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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?


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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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