Monthly Archives

March 2018


10 Tips to Help You Get Your Family On Board With Decluttering

When I first  started decluttering our home I knew I had stumbled onto something amazing. It was what I looked forward to when I came home from work each day. With each freshly decluttered drawer, shelf or cupboard I felt a sense of accomplishment and slightly less overwhelmed.

I started with my own belongings; my wardrobe, shoe collection, make up, toiletries and accessories. Soon enough I was ready to move onto other areas of the house.  I knew it was something I saw the need for, but also knew that it was not going to be so easy to convince my husband.

I spoke to my husband about this new lifestyle I had came across, Minimalism and living a more intentional life. Luckily he didn’t baulk at the concept and was okay with me decluttering our home as long as I didn’t touch his items.

After a while, I approached him about his wardrobe and if he would be okay with getting rid of some of his excess shirts that had seen better days. To my surprise, he was mostly willing to let go of everything. We continued to tackle the ‘easy stuff’ until one day after months of my own decluttering, he asked me to help him go through his personal space.

Over the past three years, we managed to declutter over 70% of our unwanted possessions. That was made a whole lot easier thanks to my husband being on board with this journey. Of course he didn’t start off donating baskets of items and yelling out ‘Let’s be Minimalists’, (although that would be pretty hilarious). But over time and with lots of understanding and communication, he saw – as I had, the value being added to our lives by letting go of the excess so we could enjoy what was essential.

We could find our stuff, we could close our drawers without a struggle, we had space and empty cupboards – shock horror! And most life changing was probably the fact that now as we were bringing less into the house, we saved money.

It was trial and error over that period to learn how to help someone else acknowledge the benefits of letting go of unwanted items just as I had. Through my decluttering process and working with my husband over time, I learnt some valuable lessons along the way that might help you get your family on board with decluttering and you working as a team, rather than facing and uphill battle.

Here are 10 Tips to Help You Get Your Family On Board With Decluttering.

1. Lead by Example

When was the last time you ever made a change in your life because someone told you to? If someone told you to stop eating chocolate would you jump on board that day? Or, would you be more likely to jump on board if you saw a family member or friend decide to do a chocolate free challenge and join in after seeing that they’d lost weight from doing that challenge? Some times we need to watch form the side lines before we can be willing to jump into something new.

If you want to get your family on board with your decluttering journey, rather than telling them what they have to do, why not lead by example. Start working on your own cluttered spaces. Declutter your wardrobe, your shoe collection, your own toiletries or beauty products, hair accessories, your DVD collection. When you partner or children, (or room mates if you have them) see your progress and how great your spaces are looking they will be a lot more willing to start decluttering their own space, or at least be more on board with you decluttering communal spaces like living and dining areas.

2. Communicate with with them 

In order to help get your family on board with decluttering ask yourself why you want to declutter your home? you need to know your why so you can help communicate that message with them. Are you feeling stressed trying to keep things clean with your kids toys everywhere? Can you not keep up with the laundry because there are endless clothes strewn around and in the laundry pile? Do you find it hard to focus on anything when you have clutter piling up around you? Talk to your family about yours needs and why you need to declutter your space. When they hear your struggles and reasons for letting go of things, they may be more willing to help you and get on board. It may even spark them to think of their own reasons to declutter and how the process could help them.

Related Post: 101 Things You Can Declutter in Your Home Right Now

3. Set a common goal to work towards

In order to get your family on board with decluttering and encourage them to adopt a less cluttered space, find a communal why. Maybe it’s the fact that by selling your unwanted stuff you can make some money to go on a family vacation. Perhaps your children will be on board when they learn how donating their old toys can help other less fortunate children. How about a goal of downsizing your stuff so you can move into a smaller home which will enable you and your partner to work less hours, spend less time and money on house maintenance and have more time to spend doing things you enjoy together? When you both have a clear goal in mind it can make the process much more successful and help others see the benefits.

4. Clear the excess to make room for the essential

When you have too much stuff, we can forget what is really important to us. Have you ever gone through and decluttered your wardrobe and realised that you had misplaced an old favourite outfit and completely forgotten about it? Maybe your favourite lipstick was lost in a sea of 20 other ones or you forgot about your favourite books because you didn’t notice them on the shelf next to the 200 other books that you have.

When we clear the excess we can make room for the essential. We can curate a wardrobe we love, we can keep the books on display that we enjoy reading over and over again, we can display things around our home that bring us joy. When we have too much stuff we lose site of the stuff that adds value to us.

If your kids have too many toys they won’t have the time or attention to play with something fully. Maybe your spare room is filled with crap, rather then used as a room that is more useful such as a theatre room or studio. Or you have so many CDs or DVDs stacked on top and in front of one another that you can’t even see what you have and end up not using the ones that you do love as they are lost behind the excess. When the excess is gone, we can enjoy the things we truly love.

Related Post: 7 Essential Questions to Help You Declutter Your Wardrobe

5. Be respectful of their zone

When on your decluttering journey be sensitive to your loved ones areas. You won’t be able to get your family on board with decluttering by attacking them and insisting they get rid of their stuff. Let them have their own designated space for what they find valuable. It may not be valuable to you but that doesn’t mean it is not to them.

Maybe their zone is the spare room they can set up as they wish, or a corner of the garage, or a desk in the house. Let this space be their sanctuary to keep what they please. Of course they will need to keep their stuff in the confines of the space, so once they fill their space they will need to remove something before they can bring anything new in. This will keep your partner or family happy, but also give you the ability to keep the spaces that you share less cluttered.

6. Help them

Sometimes your family may be on board with decluttering but don’t know where to start. Or aren’t quite sure of the benefits just yet. A great way to get them on board with decluttering is to offer them help them.

Be specific if possible to help your loved one recognise the need for your help. If you can see your child frustrated with their toys being everywhere that might be the time to offer to help them with them decluttering their toys so they have space to play. Or if you see your partner struggling to find their favourite shirt, that week might be a good time to discuss that issue. You could say something along the lines of ‘I noticed that you were struggling to find your shirt the other day in your wardrobe, would you like me to help you go through your cupboard and see if there is anything we can clear out to make space for the items you love?

Of course, if they decline, don’t force it on them. But hopefully you have planted a seed that they will consider and in time they might be more willing to come around and ask you for help when they are more open to to removing the excess.

Related Post: The True Cost of Our Stuff

7. Start small

Don’t expect your loved one to let go of their most treasured items from Day One. Start small and work your way up. Build their and your decluttering muscles gradually.  Start with the stained and torn shirts. The damaged shoes, expired items and anything broken. Get rid of duplicate items around the home or anything that you both agree can go. Save the harder stuff for later when you are more experienced with decluttering and more knowledgeable on what does and doesn’t add value.

8. Make it fun

Decluttering doesn’t have to be boring and tedious, why not make a game out of it! Try The Minimalists Mins Game where you declutter one item on day one, two on day two, three on day three and so on. Or do a Packing Party. Another fun options is to make a simple challenge to see who can declutter the most items at the end of the week. Check out the Minimise With Me 31 Day Decluttering Challenge for one with daily challenges for you.

9. Make it a habit

Decluttering isn’t a once off event. Over time things can creep back into the home with Christmas, Birthdays, events, anniversaries and so on. It is something that needs to be reviewed as you go. Make decluttering a habit. You could do a seasonal declutter such as when Spring hits or bi-annually. Or simply leave a container in the bottom of your families closets so they can declutter items as they go, and empty their bins when they get full.

Make some new traditions such as donating unwanted toiletries and a bags to a local Charities Christmas or Winter Appeal. As you approach Christmas, ask your children to fill a bag or container with toys they want to donate to less fortunate children for Christmas. Let them know that they will need space for any new toys Santa is bringing and make a habit each Christmas for them to go through and select some toys they no longer play with to be donated.

10. Implement a one in one out rule

A good place to start is to try and stick to a one in out rule. Make a suggestions as new things come into the house. Is your partner getting a new laptop or electronic? Maybe they could sell the old on (Less clutter and money? Win!). This would also help offset the cost of the new one.

After a while this will become second nature and can help limit excess clutter entering the house, as only the things your family truly values will come into the home if they are going to have to let go of something else in order to bring it home with them.

What tips did you find helpful to get your family on board with decluttering? Were they on board from the start? Or got you on board? Or maybe it took some time but you eventually won them over? Share your experience in the comments below 🙂



Schedule Worksheet

Hi Minimisers,

Wanted to put together a Schedule Worksheet for those that want a little more help with making the most of their time each week.

If you find yourself getting overwhelmed with your to do list and struggle to get through tasks you have set yourself a Schedule Worksheet to Time Block activities may help. This worksheet can help you see what you need to fit into a week, and what time you have left for other tasks so you can set more realistic goals when setting your schedule and to do lists for the week ahead.

Simply fill in your schedule in the appropriate days and block out times for things that you have committed to and that are important to you. It might be an hour a night for you to relax, or to work on a project that is important to you. If you are a visual person it might help you see your week at a glance rather than referring to a calendar.

It might be a tool that you only use 1-2 times a week or in periods that are extra busy but can help you to stay focused and on track and resist losing valuable time on your phone or other distractions.

Simply make a copy of the Schedule Worksheet in your drive and get organised! 🙂

Hope you find it helpful! 🙂

Schedule Worksheet





7 Essential Questions to Help You Declutter Your Wardrobe

Have you asked yourself these questions when trying to declutter your wardrobe?

With the new norm of fast fashion it can be easy for us to end up with an overflowing wardrobe filled with unwanted clothing choices that we no longer wear (and in some cases, never did) or that no longer bring us joy. We look into our bulging wardrobes and packed drawers filled with clothing options but still feel like we have nothing to wear. In this case sometimes less is more. When we can see what we have to wear, and compile a wardrobe of pieces that we love- with a little bit of planning, we can open up our wardrobe to better reflect what we need on a day to day basis.

But where do you start when you want to clear the excess and declutter your wardrobe? When we have so many clothes the thought of trying to go through them one by one and remove the excess can seem like an impossible task. Luckily there are questions we can ask that can help make the decluttering process of our wardrobes an easier and more successful event.

Here are 7 Essential Questions to Help You Declutter Your Wardrobe.

Let’s Get Started

Before you start going through your wardrobe grab three bins to help you organise your piles. They can be anything you have around the house: laundry baskets, boxes or garbage bags. This will help you keep track of what is what and avoid you getting confused down the line as the piles get bigger. Now grab a piece of paper and some sticky tape and label those bins – Yes, No and Maybe.

The Three Sorting Bins

Yes – These are the clothing items you want to keep. When you are done sorting, hang these back up in your wardrobe or fold them and put them back into your drawers. Remember to only keep what you can fit in your space.

No – These are the clothing items you no longer want. Donate this pile to a local charity clothing shop or bin. Be sure to toss any items that are non in sale-able condition.

Maybe –  This is a pile for those items that you are unsure about. For anything that ends up here, keep them in a container somewhere separate to your current wardrobe. Set a calendar reminder on your phone to review this container in three months time. Over the next 12 weeks if there is anything in the container you want to wear, you can ‘save’ this item. Anything left in the container at the three month deadline can be donated.

Two Decluttering Methods:

Now depending on the time you have you have two methods to declutter your clothing.

1. All At Once: You can grab all your clothes and throw them on your bed to sort in one heap or;
2. By Categories: You can declutter your clothes category by category: dresses, shirts, shorts, underwear etc.
If you have a couple of hours or more to spare, go for the All At Once approach. This will mean you can declutter your wardrobe in session and being able to see the sheer number you have piled on your bed will help you let go. If you only have half an hour or so, it’s best to either wait until you have more time to do the full wardrobe declutter, or in this case, work on one category at a time.

Now let’s get into those questions and get decluttering your wardrobe!

 7 Essential Questions to Help You Declutter Your Wardrobe 

1. Do I love this?
As you pick up each item Ask yourself if you love the item you are holding. If you saw it in store would you buy it right now? As Kon Mari asks in her book the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, ask does it Spark Joy? Pick one item at a time and see how you feel about it. Is it something you love to wear and find yourself always holding out for wash day to wear it again? Maybe it’s a piece that reminds you of a negative experience every time you see it? If it doesn’t spark joy and you don’t love it put it in the no pile. If it brings you joy and you feel happy wearing it put it in your Yes pile. Building a capsule wardrobe of clothes you love will ensure that everyday you get to chose your outfit from a handpicked selection of clothes that you truly love and feel comfortable in!

2. Do I currently wear it? 
Be honest with yourself. You know what clothes you wear regularly and what you haven’t touched in the past year. It’s more than likely it is the same outfits in rotation that you are grabbing each day. If you don’t wear something anymore ask yourself why? Is it something you would wear but it missing a button or needs a hole sewn? If so put it in a mend pile and get it repaired so you can wear it. Actually put your pile of to be mended items into your car and take them to the alteration shop that same week to avoid delaying wearing those items any longer. Is it out of style? If it is something you don’t see yourself wearing again let it go.

The Minimalists have a rule to help decide what you do and don’t wear called the 90/90 rule. For each item ask yourself if you have worn it in the last 90 days and if you would wear it in the next 90 days. If the answer is no, let it go. If that is too short, make it a 6 months post and prior rule the “180/180 rule” to cover a full year. If you haven’t worn it in the past 180 days (6 months) and don’t see yourself wearing it in the next 6 month period it’s probably time to put it in the no pile.

3. Does it fit? 
This seems like an obvious one, but we are all guilty of hoarding clothes for that magical day when we have lost all our unwanted weight. Does your item of clothing fit you or have you been holding onto it for years waiting to lose or gain weight so it will fit? If you are unsure, try it on. Maybe it does fit now and you can keep it, or maybe you will remember that it doesn’t and if that is the case let it go. If you are really attached to an item, and determined to get back into it, keep one or two favourites but let go of the rest. By the time you meet your weight goals, you will want to reward yourself and invest in a new fresh wardrobe anyway.

4. Does it suit your current lifestyle? 
A good rule of thumb is to keep at least 80% of your wardrobe of things you can wear on a day to day basis. You don’t want to end up with 90% of your wardrobe filled with dressy outfits that you can only wear on a Friday and Saturday night and have nothing much left to wear the rest of the week.

If you are change careers from working in an office to being a yoga instructor you can do away with the excess corporate uniforms. Maybe you only need to dress up at the occasional wedding or birthday party but have 50 dresses in your wardrobe? If so let go of any excess dressy outfits that you won’t be wearing to free up space for the clothes that you will be the majority of the time.

Related post: 17 Ways to Reduce Mindless Consumption in Your Life

5. If I found this in store would I buy it right now? 
This one always helps me decide when I am stuck on whether to keep to donate something. Ask yourself ‘if I found this in store would I buy it right now’? If you wouldn’t buy the item you are holding again for whatever reason – it’s itchy, the colour doesn’t suit you, it’s too tight etc add it in your no pile. This question can cut through any guilt about what you spent on the item and will lose by letting it go and take you back to the real question – Do I want to keep this?

6. If I could sell this would I let it go?
This was a surprising one that helped me let go of lots of excess clothing. I found that if I imagined a scenario where I could hold onto something or get ten or so dollars for it, I would most often take the money and be willing to let go of it. These items I would put into a sell pile to upload on eBay which certainly helped claw back some of the lost money and helped give me that little extra push I needed at times to let something I no longer wore, go. Finding items to sell as you declutter your wardrobe can make the parting process slightly easier when you know you’ll get some bonus financial wins!

7. Is it Me?
This is the last question I like to ask when decluttering clothing. Something may fit okay and you may very much like it but you need to ask yourself is it me? Do you have stilettos that you know you won’t wear because you can’t walk in them? Or a dress that you used to love wearing but now don’t really feel like you have anywhere to wear it or doesn’t feel ‘you’ anymore? Maybe you have lots of colours in your wardrobe and now prefer more monochrome tones? As we age our tastes, interests and likes change and so do our fashion choices. What you may have liked three years ago might be completely different now. By asking ourselves ‘is it me?’ we can curate a wardrobe that consists of pieces that make us feel confident, comfortable and true to ourselves.

What questions do you ask yourself when you declutter your wardrobe? Please comment below with your tips and what you have found helpful 🙂


My Minimalism Journey: How I Discovered the Benefits of a Life of Less

Minimise With me is One! Check out my minimalism journey and how I discovered the benefits of a life of less.

Today’s post My Minimalism Journey is an extra special one. It is in celebration of my blog Minimise With Me’s one year anniversary! *blows party horn* If you had told me two years ago that I would start my own blog in twelve months I would But here I am and I couldn’t have had more fun! It’s been a huge year of growth for quiet, introverted me but I’m keen to keep pushing myself out of my comfort zones, find ways to share the things I have learnt with others and connect with other people on their journey to simplify.

I figured Minimise With Me’s one year anniversary would be a great time to share My Minimalism Journey, How I discovered the benefits of a life of less and how Minimalism has positively influenced my life. My Minimalism Journey kicked off about three years ago when I was in my late 20s. At least, that is when I first came across the term, Minimalism. I’d say that I’ve always had a tendency towards this lifestyle, even before I knew it existed. Finding it just made the pieces fit together 🙂

When I was young my parents didn’t raise us to be minimalists or the other side of the spectrum, materialist. We were fairly balanced. They didn’t shower us with gifts and toys but ensured we had what we needed, but nothing in excess. My brother and I looked after what we had and appreciated it, we knew what we had had to last and took pride in looking after our stuff. I watched as friends and cousins would get the latest awesome gadgets for Christmas; Game Boys, new electronic toys, the Nintendo 64 and all the best games and somewhat felt like we were missing out. We did of course eventually get a Sega Master System, PS One and even an N64 ourselves, but only long after their release.

By about the age of thirteen, a time when most teenagers have endless wants, I was a little different. I couldn’t think of anything to ask for as my birthday or Christmas rolled around, so I’d end up asking for money instead so I could pick out my own gifts rather than have something I didn’t like. I’d hit the shops with my mum or friends trying to find something to buy with my birthday cash. This usually ended up with me finding very little that I felt was worthy of my money and I would often just end up saving it until I could find something more worthwhile later on.

I was fourteen when my parents separated and I moved with my brother and mum to a nearby suburb. My mother did her best to provide our basic necessities as a single mother, but I realised quickly if I wanted anything; new clothes, bus money, a phone to go on school camps or out with my friends, I was going to have to find my own way of paying for it.

I set out to find myself a job as soon as I turned fifteen and landed my first job not long after as a Check Out Assistant at my local Coles. I was so excited to finally have some money of my own that I could spend as I pleased. I recall one of my first thoughts was about how I could buy a new pair of skate shoes each week if I wanted to and finally afford brand name clothing I was never able to ask for. Soon enough I was spending my time at shopping centres with friends after work, on my lunch breaks and weekends and progressively developed a hobby of shopping.

This was fine when I managed to work regular shifts, but became an issue when I didn’t. I remember some weeks I was only rostered on for 1 four hours shift that week and was worried about making my money last until the next pay period. After getting a phone call to do extra shifts that week, knowing my pay was much going to be higher than expected, I would go out and spend my savings buffer before I had even done my shift. One week I actually got caught out, my newly added shift was cancelled and I had already spent most of my bank balance.

It was the start of behaviour which eventually lead me on a path of wasteful spending and non-mindful consumption. Usually this impulsive spending was on clothes that I would never wear or didn’t need. My prior passion for saving and planning for the future took a back seat to buying the latest Target or Kmart bargains.

Related Post: 17 Ways to Reduce Mindless Consumption in Your Life

I got a second job when I was at Uni working three days as an Accounts Officer on top of my Coles job and was earning decent money for someone living at home with their parents, although I still had very little to show for it. As someone that used to be a keen saver this really bothered me. I couldn’t for the life of me even think about what I had spent all my money on other than a few possessions.

Luckily by my early twenties, and after getting my first full-time job as an Assistant Accountant, I had something new to motivate me to save; my very first home. At this point I had been dating my now husband, Doug, for a couple of years and we had talked about moving into our own house together. As soon as Doug finished university and got a full-time job, we both started saving for our first home. Within the space of 2 years we managed to save enough for a first home deposit.

We moved into our first home when I was 25 and began to accumulate the necessary items… well what we thought was necessary. In the year prior to moving out I’d started to buy things for when I moved out: towels, cutlery, plates sets, bedding, decorations and the like. Upon moving in we were also given house-warming gifts of more towels, utensils, bed linen and other items. Before we knew it, we’d filled every cupboard, drawer, shelf, container  – everything. It’s truly amazing when you can move with two bedrooms of stuff to fill a four bedroom house in such a small space of time! But that is exactly what happened.

I was soon to have the worst years of my life. My Grandfather passed away after a long health battle and I lost my Grandmother nine months later. Whilst dealing with our grief we had the emotionally heart breaking task of going through their four bedroom home and sorting through their life’s possessions. There is nothing that can prepare you for the emotional experience of going through someone’s worldly possessions but soon enough, I along with my dad, brother and other family members found ourselves facing this difficult task.

My grandmother had a love of shopping from Avon catalogues and Pop, was an avid collector. Both being brought up in the 1930s meant that they kept everything. As I went through my nan’s cupboard and drawers, I found so many brand new things she had bought from Target or Avon that were still in their original packaging. So many handbags, dressing gowns, pyjamas, shoes, singlets and socks she’d never used. I imagine she had been saving it for a special occasion, which had never come. It made me sad to think of all the lovely things she’d bought but never felt the day was worthy enough to wear them. I went home vowing that day that every day would be special and I wouldn’t save everything for a day that may never come. I would use the expensive candles and fancy soaps, the nice towels and good stationery.

We had to sort through room after room of trinkets and belongings trying to decide which ones to keep or donate and which ones were the most meaningful or sentimental to our grandparents.  I wished for a small note about what was important to them and why, to help us to know what was valuable and sentimental to them, but that was left for us to decode. It took us three weekends to sort through everything and my brother and dad spent even more time there than that. There were countless skips hired, filled and refilled. I knew after that experience I never wanted my stuff to weigh anyone else down or be a burden to them when I was gone.

Strangely, after this emotionally difficult experience, it was still not this event that made me stumble upon Minimalism although it certainly helped make everything come together when I did come across it.

Fast forward a couple more years and at 28 I was a newlywed, living in my humbly beautiful home with my husband. I had checked all my boxes; I was working as an Accountant, had recently completed my CPA, just had our perfect wedding, an amazing honeymoon travelling through Europe and were surrounded by great friends and family, but something still felt like it was missing and I couldn’t understand why.

I no longer had planning a wedding or studying year after year to distract me. With no new life achievements to tick off there was time to think. I found myself wondering what was next? I had hoped these achievements would lead me to fulfillment and happiness. But instead found that I was stressed, overwhelmed and felt like I wasn’t living up to my potential. Most importantly, I wasn’t sure what my passions were anymore.

One day I was in my bedroom getting some clothes and started struggling with an overcrowded drawer and somehow the stress of that seemingly unimportant situation got to me. I threw the drawers contents on the bed and started sorting through the pile. As I went through the stash of shorts I was amazed to see things I owned that I didn’t even know about. Some still with their tags attached. I discovered three pairs of black shorts that were more or less identical. I had two more in other colours. All five I had not worn more than once – if ever. I couldn’t believe I had all these random clothes cluttering up my drawers, causing me stress and why? Because they had cost me $20 two years ago? Because I was planning to wear them one day? It suddenly seemed so ridiculous!

After working through my drawer, I opened the next one and saw the same thing. Too much stuff. Another ridiculously overflowing drawer that had also been driving me crazy for years. I threw its contents on the bed and before I knew it I had two decluttered and spacious drawers. Something I hadn’t had since I could remember. I felt a little calmer and less stressed.

Not before long I’d moved onto the wardrobe to tackle my then fifty odd shoe collection Next I went through and decluttered my collection of 50 dresses (can you see a pattern here?) Fifty dresses for a girl that wears a dress a handful of times a year. I noticed a pattern with each drawer, shelf, cupboard. I had too much and couldn’t possibly wear what I had in a year, let alone have any idea what I even owned.

I was overcome with a need to clear the clutter and was soon going through all of our home. Clothes were just the starting point. I cleared our counters which had been the bane of my existence for so long. We could finally use them for their intended purpose – to cook. I cleared out our pantry so we could actually see what food we had and what we needed to buy rather than just guessing. Soon Doug was also on board the decluttering bandwagon and gradually threw out old clothes and shoes and eventually let me clear out his office of excess stuff. Not a drawer, shelf or cupboard was left untouched.

I was sick of having drawers filled to the brim and trying to shove them closed. Sick of going out on a Saturday night in a stress trying to pick an outfit that I liked and that fit and not in some last minute panic to do something as basic as get dressed! Over getting home from the supermarket and trying to cram more food into our packed pantry and fridge where nothing had a place. I didn’t realise at the time, but all of these things were causing me stress and anxiety. It felt amazing to get rid of the excess in our home and make space for the essential. Each day that went by I began to feel less and less stressed. I didn’t know how one moment of frustration with a jam packed drawer could lead me down a path of self discovery but here we are.

I was keen learn more and started researching organising and decluttering tips. One day on my lunch break, on a Pinterest scrollathon I came across the term Minimalism. After falling down the rabbit hole I’d come across Josh and Ryan from the Minimalist’s Ted X Talk. That Ted Talk spoke volumes to me. I realised how much my stuff had been weighing me down and how I needed to value experiences more and find what my values were. I’d been living my life following this path set by others and didn’t realise I could take another route. My minimalism journey had officially started.

I was drawn to the idea of curating a more intentional life. Not just in terms of having less stuff, or only having things I loved around me, but to value my time more. To learn to say no to things that I didn’t enjoy. Set new boundaries for relationships in my life that were negative or draining. To worry less about how I fit in with those around me and just do what makes me happy.

Looking back, I had been a bit of a Minimalist at heart this whole time. I always appreciated heartfelt gifts over ones that cost a lot of money. Some of my favourites over the years were a towel friends had written favourite quotes from our Uni days on, a large jar my friend had hand picked lollies I loved to fill it with (#lollyaddict), and when my husband and I bought each other the exact same block of chocolate for our anniversary. For my 30th instead of blowing crazy amounts of money on a big party, I instead had a casual dinner with family and friends and requested for people to pay for their own meal in place of gifts I didn’t need and instead put our money towards our first trip to New Zealand which are memories we could look back on forever.

I had watched other people in my family struggle with debt and the stress it caused and negative health impacts and as a result was very conscious of getting into debt. In the back of my mind, I always knew that I would rather have less stuff and my health, than to have more and the stress that comes with that. Things like bigger repayments, longer hours, anxiety and sleepless nights.

About a year before even discovering Minimalism I walked away from my second casual job at Coles that I had maintained for extra cash. Instead of relaxing and preparing myself for the work week ahead I would be rushing off to work from 6-11pm most Sunday nights. At the time I justified the lost time with the extra money I was bringing home to add to our savings, and I did enjoy my job and the people I worked with – it wasn’t like I hated being there. Although I only spent five hours at work, I spent and additional hour travelling there on top of getting ready for my shift. I also lost time to prepare for the week ahead or to chill out and watch a movie. Most Sundays I wouldn’t plan much because I knew at 5pm I had to rush off to get home in time for work so this small shift was impeding my weekend plans and mental thought process as I only had one day a week to switch off. Eventually I realised that I valued my time more than the money and resigned.

Discovering minimalism made everything come together and I knew I was on the right path. I was so excited to see there was another way to live life and there were so many examples to learn from. Josh and Ryan’s escape from the corporate world, Joshua Becker’s journey to simplifying so he had more time with his family, and Courtney Carver taking control of her stress in the face of illness to name a few favourites. Their stories instantly resonated with me. I loved the idea of investing in personal growth, contribution, experiences and relationships over chasing more money and acquiring more stuff – where you could say no to more money, responsibilities and stress that often came at the expense of your time with loved ones or freedom.

Before Minimalism I’d buy something just because it was on sale and too cheap not to (what does that even mean?!). I bought things on impulse and thought about what I would use it for later. I had an overwhelming schedule that left no time for me and was slowly impeding m health. Minimalism has helped me to reduce wasteful spending so I can use my money for things that bring me joy, such as travel. Simplifying helped me pare back my crowded schedule so there was more downtime and less stress. It reinforced how much debt can weigh you down and inspired me to find ways to reach freedom from debt sooner. It taught me to look at the bigger picture in life. Not just how cheap something is, or how much it pays. I now consider if it is something I need, truly want, and if it aligns with my values. Over the space of two years I had donated, cleared and sold over half of our belongings and I don’t miss any of it.

Related Post: How I Discovered Financial Stability Through Minimalism

In February of 2017, I decided it was now or never and decided to take my minimalism journey to a new level and started my blog Minimise With Me with a lot of support from my husband and friends (Thanks so much guys!). After seeing the benefits Minimalism brought to my life, I wanted to share those with others. For a long time I considered this idea, and it took a year of soul-searching to get the courage to acknowledge how much I wanted to help others. Not following my passion or need for growth and contribution was no longer an option.

I feel like discovering Minimalism and my minimalism journey has opened up my whole future to a new way of thinking. For the first time in a long time I have an insatiable desire to learn, grow and experience as much as I can. I want to encourage others to find their passion in life and the joy in each day and the benefits of less excess and more essential.