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27 Things I’ve Learned About Minimalism (Sort Of)

August 7, 2017
27 Things I've Learned About Minimalism | Tiny Ambitions

Twenty-seven is a very specific number, I know. What made me pick it? Well, I turned 27 this past weekend (what?!) and I’ve always been big on taking a reflective glance back on my life once a year, just to check in. But, I wanted to put a little bit of a twist on it this year.

Instead of just listing the 27 things I’ve personally learned about minimalism, I polled my Twitter, Facebook and Instagram followers for what they’ve learned! And boy, did they deliver!

Since it was my birthday, I also wanted to celebrate our Tiny Ambitions community and all the wonderfully different voices and opinions you all have. I will be the first to admit I do not have all the answers when it comes to minimalism, and I think we can always learn from our peers.

So, the list below is crowd-sourced – how future forward of me!

I broke down the responses into two questions:

  1. What has minimalism taught you?

  2. What’s your favourite thing about minimalism?

These comments are completely verbatim (i.e. unedited), with the exception of adding one comma somewhere – I couldn’t help myself. Academic writing habits die hard my friends!

Without further ado, here are 27 things I’ve learned about minimalism. Sort of.

27 Things I've Learned About Minimalism

1. What has minimalism taught you?

Minimalism has taught me to become a more responsible consumer. Instead of buying a million cheaply made items of poor quality, I look to buy goods that will last. I may end up spending more money up front but because those items won’t need to be replaced, I end up saving money in the long run. Plus, I don’t clutter my space with junk! – @therinkydinklife

There’s almost always 1 more thing you can get rid of. Give it a few days/weeks and you’ll spot it and think why you didn’t see it sooner. – @tseanmalik

To appreciate what you have. It’s usually more than enough. – @michsummerfield

That we really need a whole lote less than we think we do in every area of our lives. – Jennifer Baron

It taught me the difference between needing and wanting. – @DividendReaper

How to repurpose something for a new life rather than multiple items only have 1 use. – @aab_aus

That less is truly more. More peace of mind, more time for living instead of ‘upkeep’, and more happiness. – @WorkingOnHappy_

Minimalism teaches more time not more things… no one at the end of their life wishes for more things… they wish for more time and minimalism is the vehicle to that end. – @laurelhaeser

Material things cannot fill voids of a traumatic past. Attachments to things will not fulfill you. But surrounding yourself with people who are your village does. Experiencing life minimally frees you, not enslaves. – Colleen McNeese

Minimalism taught me to appreciate being present in my activities. Especially with cooking. – @DeveautedDaily

One thing minimalism has taught me is to be true to myself. While on the surface minimalism seems to be a lifestyle choice about one’s physical environment, it’s so much more than that. Once I stripped away my physical and mental clutter and learned how to slow down, I was able to understand what is really important to me and start living my life the way I want it to be, not the way society expects it to be. – @simplelifeexperiment

That small=smart. It’s more efficient, more flexible and more eco-friendly, living a minimalist life. – @adkfarmerdan

How much fuller and freer my life is with less! – @SmallishBlog

That less physical clutter means also less mental clutter. – @MidsMinimalist

That being patient often leads to the best result. Far too often we acquire things from a place of scarcity. -@DeclutterQueeny

Self-acceptance – meaning I don’t feel that I NEED STUFF to define me or to make myself feel good, particularly when it comes to fashion. Having said that, I don’t usually call myself a minimalist! – @simplygraceelaine

2. What’s your favourite thing about minimalism?

Life is so much easier when you have less stuff to dust and organize. – @itsakatelife 

I’m not exactly a minimalist but have taken some of their lessons to heart. I find a less cluttered house = less cluttered mind, less stress. @8020yourfinance

Minimalism (and tiny house living) has made me more intentional in how I want to spend my time and energy. To me, it’s freedom. – @2_little_indians 

Less things = more happiness. More time to think about what really matters instead of what you don’t have! – @BritneeTanner 

For me, minimalism has been about slowing down and living with more intention. I really think that my education shaped my mind to be in overdrive 24/7 (which isn’t a bad thing, but it can become a problem when it happens outside of work/education). Minimalism has been about simplifying everything abou my life, so my mind can settle and focus on being present! – @samanthapenlington (Samantha is a friend IRL and she’s an awesome nutritionist! Check her out!)

Minimalism is one of the most liberating things I’ve ever done for myself, mentally, emotionally, and physically. – @sandymechelle

There you have it – the people have spoken! Of course, the post wouldn’t be complete without my two cents. What has minimalism taught me? That I need a heck of a lot less than I think to be content. What’s my

What has minimalism taught me? That I need a heck of a lot less than I think I do to be content. I’ve downsized so much from my shopaholic days, and it’s amazing how much ‘stuff’ I still find I can live without. Especially now that we are gearing up for the big move, I’m finding it much easier to let go of things. Minimalism it seems, is adaptable to everyone, even (and especially) when our needs change.

What’s my favourite thing about minimalism? Without it, I’d never have connected with all of you wonderful people! I am not much of a people person and socializing makes me terribly anxious. Without this blog, I’d just be another hermit sitting in my apartment talking to myself, so thanks for letting me voice my opinions from time to time.

What has minimalism taught you? Let me know in the comments!!

Image Credit: Tiny Ambitions

  • Lisa | Simple Life Experiment August 8, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Happy belated birthday Britt! I hope being 27 is just as awesome as being 26, if not awesome-er 😉 May it be your best year yet and filled with very much happiness! I absolutely love this post; what a wonderful idea to include your followers’ insights (thanks for including those of yours truly). I can relate to each and every comment here, and I think that really goes to show that minimalism speaks to each of us in our own way, but at the same time also speaks to all of us in many different ways. It’s like a gift that just keeps on giving. I’m yet to find an area of my life where minimalism doesn’t bring value, and frankly I don’t think I ever will. I really hear you on the hermit sitting in your apartment thing too, because that’s totally me! Thank you for being a wonderful bloggy friend and for sharing your thoughts with us through TA. PS. I hope all is going well as you guys gear up for the big move! Woohoo!

    • Britt August 8, 2017 at 4:12 pm

      I agree! It’s amazing how differently people view minimalism, but how similarly positive an impact it has had on their lives. I too have yet to find an area where minimalism doesn’t make a positive difference in my life! Thanks for the kind birthday and moving wishes! I’ve just got to get myself in gear and get everything packed. And blogging friends are the best! It’s weird (and amazing) to think I have more in common with someone living on the other side of the world than with my IRL friends and family. So thank you for making this hermit slightly less unsocial! xo

      • Lisa | Simple Life Experiment August 9, 2017 at 2:34 am

        Hear hear! There are VERY few people IRL that I actually have anything in common with at all. Being ‘different’ isn’t always easy but there’s no other way to be, if you ask me! Hurrah for the interwebs 🙂 xx

  • upasna August 8, 2017 at 5:56 am

    It taught me to be more mindful about what I buy. I stopped bringing Home the stuff that I really don’t need. It taught me to be more Grateful for what I have.

  • upasna1987 August 8, 2017 at 5:55 am

    It taught me to be more mindful about what I buy. I stopped bringing Home the stuff that I really don’t need. It taught me to be more Grateful for what I have.

  • Save Splurge Deny Debt - Cameron August 7, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday!

    While I wasn’t always a minimalist, once I had my child and we had bigger goals than just buying more stuff, I really started to take the idea to heart. We have sol and gotten rid of so many things it is great.

    The biggest success for us was stopping the cycle of buying more just to buy it. We have been able to reallocate our money, allowing us to reach our goals quicker. We are also able to save and buy bigger purchases that we value and want more than a bunch of clutter.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • luxestrategist August 7, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Happy belated, Britt! A lot of great quotes here from the community. I would say I’m an Accidental Minimalist. It’s just part of my personality to not have a lot of stuff–causes me so much stress to even look at clutter. My biggest takeaway is really valuing the few things that you DO have. I’m ridiculously meticulous about taking care of my things so they last. It comes to a point where my stuff is more than just animate objects, and more like friends.

    • tinyambitions August 7, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      Thanks Luxe! And yes, our community is a bunch of smart cookies!

      I think taking care of and valuing what you do own is so key. It’s contrary to the throw-away culture that has been created to sell us more ‘stuff’. I’m with you- I’ll take care of the things I love until they literally fall apart.

  • Retire Before Dad August 7, 2017 at 9:23 am

    A lot of gems in here. I’m still an aspiring mimimalist (with three young kids), so I have a lot more wisdom to learn than provide. What I’ve learned so far is every time I throw something out or recycle it, it brings me joy. When new things enter our house, I see money go out which makes me frustrated, mostly. Unless it’s something adding value to my life, like the new bike I just bought.

    • tinyambitions August 7, 2017 at 2:30 pm

      I think that’s a good pattern to recognize! And give yourself some credit- having three kids will teach you more about minimalism and living intentionally than reading a blog ever could! (Especially since, I don’t have any children.) Thanks for reading!

  • Lance @ My Strategic Dollar August 7, 2017 at 8:09 am

    Minimalism has taught me that I just don’t to buy stuff to be happy. In fact, it’s the opposite. The less I buy and the more I put into investments, the happier I am.

    • tinyambitions August 7, 2017 at 8:26 am

      That’s such a freeing lesson isn’t it? Once you have that realization, everything else about minimalism is a lot easier!

    Hey! I'm Britt. I write about living a tiny, simple, intentional life. Because life doesn't need to be lived big.