People often inquire about or assume that because I advocate for simpler living I must be a minimalist.

For me, a minimalist takes the process of simplifying and makes minimalism the end product. The goal. They may work to only have 100 things. Or a 10 piece traveling wardrobe. Or nothing on the kitchen counters.


It takes a lot of work, thought and energy. You may save some money if you are an extreme couponer, but it also takes tons of time.

That isn’t to say minimalism is bad. If it is fun for you and a passion, go ahead.

I want to be organized, simplified and decluttered enough to live life smoothly. I don’t want to give it tons of attention. I don’t want it to be another thing where I try to be perfect. I don’t want to fall into comparing myself based on how little stuff I have or feel guilty if I have some useless items I like around the house.

I certainly don’t want to pack a 2-week vacation into a backpack. I could use that time and energy to plan a fun vacation.

I only have so much energy. I use simplifying as a way to save energy for what’s important. For me, that’s not counting my possessions.

Photo by: Genevra Kindon

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  • Marcia at Organising Queen

    Oh Beth, I love this post so much! Same here – that’s why I’m not a minimalist either. I like to organise just enough to have life easy but I’ve better things to do with my time (READ!) than to over-organise 🙂

  • Stacia

    I guess it depends on what you want to minimize. I don’t want my counters completely bare like the photo shared for a few reasons. For one that kitchen looks like no one lives in the house, I want to see some life! For me I find I minimize the time I spend on something such as kitchen activities, cooking, bottling, preserving, drying, etc. in less time by having strategically placed items.

    On one counter permanently I have placed my microwave, & toaster which goes the width of the cabinet. On another I have a cookie jar & scentsy warmer, this is a fairly long counter that we use for dirty dishes mostly so I wanted plenty of clear space there depending on the projects of the day (we do bottle for a family of 9)!

    On my third counter I have placed 2 nice looking glass canisters for sugar & flour next to my KitchenAid we use it a lot & the sugar & flour are in almost everything I place in the KitchenAid Mixer, this is a snackbar width counter. The other side has the blender, Foodsaver sealer, & for right now dehydrator because I use it from mid spring until late fall drying herbs, peppers, & anything else that becomes available from time to time, lots of herbs though. If I had to get each of these items that we use often out of a cupboard all the time & then someone remember where to put each item & it’s parts away every time we used them we would waste far more time that having items on our counters.

    I guess the term minimalist can me various things to each of us, I am not one generally speaking. I would rather minimalize the time I spend on what I see as useless activities and spend it on something that helps me have more time to spend with family & on activities that I enjoy. In the end I’ll do anything to minimize the time I spend on trivial things & activities rather than minimize my quality time with my family.

    Thanks for the reminder that spending all our time getting rid of stuff is not always the answer to the life we want. Let’s minimize guilt, I’m down with that!

  • Lynette

    I am not a minimalist, and I will never live in a tiny house, or even three. I watched my Mom and now my MIL spend their last good years paring down to save themselves from after death embarrassment lol. Sometimes, I think I need to start that process at 58. But right now, I am letting the pendulum swing in the opposite direction and considering making our house bigger. I want a place to do art. The drapes and wood floors in the dining room are not meant for paint. The kitchen is a busy place, i want to have everything in one room, and not worry about inconveniencing others while I avoid paring down. I think this is my vision for my retirement.

  • ronise

    Beth, I don´t think minimalism is about counting posessions, it really is about getting rid of execesses and keeping what is important to you and living with more intention, focusing more on experiences and less on stuff and consumerism. Each person will have their own definition of what is important and how much is enough.

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