Minimalism: Getting on Board

Minimalism has become a huge movement, both in and out of the PF blogosphere. Luckily for us PF bloggers, minimalism and frugality go hand in hand (for the most part). But unluckily for me, I’m not a very frugal or minimalistic person by nature.

No, instead I’m a shopaholic working hard to change my ways. Yes, I’ve done some decluttering along my journey and I don’t buy nearly as much “stuff” as I used to, but I still have a long way to go and there’s no way I’ll ever get to where I could truly be considered a minimalist. But I’m okay with that as long I reduce the clutter in my home and in my life and stop the in-flow.

So here’s what I’m doing about it:

One in One Out

The One in One Out rule is quite simple: every time you decide to buy something new, you must get rid of one like item. For example: if you decide to buy a new scarf, you must get rid of one that you already own. This rule serves two purposes: it helps keep the volume of stuff you own under control, and it helps you really consider purchases before you make them. Following this rule is a win-win for finances and minimalism.

Container Concept

I think my slob-blogger friend Nony, explains the Container Concept best:

“It hit me the other night that the root word of “container” is “contain.”…containers aren’t just to look pretty and make a space one-time-show-off-able . . . they’re to contain things. Markers go in this container, and no where else. Markers that don’t fit in this container can’t be in our home…”

I’ve been trying to put the container concept to work in my own home. Back in January I did a drawer cleanout and only allowed myself to keep what fit in my drawers that day, and by fit I mean so that I can easily open and close the drawers without having to cram things in.

Yes, sometimes minimalism and frugality don’t go hand in hand because I did spend money on those clothes that I got rid of, or like the other day when my brother brought me a whole pile of t-shirts that he can no longer wear, because that’s what college does to ya amiright? I was tempted to keep a couple of them, after all they were free to me, but they didn’t fit in my drawer so per the container concept, I wasn’t allowed to keep them (unless I did the one in one out rule). But I obviously don’t need them if they won’t fit in my drawer, so I didn’t keep them. Not keeping them wasn’t a huge financial loss, but it was a big win for minimalism.

Sticking to my Budget

My budget is another limiting factor. If I follow my budget to the cent, I don’t have much to spend on “stuff” every month. Just my sticking to my budget and using my extra money for what I should, to pay off debt or increase my emergency fund, I am helping myself get on board with minimalism.

So that’s it. That’s all I’m doing to help myself work toward minimalism. It’s pretty simple if you take just a few moments to think things over before you make the decision to buy something new. By taking the time to slow down and stop yourself from buying, or otherwise accumulating, new “stuff” you are winning both the frugality and minimalism battles.

Have you embraced minimalism yet?


About Kayla

Kayla is a mid-20s single girl living in the Midwest, USA. She is focused on paying off her consumer and student loans, while simplifying her life and closet. You can join her on her journey at ShoeaholicNoMore or follow her on Twitter.


  1. I’m definitely a minimalist! I have a 5 T-shirt rule; I’m only allowed to have 5 at a time. It can be challenging!

    • Wow! That is minimalism. I’m not sure I’ll ever be a true minimalist, but I’m certainly working to reduce my clutter.

  2. I started focusing on adopting a minimalist lifestyle earlier this year after stumbling onto The Minimalist blog. There are several different types of minimalists, as it turned out I’d been headed down the minimalist road for a while before then without realizing it. 🙂

  3. I’m okay with the not buying and accumulating new stuff, but I’m not doing well on the getting rid of stuff side. Because I’m not allowing myself to buy stuff, I’m afraid to get rid of stuff (like clothes) in case I need them some day.

    • That is something that a lot of people stuggle with I think. But in case doesn’t often come. Just some food for thought 🙂

  4. Being on a budget definitely helped me start living a more minimalistic life–but it was more like a see effect of the budget than direct intent; however I have noticed the less stuff (to clean, keep track of, wash in the laundry, organize, yada yada yada) = less stress.

    • That is so true! As we declutter and simplify our belongings and surroundings, it becomes less work to care for and clean them.

  5. We have this one cabinet in our kitchen that is filled with plastic water bottles. Every time I try to pull one out it seems l knock another one over and it starts a chain reaction where several fall down to the counter. Guess I need to go clean that one out a bit so I don’t have the experience like the second GIF. 🙂

    • Yikes! I’ve had that happen before too, but not anymore now that I’ve cleaned out some of my plastic containers and made sure that each container has a matching lid.

  6. I’m a fervent believer in minimalism – as in I refuse to acquire things. I refuse to buy more of anything unless I have already run out of it. My mother thinks I’m crazy for living so sparsely. I live alone, I don’t need sets of four napkin rings or 20 plates. The only real clutter I ever end up with is paper and dirty dishes :/.

    When people ask me what I would like for holidays, birthdays, etc., I seriously only say cash. That way I can control what “stuff” I use it on.

    • That’s a good idea (asking for cash), but my parents like to get me “something” so instead I don’t buy everything I am wanting/needing when it gets close to Christmas or my birthday and that’s what I tell them to get me if they want to get me “something” instead of cash.

  7. I really want to embrace this concept. I’ve recently been cleaning out our closets, but my husband is a pack rat! It makes it hard to get rid of things lol

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