What's it Like to Live the Minimalist Lifestyle for a Week?
We asked for two volunteers to live the minimalist lifestyle for a week and then report back what it was like. They discovered that while preparing for the lifestyle change can be overwhelming at times, ultimately in the end they learned that they just had too much stuff and it felt good to purge some of it. Read their personal experiences below.
Young professional and new homeowner
When I first decided to begin this experiment, I underestimated the amount of stuff I owned. At first glance, my house is relatively basic. I now realize that I’m simply an organized hoarder.
I began this experiment on a Friday evening and was determined to clear out every item in my closet. As I sorted through my shoes, I realized I own 62 pairs, but only regularly wear five pairs! Sorting through clothes was another harsh revelation (200+ items). Overall, it took more than three hours to move everything out, leaving only a week’s worth of clothes. Bonus – this made it easy to get ready in the morning because I had limited options!
Halfway through the challenge, I discovered a forgotten box full of shoes and clothes in the garage. The disappointment quickly set in, mostly because I had started feeling great about my new found minimalism.
As a makeup artist, I do tend to have more of these products than most. I decided not to count them and placed them in another room, taking just the essentials to survive the week. This was more of a challenge. I mean, any girl will tell you, it’s hard to break those morning hair and makeup habits!
Overall the challenge was relatively simple since it lasted just a week. However, I do suspect that adopting a minimalistic lifestyle long-term would be considerably more difficult. I enjoyed the challenge because it made me realize I am living a life of excess and should be more conscious of my purchases. Although I won’t be embracing this practice full-time, I will be adopting some aspects within my everyday life and possibly trying this for an entire month in the near future.
Busy wife and mom of two young girls
First, let me start out by saying, “Hello, my name is Rachel and I’m a hoarder.” As I began my journey into minimalism, I learned very quickly that I have way too much stuff. Everything from excessive makeup, clothes, lotion, cleaning products – the list goes on. Minimalism focuses on making more thoughtful and deliberate decisions. With this in mind, I began my week-long journey into minimalism. Here’s what I learned.
If you don’t wear it within 90 days (excluding seasonal clothing), it’s time to eliminate it from your closets/drawers. I filled six trash bags, and I am still sorting through clothes. I haven’t worn more than half of the clothes I eliminated, and I love the new, fresh closet feel.
I went through all of my makeup and found I only use eight key items. The rest (two gallon-sized bags) lived in my bathroom cabinets and makeup bag. After eliminating all of my excess products, I have much more cabinet space. It also saves me about 10 minutes getting ready in the morning.
Oh my —25 bottles of lotion! In my defense, this is not all mine. A good majority of it is for my girls from baby showers. Yeah, I have it all – scented, unscented, etc. I am in shock with the shelf-life of lotion. I couldn’t justify throwing this stuff out. My family will always have super soft skin.
Living like a minimalist takes time and dedication. Right now, it’s not something I’m prepared to fully adopt, but I do find myself thinking like a minimalist. I have found that less stuff means less stress, and who doesn’t want less stress in their life? Happy minimalizing to all who choose it.