How to Experience Minimalism Before Going All-In

How to Experience Minimalism Before Going All-In
Has minimalism been appealing to you, but you’re just not sure if you can get rid of enough to live as a minimalist?
Testing the ropes before going all in can be helpful for the family too.
A couple years ago, I conducted an experiment with my littlest children by packing up most of the toys for several months.
It ended up being one of the best experiences because they didn’t have to say goodbye to everything permanently and they got to experience what it was like to have a clean room.
After a few months, they only asked for a couple minor things back and then we were able to discard of the rest that they had forgotten about.
During the time when it was packed away, they enjoyed playing with the toys we did leave out and I saw their creativity increase. They played more pretend, they used things from around the house, they played outside more and used nature to pretend.
If you can’t see how a minimalist does it without all the fancy gadgets in the kitchen (and everywhere else in the house) you can try this experiment with yourself.
Very similar to The Minimalist’s Packing Party, I propose you grab yourself some boxes and undertake a bit of self-study.

How it works

Imagine that you are going to be moving shortly, the moving truck is coming in a few day, but you’ll need everyday essentials to live here for several weeks before you can follow.
Work room-by-room and start packing up the items that you know you won’t be needing over the next 3 weeks.
Pack up the turkey roaster, fondue pot, all the fancy china and serving dishes. The indoor grill and sandwich press won’t be used, and you can probably do without a food processor and the 14 different styles of alcoholic beverage glasses that you got when you were learning to mix cocktails, but haven’t touched for 7 years.
Leave out the pots and pans that you always use, you know, both of them. 😉
Leave out enough dishes for a day’s worth of meals, there is no need for excess here, you just need enough to get you by for the next 3 weeks.
If you have a spare room, label your boxes well and stack them in the spare room by category so it will be easy on you later on.
Continue thinking through things as you pack up the other rooms. You don’t have to make a decision on items right now, you are just keeping out the things you know you need.

Edit your schedule for 3 weeks as well

After your home is packed up and things are put away, spend some time looking over your commitments over the next few weeks.
What is on your schedule that you don’t want to do?
What is on your schedule that is taking you away from things you view as important (time with spouse/children, time you would use to build your business, etc.)
Step down from the things that you are able to.
Block out time doing nothing. This means if someone calls, you are busy. Busy having downtime.

Be flexible

Minimalism isn’t rigid. It’s an organizing tool that you use in your life, it’s not meant to run your life.
I block off days for myself, but if my mom calls and wants to talk for an hour, I talk. If a friend calls and wants to walk trails with me and visit, I accept the invitation.
But if someone calls and asks me to participate in a committee or help organize an event for the local legislature, I’m going to say no, because those things aren’t important to me.
There are only so many hours of the day, fill them with things that are important to you.

What happens after 3 weeks?

This is up to you. If you hated not having the various gadgets around, then pull those boxes back out and unpack the gadgets. Even if you are certain now which ones are really useful and which ones aren’t, having a simplified space is going to help immensely in your home.
But if you loved it and want to continue, then feel free to move those boxes right out to a donation center.
It’s easiest if you don’t go through the boxes.
And if you are unsure, there is nothing wrong with leaving those boxes there another 3 weeks before you decide.
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About Rachel Jones

Hi there! I’m Rachel Jones, and I founded Nourishing Minimalism in 2012 at the beginning of my minimalist journey. If you're looking for encouragement in your journey, I created a FREE Facebook Group - feel free to join me there: Nourishing Minimalism Facebook Group and I share videos each week on YouTube


  1. Heather on 09/12/2018 at 4:10 pm

    What do you with a persons old year books that are like 30 years old?

    • Cb on 12/10/2022 at 11:14 am

      Scan them to a digital medium and then donate to a local archive or to the school library.

  2. Rose on 11/25/2018 at 6:32 am is always looking for yearbooks. Wish I had known that before I threw my 50 year old book away.

  3. Tiffany (As For My House) on 01/23/2019 at 1:03 pm

    This “trial” is a grest idea! Thank you!

  4. Tiffany (As For My House) on 01/23/2019 at 1:04 pm

    This “minimalism trial” is such a great idea! Thank you!

  5. Gretson on 01/24/2019 at 1:02 pm

    We are committed to trying this article. I’ll let you know if we experience a lightening of the heavy load that we are in the midst of living.

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