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20 Questions Minimalist Style: Lena

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Welcome to another installment in the 20 Questions Minimalist Style Series! Today, we have a lady who lives a minimalist life with true inspiration from her husband!

Her name is Lena and she blogs over at Letters of Elan! Lena is super sweet and excited to share her story with you! [I secretly hope this is the first of many times we get to work together!]

Ever played 20 Questions? Well that is exactly how the 20 Questions Minimalist Style is played! This game takes the opportunity to show you how diverse minimalists live, and I guarantee you that no two minimalists live exactly the same way.

20 Questions Minimalist Style

1. Tell me about yourself. Who are you? What do you do?

My name is Lena. I’m newly relocated East coast gal, now a Southern California based inhabitant, lifestyle and travel blogger. For my full-time official job, I work as a Rehab nurse and I’m married to my best friend who also happens to be a doctor in training.

Apart from the world of hospital beds, medication passes, and patients,  I enjoy exploring California and documenting life in photos. And my blog Letters of Elan is my world of creativity.

2. What are you passionate about?

Writing, learning, and exploring the world

3. What was your life like before you became a minimalist?

My life felt chaotic. It was full of much unnecessary junk. Once I got married, I than learned from my husband what a minimalist really is and my life has changed A LOT and for the better.

4. How did you discover minimalism?

I’ve always been an organized person, but that doesn’t mean that you are a minimalist at all. I feel like I really discovered minimalism when I married my minimalist husband.

5. Did you start shifting your life towards a minimalist lifestyle immediately, or was their hesitation?

I would say the move was gradual. My husband and I have moved four times since getting married and relocating.

Throughout our last move, I went all out and did a major tidying up and sweep through all our belongings and got rid of numerous bags of clutter, clothes, and things we just did not need.

After doing this, unpacking at our new apartment took a day’s work.

6. How did you begin the transition to a minimalist lifestyle?

The transition began with me not buying things I did not need. I WANTED things, but I did not NEED them.

7. What does being a minimalist mean to you?

It means clutter free, and living by the phrase “Less is More”.

8. Where are you currently with your minimalist journey?

Where I should be. Living clutter free,having more living space in my apartment to just sit back a relax in the evenings,and spending A LOT less than I used to on things I do not need.

9. Where do you hope to be in the next 6 months with your journey?

Probably do a few more decluttering sessions of my space like my office. It’s organized but far from minimal.

10. How has minimalism changed your life?

It has helped me to breath easier in sense. When I come home from work, my house is not a mess.

I don’t remember the last time it took me hours to clean my living space. That’s because I don’t own that much anymore.

And that is thanks due to the book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.

11. What things have you changed in your life since becoming a minimalist? Examples: becoming a vegetarian, less waste, using no plastic, etc.

I recycle MUCH MORE than I ever did in my entire life. But that’s also probably because I live in California, and recycling here becomes a lifestyle.

12. What is the biggest obstacle you have faced? How are/did you overcoming/overcome it?

To stop buying stuff I do not need. I have this weakness for new journals, notebooks,and planners. I buy and buy, and they keep piling up in my office, and I’m not using them.

When I tidied up my space once and for all, I got rid of all but 3 of my planners/notebooks and recycled the rest.

13. Explain your current wardrobe. Are you following a specific capsule wardrobe project? If, not what guidelines do you use [if any]? What color palette would we see? How many items do you have in your wardrobe?

This is what my closet and drawer looks like. Most of my clothes are from target. My color schemes consist of back, white, navy, off white, and gray pieces of clothing.

There is a tiny bit of color here and there. I buy clothes to match with multiple outfits and not for a one time use.

20 Questions Minimalist Style: Lena @ Letters of Elan |

20 Questions Minimalist Style: Lena @ Letters of Elan |

14. What is/are your favorite Minimalist Blogger(s)?

15. What is/are your favorite book(s) on Minimalism?

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

16. What is your favorite part of your day?

The early morning as the sun starts to rise. Quiet,and peaceful.

20 Questions Minimalist Style: Lena @ Letters of Elan |

17. What is the last thing you let go of?

A pair of my comfiest Roxy Gray Toms styled shoes that started to come apart and had holes. I fixed them with super glue the first time, and now their time had come to an end.

18. What is one thing you wish you could let go of, but haven’t yet?

Honestly there is nothing. I use everything I have.

19. What is the number one benefit you have received due to becoming a minimalist?

More free time. One really don’t understand how much time being a minimalist saves you, unless you make it a way of life. You feel like you finally have your life in order.

20. If you could give advice to someone who wants to start their minimalist journey, what would you say?

I would recommend to  start by reading the book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. It will change your entire life.

For more information about Lena, please visit her blog Letters of Elan. If you have any questions for her or myself, leave them below in the comments!

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  • Reply
    Marette @ Floradise
    April 8, 2016 at 7:41 am

    I love that you use everything you own. That’s my goal!

  • Reply
    April 8, 2016 at 7:51 am

    I really like what Lena said about focusing on only buying things you need, and not just want. That is a great tip in keeping unnecessary items out of the house. Great post! 🙂

  • Reply
    April 8, 2016 at 8:51 am

    Wonderful article! She is where I strive to be. I’m getting there but have a ways to go! I only want to have in my house and life what I use!

  • Reply
    Cassie Jahn
    April 8, 2016 at 11:44 am

    I love these questionnaires – they are always a great read. It sounds like you are doing amazing at your journey and I can’t wait to get to where you are – it’ll come soon enough! Recycling is definitely something I struggle with because unless I drive to the landfill myself, there’s no where to recycle.

  • Reply
    April 8, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    Thank you Erin for this wonderful opportunity to write for your blog !!!!!!! and everyone for your lovely feedback:) I can’t wait for us to work together on more stuff!!!! =)

  • Reply
    Neely (@Neelykins)
    April 10, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    This is really interesting. I’ve really tried to become more minimalist

  • Reply
    April 12, 2016 at 11:52 am

    It can be so refreshing and freeing to get rid of stuff. My problem is when I start to get rid of things, I feel like I am adding to the garbage problem that our planet has, when in reality I am just making my home better for my family and I need to come to terms with that. Thanks for this post I really enjoyed reading it!

    • Reply
      April 12, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      Katie, I understand the struggle. See if there are ways to recycle or donate what you are discarding. I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

  • Reply
    April 14, 2016 at 11:05 am

    I love that you have more free time now because of your minimalist lifestyle. That is something I want to strive for. I need to start doing good, thorough sweeps through my stuff and just start getting rid of things I don’t need and haven’t used in a long time.

    I also have to wonder how does this lifestyle work with kids? With kids comes stuff, and it just ends up everywhere. I would love to learn more.

    Thanks for sharing at the Friday Funday Blog Hop!

    • Reply
      April 14, 2016 at 12:01 pm

      I don’t have children personally, but I have read a lot of posts pertaining to this. I hope I’m not overstepping by offering advice based off of this, but I will one day use this method personally if things ever get out of hand with my children’s things. [Living Well Spending Less by Ruth Soukup is a book I would highly recommend!]

      My advice [from reading these posts] would be to box up every toy, put it somewhere only you can get to, and only pull out the toys your children as for specifically. You will learn which toys mean the most to them, and you can allow them to let the rest go to children who don’t have toys to play with. A lot of the time, children seem happier to have less. It also helps their imaginations work better. Having a toy dedicated place is also a great way to help lessen the clutter. I do believe it is possible to live this lifestyle with children. My husband’s best friend’s child has a few toys, but he would rather play with rocks and screw driver [he believes them to be swords]. His imagination is incredible, too! I think an imagination is highly important, because it helps grow children’s confidence to believing they are capable of anything they can imagine for themselves. Again, this is all based on my personal research.

      Decluttering the unnecessary is the biggest blessing that has occurred in my life so far [besides marrying my husband]. Regardless if you want to be a Minimalist or simply live without clutter, I would recommend a cleansing [if you will] of all possessions you no longer use or want.

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