Every Monday I post Real Life Minimalists, a profile of one of my readers in their own words. If you’d like to participate, click here for details.
Today, Frugal Babe tells us about her transition from frugality to minimalism, and why she favors a clean, spacious home over one filled with “just in cases.” If you’d like to read more of her thoughts, be sure to visit her blog.
Frugal Babe writes:
I’ve been frugal all my life, but not even close to minimalist. I was a big fan of keeping things “just in case”, even if they had no real value to me. In addition, one of my favorite things has always been shopping at second-hand stores, so I was able to buy all sorts of great stuff for very little money. Easy on the wallet, not so great in terms of how much stuff we accumulated over the years.
Last summer my husband and son and I moved to a new home where we could pursue our dream of growing our own food. Thanks to a snafu at the rental truck company, we ended up with a very small truck instead of the huge moving truck we had reserved. We made four trips to our new home with the small truck and it took us weeks to unpack everything. I knew we had too much stuff, but I was hesitant to start dealing with it all.
A few months ago, I started reading blogs like Becoming Minimalist, Miss Minimalist, and Far Beyond The Stars, and motivation struck. I stopped going to thrift stores unless I was dropping off donations. I used Craigslist to get rid of a dresser and desk that we didn’t need anymore, and the rooms they were in feel big and spacious now instead of cramped. My kitchen cupboards are clean and it’s easy to find everything I need. I realized that although I got killer deals on my saucepans at the thrift store, I only have four burners on my stove, so there was no need to have 15 saucepans. Or six cutting boards.
Once I tackled the easy stuff (extra things that we didn’t need that had no sentimental value), I found that it became a lot easier to deal with the harder stuff… things my mother in law had saved from my husband’s childhood, things from my own childhood, gifts people had given me, etc. Momentum is a powerful thing, and the enjoyment I feel when I fill another box to donate far outweighs any desire I have to hang onto things that are no longer useful to us.
The house feels cleaner and more spacious now, and I don’t have to devote as much time to cleaning as I used to. The closets have lots of empty space in them, which is a far cry from the jumbled mess that they used to be. While we’re not even close to being minimalists when compared with people who only own 100 things, we have a lot less stuff than we used to.
My blog, Frugal Babe, has been my platform for sharing my frugal ideas for the last four years. But I find myself writing more and more about minimalism these days. Getting rid of stuff has become much more fun for me than getting great deals on second-hand stuff.