used to laugh at people who were minimalists.  I thought that I truly needed every stick of furniture, every piece of wall art, every knick-knack, every everything I owned!  I loved “stuff.”  Clothes, shoes, jewelry, kitchenware, furniture … you get the idea.  When I was younger, it didn’t seem to bother me that every time I moved, it took a small army of friends and family (burned that bridge after three moves!) or a big moving van.

Like so many things we adults deal with, it probably stemmed from my childhood.  But in a good way.  My parents didn’t move much, but they always had fully furnished homes.  They had furniture for a living room, family room, dining room (complete with china cabinet that was packed), kitchen eating area, never less than three bedrooms and every room had stuff on the walls, too.  And clothes … don’t get me started!  My parents were clothes horses.

When I moved out on my own, I followed suit (yes, including having several actual suits!).

That all changed thanks to a three-and-a-half-week vacation I took in the late 90s.  I took only enough clothes for one week and did laundry.  I took only the bare necessities for makeup, too.  And just a couple pairs of shoes.

It. Was. WONDERFUL! Suddenly, those crazy people living a minimalist lifestyle didn’t look that crazy.  I realized I could live quite nicely on a handful of good outfits, a couple good pairs of shoes, a few go-to pairs of earrings … let me just say that the second-hand store got some great stuff to sell.


The next part of minimizing what I had came around 2010.  I finally got sick (and tired) of moving so much unused furniture and knick-knacks that paring down was a no-brainer.  I mean, what’s the point in having a fully-furnished home office when (a) I didn’t work from home, (b) I always did my bill paying while sitting on the sofa, and (c) I hated dusting all that stuff!  So, off it went.

The real turning point in my minimalist look at life came when I moved to Gillette in 2012.  I sold everything that wouldn’t fit in my Volvo S60.  All I brought was clothing, toiletries, my computer and a flat screen TV.

The euphoria that came with shedding all of the unnecessary “stuff” I had was even better than cleaning out my wardrobe. 

To me, minimalism is the only way.

Once here, and because I’m too old to sleep and sit on the floor, I only bought a few basic pieces.  While my two-bedroom apartment looked empty, it felt perfect to me (still don’t remember why I rented a two-bedroom, though.)

When I got ready to move back to Colorado 19 months later, guess what?  I donated that furniture to a charity in Gillette. 

And, because I seem to be a nomad at heart, when I moved back to Gillette last year, I repeated the process.  I only brought what fit in my car.  Now, to be honest, it was what fit in my 2-door Jeep and my friend’s small SUV, but still … there wasn’t any furniture, and no television this time.

To me, minimalism is the only way.  When I find a place to buy, it will be cozy, quaint and small.  I would challenge you to take a really good look at the “stuff” you own.  When was the last time you used it, wore it, sat on or at it?  Maybe it’s time to donate your extraneous items and let someone else enjoy them for a while.

Not only will your space be less crowded, but your wallet will be fuller.

Minimalists unite!

By: Lisa A. Shrefler

Leave a comment