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Why I Became a Minimalist: My Story of Life with Less


As a young girl I thrived on order, organising and tidying things around the home. I would collect mementos of holidays & day trips and keep them in little storage boxes. I would keep everything and anything! 

This carried on until I was older and owned my own home, but something was different…. I was struggling to keep on top of it and I didn’t understand. Normally I was on the ball.

Why couldn’t I cope? What had changed?

I started to question myself. My usual order and routines were no longer working. My confidence dropped. I suffered from stress, anxiety and constantly felt overwhelmed with everything life was throwing at me. I spent many years feeling lost, not knowing who I was and where I was going.

Then eventually, I started to understand. There were four specific moments in my life that made me realise what the real problem was:


I am surprised it took me so long to realise it, but once I did it changed my life.

So here you have it, the four triggers that started my minimalism story. ENJOY!

1. Attempting to tame the dreaded toddler tornado

When you have a child, your possessions increase 10 fold. However, this was not the big issue for me. The issue was trying to stop my child going through all of my things!

Pulling down boxes, opening up cupboards and rifling through bookcases! Up until this point I hadn’t realised how much stuff I owned. (Probably because I had nice pretty storage boxes and things organised in their own little place).

She got into EVERYTHING! I got so sick of cleaning up and putting away the same things everyday. 

2. Post Birthday toiletry mountain

I am sure this has happened to you…. you have just had a wonderful birthday celebration, stuffed with chocolate cake and a little tipsy on Prosecco. You then start to go through your gifts and putting them in their new homes, only to realise you have 5 new body lotions to add to your already existing 7!

I am not a huge cosmetics user so getting through these items can sometimes take a very long time. So instead of giving them to people that would actually use them, I would store them in multiple boxes in the hope someday I would get round to using them. I am sure I had lotions and potions that hadn’t seen the light of day in years!

3. Where is the Sellotape?!?!

minimalism story


I don’t know about you but I always used to find that when I needed to wrap up presents, the Sellotape would always go for a walk somewhere right?

I remember one specific time I was hunting in multiple rooms in the house and then ended up driving to the grocery store to pick up a new roll. 

Of course, guess what? The day after I found the hiding spot! No wonder I couldn’t find it……

4. 2 months & 2 house moves!

Yes you heard me right…. I moved house twice in very quick succession, half way down the country AND with two kids.

Now there is nothing more truth telling than that! I was packing up ‘stuff’ that I hadn’t seen in years (some I had even forgot I owned) to then be stored in boxes in my new garage for months. This was crazy! What a waste of time and effort. 

No wonder I felt overwhelmed. My cupboards were overflowing, my garage was unusable and I spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to find things or re-purchasing things! 

The true cost of my unwanted stuff became all too apparent. 

Once in my new home, I decided enough was enough! I got a big black bag and started filling it with everything and anything I could see that I didn’t use or love.

It felt so freeing!

My first round of decluttering was removing anything that didn’t fit the above criteria, and paring down anything we had too much of. I felt like I got rid of so much, but in reality I had only just scratched the surface. 

Minimalism: It's a Journey, not a Destination

I’ve done several more rounds of decluttering and no doubt will continue to do so – the benefits it gives to our famiily is unquestionable. Our lives so much easier and I feel so much more relaxed and contented.

Who doesnt want that?

Simple Joy was founded by Hayley Forster, a Wellness & Lifestyle Coach. Hayley is an advocate of intentional living, with a passion in helping others simplify their lives in order to find their ideal lifestyle full of contentment, creativity and authenticity!

4 thoughts on “Why I Became a Minimalist: My Story of Life with Less

  • I can totally relate to the quick moves in succession, though I never moved 2 times in 4 months, wow! I got started with minimalism with a cross-country move from California to Pennsylvania in the US. After that, I started decluttering more and more. Now I’m in a stable living situation and I just still don’t want to have a lot of stuff. I have a 1.5 year old little man, and being a minimalist has made my life so much easier as a mom. I can deep clean my house in 1 hour flat (I’ve timed myself), and I can spot clean and everything in just a half an hour! Having more free time means more time for my baby man and my friends and family. Glad I found your blog!

    • Congratulations on finding minimalism! I am so pleased you say it has made things easier as a mommy. I completely agree! There is nothing more important than our wellbeing and the wellbeing of our children and we have found a way to do that! Let’s keep telling everyone about it and maybe we can make the world seem that little bit less crazy.

  • Way to go! I inherited three generations of stuff in 2003. I decided when I moved this time all of the generations have to go. So I did just that. How many pictures can you keep of people you don’t even know? How many tools or pieces of furniture can you keep that don’t even go with anything else in your home, but take up space. Out it goes. I am a minimalist now for sure. I have gotten rid of so much stuff. I like to go to thrift stores to buy my clothes because I am to cheap to pay full price. I get a few compliments here and there, so this makes it worth it. If I have bought clothing and I have not even touched it in 6 months out it goes to be donated. This doesn’t happen to often. I also am frugal about how much food I keep in the refrigerator and pantry. How many of us throw away more food than we thought we would use. I am a single person so I don’t need much. I have seen so much clutter and people saving dishes they never use. Furniture that is taking up space because it belonged to Aunt Dee and she has passed on now. Wouldn’t want to disappoint her or the family. No way. Out it goes. I am not a ware house for other peoples stuff. My adult children will never want the items in my home. Maybe a few pictures, but other than this they will sell it all and keep the money after I’m gone. Good for them. It won’t bother me in the least. I am a minimalist and a frugal person. I have 208,000 miles on my car that I am still driving. I also buy plants that are almost dead and bring them back to life. So, yes, I am happy and health. I love the life I am living.

    • I absolutely love this! Thank you for sharing! I don’t think you can appreciate the burden our stuff has on us until we let go can we? So proud of you for doing this <3

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