Organization

Why I Am Not A Minimalist

There’s so much talk about minimalism these days. Everyone is purging and paring down to the bare essentials and it just seems like the right thing to do, doesn’t it? Not to me.Β I haven’t read anything by Marie Kondo (and while I’m sure she’s a nice person) I don’t plan on it. I am not a minimalist. Here’s why!

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#1 I am sentimental

I love having things that tell stories – a plate I bought when we visited Old Town Alexandria, Virginia…a pair of earrings I bought when I was shopping with my sister after Christmas and especially a precious heirloom that belonged to one of my grandparents. I believe that one of the keys to having a cozy home is filling it with the things you love. Obviously my home is not cluttered or chaotic (organization is another key to a cozy home) but is full of things that are special.

#2 Not being a minimalist saves me money

When I begin to decorate for a particular holiday, I have plenty of decor options to choose from. This past Christmas I decorated with red and gold, but next Christmas I could do my whole house in silver and turquoise without having to spend a dime! When I want to change up the regular decor in a room, I can pull items from my collection of decorating essentials – what I call “shopping my house.”

While we’re talking about money, another reason I hang onto the things that I do is because I worked hard for those things! My husband and I work hard for what we have (he works a lot harder than I do) and I rarely ever impulse buy. I shop almost exclusively from the sale rack – and always pay cash for my purchases. I am so grateful for the grace of God that provides us with our stuff, and I plan to enjoy it!

#3 I am willing to make the effort to keep my home organized

There have been a few times in my life when I purged like a mad woman. I became overwhelmed with the amount of stuff that I had and eliminated loads of clothes, home decor, dishes and other items from my space. I have always regretted those large purging sessions! The first one was right after Paul moved his stuff in when we got married – the second was while my sister lived with us temporarily before she got married.

Both times I probably could have benefited from a bit of decluttering, but if I had taken the time and energy to set up good organizing systems, things would have been much more manageable. I have learned my lesson and have only done small purges (like this one) since then.

I’ve found that keeping my things tidy and put away really makes a difference in my home. I have a closet full of clothes, lots of shoes and a ton of jewelry. I enjoy them because they are well organized and easy to access.


If you’re struggling with the idea of minimalism and don’t want your home to be a cohesive white canvas, I love this post from my friend Rebekah that says, “I am more than white walls, and so are you!”Β  The “does it give me joy?” question from the KonMari method leaves me scratching my head – I love this post from Emily on What the KonMari Method doesn’t tell you.

If you are a minimalist, that’s ok. I will still be your friend (and I’ll be glad to loan you whatever you need because chances are, I have it). πŸ™‚

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36 thoughts on “Why I Am Not A Minimalist

  1. I read the book because so many people were talking about it & one blogger I follow blogged through each step. I thought the book was mostly weird (thanking your things after you use them and not wearing shoes 2 days in a row, to let them rest, or something like that).
    When I read about emptying your purse each night & the part about getting rid of books, I knew that I am not a minimalist, either. And I’m sentimental, too. πŸ˜‰

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  2. I like the thoughts of minimalism…sure would make cleaning easier, like you I love my “things”. And hey, I just about decorated our vacation home with little extras I had here. πŸ™‚ I did read the book and like most things, I think it is a passing fad.

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  3. YES! I could never be a full fledged minimalist I am all about purging my life of the things I don’t use, want or really need but I am not going to bare bones around here. It seems like such a cold way to live? I am not sure if that makes sense, but it does to me!

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  4. I was so intrigued from the moment I caught glimpse of this title, Whitney! Way to go against the flow, girl! πŸ˜‰ All valid points with fantastic reasoning behind each. I love that you’re sentimental and also organized to keep your home from feeling cluttered. You’re enjoying the best of both worlds and I love it! I’m super sentimental too and I’m constantly trying to better organize things to be able to hold onto special things as well as welcome new items into our cozy home, as we accumulate so much from well meaning loved ones who want to spoil our girls, and oh yeah, I love to bargain shop too – lol! I do a big spring cleaning/declutter annually but haven’t regretted anything we’ve parted with. Our home can only neatly hold so much, so the items most special and useful stay and the rest falls away to be enjoyed by someone else. I’ll never have a plain white wall in my home though. That’s for sure. Thanks for the great read this morning, my favorite part being the last line! πŸ˜‰
    xo – Brenda // ChattingOverChocolate.com

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  5. Love this post and the other posts you linked to. I’ve been wondering about the book so now I know I can skip reading it. πŸ™‚

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  6. I love this!! I know that book is VERY popular, but it’s just not me. I love things to be tidy, organized and a place for everything (just like you do!), I am a big fan of decluttering, donating things regularly and having garage sales when you are no longer needing items. Those things keep my house running smoohtly. I think I’d regret any major purges and wish I would have just reorganized. I am not interested in curating a minimalist home, either. I’d love to fill my home with sentimental things, pictures and treasures I’ve collected over the years.

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  7. Oh Whitney, I’m so sentimental too, and I don’t feel bad about it one bit ;-). I hope to be the old grandma someday with a trunk in her attic to pull down and show all the grandkids special trinkets and treasures from their parents’ childhood. Lol. I loved hearing your thoughts, which resonated with my own. And thank you for sharing my White Walls post; that was thoughtful of you and I was excited to be a part of such a fun conversation!

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  8. you said that so well! I like a tidy home… I have three boys, so have, at times, been tempted to “throw it all out”…but, the reality is that its so much work!! I am sentimental, also… I like my Willow Tree Angels, holiday dΓ©cor, and cozy blankets… with three boys, I remind myself that even when their stuff seems to be EVERYWHERE… it won’t be everywhere one day…I want them to feel comfortable in their home… I do basic things to keep clutter under control…but, I don’t want to devote all my time to it!! great post!!

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    1. I love hearing that from your perspective! I can imagine that even with a larger number of people in your home, the amount of “stuff” required to keep everyone alive is a lot more than for just the two of us. Finding that balance between being comfortable in your home and still managing the clutter is a goal I’m always working toward.

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  9. I love the concept of shopping in your house! So glad I found your YouTube channel which led me to your blog! It has been very educational on frugal living among other things! πŸ™‚

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  10. What a refreshing post with an honest perspective! It gave me pause with all the minimalism talk going around. While I do believe I need to pare down (believe me, 30 years of marriage’ll do that to ya), I also believe in balance and being frugal! Great post, Whitney – I had to click over after pinning to see what you had to say! πŸ™‚

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  11. While I’m not a minimalist, I like to travel light. We don’t have an attic and I’m not sentimental. I’ve kept a few things, but not much. Chaos and clutter make me crazy, but so would thanking my things. Things are things. I’m with you on being frugal, not impulse buying, and thinking through every purchase. I think that’s key.

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  12. I have to say that I found this post interesting. I know that minimalism means many things to many different things and that my version may be different than yours. That being said, I actually think that you are great example of minimalism, which is probably why I love reading this blog so much. The definition of minimalism that I subscribe to is one where you keep the things you value and that you are intentional about what enters your life. I don’t think that extremes work for most people. I have no urge to own only 20 items and deprive my family of any comforts. The problem with North America is that a lot of people are compulsive shoppers who purchase things just ‘because’. Many people have put themselves in the position of debt just to obtain more. You don’t seem to do this at all. I have noticed that you are very intentional about what you allow into your home. You don’t purchase something simply because you “feel” like it. You make sure that it is something that fits into your budget and that it is something that you will value. I think that you do value your things and get great joy out of them. This is wonderful and still totally in line with “minimalism”. I actually think that I have learned a lot from you on living a minimalist lifestyle. Perhaps you are not a “hardcore minimalist” but neither am I. I so appreciate the message that you send about living within your means and not giving into compulsive shopping.

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    1. That’s interesting, Ashley! Thank you for your perspective! I guess I don’t consider myself a minimalist because I hang onto things that I don’t use or haven’t used for a while, and I decorate with a style that’s definitely not minimalistic. You are right about my shopping – it’s very intentional! I don’t make purchases on a whim because I’ve never known anything but a limited cash budget. I’m definitely not a hardcore minimalist, but perhaps there is a little minimalism in me after all!

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  13. Great read. I think it’s important to get rid of things you’re not using (or that would benefit someone else more), but to also hold onto things that are are valuable to you. When I see pictures of minimalist homes, they are beautiful, but just don’t feel very homey to me. I guess everyone’s style is a little different! It’s definitely possible to have a well furnished/decorated home that doesn’t feel like it’s closing in on you. Organization is key. Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

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  14. Yes, yes, yes! Minimalism isn’t for me, either! I always think “I might need that someday!” πŸ˜‰ Of course, it has to be something I’ll actually use for me to keep it, though. And I’m so sentimental! Once I did a big purge of some things and took photos of them all so I could look back and reminisce. It made me feel a ton better! πŸ™‚

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  15. Hey Loved your post. I totally understand where you are coming from. It seems like inevitably you get the ‘minimalism police’ telling you that what you have or don’t have ‘makes you a minimalist’ I don’t think the guidelines are that harsh. I would say that if you buy things that mean something to you, that you get use out of, that serve a purpose in your life, and don’t put you into overwhelming debt than I would say you could say you’re a minimalist. The point to me may be different than to some. I am trying to scale down some things in our home, that I know I haven’t used, nor will I in the future, but for some things, I am keeping, just in case πŸ™‚

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