How to Downsize Your Life but Keep Your Stuff with Minimalism

How to Downsize Your Life but Keep Your Stuff with Minimalism

The attachment to our things is real. Sometimes we hold on to stuff because of a memory or a person that we have attached to it. Sometimes there is that nagging feeling that tells us, “You might need that someday!” However, stuff isn’t all minimalism is about. It’s about priorities and choosing what you want to have in your life.

Whatever the reason, it’s natural to want to keep your stuff around. But what happens when you want to keep your stuff but live a simpler, more minimalist lifestyle? Well, let me tell you it’s totally possible. In fact, it might be the best way to start!

Let’s talk all about how you can downsize your life but keep your stuff!

*This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures

Say “No”

Get ready because up ahead we have a lot of different ways we are going to practice saying, “NO.”

This word can literally change your life if you allow it to. In fact, I recently purchased myself a shirt that says just, “No.” I saw it on a TV show and it made me laugh, but now it actually has meaning and significance in my life. What shirt could be more minimalist than that? One word that completely tells the world how I’m feeling that day.

There are definitely days when we as people don’t want to do anything. When we are tired, broken down and have enough on our plates without having to say “yes” to more things because we feel obligated. So let’s talk more about saying “no.”

The No Mindset

The first thing you need to remember is that saying “no” does not make you a bad person. It can actually make you a better person. The more you start saying no to things in your life that you don’t need or want, the more you can say yes to things that truly bring you joy.

Let go of any guilt that you feel over this word and start to embrace what possibilities would open up if you started using it more. Minimalism is right on the other side of the word no just waiting for you! Ok, that sounded corny…

Say no to debt

Drowning in clutter and stuff can make us feel panicky, hopeless and stressed.

Drowning in debt offers up those exact same feelings. No one wants to live their lives feeling like they are shelling out their hard earned cash to debt collectors, credit cards or car payments.

If any of your goals require you to have financial freedom, now is the time to buckle down and get serious about demolishing your debt.

How we said “No” to debt:

  1. We decided to take out a loan with a lower interest rate than our current credit card debt.
  2. We used the Debt Snowball method. Which meant each month we applied an additional $200 to our smallest debt payment. Once that debt was paid off we took that entire payment amount and began adding it onto our next biggest debt.

Talking about and acknowledging debt can be scary. Just like it can be scary when you decide to get rid of that blanket you’ve had since you were born because it no longer serves a purpose in your life. But living debt free is the most freeing feeling in the entire world.

When it comes to paying off debt, you may have to say no to a lot more things. Things like spa days, vacations and shopping sprees.

We said no to a lot of things for over 2 years. I also made it a top priority to find any stream of income that I could in order to help us pay off our debt faster! In July, we were able to pay off over $1,200 in just one week!

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What being debt free could mean for you

Like I said, minimalism is all about getting your priorities strait. So think about it, what you are you being held back from because of debt? What could you do if you didn’t have financial obligations holding you down?

For me personally, I want to travel. I want to be able to have my whole family over for dinner and not worry if we spend $500 at the grocery story. Spending time with those I love is all I want my life to be about. Exploring the world with my kids and laughing with everyone I cherish in life.

It’s also about giving. When I hear about a friend in need, I want to be financially able to hand them a wad of cash and expect nothing in return.

Whatever your reason for wanting financial freedom, hang on to that motivation. When you feel like spending money or purchasing something you don’t need, keep your long term goals in the back of your mind and just say no.

minimalist, minimalism, declutter, intentional living, focused mind, goals, achieving goals, minimalist mind, minimalism and psychology, minimalist mindsetSay no to a full schedule

If you are anything like me, you have some seriously jam packed days. When I’m not working, or homeschooling or taking care of our dogs, there is always some meeting or email that needs my attention.

It gets exhausting.

Would you believe me if I told you I used to have a lot more on my plate and the day I finally started saying no to more things was one of the most freeing times of my life.

Things I’ve said “no” to:

  • Teaching Sunday school. Yeah. I said no to Sunday school.
  • Play dates. If I don’t know a mom well, the small talk literally makes me feel like I’m going to die.
  • Hot yoga. No time. No money. What if I pass out?
  • Extra hours. Yes, I could use the money, but sometimes it just didn’t feel worth it. It meant leaving my kids, rushing through dinner and driving in rush hour traffic for $20.

If you are a classic schedule over-booker like me, I have come up with some seriously awesome ways to start slacking more that I think you’ll really enjoy:

Schedule clearing posts:

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Say “No” to Expectations

Now this one is a toughy…at least it was for me.

What expectations are you putting on yourself that are just plain unrealistic?

I can’t tell you how many times I have had moms tell me that they feel like worse mothers because they see all that I do with my kids.

On Facebook I share the crafts we do, I share the meals I make and all our smiley fun adventures. Part of this is because I grew up with my mom constantly taking photos. Photos speak to me, I love them so I take advantage in every special moment I spend with my little ones.

Call me crazy but when I’m screaming bloody murder, slamming doors and locking myself in the bathroom just to get some peace and quiet I don’t often think of snapping a photograph. (Sometimes I do. That’s just how much I like pictures.)

The point I’m trying to make is that a lot of times we add stress where stress is not needed by expectations that we put on ourselves.

One huge way to avoid the stress of this is to just totally own up to your limits.

No one can do everything and that is absolutely, 100% OK. Admitting that you can’t juggle it all is the first step toward putting the efforts into what you can do.

[click_to_tweet tweet=”No one can do everything and that is absolutely, 100% OK. Admitting that you can’t juggle it all is the first step toward putting the efforts into what you can do. #thestruggleisreal #minimalistmom ” quote=”No one can do everything and that is absolutely, 100% OK. Admitting that you can’t juggle it all is the first step toward putting the efforts into what you can do. “]

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Saying “No” means saying “Yes”

Like I said, when you take the time to say “no” more often, you are really saying “yes” to something else.

If you say “no” to volunteering at your child’s school, you’re maybe saying yes to 1 hour of quiet alone in your house which makes you happier mom when your kids step off the bus at the end of the day.

This one word is the most freeing way to begin a minimalist journey. Minimalism after all requires a lot of saying no. It’s all about priorities and knowing what yours are. Learn now what you need and what you don’t need and never be afraid to say “No.”

Don’t Forget to PIN This!

It's totally possible to downsize and still keep your stuff! Minimalism is so much more than clutter! #minimalism #clutter #downsize #minimalism




  1. jacqueline garcia | 14th Nov 17

    what such a great post ! (:

    • | 14th Nov 17

      Thanks so much! Have a great day!

  2. Gloria Harvley | 14th Nov 17

    More people should read this! It’s so hard to let go of our thought process sometimes to be MORE than we can do actually do. We try to be Superwoman without realizing that we already are. Definitely going to use this as a reminder to let more things go.

    • | 14th Nov 17

      Exactly. I’m glad I’m not the only guilty one. Let it go.

  3. Erika | 14th Nov 17

    First of all, I love the GIF from Pitch Perfect and second, this is something I meant to dive whole heartedly into this year but only made baby steps. This is my top priority for 2018. Happy mind = happy life.

    • | 15th Nov 17

      Haha Thanks Erika. You have totally got this, I have no doubt! 2018 will be your year…until 2019, of course!

  4. Donyell | 15th Nov 17

    This is a great post to read before starting the new year! Definitely sharing this!!

    • | 15th Nov 17

      Great! So glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing. Have a great day and a super amazing (peaceful) new year!

  5. Kim | 15th Nov 17

    I needed to read all of that about expectations! Oh man that spoke to my soul. Thanks for sharing this. I’m pretty minimalist when it comes to my stuff, but clutter can come in MANY forms.

    • | 15th Nov 17

      I absolutely can! I’m glad you found it helpful. We all need these little reminders sometimes!

  6. Ngumabi | 15th Nov 17

    This post has made me understand better the need to minimize
    I used to think that it all about living on a few things and this made me fear minimalism
    Thanks for this

    • | 15th Nov 17

      Yes. People can definitely take it that far, but really, it’s just about living a little bit more simply.

  7. Oh to Be a Muse | 15th Nov 17

    I can definitely relate to the full schedule hard pass. I sometimes have days of the week that seem way more jam-packed than other days. But every time I read the word “downsizing” in this post it reminds me of the new Matt Damon movie coming out. Have you seen previews for it? It’s all about downsizing in a funny way.

    • | 15th Nov 17

      Oh man! I will be Googling that right now!

  8. Tom | 15th Nov 17

    I can relate to every point, a great read!

    • | 15th Nov 17

      Thanks so much Tom. Have a great day!

  9. Holly | 15th Nov 17

    This is a great post! Expectations would def be the hardest one for me to give up. I put so much pressure on myself which causes stress and anxiety. Especially during this busy holiday season! I need to let some of it go.

    • | 15th Nov 17

      Yes! Let it go!! I used to be/kind am the same way. I’m working on it. Hope you can too because you are already awesome! Whoop whoop!

  10. jill conyers | 16th Nov 17

    My husband have been working on minimizing life over the past year. The next step is right-sizing to a new home. Following your Pinterest board 🙂

    • | 16th Nov 17

      That is so exciting! It has been a little over a year since we “right sized” (I like that!) and life has seriously taken off. Good luck to you as you head toward your next phase!

  11. Luci | 16th Nov 17

    I have been meaning to minimalize for a long time but I can’t find the time to do so.

    • | 16th Nov 17

      I dream of a job where I can declutter people’s houses for them. Haha. Hope you can make some time soon!

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