Intentional Living Minimalism Simple Living

Discovering Minimalism: Living with Necessities

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Once we moved out of our house, we moved in with my husband’s parents while we built our shop. Living with necessities only was an interesting experience, and lasted for about two months. In this time, we discovered what a need is compared to a want.

Once we moved out of our house, we moved in with my husband's parents while we built our shop. Living with necessities only was an interesting experience, and lasted for about two months. In this time, we discovered what a need is compared to a want.

Living with necessities

The room we lived in temporarily…

We moved into a room that was dedicated to my father in law’s deceased mother. It was full of trinkets and pictures dating back to who knows when. It was a neat room, but already pretty full of things.

There was not any closet space, but luckily my husband’s mom had a 4 foot clothes hanging rack we were able to share. We also had a couple of drawers for underwear, PJs, socks, etc.

My husband only has a couple pairs of shoes, so he stored them under the clothes rack. I, on the other hand, kept my shoes in a box. I had downsized my shoes quite a bit before we moved, but I still had a good amount.

Anything else we needed in the bedroom was stored in a box.

We were also fortunate to have our own bathroom. We only brought necessities with us, and were able to store them easily.

Thankful, but nervous…

I knew very quickly this experience would be challenging. I just did not know how challenging it would be. Within the first week my senses were in a state of shock. I had moved out of my comfort zone that was simple and systematic.

Now I had been pushed to the other end of the spectrum. My anxiety was back, and the freedom I had felt was no longer there.

I knew there had to be a way to cope and get back to feeling what I had felt before the move, but I wasn’t sure how.

I began to research about anxiety, minimalism, stress, etc. The biggest factor affecting anxiety and stress is one’s environment. I started to read a book called Stress Less, but it only made me stress more!

I decided to give these thoughts a break and change tactics by watching videos on YouTube that talk about how to change your lifestyle, simplify, and become happier doing so.

This all went back to the principles Ruth Soukup talked about in her book.

I did not instantly feel better, but I could tell it was helping. Seeing if I could declutter a few of my things felt like the best option at the time.

I found a few tops and jeans I could live without; however, it was not enough.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

I decided it was time to find another book that went a step further into simplifying. This is when I found The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.

Living with Necessities

This book was not what I expected it to be. It had a few interesting points and a few points that left me confused [mostly due to different cultural styles]. I decided to give it a try to everything in my bedroom and bathroom.

In the bedroom, I pulled everything out of the drawers, found what sparked joy, what did not spark joy, and organized it all. I got rid of more things than I thought I would have.

I realized I did not have to have 100 pairs of everything [possibly a slight exaggeration]. Just in the bedroom alone, a quarter of my personal possessions were decluttering, which amazed me as much as the first time I decluttered my home.

The bathroom was more of a challenge. Most of what I brought was a necessity. I was able to downsize my makeup collection a bit.

I had two square magnetic pallets. One held my highlighters, bronzers, and cheek colors. The other held eye colors.

It all brought me joy, but I was striving for a simpler lifestyle. So I decided to make it all fit into one pallet!

Surprisingly, it was not as hard as I imagined it would be! In the end, it felt like HUGE progress. It cut down on time getting ready, because I did not have to dig for what I needed or over think what I was going to wear.

If you would like me to go more into detail about this method of downsizing, let me know in the comments.

I can definitely say living with only what I need and love makes life more enjoyable. I did not realize how clouded a mind could be based on possessions.

Less is definitely more. My anxiety and stress had minimized to a great degree; however, it was not a won battle just yet.


  • Reply
    Kiara Catanzaro
    October 6, 2016 at 6:27 am

    This is such a huge part of my journey to minimalism. The big perspective is: Why would I keep something if I don’t need it, love it or use it!? This helped me SO MUCH through my beginning stages of getting rid of things! Thank you for sharing, Erin!

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      October 6, 2016 at 2:00 pm

      Those are great questions to ask, Kiara! I asked myself the same questions with my things.

  • Reply
    Sarah Jean
    October 6, 2016 at 8:17 am

    This book I have read and it’s one of my favorites! It really help me finally clean up my apartment.

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      October 6, 2016 at 2:04 pm

      That is great, Sarah Jean! I liked it a lot, and it really helped me declutter more efficiently!

  • Reply
    Marette Flora
    October 6, 2016 at 10:21 am

    I loved that book as well. It helped me get rid of so much and buy things that are better quality and will last me longer. I feel like our home has only things we love or really need now!

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      October 6, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      That is great, Marette! Quality over quantity is definitely the way to go with things you use all the time!

  • Reply
    October 6, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    It is a huge journey to minimalism. I’ve started by buying less. That’s a huge one, as buying ‘things’ doesn’t make me happy.

    Ridding of things is harder because I have memories attached to items. But I am working on it too.

  • Reply
    Whitney S.
    October 7, 2016 at 12:25 am

    I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a minimalist, but I have been getting rid of garbage bags and garbage bags of clothes, accessories, shoes that I no longer wear or want or that bring me joy anymore. It definitely feels good rid of excess things, so I can make room for things that bring me joy!

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      October 7, 2016 at 8:40 am

      There is nothing greater than decluttering your space! Keep up the great work, Whitney!

  • Reply
    April 14, 2019 at 8:47 am

    Love this’s article. Went through the same process and felt so good! I realized that up to that point my things controlled so much of my time I barely had time to just be. Have you over to a new space since this post and have you been able to put into practice this idea?

    • Reply
      Erin Tannehill
      April 15, 2019 at 8:38 am

      Thank you, Maria! It is amazing to see how the things you have affect your lifestyle. Yes, since this post we have moved into a 600 square foot shop apartment. It was an experience going from 1,450 square foot home down to 600 square foot apartment [of course, living with my in laws in between that transition]. Since our things were stored at my grandmother’s home, we took our time unpacking. I brought one car load at a time to our new home to unpack. Most of the things we realized we no longer needed, and by the time we finished, we decluttered 70% of our things. It is amazing to see what you really do not need versus what you thought you needed. Every so often, I go through all of our things to see if things have crept back into our home that we don’t need. There hasn’t been more than a trunk full ever since, and I’m so thankful for that! Now we live in a humble 600 square foot shop apartment that is tidy 90% of the time, because everything we own has its own home.

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