Let Go of Guilt and Find Contentment

Let go of guilt and find contentment
What do you think of, when you think of “minimalism”?
Do you think of stark white walls, no pictures and very little furniture?
Well, you may be right to an extent. But minimalism is much more than a design style or appearance of one’s home.
Minimalism is as much about pitching unnecessary possessions out of your home as it is about pitching unnecessary hurts, obligations and expectations out of your heart. It’s an all encompassing philosophy that works it’s magic in every fiber of life, for those who embrace it.
Minimalism is letting go of overcommitted schedules and being able to enjoy life, not just surviving it.
It means saying “no” to working overtime, “no” to a multitude of obligations, that you would be really good at, but obligations that would rob you of what really matters. It means putting the phone down, walking away from the computer and being present in the moment.
Minimalism is letting go of the guilt and anxiety that these things kept in our lives.
When we reduce the amount of possessions that we have, we reduce the amount of guilt that is attached to them. Be it books you were requiring yourself to read, kitchen gadgets that are supposed to make fancy dishes a breeze or craft projects that have been sitting only partially completed for months or years. It means that when you get clothes from your closet, you know they will fit and you’ll feel attractive in them.
When we have less stuff to care for, it means housecleaning goes faster and success is achievable, not a far-off dream. It means less dishes to wash, less clothes to fold, less toys to pick up off the floor.
It means your home isn’t full of guilt-ridden items (we should keep this because Grandma owned it/gave it/told us to), but rather items the have purpose and give you joy.
Minimalism is relief. Relief to your senses, relief to your mental and emotional health.
When we have removed everything that we hide behind, we come face to face with ourselves. Just us. No more hiding, no more pretending to be something we’re not. Remove the mask of stuff and learn who you really are.
It means letting go of the items that we collected so people would view us in a certain light. Understanding that no amount of fancy dinnerware or party decor is going to magically turn us into Martha Stewart prodigy.
It means being real, accepting who we are, what our talents are and let go of the excess.

More on minimalism:


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 go live in my FREE Facebook Groups every weekday- feel free to join me there: Nourishing Minimalism Facebook Group


  1. Nina on October 15, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    I absolutely LOVE this post. Would you mind if I re-blogged it (or part of it) on my blog and then sent people back to your page?

    • Rachel on October 15, 2014 at 8:48 pm

      Go for it. 🙂

  2. Marisa on February 5, 2015 at 11:23 am

    Great post Rachel! I am so glad I have found you! You have changed my life and I will forever be grateful! It is so nice to not have so much stuff! I am over 1,600 already and have felt so blessed to pass it on to others who can use it. My whole mindset about everything has changed.
    Thanks for all your hard work!

    • Rachel on February 5, 2015 at 3:35 pm

      Good work!! I’m so glad. <3

  3. Kathleen on February 26, 2015 at 11:54 am

    So happy you and nourishing mimialism has come into my life at 66. I’ve only got to 173 on challenge chart, but the old hurts and disappointments that have started to evaporate as I progress is priceless. Thank you 🙂

    • Rachel on February 26, 2015 at 2:52 pm

      That’s so wonderful!

  4. heather on January 25, 2017 at 4:45 am

    thank you for all your work! i’ve been doing the 2017 decluttering challenge and it’s made such a big difference in our house already. btw it’s only january 😁 i love reading your posts, they are very inspiring and help keep me focused on my goals.

    • Rachel on January 25, 2017 at 2:57 pm

      Awesome! Thanks Heather. 🙂

  5. Hilde on June 29, 2017 at 3:44 am

    Hi Rachel,
    Ilove your message, but as an editor, I have trouble reading it, because I keep coming across typos and small grammar and style errors. I hate tp be that person, but I just wanted to say something, because I think some of your message is not getting through to people because of this. (I, for one, don’t share articles that have this problem, so I think you could reach a wider audience if you had your texts double-checked).
    “…philosophy that works it’s magic” should be *its magic
    “It means saying “no” to working overtime, “no” to a multitude of obligations, that you would be really good at, but obligations that would rob you of what really matters”
    The error here:
    “A multitude of obligations that you would be really good at” is a single unit: it is the object of the sentence. It should not have a comma. The last part of the sentence should also be part of the object: “a multitude of obligations that you would be really good at but that would rob you of what truly matters.”
    Another example is the use of “amount” and “less” for countable nouns:
    – it should be “the number of possessions” but “the amount of stress/anxiety/guilt.”
    – not “less possessions/items” but “fewer possessions.”
    Hope that helps!

    • Hilde on June 29, 2017 at 3:45 am

      And please excuse my own typos! I am typing on my phone… which, of course, I do not do when I’m actually working as an editor. 🙂

  6. jake hoff on July 6, 2017 at 9:36 am

    I really enjoy these posts, as often we think that minimalism is just getting rid of our “stuff”….but it is also decluttering our schedules and our lives. For example my mother now lives in a nursing home which is a 350 km. round trip away from me. After my father died I kept up the schedule of visiting her in one day every 2 weeks. However, she has dementia and does not remember 5 minutes after I am there that I was there. I really thought about this, and the difficulty I was having, not only with the long drive every 2 weeks, but also with the fact that I really did not want to go to see her as often related to past childhood issues. I was still recovering from my father’s death…he had lived with me for 5 months prior to his passing, and it was a very busy time…….taking care of him, taking him to see my mother once a week, all the doctor’s appointments etc. On top of that my husband has 2 forms of blood cancer. Last week on June 27 was 18 months since my father passed away, and since I had not been to see Mom for several weeks, I felt that must go and see her. But then the waves of grief, resentment and other emotions flooded over me…..all the while reading about minimalism, and making one’s life easier, not only in the physically but also emotionally. So I decided that I could not go, I could not go because I could not handle it. I know my mother is safe, and I know that perhaps I should see her more often, but it is emotionally too difficult related to many past issues. One would think that one should “get over” this stuff, and for the most part I have, but sometimes….they bubble up past the surface. The smart thing is that I am realizing that I cannot go when I feel like this. Meanwhile the physical decluttering is entering the end stage. Finally after, 18 months after my father’s passing, I was able to get rid of my parents stuff…..although it was a process of the last 18 months. Now I only have what I want to keep, and was able to get rid of the other stuff without guilt or remorse. Stuff is only Stuff. None of my children wanted their stuff, I did not want most of their stuff, so I have kept some pieces that I liked. I also sold all my own porcelain, and a china cabinet. Yesterday the wall where the china cabinet sat was painted, and I put 2 plate shelves there……..a nice open space behind the kitchen chairs, instead of everything being crowded. Next job: tackle the desk area in the family room.

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