The Tannehill Homestead
Minimalism Simple Living

20 Questions Minimalist Style: Patty

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It’s time for another 20 Questions Minimalist Style! We all have our reasons to transition into a minimalist lifestyle, and so far, I have been impressed with how diverse each participants’ story has been. Today, Patti is sharing her story with us. She definitely has a different take on why she lives a more simple life, and I say more simple for a reason!

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?
I am a 41 year old mom of 4 children, ages 23, 22, 19, and 9. I have two grand children and 1 on the way (due in August). I’m a SAHM who used to run with the corporate rat race and decided “enough was enough” when I began to have anxiety, depression, and agoraphobia issues. I also help take care of my 79 year old mother with Alzheimer.

2. What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about rescuing animals. Mainly cats and dogs.

3. What was your life like before you became a minimalist?
Chaotic would be the nicest way of explaining my life before minimalism. I hit the floor running each morning and didn’t get to rest until my head hit the pillow that night.

4. How did you discover minimalism?
Discovering minimalism was an accident for me.  I was searching for self help books on anxiety and ran across a book on simplifying your life. I’ve been in love with the concept ever since!

5. Did you start shifting your life towards a minimalist lifestyle immediately, or was their hesitation?
I barely finished the book, which was a quick and easy read. I wanted to get started immediately! I think I was purging while walking around reading the book.

6. How did you begin the transition to a minimalist lifestyle?
I started with getting rid of things around the house, learning the more was NOT better. The “mind shift” took place as the decluttering happened.

7. What does being a minimalist mean to you?
Minimalism is peace, joy, serenity. It’s about learning who you really are and what you want out of your life. It seriously was a lifesaver for me, a way of thinking, a way of living.

8. Where are you currently with your minimalist journey?
I look at minimalism like the stages of a diet. First you loose the weight (purge), then you maintain, and every so often you go back, reassess, and make adjustments. I’m in maintenance right now. I’m content with where I’m at, but minimalism will be a life long journey for me. I’m always looking for ways to grow and improve.

9. Where do you hope to be in the next 6 months with your journey?
I hope to have hubby more on board with his own things. He’s great about supporting me, but he’s been a little hard headed when it comes to his own personal items.

10. How has minimalism changed your life?
Minimalism has brought joy and acceptance to my life. It has changed who I am. Not to someone I’m not, but brought me back to the real me, begging to be acknowledged.

11. What things have you changed in your life since becoming a minimalist? Examples: becoming a vegetarian, less waste, using no plastic, etc.
I’m currently working on getting rid of all the plastic and clean eating.  My husband and I bought a 1,500 square foot home on 10 acres and we’ve minimized our finances and only have 4 bills each month. Of course, the clutter was the first to go but the minimal way of life has touched every category of my life.

12. What is the biggest obstacle you have faced? How are/did you overcoming/overcome it?
I was my biggest obstacle. I grew up in a very wealthy neighborhood, went to a great school, and had big ideas about what life was supposed to be like. I thought that success was measured by the size and amount of things you had. I had to learn to accept myself for who and what I was. I was desperately trying to impress other people, but I wasn’t being true to myself. I am the one who has to be happy with my life, not the neighbor or the kid I graduated from school with. It was time to make me happy.

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?
My wardrobe is pretty simple. I’m a SAHM, so that definitely helps. I have 40 items hanging in my closet for all seasons, and I live in Michigan. I mostly stick to blacks, greys, browns, but I do have some orange, pink, blue, and green items (usually in for of a tank top or t-shirt). I don’t follow any special guidelines or project, it’s just what works for me. I do follow the one in/one out rule with clothing. I have 4 pairs of shoes including boots and I’ve learned to mostly go without makeup, except for special occasions. Even then, my makeup bag only consists of 4 items. This has been a big improvement for me as I would take hours to get ready each morning and wouldn’t even check the mail without properly styled hair and a full face of makeup.

14. What is/are your favorite Minimalist Blogger(s)?
I love your blog! [Awe shucks!] But I don’t get caught up in one certain thing. If I run across something I want to read, I read it, and I don’t contemplate on the next article to come out for any certain blog. I try to stay away from mental clutter.

15. What is/are your favorite book(s) on Minimalism?
I would still have to say its, “Simplify your life”, by Elaine St. James. It is the first book I stumbled on that lead me on this path. It was a quick and easy read. It was published in the 90’s, way before minimalism was popular or really even had a name. Some of the newer books are hard for me to get into.  I can’t understand taking the time to turn your hangers backward in order to turn them straight again after wearing an item. Why not just leave them straight in the first place and turn them backwards after wear? I like cutting out steps if it’s something that can be avoided.

16. What is your favorite part of your day?
I love evening when everything is done for the day, when I can think back over the day and smile.

17. What is the last thing you let go of?
A dress I bought for my daughter’s wedding. That was a little hard.

18. What is one thing you wish you could let go of, but haven’t yet?
My wedding gown. It’s the last major thing my dad bought me before passing away 3 years later.

19. What is the number one benefit you have received due to becoming a minimalist?
My health. I got my life back. There was a time I thought I would never be the same again while battling depression.

20. If you could give advice to someone who wants to start their minimalist journey, what would you say?
I would say go! and don’t stop! but remember to make this about you. Each of us differ in our needs and if living with 100 belongings or 33 clothing items doesn’t work for you, tailor the rules to YOUR needs. This is a journey that won’t begin until you start, but taking a step no matter how big or small will be life changing.

If you have any questions or comments for Patty, please leave them below in the comments!

If you would like to be a participant in this series, please go to the series introduction post to find out how!

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Cara
    April 29, 2016 at 8:52 am

    Love this! I really like her comparison of minimalism being like a diet. I think it’s important to always reassess and make adjustments as necessary. It’s not just a one-time thing but a lifestyle change. Great post! 🙂

  • Reply
    Janice
    April 29, 2016 at 10:18 am

    Patty, I too still have my wedding dress that my mother made for me 50 years ago. A granddaughter had told me that she wanted to wear it on her big day, however, last time she was home she tried it on and made a decision that it just wasn’t her style any longer. So …. my plans for the dress are: To cut the sleeves off and use them in the 5 mini memory quilts I will be making soon; the rest of the dress and the train will then be sent to Angel Gowns to be made into outfits for parents to bury their babies in.

  • Reply
    Karin Rambo
    April 29, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    So fun! I am SO impressed with her #11: only four bills!! Wow! How is that even possible haha? You really inspire me Patty to look closer at things that I could still be letting go of. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Christine @ The Mostly Simple Life
    April 29, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    So awesome! It’s really amazing how a chaotic house can give you a chaotic and anxious mind. My family deals with a lot of anxiety issues and a peaceful home makes all the difference to me. I’m so glad you could make some big changes in your life to help your mental health. So important!

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