Minimalism. The word conjures images of empty white rooms, cold concrete floors, and barren surfaces. While some minimalists embrace a more extreme aesthetic, I’ve found the benefits of minimalism lie in its principles of focusing on experiences over things, intentionality over impulse, and restraint over excess.
Embracing minimalism transformed my life in countless ways over the past few years. I scrapped the unnecessary and made room for what truly matters. The process challenged me to think critically about what I value and how I spend my precious time and resources.
In this article, I’ll walk through **25 things I quit** on my minimalist journey. I’ll share how cutting these out brought me more joy, fulfillment, and clarity.
Why I Embraced Minimalism
My path to minimalism began by feeling overwhelmed. I felt buried under mounds of stuff, commitments, clutter, and consumer culture priorities. I grew increasingly dissatisfied despite having many of the trappings of “success.”
I knew I needed change but didn’t know where to start. Then I discovered minimalism through books like _The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up_ by Marie Kondo. I slowly began questioning all aspects of my lifestyle and making small changes. Over time, minimalism transformed my home, thoughts, values, and priorities.
I found minimalism empowering. It put me back in control of my time and resources. Decluttering my physical space was the first step. I was astonished by how much excess I held onto—clothes I hadn’t worn in years, chipped mugs, unnecessary linens. I filled bag after bag with donations and trash.
Next, I moved to areas like my schedule, spending, and possessions. I stepped back and examined each area of my life, asking, “Is this adding value? Or is it clutter?” I cut activities, habits, and belongings that no longer served me.
The process was challenging but rewarding. I felt lighter, more accessible, and more intentional with everything and commitment I removed. Here are just some of the things I quit.
12 Things I Quit as a Minimalist
1. Impulse Purchases
I cultivated the habit of pausing and questioning each potential purchase. Do I need this item? How often will I use it? Is this a passing trend or something that will add value long-term? More often than not, the urge would pass, and I realized I didn’t need another possession.
For example, I recently felt tempted by a new ladder for home decor projects. But then realized a sturdy step stool works just fine for my needs. I saved myself over $100 for no good reason.
2. Clothes Shopping for Fun
I used to casually browse clothing racks and buy things on impulse without any particular need in mind. Now, I only buy new clothes to replace items that are truly worn out. I shop in my closet first and get creative with outfits. I mix, match, and repurpose items in new ways.
3. Takeout Food Multiple Days a Week
Dining out was easy but expensive. Cooking at home saves money and helps me reduce excessive calories and processed ingredients. Now, it’s a treat to eat out rather than a habit.
4. Having Every Streaming Service
The shows and movies available seemed endless. But in reality, I only watched a fraction of the content. I pared it down to just a few services and supplemented it with free library rentals.
5. Using Paper Towels
I switched to reusable towels and napkins, which save money and reduce waste. While slightly less convenient, it’s a change well worth making. I cringe when I think of all the paper towels I used to go through.
6. Expensive Beauty Treatments
I saved hundreds of dollars monthly by learning to do manicures and pedicures myself. I switched to less expensive haircuts with similar results. And I buy quality makeup at the drugstore rather than paying designer prices.
7. Having Cable TV
There are so many channels and so little time. I realized cable offered hours of aimless channel surfing and reruns. Now, I stream only shows I genuinely want to watch.
8. Throwing Out Food
Meal planning and proper storage mean very little goes to waste. I eat leftovers and creatively repurpose ingredients near expiration. Composting helps eliminate trash.
9. Holiday Gifts for Extended Family
Trying to buy for everyone was stressful. Now, we focus on making meaningful gifts and traditions for immediate family.
10. Buying Books
I check out library books and only purchase beloved books I’ll reread. This saves money and space.
11. Keeping Items Out of Guilt
I had so many belongings from childhood that seemed valuable. But in reality, I never used them. Now, I only keep items that add joy and serve a purpose.
12. Saying Yes When I Want to Say No
I set boundaries and no longer feel pressure to attend events or take on commitments I’m not enthusiastic about. This protects my time and energy.
The Benefits I’ve Experienced
The changes above helped me cut away distractions and excess. Here are a few of the many benefits I’ve experienced:
- Less stress: I don’t feel overwhelmed maintaining and organizing possessions.
- More time: I have time to spend on what matters most rather than chores and mindless activities.
- Saving money: I have thousands in extra savings from spending mindfully.
- Less waste: I don’t contribute as much to landfills or feel guilty about wasted food.
- Clearer focus: Only surrounding myself with the essentials helps me concentrate better.
- Closer connections: I invest more in relationships and experiences.
- Appreciating what I have: Every item and activity feels more purposeful.
- Room to breathe: Open space helps me think and fosters creativity.
- Living intentionally: I don’t act on autopilot but consider what adds value.
- The benefits above were life-changing: I feel more content, focused, and purposeful than ever.
Casey’s Minimalism Success Story
Let’s look at Casey’s story to see how minimalism transforms lives.
Casey was overworked and stressed and felt her life lacked meaning. Her days were filled with work, chores, errands, and mindless entertainment. She hoped each shopping spree or home redecoration project would provide fulfillment, but the satisfaction never lasted.
On a friend’s advice, Casey started reading minimalist blogs and books. She began to rethink what truly mattered to her beyond just material comforts. Casey realized she valued creativity, helping others, and connecting with nature.
She looked for ways to make space for these passions. Slowly but surely, Casey worked to simplify her possessions, commitments, and habits. Here are some of the steps she took:
- She went through every room in her home and removed half her stuff. This helped her pare down to just belongings that added joy or value.
- Casey reevaluated how she spent her precious free time. She cut out habits like watching hours of TV each night.
- She set boundaries and learned to say no to nonessential social and work obligations. This minimized stress and freed up time.
- She worked on scaling back shopping and impulse purchases. Consideration and restraint became her new mottos.
- Casey spent time reflecting on her deeper values and life purpose. This helped guide her decisions.
The minimalism journey wasn’t easy, requiring going against years of accumulated and upgraded consumer culture mentality. But Casey persisted and built new habits over time.
As Casey simplified her life, she had room to focus on what mattered most. She started volunteering at a local arts center, teaching children painting and creativity. Seeing the kids light up brought her immense joy. She spent more quality time with loved ones and out in nature hiking. Casey picked up her long-abandoned passion for writing and published some short stories.
Letting go of excess and distractions helped Casey focus on finding meaning and fulfillment. Her life felt less stressful but more intentional. Minimalism gave Casey the time, energy, and clarity to pursue work and hobbies she found deeply fulfilling.
Are you feeling stretched too thin? Are you overwhelmed by clutter and consumer culture? Try minimalism! Cut away the nonessential to make room for what gives you meaning. It may feel intimidating at first, but take small steps.
Focus first on clutter clearing and no-spend periods to rein in impulse purchases. Sit down and reflect on your values and priorities. Then, work to align your lifestyle and possessions with what matters most: family, creativity, travel, or service.
Minimalism looks different for everyone. You get to decide what adds value for you. But the core principles remain restraint over excess, intentionality over impulsivity, and experiences over things.
The benefits of minimalism go far beyond a tidy home. You’ll uncover deeper fulfillment, stronger connections, and room to pursue your purpose. The journey continues, but I’ve never felt more content. I hope minimalism helps you find the same joy and meaning it has brought me.