Lessons Learned From Being a Minimalist

Lessons Learned From Being a Minimalist

Becoming a minimalist is embracing more meaningful living

Letting the majority of your possessions go means you have to make difficult choices on what you feel should be allowed space in your life and in your home.

Getting rid of the excess reveals the things that matter to you; the process reveals who you are on the inside.

As you wade through stuff, you may be surprised to find out the things you’ve hung onto for such a long time, you don’t actually love or value.
You will learn more of who you are and who you want to be. And you’ll have more time to devote to things you love; you may start a new craft or hobby – one where you finish the projects, start a new career path or have a better understanding of spiritual truths.

Lessons learned being a minimalist

I romanticize things – I find lost arts to be interesting and would want to take up soap making or basket weaving; I would buy everything, find it tedious and allow it to sit, unfinished. Instead of just understanding that I tried it and that’s all I need to do, I would keep things, saying “I’ll finish it someday.” It became a heavy mental burden, causing stress and shame, and the reality is: I will never do it again.
It’s best to borrow things, or take classes and learn on other people’s equipment to understand if it’s something I truly love and should invest in.
Only things you enjoy should take up space in your home; I learned to address feelings, what the difference between guilt and shame and obligation. And that no one else should determine what we should have and what we should do with our lives.

The emphasis of minimalism

Since we have embraced minimalism, the children have learned cleaning routines, tidying up isn’t overwhelming, and they can look at a room and see what they need to address.
My own way of thinking has shifted and I have learned to evaluate what I am doing. I’ve learned to spot when I am shopping or buying just because I don’t want to deal with certain emotions, or if I’m trying to fill a void.
I’ve learned how to spot when I do that, and how to decipher what I really need and then address the core issues instead of masking them.
As a minimalist, I have learned to value relationships and not things. The things here on earth are just things, they will not last. I’ve learned that I put too much emphasis on those things before and now, I see them as tools to use in my life. They can make life easier, but if they don’t, I can discard them because they aren’t serving a purpose in my life.
I’ve learned what is important to me. For me, that means focusing on Christ and if you follow Christ, He will bring you to the point of asking you if you value anything more than Him. I still struggle on this point, but at least now, material things don’t take priority over my relationship with Him.
Are you curious about all the various benefits of minimalism? Check out my entire series on it:



About Rachel Jones

Hi there! I’m Rachel Jones, and I founded Nourishing Minimalism in 2012 at the beginning of my minimalist journey after I'd been doing a yearly decluttering challenge for 4 years and started to see a change in my home. If you're looking for encouragement in your journey, please join our FREE Facebook Group: Nourishing Minimalism Facebook Group


  1. Tony W on 10/31/2017 at 9:39 am

    I agree people and relationships are more important than things. I love the concept of borrowing items or taking classes to learn an interest on other peoples equipment.
    I wish it was easier to borrow or rent things you don’t need often. I own things like tools and appliances that I need but don’t use often.

    • Rachel Jones on 11/10/2017 at 4:21 pm

      In our town, there is a makers-space that lets you rent time and use of tools in their workspace, if you only need tools for a few hours, it can be as little as $10. In other areas, I know people rent camping gear. There are getting to be more and more equipment libraries around the country, hopefully, it will be the norm soon. 🙂

  2. laura ann on 10/31/2017 at 7:17 pm

    Those close to retirement, or in retirement and are downsizing go thru decades of stuff giving to relatives, local charities , sold at auctions, garage sales, etc. then wonder why they kept items they never used in years, for decades. I am winding down my stuff as we plan on moving into a townhouse and selling house and simplifying. Am focused on smaller wardrobe too. I encourage other older folks to do likewise so their heirs won’t be burdened of sorting thru years of stuff no one needs.

  3. Ari on 11/01/2017 at 1:42 am

    I’ve accepted that while i adore the idea of making things from scratch and sewing my own clothes that fit really well, I loathe sewing. I hung curtains months ago that need hemming and I. don’t. want to. do. it. I’ve stopped kidding myself that I only need to learn how to sew properly. I can hem in a straight line perfectly well. Still don’t want to. Was planning to hem the curtains and donate the sewing machine before my move.
    Irony there being my Mum had her ‘old’ machine serviced and brought it down for me, because mine stopped reversing a while ago. So now I feel guilty about donating her machine, because she was so pleased that I have it.

  4. Sandy on 02/11/2018 at 2:48 am

    Thanks for your clarity and your wonderful witness. Priorities are of utmost importance. If I get my faith priorities right then everything else falls into place. Iim not going to say that it’s not an ongoing struggle some days though!

  5. Janelle on 03/02/2018 at 10:41 pm

    I once heard a woman on a radio talk show say that when we give up a hobby, we need to give up the things that we used in participating in the hobby. For a season, the hobby defined us, at least in part. After giving it up, we are no longer the same person and need to redefine ourselves. I used to sew a lot and gave away fabric after hearing this. I later gave away lots of yarn because I no longer crocheted. This began to spill over into other parts of my life. I once embraced a Hallmark view of holidays. When I realized that I didn’t really enjoy getting out decorations for each holiday or at season changes, I gave those things away. It has been such a relief. Rachel’s decluttering course helped me deal with the every day items that I didn’t know how to eliminate. What a relief it has been!

    • Rachel Jones on 03/03/2018 at 11:16 pm

      I love that thought Janelle! Thanks for sharing!

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