacked self-confidence. I was an awkward Asian child in a predominantly white town, and buying trendy clothes from the local mall helped me feel like I fit in (which at the time was what I wanted more than anything else in the world).

However, unlike most of the teenagers I knew, I worked all the time.

My grandparents owned a Chinese restaurant, and I can’t even remember when I officially started working because it was simply part of my childhood. Hard work was normal in my family, and by the time I was sixteen, I had a second job at a local pizza parlour.

I worked nearly 40 hours a week while attending high school full-time. I was constantly exhausted, and I developed the dangerous mindset of believing that I deserved stuff as a reward for all my hard work.

I was still a few years away from adulthood, but the seeds were planted. I was on my way to becoming a full-blown shopaholic and workaholic.

Torn Between Two Worlds

When I turned 18, I doubled down on my existing lifestyle. I moved to a new city for college and stubbornly decided that I wouldn’t live like a student.

I refused student housing, scoffed my head at the idea of living with roommates and instead, signed a lease on a tiny studio apartment on the edge of town. I then went on a shopping spree, maxing out my credit cards to furnish my new home.

Of course, this meant I needed two jobs to afford it all. Now I was working 70+ hours a week in addition to my full-time course load. I had very few friends and almost no social life; my only real joy in life was shopping.

Then one day, a chance encounter changed my life. I had a random conversation with an overseas student at a restaurant where I was working. He told me all about his travels around the world: exploring European cities, hiking in South America, and lazing on Thai beaches.

My mind was completely blown. I had no idea that travel was a possibility for young people like me … but now, ideas were racing through my mind.

To make a very long story short, he inspired me to travel too. At 22, I sold almost everything I owned and bought a one-way plane ticket to London. I had no idea what I was doing, but I ended up travelling around the world for several years, eventually moving to Australia.

It was a life-changing experience, and for several years, everything I owned fit neatly into a backpack … so one would assume that this was when my life as a minimalist began.

Unfortunately, I chose a very different path.

Old Habits Die Hard

By the time I reached Australia, I’d been on the road for nearly three years. I was a newly married woman and also newly bereaved, having lost my brother and father in separate incidents that same year.

I was ten thousand miles from home, and what I wanted more than anything was stability—I wanted to feel comfortable, familiar and safe—so I turned to old habits: shopping and working.

Before long, I was living in an overflowing three-bedroom apartment and working 70+ hour weeks. History was repeating itself …

Except for this time, something in my gut kept nagging at me, and I felt torn. On the one hand, I desperately missed travelling and the freedom I’d felt on the road.

But on the other hand, a voice in my head said, “Enough, Jen!”.

I told myself that the fun was over and that it was time to be a real adult and get to work. Shopping was OK, but travel was irresponsible.

For the next few years, I struggled with this inner tug of war, and at one stage, I even managed to escape. I travelled around the world for another year by myself and returned to Australia, intending to finally make some real changes.

But again, I didn’t. I came home, and it was all the same, all over again.

So I gave in. I bought a house, I found a “better” job and resigned myself to my life. I worked more, shopped more, and as each year passed, I got better and better at ignoring that feeling in my heart that something wasn’t right.

A woman reaching for a tan coloured hat that's hanging on a wall hook.

An Introduction To A Minimalist Life

I couldn’t see it at the time, but when I look back now, it’s clear that I was torn between two sets of beliefs.

There was a part of me that wanted desperately to be a “successful” woman with a big home, a fancy job title, and all the things that I’m sure my grandparents dreamed of when they packed up their entires lives and emigrated to America.

And speaking of my grandparents—they worked 365 days a year, every year until they retired in their late 60’s. Who was I to complain about a 70-hour workweek when I had so much good fortune in my life?

Yet … I also felt trapped and disillusioned. I wanted something more out of life, but to be honest, I had no idea where or how to begin looking.

After all, where was I going to go? I had a mortgage, a car loan, a mountain of credit card debt and a hundred pairs of shoes to look after (and that was just the tip of the iceberg). There was no time, money, energy, or space even to consider my options, so I stayed stuck.

Until one day, I randomly stumbled across a few blogs about minimalism.

The first was Rowdy Kittens (at the time a blog about living in a tiny home) and then Miss Minimalist, a kind but authoritative voice who lived happily with her minimal possessions.

These minimalist blogs fascinated me, and I became obsessed with reading stories of people living intentional, simpler lives. The concept of more—of wanting to earn more, own more, and be more—was so ingrained in my mind that the idea that you might intentionally choose to want less shocked me.

I tried to imagine what my life might look like as a minimalist, but it felt like an impossible dream.

Still, I couldn’t help wondering how different my life would be without so much stuff and so many bills. The possibilities were endless: I could work less, I could choose a new career (based on my interests instead of my payscale), I could go on more adventures, I could finally take yoga classes, I could travel, visit family, paint … the list went on and on.

I realised that obsessing over minimalist blogs every night wasn’t going to get me anywhere. I had to start “walking the talk”, and I decided to give minimalism a try …

But let me be honest—not much changed at first. I did a few rounds of decluttering, but I didn’t accomplish very much. I was still shopping, working crazy hours, and was still deep in debt.

It turns out that it’s hard to change the habits and mindsets of a lifetime. I wanted something different, but I also wasn’t really ready to let go. Even something as simple as decluttering an old t-shirt felt painful, and sometimes it just felt easier to continue with my old way of living.

Learning How to Be A Minimalist

This continued for several years—I was fascinated by minimalism, and I kept experimenting with decluttering, but I could not make any significant long-term changes.

I felt pretty stuck, and to be 100% honest with you, there was a part of me that started to wonder if minimalism was really worth pursuing.

Fortunately (although it didn’t feel like a good fortune at the time!), a series of events happened that changed the course of my minimalist life.

It’s another long story, but I turned 30, and my life started to unravel. Within a six-month period, my marriage ended; I sold most of my belongings, gave up my home, quit my job, and crash-landed on my mother’s couch.

It was chaotic and stressful, but at the same time, I had just enough self-awareness to recognise this as a rare opportunity. All of the stuff that had held me down was suddenly gone. I was starting over, and my future was laid out before me.

It was time to ask myself, “What kind of life do I really want for myself?”.

I started to really explore my values and dreams and my fears and insecurities— and this self-reflection was the missing piece of the puzzle.

Finally, everything began to fall into place. I realised that minimalism was a tool to help me achieve my dreams. I stopped viewing it as a restrictive lifestyle and instead as a choice to live the life I want most.

I began to untangle my sense of self from my productivity and my possessions. I was learning how to be a minimalist—from the inside out—and finally, everything began to change.

What Does Life As a Minimalist Look Like?

Minimalists, like all people, come in different shapes and sizes. My life is extremely different from how it used to be, but I don’t consider myself an extreme minimalist.

I don’t count my possessions, but I know that my wardrobe is smaller than most. I still own a few too many pairs of shoes, but I’m finding that I’m not replacing them as they wear out.

I own stuff—my husband collects records, I have art supplies, and my daughter has toys—but we all live comfortably in a 660 square foot apartment.

I broke a life-long addiction to mindless shopping, and I no longer waste entire afternoons browsing the shops. I go weeks and sometimes even months without buying anything new, and it’s not hard to do.

I’ve learned how to be happy with what I have and how to genuinely stop wanting or needing more.

Over the course of nearly a decade, I’ve gone from working full-time at a job I hate, to working part-time by choice, to finally being self-employed and setting my own terms. I’m now a full time minimalist blogger, and I also teach decluttering courses.

After living paycheque to paycheque for most of my adult life, I’m debt-free, and I have savings. Minimalism transformed my financial life too.

But you know what? Despite all these outward changes, the way I feel is what really strikes me about my life as a minimalist.

There is a lightness of spirit, a sense of hope, and a feeling of freedom and ease that I can feel in my bones. Life’s not perfect by any means, but I’m actually living my life—good and bad—instead of numbing myself in the shops and at the office.

I feel like I’m finally able to move through the world as my true self.

How to Live With Less + Write Your Own Minimalist Story

If my story has inspired you to learn more, here are a few tips to help you achieve your own minimalism goals.

First, I invite you to subscribe to my newsletter and get your free copy of Mindful Decluttering, my free decluttering guide and workbook.

Next, take some time to understand why your life is busy and cluttered in the first place. I also recommend learning more about your core values—because the more you know about what matters to you, the easier it is to see what doesn’t.

Finally, check out one of these popular posts for further inspiration:

Do you identify as a minimalist? What does your road to minimalism look like?

"How I Became A Minimalist: why I choose to live with less" in a white box with an image of a woman reaching for a tan hat hanging on a wall hook.

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68 thoughts on “How I Became a Minimalist: My Story of Living with Less”

  1. I loved reading this😍 so beautiful. I feel like minimalisme is very spiritual, light to ny soul. any advice on how i can feel good in my home when my husband loves stuff?😅 thank you for sharing😻

  2. ive always lived with few things. i at times was shamed for my simple approach to life. i raised my children and they are living there own lives. i have one plate, one fork and one spoon for instance. i have some clothes and they all fit a purpose. if i dont use it i dont need it. ive traveled all over the country. living with less is freeing. i mean how much money, people, and things do you need?

  3. That was a very interesting story Jennifer! They should make your life a movie! I really enjoyed your honesty.
    I feel like many people underestimate how much of a process minimalism is. It isn’t going to happen fast. It takes time to be ready and see the benefits of keeping life simple because all the messages we receive from the outside world are that we need more to successful, secure, and happy. It’s not till you truly want freedom that you can start to really achieve minimalism.

    • A movie? Hehe, that made me smile 🙂 And I 100% agree with everything you said. You might be able to declutter quickly, but I think very few people are capable of making a lifestyle change overnight. Thanks for reading! x

  4. Hello!

    I am a third year student currently working on my dissertation which explores how excess has pushed consumers to wanting less. I am seeking for industry experts to answer some quick questions and I’d love to ask you guys some questions, I’d be honoured. Please let me know, if you are interested. Thanks Elizabeth 🙂

  5. I really related to this article.
    I was torn between two cultures – dreaming of a free life but also yearning for stability. I attempted minimalism a few times before and would declutter the whole house, but then somehow end up accumulating possessions. I realize now it was because I was just going through the actions without really understanding the core of minimalist as a tool for my life.
    Funnily enough, my marriage ended in 6 months too last year, and now I have an opportunity to get rid of the house and really reflect on how I want to live. I don’t want to go through the cycle of wanting stability and happiness from possessions.
    Thank you for sharing your life in your article. It is so encouraging to know that you made something difficult in life into an opportunity to change from inside and change you whole life from it.

  6. Amazing article, thank you for sharing your experience, Jennifer! It is crazy to realize that we are so impacted by consumerism and endless will to acquire new things. I experienced the same situation: full wardrobe of shoes, hundreds of tshirts, multiple phones, cameras, tech – complete madness. And all of this started to suffocate me a little by little. Minimalist helped to unclutter all of the useless things as well as uncover what matters most. Good job, keep it up!

    • Thanks Nick! I love how you use the term “suffocate” — this is so accurate and exactly how I felt in my old life! And it is crazy when you come out the other side and realise all the way your stuff keeps you living small. Thanks for reading! ?

  7. Wow I am so happy I found you! I have been reading about minimalism and reading Marie Kondo and so on.. but I also always get stuck. I am trying to change my lifestyle and actually live by what I care about the most.. I’ll be definitely browsing through your blog

  8. I’d like to urge you to use quotation marks and to give credit to the authors of the quotes you post on your site. It’s the respectful and professional thing to do. To imply that they are your own thoughts by not identifying the actual author compromises your credibility. This is especially true with the famous quotes you post, where most people who see your name under a quote, from Thoreau, for example know immediately it’s not yours.

  9. I am just 17 and I have lived minimally for as long as I can remember. I am not as extreme as to live out of a suitcase, but I could probably fit all my clothing and my few accessories into a standard sized suitcase, my pillow, blankets, and towels in a garbage bag, and my sentimental/personal/hobby items into a fair sized cardboard box. My dream for the past 4 years has been to live in a tiny house and travel the world. My plan is to save up enough money to but my own land to farm, use as a destination wedding place, as storage for other peoples trailers, a tiny house community, basically anything I want. I have always been about having less and having better personal relationships with those closest to me. Sadly those closest to me have not been very supportive of my minimalist dreams, and desires to live life anywhere and everywhere. A few years ago I decided that I didn’t want to spend my life chasing money and things, and working a 5-9 job to buy things that I do not need. I had no idea that the life I wanted was actually attainable, because my family kept telling me that it wasn’t and I thought I was alone in this thinking. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I discovered a bunch of videos on YouTube about minimalism. I saw the word minimalism in a video title and wanted to know what it was, and it has been everything I have wanted, dreamed about, and worked towards. Despite my parents desire for me to stay home until I am married, and live the lives that they had wanted I have decided to live my own.

  10. I started implementing a minimalist lifestyle at the beginning of the new year. I travel around the southwest with my horses and compete in Endurance riding. I have a horse trailer with a 7′ living quarter area, so I have a bed, dinette, bathroom with a shower, small fridge, and two burner stove in my horse trailer. I realized that I am happiest traveling, riding my horses, and how I would give anything to spend more time doing what I love. Spending so much time in that small space makes me happy and realize where my true happiness stands and how I can only bring with me are things that are needed. I questioned myself one day when I was doing a sink full of dishes in my house (and I live alone) why I had so many dishes to do? All I need is one of each item, so the fact that I had 8 coffee cups in my sink made no sense. I can’t live this way in my trailer, so I decided to stop living with clutter in my house too. My love for travel has given me the opportunity transform to a minimalist lifestyle. I have already started purging my closets and other clutter. I want to spend my money on things I need, and my time with the things I love. I went on a trip with a close friend recently who packed two duffel bags for a weekend getaway to camp. I had one duffel bag that was only half way full and she was amazed. What was even more funny is she wore one outfit two days in a row and had so many clothes she didn’t need.

  11. Your story is so inspiring. I think the biggest challenge for me regarding minimalism is the fact that my boyfriend probably wouldn’t understand it. He likes stuff, I don’t, honestly it all gives me a lot of anxiety. The hardest part for me is going to be pushing through that.

    *side note – I’m gonna be going through and reading your entire blog so if you get 37744598603823 comments from me in the next two days I apologize lol

  12. I stumbled across your blog and am intrigued in your minimalistic approach to life. I have always struggled with anxiety and a slight shopping addiction, so I really think minimalism could benefit me! But my biggest struggle in starting the process is guilt. I feel guilty giving away or throwing out things that I purchased or clothes that still fit me!! Do you have any suggestions on overcoming this block? Or ideas on how to sell larger items that are still in great condition, but I really don’t need. Thank you!!!

  13. I have some questions about minimalism. So I am willing to try anything to bring more joy to my life. My only thing is I LOVE buying home decor/ decorating and I love fashion. I have even considered started a blog about home decor and fashion. So can I have more? Can I have less, but still have the things I love? Help me!

  14. Frankly saying, people never get fully satisfied with amount of things they posses. Minimalism is somehow a way to set yourself free, and even if you cannot eliminate everything – it still can show you, that things are not the primary purpose of life. Good article.

  15. Hi, wow. Great writing. I am on my way too. Got rid of 11,000 pounds from Germany while in US a year ago. Now I have 35 tubs (16 gallon rubbermaid), three Macs, and one bike in storage in US. Trust me, cutting that in half or more when I get it overseas to where I am at. I still feel that is WAY too much. Go into a room if you have not pulled it out, read it or wore it in one year (most of us like 5-10 years, like old photos!) get rid of it. And keep doing it. We do bring things into our lives, but try to bring one thing out when you bring something in. I am not there yet. I am looking for tiny houses or living on a farm in Europe. You want something bad enough, and I want freedom and outside living, it will come to you! Yes, Thoreau, he was a master, wasn’t he?

  16. Agree with you that minimalism isn’t always about having a certain colour of clothes. These days I’m trying to cull my wardrobe. I’ve been buying quite a few winter pieces this year as in the past I’ve never shopped for winter clothes properly. Now I’m left with some pieces I don’t want but luckily I’ve managed to sell some of them off. A lot of my clothes are ‘wear and wear until you can’t wear anyone’ – so if a piece of clothing starts tearing apart, that’s when I start replacing it.

  17. I’ve been on a mission for over a year now to reduce the amount of stuff we have. It was getting to the point where it was just out of control and all it did was stress me out.
    We downsized 2 years ago which has really helped! It’s quite a long process but with everything that goes out the door I feel lighter, more free and less stressed.
    Loved this post 🙂

  18. Do you have any advice on how I can accomplish a simpler life whilst still maintaining a progressive relationship? We plan to get married in a couple of years, but right now we live in a 2 bedroom apartment that is FULL of stuff. My fiance is just as bad as me when it comes to cluttering (he came from a military family that kept original boxes for EVERYTHING because they moved so often, and he’s had a hard time breaking the habits.)

    I’ve been leaning towards starting a minimalist lifestyle, and I can freely purge my things, but do you have any ideas for helping him see why I want a life like this and to help him with his emotional clutter?

    • Hi Tori, so sorry for my slow response to your question! One thing I recommend when trying to get partners or family members onboard with minimalism is to focus on the conversation on what life with be like with less stuff. You can start with the practical (we’d have more time to do “x” if we owned less stuff and spend less time cleaning) and you can build up to bigger dreams (if we spent less money on things, we could chase “insert your dream”). Focus on the life you’ll be gaining, not the stuff you’ll be giving up.

      Also, lead by example but don’t push too much. I know from experience that it can take a long time to connect the dots and, for the most part, people prefer to be inspired vs. be told what to do.

      Hope this helps! All the best for your future and thank you for reading 🙂 Jen

  19. I would love to enjoy a minimalist lifestyle. I find it hard because I have 2 teens, who have way too much stuff. I have started purging with my own stuff and I find that I hold back on getting rid of it because I think it has value and I worry that one day I will need to have it in order to sell it and have money. I have tried selling it on various websites to no avail. What should I do to just get past this block? I feel like I am going one step forward and two steps back all the time.

    • Ooh – I completely understand that feeling (one of the hardest parts of decluttering is realising how much money you’ve spent on stuff along the way). The 2 things that help me deal with this are:

      1. Accepting my stuff probably isn’t worth what I think it is, so there is no point in holding on to it … after all, you’ve tried to sell it and had no luck. Unfortunately, what we pay for things is rarely representative of what we get back when we sell them 🙁
      2. Focus on what you want for your future – is it more time with your family? More time for yourself? Flexibility? Freedom? Then ask yourself what it’s worth to you. Sometimes you have to think of the money you’re ‘losing’ (really you’ve already lost it) as the price you pay to move forward. Sometimes the best thing you can do is learn from your mistakes, forgive yourself, and move on.

      I hope this helps! I know it’s not easy and it’s especially tough when you have people in the home who aren’t on board with minimalism, but try and stay focused on what matters most to you and you’ll get there 🙂

      All the best! x Jen

  20. I was immediately drawn to this post! I am myself just taking the first steps towards minimalism -this is, I’m barely starting to acknowledge the crazy amount of things we have but we don’t need-. I am happy to follow your blog to get inspired to continue in this journey!

    Carlota | TheWandereuse.com

  21. Hi Jennifer, wow, I so enjoyed your post! My husband and I live in our home country of South Africa with our 2 year old girl and another baby on the way. We decided after our 12 week scan to sell our house, that was exactly 17 weeks ago and this morning we signed the transfer deed! It is soooo unbelievably liberating! I must say I have forgotten along the way why we decided to sell and that we chose to LIVE in the moment, debt free, rather than create this unrealistic lifestyle that made us quite unhappy and tied us down. I would love to be an example to our children of carefree living and not just to teach them, but to show them practically that we are the CREATORS of our own reality. We also want to be able to travel as a family and make memories and live in the moment! Thank you so much for your article! It has really reminded me of why we decided to sell our house! I was already looking at new houses, but now have my eyes on the ball again 🙂
    So now we’re off to living by the sea side for about 4 months, whilst I am on maternity leave and who knows from there?! x

  22. I’m so happy I found this blog (found you through pinterest) i’m always looking for ways to uplift my life and get what I truly want out of it. Your blog is fascinating to me! I just went through a big move where I realized just how much stuff I really have..and the whole time I kept thinking “as soon as I get settled I am going through a massive decluttering” I don’t want all this stuff, i’m looking forward to living a more minimalist lifestyle and i’m looking forward to following your blog!

  23. Over the years, my life has become way over complicated, partly due to my borderline spending addiction. I have way too many clothes/items. My home is always a complete mess due to having too many things. I am beginning to realize that my debts (although relatively small) and shopping habits are getting in the way of my dreams and goals. I am so ready to start my journey toward a minimalist lifestyle. Through the journey, I hope to discover things about myself, my relationships, and the world around me. I want so badly to be free from the burden of “stuff”. Thanks for this post. It has truly inspired me!

    • Hi Morgan, thanks so much for your comment and for sharing your story. I had a borderline spending addiction too, for a really (really) long time so I can definitely relate. It’s not easy to change a life time of habits, but it sounds like you’re in a good place to start. All I can say is take your time, do what you can, and look after yourself. All the best xx Jen

  24. I found myself here while searching for “minimalist study rooms” 😀
    Great post Jennifer. I always hated too many stuff around and owned. But somehow more and more added and it wont stop… Your post really inspired me. Please keep posting, greetings from Turkey, Ankara.

  25. I want to live this lifestyle but am having trouble with the financials. How do you travel as much as you do? Do you have a full time job that lets you take that much time off? How do you pay for the actual travel expenses themselves? This is the main thing that has always held me back from doing this!

  26. Im 18 years old from Peru. I start liking the minimalist style without even knowing what minimalism was. I liked the fashion style, the colors and the simple decoration. When I found out about this lifestyle I completely fall in love with it. This post is the first one I read about minimalism and it just make me keep reading about it and follow the minimalism lifestyle. Amazing blog!! Definitely following you on ig!!

  27. I’m definitely into decluttering. I wouldn’t exactly consider myself a minimalist, but I am conscious of what I own and for a few years now have consistently decluttered and been careful about what I bring into my home. I think minimalism is different for everyone. For me, it’s about owning less stuff, not necessarily making less money or living in a smaller place (not that I live in a huge place, mind you). I think some people become intimidated when they hear about minimalism and assume it means you have to downsize and live in a room with nothing in it. It’s about not feeling trapped by your possessions, and that’s different for everyone.

    • Hi Natasha, thanks so much for your comment and for pointing out that minimalism is different for everyone – I completely agree! Minimalism is about living the life that is the best fit for YOU and of course that ‘fit’ will be different for everyone. I think minimalism is becoming a buzz word right now and the focus is on decluttering, but the focus should really be on intentional living. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!

  28. What a great article, I really like how you showed that it is not easy to turn your life around and that it might take some time. Recently I have noticed how small things like living in a cluttered room, working on an unorganized laptop and carrying way too much stuff in my bag really affect my mood and motivation. I will try to work on that, looking forward to getting some inspiration from your side.^^ Keep going!

  29. What an inspiring story! I’m so glad I found your blog. When I moved in with my boyfriend, we were very adamant that we didn’t want an apartment that looks like a college dorm either. But now we’ve got so much freaking stuff! And we only live in a one bedroom apartment! Minimalism has been popping up on my radar, especially with my very itchy feet. It’ll be an interesting conversation to have!

  30. I can’t stop clicking through! Love your blog and how you come across as so authentic and vibrant. It’s also fabulous to meet another minimalist living in the Southern hemisphere. This post in particular has also made me think that I’d love to write about what made me a minimalist-in-training. Thanks for the inspiration.

  31. I found your blog yesterday and really, I fell in love with it. I’m at a point in my life here I question myself a lot, about every part of my life. I wonder what suits me the best, what are my values, my true interests… As I said in another comment, I find minimalism very interesting. In the next months, I will try to declutter my home, to keep only what is really necessary. I am like you were before, meaning that I enjoy buying a lot (thinking I will feel better about myself), but then I am not happier than I was before. I know I have to change that, and focus on what I love. I plan on travelling in 2016, maybe moving to another country. Saving money is hard but I know it would be easier if I reduced my spendings. Thanks a lot for your great post, they inspire me a lot! xx

    • Hi Marie-Pier, thank you so much for your kind comment! As you can probably tell from some of my posts … I know exactly how you feel. Good luck with everything, your minimalism and future travels. Just keep trying to be true to what your heart and it will lead you to where you need to be. Thank you again xx

  32. This is wonderful Jennifer! When I sold up and set off travelling in 07 I put quite a bit of stuff into storage that stayed shut up for 18 months (costing me a fair packet too). Since moving into a van (in 2011) I’ve slowly been working through my belongings, which are now separated into friend’s attics and family basements. I know what you mean about being attached to things, I have given up trinkets and I live with a minimal wardrobe but I have a few boxed of recipe books and photo albums that I can’t part with. One day I may have a more rooted home and these books can be re-born. There are a few other boxes – that actually stress me out knowing they’re there. I want to be free of them, free of those possessions but I just can’t face sorting them! It really isn’t a lot now, but even so.

    Living so minimally in my van has forced me to realise that I don’t need ‘stuff’, I can live perfectly happily without the clutter: it’s wonderfully freeing!

    I often think about a quote by Victorian artist/designer William Morris: ‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’.

    Living in a van – a lot of my friends can’t begin to understand why I would want to – has given me the freedom to not need to earn stacks of money, to pay bills, mortgages,and all the other tying traps of modern life. I’m blissfully happy and minimal!

    Chase those dreams Jennifer!

    • Hi Rachel – thank you for commenting and sharing your story! Your story is really inspirational (and so well written!) I have some dreams of van life for when I come back from overseas and I’ll be checking out your blog for lots of inspiration.

      Yes, I have a lot of friends that support me but don’t understand me. It’s not everyone’s dream but for me NOTHING compares to the feeling of freedom.

      That’s one of my favourite quotes too! Thanks again for commenting, see you around x

  33. I really loved reading this post. God has been leading my family and me into a much more minimalistic lifestyle over the past few years. It is a process for us, and we are no where near where we want to be, but at least we are intentionally working towards it! You are so right…there is such a sense of freedom that comes from not having to worry about material things so much. We look forward to where this journey will take us, and we so enjoyed hearing about your journey! God bless!! 🙂

  34. Sounds like you have really embraced this lifestyle! I always enjoying reading the how and why people got into their minimalist lifestyle! Happy travels!


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