≡ Menu

How I’m Leading a More Minimalistic Life

in Other

I am guilty of owning far more materialistic things than necessary, of spending more than my fair share of time on technology, and of buying food that I do not need.  A month or so ago, I decided to cut out some of the crap.  My goal was to disconnect more, unclutter, and use what I have.  Check out some of the changes I have made in my attempt to lead a more minimalistic life.

minimalistThat would be nine piles of clothing.  I have a walk-in closet in my apartment and before I did some major minimizing, it was jam packed.  I had talked about getting rid of the clothing that I no longer wore or needed for years.  But it was all talk until about a month ago when I got serious about making a change.

minimalist 5I have getting healthier to thank for my sudden cleaning spree.  Since gaining roughly 15 pounds over the past year in an effort to be at a healthier weight and a happier place, I had quite a few pairs of pants and shirts that were too snug or not fitting at all.  So I got to work getting rid of everything that no longer fit or that I had not worn in the past six months.  This is no easy task, but I was tired of the extra bulk in my closet and in my life so I was honest with myself when deciding whether to pitch or keep.  If I had not worn it, it did not fit right, or I had zero plans for it in the future, it went into the “sell” pile.  Apparently I was in the minimizing mood because I ended up with six bags of clothing and shoes to take to the second hand store- and that’s not even including the Summer items.

minimalist 2Another bonus: I am no longer low on empty hangers!

minimalist 3There is actually empty hanging space in my closet… what?

minimalist 4I know it still looks rather full, but the fact that my clothing is no longer stuffed onto the racks, there is free hanging and shelf space, and there is room on my floor is quite the accomplishment for me.  I plan to continue ridding my closet of unnecessary items over the next couple of seasons when I reassess what I am actually wearing.

And now that I have a much freer closet, I plan to keep it that way.  I will only be purchasing clothing that I really need and that I can wear with several outfit pieces that I already own.  I am also no longer buying clothing simply because it is a “good deal.”  In fact, I am trying to avoid the clearance racks altogether unless I am in search of a specific clothing item.

minimalist 3After I cleaned out my closet, I think I was on a bit of a pitching high.  I ended up cleaning out the cabinet and drawers in my bathroom, the desk and side table drawers in my bedroom, my linen closet, and my pantry.  If I was not using it and had no reason to keep it, it was pitched or donated.  It is crazy how many things that I owned and did not even realize it.  I definitely do not need to buy body wash anytime soon.

minimalistI have not just been minimizing my life when it comes to material things.  I am also trying to get rid of the non-necessities in the technology realm of my world.

minimalist 2About a month ago I turned off all notifications on my phone for Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  While I can still access these applications (most of which I just keep on my phone for blogging purposes), I do not have notifications bothering me every 30 seconds.  The number of notifications I would receive in a day was getting out of control, and when I really analyzed my time on my phone I realized that my social life was suffering.  There are zero phone notifications that are more important than being attentive when I am with my family, boyfriend, and friends.  This simple change has been so freeing and is quite possibly my favorite thing about being more minimalistic.

minimalist 2Another step that I took to minimize the technological side of my life was taking the time to unsubscribe from all of the junk e-mails that I received daily and continued to automatically delete.  Unsubscribing literally took me five seconds per e-mail and will save me a lot of clutter and time in the future.

minimalistOne final thing that I am doing to live a more minimalistic life is organizing the food in my kitchen and using it.  My freezer was stuffed to the brim several weeks ago so I pulled everything out and got it organized.  I pitched what had freezer burn on it and have begun working leftovers, frozen veggies and fruits, and frozen grains into my meal plans.  This has helped me clean out the clutter and save money.

Could you be leading a more minimalistic life?  I would ask you to seriously consider this question.  Leading a more minimalistic life is refreshing, energizing, and less stressful.  Stepping back from technology has been the most rewarding for me.  I urge you to give it a try.

Share Good Eats
  • 17
{ 41 comments… add one }
  • Runwright September 26, 2014, 12:59 am
    You out a serious dent in your closet. I'm impressed. I've been trying to do that for a while and I realize I have to stay away from the clearance rack in stores. Because it's hard to pass up a great deal even when you weren't necessarily looking for the item. But it's not a great deal if it doesn't fit in with the rest if your wardrobe or if you're just going to put it someplace in the closet for an arbitrary time in the future. Love this post! Runwright recently posted...Falling ManMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl September 26, 2014, 7:32 am
      SO true. Staying away from the clearance racks are tough, but it is so necessary because otherwise it is almost inevitable that I will buy something simply because it is such a good deal... and then rarely wear it!
  • meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles September 26, 2014, 4:47 am
    Once I start with one closet, I tend to clean out every closet! It's a great feeling, isn't it? I actually do it every few months to keep things organized and make sure clutter can't build up. I hate too many notifications. I have them set the same as you do. meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles recently posted...Thinking Out Loud – Running HillsMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl September 26, 2014, 7:34 am
      I totally agree with you. Once you start, you can't stop....which is actually a great thing in this case. I have super clean closets now!
  • Becky @ Olives n Wine September 26, 2014, 6:26 am
    This. Is. AWESOME. Seriously. Leading a life with less "junk" is the best feeling ever. That is one of the reasons I really like moving, it forces you to sort through all of your crap and figure out what you really need vs what is just there. Kyle and I have been playing a new game (because, believe it or not, he wants alllll the things more than I do!) and whenever either of us say we need to buy something, we ask "is it a need or a want?" This is our current "discussion" over his apparent need for a SUP in Florida ;) Hehehe! Anyways, great post and I love this focus! Becky @ Olives n Wine recently posted...Friday FavsMy Profile
    • Katie September 26, 2014, 8:48 am
      I'm trying to minimize things too, I always have a bag I'm working on to donate. If I wear something and don't love it, I either toss it, or wash and add it to the donate pile. Becky, SUP is awesome! But I would recommend buying two if you're going to own them. (we have two and I wish we had four!) Katie recently posted...Bike Trip: Girls Gone WalkerMy Profile
      • ClnEatingVegGrl September 26, 2014, 11:38 pm
        Yay for SUP!!! Are paddleboards expensive? I imagine they aren't super cheap!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl September 26, 2014, 11:37 pm
      Asking "is it a need or a want?" can be a HUGE help. It is not easy, but it sure is worth it! Also, I might have to side with Kyle on the SUP discussion ;) Stand up paddleboarding is awesome!!
  • Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies September 26, 2014, 6:49 am
    About twice a year, I like to flip all of my hangers so they're hung the opposite way of how I normally use them. Then when I've worn something, I put the hanger back on the "right" way. After 6 months, if the hanger is still turned the wrong way, the clothes go to Goodwill (except for some special occasion-type clothing and anything that's been out of season). Helps keep me in check! I also like Happy Herbivores "one in, one out" rule, though I could never stick to that! Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies recently posted...BBQ Tempeh NachosMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl September 26, 2014, 11:39 pm
      That is a super smart mentality to follow. I just may have to get the a try for the clothing that I have left. And yes, I love the Happy Herbivore rule... though I agree it could be quite difficult to follow :/
  • Heather @fitncookies September 26, 2014, 7:44 am
    Way to go!! I actually uncluttered so much last year when I moved. I got rid of so many clothes I was just holding on to. I actually switched out summer and winter clothes last week, too, and found even more clothes to get rid of. There are probably even more I can get rid of. I'm hoping to go through this winter and really pay attention to what I use, and what I don't will get thrown out next spring. Heather @fitncookies recently posted...Lorna Jane: #ActiveNationDay and Benny’s Back with a new toyMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl September 26, 2014, 11:41 pm
      That is a great idea! If we are just a little more focused and use intention when we decide what clothing to keep and giveaway, we can live a much more uncluttered life. Moving sure as heck helps with that too!!
  • Julie @ Running in a Skirt September 26, 2014, 7:47 am
    I really need to do this. My closet is terrible and stressful. I turned off my push notifications and trying to eat through all the pantry/ freezer food... but the closet is bad. Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted...Fashion Friday – Navy Paisley DressMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl September 26, 2014, 11:42 pm
      Well it sounds like you are off to a great start!! I found the closet part to be the most difficult, so you will get there! And yay for turning off notifications. Isn't it so freeing??
  • Amanda - RunToThefinish September 26, 2014, 7:55 am
    WOHOOOO we are known for being minimal people and I LOVE it. less pressure to buy crap we don't want, more time to travel :) Amanda - RunToThefinish recently posted...31 Fall Smoothie Ideas - Get your greens of the seasonMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl September 26, 2014, 11:44 pm
      Oooo, I love that!! Traveling is SO much more fun than having a humongous closet full of clothing. Priorities, right?
  • Kate September 26, 2014, 8:01 am
    I love the feeling of getting rid of stuff. It makes me feel so much lighter! I try to follow the rule of "buy one, give away one." This is mostly true for clothes. It helps a ton.
    • ClnEatingVegGrl September 26, 2014, 11:45 pm
      That sounds like it might be tough, but now that I am trying to be more minimalistic I think I might have to give that a go. It's a great rule to live by!
  • Ashley September 26, 2014, 8:35 am
    Love love love this post! I've been actively trying to do the same thing slowly but surely over the past few months. It feels good to actually use what I have and not waste things anymore.
    • ClnEatingVegGrl September 26, 2014, 11:46 pm
      It feels SO good!! I hate wasting so when I can simply use what I have/need, it is so refreshing!
  • Erin @ Her Heartland Soul September 26, 2014, 10:43 am
    I love it! Clearance racks are my weakness! You're so right though, it's not a good deal unless you're really going to need and use it. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul recently posted...Friday Five 34My Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl September 26, 2014, 11:47 pm
      Yes!! Which can be SO tough to admit and to follow... but I'm trying!
  • Danica @ It's Progression September 26, 2014, 12:13 pm
    I think all of the changes you've made are great!! I'm really particular about food - I cannot stand not using something and having to throw it away. But I'm not regularly as great about clothes and other stuff that ends up in our house. Moving helped tremendously with that! Danica @ It's Progression recently posted...Five things Friday 9.26.14My Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl September 27, 2014, 10:30 am
      Oh I bet!! That is definitely one of the benefits of moving. You get rid of all of the stuff you do not need because you don't feel like packing and unpacking it ;)
  • Lish September 26, 2014, 12:26 pm
    Major clean outs like this can feel so good sometimes!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl September 27, 2014, 10:31 am
      They seriously do! I felt so refreshed afterwards!
  • Rissa September 26, 2014, 1:06 pm
    GREAT JOB HANNAH! De-cluttering is a great practice. You have to get rid of the old stuff in your life to make room for new, wonderful things to come to you. We try to do this at least once a year. It's amazing how much "stuff" can accumulate. I've noticed that once our home and offices are cleaned out, it's easier to think, work, be creative - even sleep! Applause to you all round! I wish more people could discover, like you have, that things cannot define you - they are just stuff. :)
    • ClnEatingVegGrl September 27, 2014, 10:33 am
      That is so well said, Rissa! I really did feel like stressed/cluttered in my mind just by getting rid of all of the unnecessary "stuff."
  • Dana @ fresh simple five September 26, 2014, 1:35 pm
    Getting rid of things I don't need has been on my mind for awhile lately too. I'm slowly going through cabinets, drawers and closets and donating what I no longer need. It's so refreshing! I love the idea of also disconnecting from my phone/technology as well. I try to keep my phone away as much as possible when I'm with friends. It's amazing how much more enjoyable life is when you're not constantly staring at a screen. Wonderful post - thanks for sharing! Dana @ fresh simple five recently posted...10 Delicious Game Day FoodsMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl September 27, 2014, 10:34 am
      Stepping away from technology can be SO difficult in this day and age. BUT, we can do it and the benefits of doing so are great. I try to tell myself that I will remember the experiences I have with people but I really won't remember those insignificant texts or e-mails 20 years from now.
  • Dana @ Dana's B.S. September 26, 2014, 10:30 pm
    Good for you! I just cleaned all our closets and garage. Now I have a place to put my car! My goal now is by the end of January to trash or donate anything left that we really don't need/use. It's so hard since I do manage to find uses for random things, so I hang onto things "just in case". Dana @ Dana's B.S. recently posted...Fall To-DoMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl September 27, 2014, 10:38 am
      I definitely have those thoughts. too. It can be really tough when you think you MIGHT use something. Normally unless it is rather expensive, if I haven't used it in the past 6-12 months I feel okay with getting rid of it.
  • Lisa C September 27, 2014, 9:23 am
    I love this post! This is how I try to live too. We have 4 kids in a small house, so minimizing clutter is crucial. It feels so freeing too!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl September 27, 2014, 10:48 am
      I am sure that living minimally is especially beneficial to you if you have 4 children! I hope to continue living this way when I have kids someday. The experience/memories will be so much greater than "things!"
  • Ashley September 27, 2014, 3:26 pm
    I love this post. It's something that I'm constantly working on myself... I go through phases where I do great and then others ... not so much! haha I need to try to find a way to make it happen all the time. A good reminder that it's time to go through my freezer, pantry and closet! Ashley recently posted...25 Game Day Eats You Need in Your LifeMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl September 28, 2014, 10:56 am
      I am definitely going to try to start going through my closets, pantries, and freezer more often so that way each time I do it it is not so daunting. Or... maybe I should just not buy as many things that I do not really NEED ;)
  • Lindsay @ The Functional Foodie September 28, 2014, 9:45 am
    This is seriously awesome. I'm really impressed. This is such an important thing to do. Humans waste so much stuff, whether it is materialistic or time. Way to go and keep up the good work! Lindsay @ The Functional Foodie recently posted...The Gift of Nature BoxMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl September 28, 2014, 11:08 am
      Thanks Lindsay! I think this is something that we can all work on. I like that you mention the importance of not simply focusing on materialistic things, but also ensuring that we are using our time wisely as well. I like to say that 20 years from now I am much more likely to remember memories with people than time spent on my phone!
  • Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes September 29, 2014, 12:09 am
    You have officially inspired me. Especially when it comes to getting rid of clothes I don't wear and turning off notifications on my phone. My phone literally is blowing up all day long and I am obsessed with checking it (as much as I hate to admit that). I'm going to follow your lead! Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes recently posted...Brown Sugar MeatloafMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl September 29, 2014, 4:46 pm
      That is so great to hear, Ashley! I hope my post helps even just a little bit. I have honestly found turning off my phone notifications to be SO refreshing. You should definitely give it a try!

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge