Real Life Minimalists: Carrie

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, Carrie shares her minimalist journey with us, and explains how it’s enabled her to pursue her interest in writing—be sure to check out her blog!

Carrie writes:

Carrie

About a year ago, I stumbled across the idea of minimalism after reading an article about a tiny house. My youngest brother is in architecture school and we soon got into a lively discussion about tiny houses and how much fun they would be to design and build. One thing led to another, and soon I went from reading about tiny houses to minimalism, and then I found the Miss Minimalist blog. That’s how it all started!

I’ve always been known as an organizer and a planner. When I was a little girl I used to hold “garage sales” in my bedroom, selling my unwanted possessions to my parents and siblings for dimes and quarters. I would take all afternoon to “go through my stuff” and get it organized just right, even when my three younger siblings were outside playing. As I got older, I still loved to go through and give or throw away things I no longer wanted or needed. I can’t stand having extra clutter around my home! So you see, when I discovered “minimalism” it was a perfect fit!

The idea of simplifying my life and downsizing came at a perfect time, just as my husband and I were getting ready to move. We decided to move from a 2 story, 2 bedroom, 2 ½ bathroom place with a garage and a big back deck, to a 1 bedroom 1 bathroom condo. What a change it has been! We had the opportunity to donate, sell, and give away a lot of our unwanted furniture, and now our home is set up simply with just the things we really love. And you know what my favorite part is about the whole thing? I can plug my vacuum cleaner into one spot and vacuum the entire house without ever moving the plug! Now THAT makes cleaning a joy! It is so freeing to be told that it’s really ok to get rid of things that you never use, even if you might need it “just in case” someday. As my husband would tell you, my half of the closet has really downsized — no point in keeping those clothes that I wore 10 years ago in high school, right?

Minimalism really has changed my life for the better. What I think I love most about a minimalist mindset is the fact that I only keep things that I truly NEED or truly LOVE. If I need it and use it often, I keep it. And if it’s something that I truly love and that brings me joy (like the china I received on my wedding day), then I keep that, too. But if it is something (even sentimental) that I don’t truly love and enjoy having or looking at, I’ve given myself permission to let it go. I really do think that simplicity is beautiful!

Simplifying my life has given me new opportunities to give to others, because I’m not so bogged down with the everyday tasks that used to take so long. I’ve always loved writing and now I have more time to focus on it. I’ve been sharing my writing on various topics on Medium.com (one of the simplest blogging platforms I’ve found!) You can check it out at: https://medium.com/@InspiringFthFit

Thanks to the Miss Minimalist community for being so encouraging as I get started on my minimalism journey!

{If you’d like to learn more about minimalist living, please consider reading my book, The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide, or subscribing to my RSS feed.}

Related posts:

  1. Real Life Minimalists: Caroline Garnet McGraw
  2. Real Life Minimalists: Sherry Ott
  3. Real Life Minimalists: Warren and Betsy Talbot

10 comments to Real Life Minimalists: Carrie

  • Hi Carrie, you sound like such a well-balanced woman and that helps to give “minimalism” a sense of sanity; an image that “regular” people can relate to. You present a picture of minimalism that wouldn’t make people feel like they need to live with nothing but that which will fit in a suitcase…nice! While minimalism comes in all shapes and forms, much like people themselves, you are on the very relatable side.

    I had to laugh when you mentioned how nice it is to be able to vacuum without needing to move the plug. My vacuum cleaner’s cord is just about a foot short of me being able to do that and every time I vacuum it irritates me that I have to stop and relocate the plug to a different outlet! Since my house is pretty small, I love it and it’s paid for, I think I’ll just continue to grumble about that minor irritation!

    I’ll be sure to check out your blog and thanks for the lovely view into your world of minimalism ~

    Ree

  • Hi Carrie,
    Thank you for sharing your story. I like what you said about “minimalism really has changed my life for the better”. That’s exactly how I feel, too.
    Peace,
    Duane

  • Jeannine

    Carrie I really enjoyed your story. I too understand the joy of small-space living and especially cleaning. A few years ago my husband and I traveled full-time in a 33 foot fifth wheel giving us about 450 square feet. It really reinforces what one truly needs as storage is at a minimum. It’s impossible to hide extra things! I also look forward to checking out your blog.

  • I love your vacuum comment. Isn’t it funny how such little things bring such happiness?

  • Loved your story!!!

    First time at the blog. Will be back for more. I love reading people’s stories.

  • I enjoyed the part of your story where you said you keep the things you use and love. My personal rule is to not have things around that are just for looks. In other words, I love that you love and USE your china! I will check out your blog. Thank you for sharing!

    MarieG lifesimplybalanced.com

  • SteveC

    Great story, Carrie! I’m a little jealous of your downsizing of residence, but my wife and I have also found the joy in donating unused and unloved possessions (in our case the 4 place settings of china were never used and were donated – but we kept many other things!).

  • Hi Carrie. Enjoyed your fantastic story. It is really inspiring.

  • Marlon

    Carrie I believe you were a born organizer. I had that in my blood too. Lots of perusing my possessions, sorting through them and then finally giving them to enjoy friends or whomever could use them and the rest went into the trash bin on pickup day. Well I LOVE your story and found it INSPIRING.

  • miss minimalist

    Okay, just a friendly reminder that I would like my blog to be a place of community, happiness, and peace. While I welcome comments expressing all points of view, those that are unkind or off-topic will not be published. (I’ve removed such a discussion here, as it had nothing to do with Carrie’s story.)

    I apologize to those whose comments were removed; it’s not something I take lightly or enjoy doing. However, these Real Life Minimalists have been gracious enough to share their stories with us, and it’s unfair to them to have negative, off-topic exchanges on their special feature.

    I value everyone’s opinions, and want you all to feel welcome here. So let’s keep the discussion kind, respectful, and on-topic! :-)