Why I’m Not A Minimalist

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I’ve been watching a lot of Youtube videos about minimalism and reading many minimalists’ blogs lately, trying to find new ways to save money.

Although I’m inspired by the minimalist idea that you just need the very basic things in life to be happy, I’m not sure I want to pursue minimalism. And here are the reasons:

1. I don’t have a lot of clothes to begin with.  

The first step in minimalism is to go through your stuff, starting with the wardrobe to get rid of what you don’t need.

Sometimes I see people donate 80% of their clothing to Goodwill since they have never worn or haven’t worn those clothes in 6-12 months. Some would clean out their closets and buy new clothes.

For me, I’ve kept a lot of my clothes for the past 10 years. If I know I have something to wear for a certain occasion no matter how long I’ve had it, I’m less like to buy new.

2. I fix old clothes.

I have some shirts that are a bit torn or socks that have holes in them. I just use thread and needles to mend them and continue to wear them like nothing happened.

That’s how I’ve been able to make full use of a lot of the old clothes that I have and don’t feel the need to throw them away.

3. I think long and hard about what I don’t need. 

A lot of times I’d think about selling or donating some shirts or dresses because they no longer fit me or I haven’t worn them in a while.

However, later on, I’d find myself happily wearing them again since I lost weight or I had an occasion that called for that particular shirt or dress. Every time that happens, I feel relieved that I don’t have to go out and buy new clothes.

There are certain items I haven’t worn for a long time or no longer need. I usually bring them home so that my mom can wear them or give them to our extended family in rural areas who are less well-off.

My mom is very frugal and always tells me that if I have something I don’t wear, I can just give it to her. My mom means it and always feels happy to wear my old clothes. I also buy her new things, but that’s just how my mom is.

4. Frugal but not hoarding

The second step in minimalism is to get rid of most of the furniture. Some sleep on a mattress on the floor and have a tiny table with two tiny chairs in the kitchen.

However, if you can get a free box spring, a free bed frame, a free dining table and a couple of free chairs from friends, then why not? After all, you don’t need to spend money on them. The box spring or bed frame can keep your mattress and bedding clean from the dirt on the floor.

The key is to not take everything that’s free. Once I know I have the basic furniture that I need to make my life comfortable, I will stop taking things just because they’re free.

That means one mattress, one bed frame, two desks and two chairs, one dining table and a maximum of six chairs for Mr. FAF and me.

Baby FAF will need his own bed soon, but we’re planning to get as much hand-me-down stuff for him as possible.

5. We will need the things we don’t currently use. 

We put in a storage shed in our backyard what Baby FAF has used so far for his future siblings. There’s no point in getting rid of those things now and spending time in the future trying to collect the same necessities for our second baby. It’s just not an efficient use of our time.


I consider myself to be frugal but not minimalist. I really admire minimalists who don’t need a lot of materials in their lives to be happy.

But for me, being frugal isn’t always about having as little as possible. It’s about having a comfortable life with enough necessities at as low a cost as possible without sacrificing our life quality.

And because of the five reasons above, I don’t consider myself to be a minimalist.


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7 thoughts on “Why I’m Not A Minimalist”

  • We’re not minimalists either. We are frugal and we try hard not to buy more stuff. However, we aren’t ready to throw out everything. Life is comfortable and we like it this way.
    Being a minimalist might work well for some people, but it’s not for everybody.
    Good luck with the blog! Your writing is really good.

  • I totally agree with you. Mr. FAF and I try not to buy more stuff too. And thank you so much for your encouraging words. You made my day today! 🙂

  • Neither do I l. I could technically cut my belongings down a lot if I really wanted or needed to (I travelled full time for a while so I can live with very little). But I don’t actually have all that much realistically, in fact I more often have the issue of NOT having something I need. Could I live on less? Yep most of us could. Do I WANT to live on less? Most definitely not.

    • I totally agree with you. I could live on much less than I have right now, but I’m not sure I’ll be happier and save more money since I got a lot of those stuff for free anyway. And I also don’t have a lot to begin with. Sometimes we go to other people’s houses and come back to our house thinking ours is so much simpler and free of clutter.

  • I’m fascinated with the minimalist lifestyle but some of my stuff I just can’t part with… What if I need those bright purple pumps or that furry vest someday? Socks with holes though, I toss those! My family buys me a huge bag of socks every year for Christmas so it doesn’t bother me to throw them out.

  • Good post -I’ve been learning much about minimalism as well.
    I just gave a ton of stuff to the Salvation Army.
    I’m making strides with letting go of things I don’t need.
    ”One day I’ll need this” – is usually an excuse to hold on to things I don’t need.
    I feel so much lighter when I have less stuff. Thx for the post.

  • I actually think most of the things you listed are reasons why you ARE a minimalist! Minimalism isn’t about getting rid of things (or having the fewest things humanly possible) and it’s definitely not about buying new things. It’s about having the right amount for your life (check) so that you’re really using those things (check), so you actually take care of those things (check), consuming consciously (check), and not being wasteful (check). Everyone’s version of minimalism will look slightly different because all of our lives, backgrounds, and needs are slightly different. Because you’re also frugal your minimalism looks different than a non-frugal minimalist. Kind of like mine. 🙂 I don’t have the means right now to throw out 3/4 of my clothes and buy a handful of new pieces, but I also don’t believe in doing that. That would feel very wasteful financially, ecologically, human-impact-ly. I have too many perfectly usable clothes I just “needed” to have. Without going so far as to martyr myself, I now “need” to use them up, so the next part of my long slow minimalist journey is putting a pause on further new consumption and instead consuming what I already have until it’s no longer consumable. Then I can slowly wittle down as pieces become unusable. Then when I hit a much lower and more realistic amount for my needs (“the sweet spot” of having enough for my life without having too much excess) I can begin to replace consciously and only as necessary. You seem to be further along in your journey than me, even if you prefer not to call it minimalism. Interesting topic, interesting reading, and thinking. Good work and thank you!

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