My Interview with a Minimalist: Erin @ A Welder’s Wife

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Today’s post is a bit different from anything I’ve ever featured on this blog, and I’m so excited to be sharing my first blogger interview! In particular this interview will be exploring the concept of minimalism, which is all about living intentionally with less.

I think it’s safe to say if there is one thing that all of us wish to have more of in this life, it would be time. More time to spend with our families, more time to do the things we love, and more time to just enjoy life period. But sometimes the chaos and clutter that comes with everyday life can make it seemingly impossible to enjoy life and it often hinders our ability to dedicate ourselves to what’s truly important.

I’m talking about the unproductive moments in our day that in turn take up so much time. How many times have you woke up in the morning and spent nearly 15 minutes trying to decide on which outfit to wear? Or who has ever had to spend 10 minutes searching for that important piece of paper you were supposed to mail? I know I’ve certainly been guilty of both of those things before, and that’s coming from someone who is “organized”.

So a few months ago when I stumbled across Erin’s blog over at A Welder’s Wife, I became so intrigued with learning more about minimalism. I had heard of the term once or twice before, but had never really given it too much thought until I started reading Erin’s Minimalist Series, where she interviews a different minimalist each week from all over the world.

So far, I’ve learned so much from this series and it is very eye opening to see how people have used minimalism to improve their day-to-day lives. Most importantly, I’ve learned that minimalism is different for everyone out there, but in the end it is all about creating a better life, with more freedom to live it.

Let’s learn about Erin and her journey with minimalism!


Interview With a Minimalist- Erin @ A Welder’s Wife

Erin @ A Welder's Wife

  1. Erin, first can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been blogging?

Hi everyone! I am Erin! I am a happily married woman, mom to two fur babies (Chevy and Harley), new farmer and gardener, and student. Like most, I wear many hats! I love spending time outdoors, working on projects with my husband, and blogging about my minimalist journey, at A Welder’s Wife. I have been blogging for a year and a half, but recently decided to change my niche to minimalism and my journey towards my dream life.

  1. For all the newbies out there- what is minimalism and how would you define it?

Minimalism is a movement that has been around for several decades, but has more recently become popular thanks to developments in technology to help spread information about this lifestyle.

Minimalism, to me, means to live without excess. Living with only the things you need or believe to be beautiful can free up your mind, time, and space. It allows you to focus on the important things in your life, and not waste your time on things that are not. It has also opened my eyes to what my life can be like, and has allowed me to design a path to get there. Before minimalism, my dream lifestyle was only a dream.

  1. When did you first decide to start on the minimalistic journey and what was it that led you to decide to change your lifestyle?

Minimalism is something that found me. I did not go looking to change my lifestyle; it just happened. We were staging our house to sell, and I needed to declutter. I was also at a point in my life where I was fed up with having stuff crowd my life. I found the book Living Well Spending Less by Ruth Soukup, and things started to change.

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  1. Walk us through the minimalistic process- what steps did it involve and how long did it take you to get where you are now?

When I finished reading Ruth Soukup’s book, I started working on staging the house, ridding it of things we no longer needed or loved. I packed it all up to donate or sell. What was left was what I thought we might still need. When we started packing to move out of our house, I realized there was a lot more I could let go of, so I boxed it up for a family garage sale happening this month.

We moved in with my in-laws while we were building our shop/shop apartment. We did not have too much space in the room, and a lot of things we thought we needed. During this stay, I listened to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. This book took my downsizing a step further. I was able to let go of about half of my possessions, and I also had a capsule wardrobe for the first time, which I love!

When we were finally able to move into our shop apartment, I decided no box would enter without being decluttered first. This allowed me to move in things we needed and loved. I let go of 75% of the things we stored. This is when I started to think of myself as a minimalist.

I took my desire to live with less to the next level with a 30 Day Minimalist Decluttering Challenge I created. Being a minimalist is more than simply decluttering your physical possessions. It is also about clearing your mind of unnecessary thoughts, and this challenge helped me with both.

It has taken me 7 months to feel I am where I want to be, because as I continued, the more I desired less. My priorities changed along the way, and so did my needs. For me, it was not an overnight obstacle. It is a lifestyle change.

  1. What was the easiest part/hardest part?

The easiest part, now, is staying tidy. I have a new system for my household that allows it to be clean 95% of the time. Before, that was definitely not the case!

The hardest part was getting through the decluttering process. I knew what I wanted my space and mind to feel like and be when I was done, but the process was challenging. I debated on several things, questioned my intentions, and struggled with being honest with myself. However, the end result made every part of the process worth it.

  1. Were there any struggles in terms of getting your husband on board?

Thankfully, my husband supports me with anything I want. However, he has no desire to be a minimalist himself. We compromise a lot. He has lots of clothes, but we lack the space to hang all of it on our clothes rack. He allowed me to store some of his clothes, so that he still had them when he needed them. The only other thing I have asked of him is to stay tidy. He likes having only essentials with certain things, but I do my best to not to push minimalism on him. I feel he will come around in his own time, but for now, we are both happy.

  1. Overall, what does minimalism mean to you?

Minimalism means I have the freedom to be the person I want to be. I do not have to settle for what anyone else believes my life should be like. If I want something, I can go for it. My thoughts are clear and focused. I have gained the courage to believe in my desires and myself. Before minimalism, I did not know what I wanted and I definitely did not believe I could do whatever I desired.

  1. How has it improved your life?

Minimalism saved my life. Before minimalism, I was a different person. My stress and anxiety got the best of me. I was not fun to be around for a long time. Going through the transition allowed me to let go of this, and enjoy my life again. I want to work hard, experience things, and be happy. I smile and laugh a lot more. Living simpler has allowed me to see how great the world can be, and how great I can be.

  1. What advice would you give to those who are interested in minimalism?

It is a process. Do not expect it to happen overnight. It can be the most difficult process you have ever experienced, tears may be shed, but it is worth it in the end! I promise!

Start slowly, with decluttering one thing, and move to the next. You may have to reevaluate a few times, and that is okay! I have gone through all of my belongings three times to get to where I am now.

  1. Do you have any books or resources you would recommend?

Absolutely! Living Well Spending Less by Ruth Soukup is a great introduction to the idea of living simpler with resources to more in depth topics discussed within her book. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo is another great recommendation. I did not follow each step as she suggested, but there were some great tips and tricks I pulled from this book, and use consistently.

Also, some great online resources include:

Lastly, I also have a minimalist series where I feature a different minimalist each Friday. I at first did this for my readers to see how minimalism is different for everyone, but I, too, am learning much more than I could have imagined from everyone who has participated.

Erin @ A Welder's Wife

Interested in learning more about minimalism, or participating in one of Erin’s challenges? Contact her at erin@awelderswife.com or visit her at A Welder’s Wife. You can also follow along with her on social media via Bloglovin, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


A special thanks to Erin for doing this interview with me, and I hope this has helped inspire others out there to look further into minimalism and simplifying their life.

I’ve recently started the process in my own home by going through things to donate and sale and while my garage sale last weekend helped rid a lot of clutter, I definitely want to continue to do more. I think we all can agree that having a life with less stress, less clutter, and more time and freedom to do the things we love is ideal.

So what do you think? Does minimalism sound like something you’re interested in? What questions do you have for myself or Erin?

Thanks for stopping by!- Cara

Linking up with Wonderful Wednesday, What’s Happening WednesdayPin Worthy Wednesday, Wow Me Wednesday, Ladies Collective LinkupThursday Favorite Things, and Think Tank Thursday

P.S. If you would like to collaborate with me on a project or blog post, feel free to contact me at cara@kindlyunspoken.com! I’d love to hear your ideas and I’m always open to working with other bloggers! 🙂

Leave a Comment

 

82 Comments

  1. Tif wrote:

    I really love the interview idea! And this is so insightful. I need to get rid of more stuff, but it’s so hard sometimes!

    Tif
    http://www.brightonabudget.com

    Posted 5.14.16 Reply
    • Thanks Tif! I do too, I’m working on it but I think it takes time. Good luck 🙂

      Posted 5.16.16 Reply
  2. love finding out other blogger’s and their stories! Lovely read and have a lovely weekend
    Katelyn

    theyellowspectacles.com

    Posted 5.13.16 Reply
  3. Sara wrote:

    I’m really intrigued by the idea that it’s more than paring down possessions but also a way to manage stress and de clutter your mind. I’ll have to check out the books she recommends!!

    Posted 5.12.16 Reply
    • That was the part that lured me in. It’s more than just spring cleaning, and it’s a lifestyle change that focuses on re-evaluating what value you place on “things”. Really interesting concept! 🙂

      Posted 5.14.16 Reply
  4. Alison wrote:

    This is so inspiring – I love the idea of being a minimalist and having a home that is tidy 95% of the time but I just can’t seem to get there. Maybe when the kids are older and they have less toys!

    Posted 5.12.16 Reply
    • Toys definitely adds to the clutter in our home too, but I think it’s all about finding a healthy balance. I’m trying to just take it a day at a time and realize it’s a process. 🙂

      Posted 5.12.16 Reply
  5. Angie wrote:

    This is so great! I really need to try my hand at minimalism, I have WAY too much stuff and it’s so stressful.

    Posted 5.12.16 Reply
    • Thanks Angie! It definitely stresses me out too , which is what led me to want to change. When having extra stuff is causing you stress, something needs to occur, ya know? Good luck!

      Posted 5.12.16 Reply
  6. Great post! I am a minimalist and also a mother of 8 kids. I have had to learn to minimize or there would be so much stuff there would be no room for people.

    Posted 5.12.16 Reply
    • Thank-you! Oh, I love that! I always like hearing about different stories of people who are minimalists and how they integrate it into their daily lives. Kudos to you, Heather! 🙂

      Posted 5.12.16 Reply
  7. thanks for the intro to her and her philosophy–very interesting. great job!

    Posted 5.12.16 Reply
  8. I am intrigued by this philosophy and definitely need to let a lot of things go. However, I’m tied emotionally to many physical objects, so it is much harder for me to let them go.

    Posted 5.11.16 Reply
    • That has been my struggle too, Beth. Like certain items that my deceased grandparents gave me or bought me, it’s really hard to part with that. But I think that’s okay to keep items that really do have a value to you, but there’s always a lot of items out there that we just keep out of habit or what we think is “necessity”, and those are the ones that can go. I’ll give you an example, I recently went through my kitchen drawer and I had 6 pizza cutters. Seriously, why would I need 6? lol!

      Posted 5.12.16 Reply
  9. Neely wrote:

    I find this so interesting. I have reallyw anted to look more into the minimalist lifestyle

    Posted 5.11.16 Reply
    • It is very interesting. I think minimalism is something we all can work into our lives, even if it is just on a small scale. 🙂

      Posted 5.12.16 Reply
  10. Nadine wrote:

    I always find minimalist type posts interesting and I like to look at pictures and read about it….but I never really put it to practice in my life. I go through and purge things in our house a few times a year but I still hold on to things we dont “need” but I have attachments to.

    Posted 5.11.16 Reply
    • I completely can relate to that, but I will say that in doing more research and finding really helpful websites and books, it has helped me put it into play as to all the positive benefits minimalism can bring. I guess I’ve finally gotten to the point that I’m tired of the never-ending cycle of purchasing and purging. I want to find that happy balance and have less stress in my life. I’m planning on purchasing the book Erin recommended, so I’ll definitely let you know how it is! 🙂

      Posted 5.12.16 Reply
  11. Nikki wrote:

    Love this and being more minimalist is something everyone can approach.

    Posted 5.11.16 Reply
    • Thanks! I agree, everybody can use less clutter and less stress 🙂

      Posted 5.12.16 Reply
  12. Chantel wrote:

    Great interview.

    Posted 5.11.16 Reply
  13. Carlen wrote:

    I so agree that this is all a “process”. Thank you both for this great read! –
    Carlen | http://www.realmomswingingit.com

    Posted 5.11.16 Reply
  14. I love this!!! There was a period of time when I only had what I needed because I lived in a small condo. Once I moved to a larger place, I accumulated more stuff and it began to overwhelm me.

    I have moved back to the condo and got rid of “stuff” but am still getting rid of more. I like these ideas and tips, thank you.

    Posted 5.11.16 Reply
    • You’re welcome and glad it resonated with you! We were pretty similar- we used to live in a smaller apartment and didn’t have a ton of clutter, but then when we moved in our permanent home we just started filling it to the brim and I’m not sure why? Definitely looking forward to freeing up clutter and our minds. 🙂

      Posted 5.12.16 Reply
  15. I enjoyed reading this interview! I think you should incorporate more! 🙂

    Sarah
    http://mybowsandclothes.blogspot.com/

    Posted 5.11.16 Reply
    • Thank-you! Absolutely, I’ll be looking to do others really soon! 😉

      Posted 5.12.16 Reply
  16. Liz wrote:

    This post is coming at the perfect time for as I feel overwhelmed with stuff. Just things constantly around not being used and really not needed. This is the line that hits home for me – Living with only the things you need or believe to be beautiful can free up your mind, time, and space….thank you!!

    Posted 5.11.16 Reply
    • That part really resonated with me too, Liz. So glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

      Posted 5.12.16 Reply
  17. Mistle wrote:

    I slowly but surly have been decluttering our house. I will say it is not an easy task but it really does help with having more room and having things a little bit more tidy. I have heard things about minimalism but never really thought about moving towards it myself. I am very intrigued with the life style. All great tips and I really learned a lot about it today!

    Posted 5.11.16 Reply
    • Thanks! It is definitely a process and I think it’s completely okay to take your time with it. I know for me I personally struggle with getting rid of certain items due to sentimental reasons, so I think just taking your time and making sure you’re not just throwing away things you might regret is important.

      Posted 5.12.16 Reply
  18. Jennifer wrote:

    This is so interesting! Thanks for sharing with us.

    Posted 5.11.16 Reply
    • You’re welcome! It really makes you evaluate what takes priority, I think.

      Posted 5.12.16 Reply
  19. It’s taking me a moment but the more I read about stories of minimalists lives, the more I’m inspired and headed that direction. Thanks for this article.

    Posted 5.11.16 Reply
  20. Willow wrote:

    I am really intrigued by the tiny house movement, which goes hand in hand with minimalism. I think it is a great way to put more emphasis on experiences instead of stuff.

    Posted 5.11.16 Reply
    • Exactly, Willow! Life should be focused on experiences not things. I’m constantly telling myself that. 🙂

      Posted 5.12.16 Reply
  21. Gina wrote:

    So interesting! I love this. I have done major decluttering in terms of clothing lately.. I need to move into other areas 🙂

    Posted 5.11.16 Reply
    • Thank-you! That’s where I started too was with my clothes (because embarrassingly I’m a bit of a shopaholic) but then I slowly started going through cabinets and closets and drawers, and I couldn’t believe how much stuff I had tucked away just taking up valuable space. It’s a really intriguing concept 🙂

      Posted 5.12.16 Reply
  22. Kim wrote:

    I think this is so great you did this interview Cara and I’m glad you did because I feel like I’m exactly where Erin was at in her life when she became a minimalist. We’re currently selling our condo and I’ve had to declutter big time and we are staying with my parents for a while before our next move so I’m like right there on being ready to start being a minimalist. Thank you for sharing this! XO -Kim

    Posted 5.11.16 Reply
    • Thanks so much Kim! Glad you enjoyed it! I think it can bring about a lot of improvements and can really help with reducing stress! 🙂

      Posted 5.12.16 Reply
  23. Thank you so much for introducing Erin! Such an interesting and neat concept that I definitely need to adapt <3
    Green Fashionista

    Posted 5.11.16 Reply
    • It really is an interesting lifestyle, and I’m so intrigued with it! Erin rocks! 🙂

      Posted 5.12.16 Reply
  24. Erin is one of my favorites! She and I have become online friends through this whole journey of minimalism and she’s always so encouraging!

    Posted 5.11.16 Reply
    • Aww, I adore you, Karin! You are one of my favorites as well!

      Posted 5.11.16 Reply
    • Oh Yay! I agree Erin is awesome! I love following your blog too with the capsule wardrobes. Maybe you could be my next interview? 😉

      Posted 5.12.16 Reply
  25. Lily wrote:

    This is so neat, Cara! I have seen a few YouTubers that are minimalists and I’ve been a little intrigued by the thought. I don’t know if I could do it…but I would love to head on over to Erin’s blog!
    Loved reading about her!
    xo, Lily
    Beauty With Lily

    Posted 5.11.16 Reply
    • Thanks Lily! It is an intriguing and interesting concept, for sure. I feel like everyone can relate to it in someway. We’re all looking for more time and freedom and I feel like it can definitely help with those things. 🙂

      Posted 5.12.16 Reply
  26. Jessica wrote:

    So very interesting-thank you for sharing your perspective!

    Posted 5.11.16 Reply
  27. Thanks for sharing this interview! I love the idea of minimalism, and we have been working on the process of eliminating everything extra in our home for months! We are almost there and I’m pleased with the results 😀

    Posted 5.11.16 Reply
    • Oh that’s great, Amanda! It is a process and I’m going to keep working away at my own home until I’m satisfied. I do think it will result in a more positive, less stress-filled environment. 🙂

      Posted 5.12.16 Reply
  28. Emelia wrote:

    VERY interesting. About a month ago I went through so many rooms of our house and got rid of so much and gave it to a friend in need. It felt so good, there’s a lot more that I could probably do without, but yes..it’s a process. Great read!

    Posted 5.11.16 Reply
    • Glad you enjoyed it! I agree, it definitely feels good to get rid of clutter (especially when you can give it to someone in need). 🙂

      Posted 5.12.16 Reply
  29. Sophia wrote:

    I have been hearing so much about minimalism so it is good to here a blogger who does it and can explain it even more.

    Posted 5.11.16 Reply
    • Thanks Sophia! I had always heard about it, but truthfully wasn’t quite sure what it was until I found Erin’s blog. I think minimalism is something everyone can relate to.

      Posted 5.12.16 Reply
  30. Darcy wrote:

    Love learning more about this! I am very impressed with people who are able to live that lifestyle.
    http://www.amemoryofus.com

    Posted 5.11.16 Reply
    • Glad you enjoyed it! I am definitely impressed with minimalists too, and I don’t know that I could ever do it in full force, but I do want to strive to start focusing on living a life with less stress and less clutter. 🙂

      Posted 5.12.16 Reply
  31. Really interesting. I’m not a minimalist, but I do understand people who are or strive to be.

    Plus when I read about it it always inspires me to get rid of a few more things! LOL

    Posted 5.11.16 Reply
    • Thanks! I’m not either, and I don’t know that I could ever be a hardcore one, but I do like certain aspects of it and who doesn’t want less stress and less clutter? I think it’s all about finding a healthy balance.

      Posted 5.12.16 Reply
  32. Rebecca Jo wrote:

    I so want to apply this to my life. It seems so much easier on the brain, the wallet, the stress – everything.
    I just gotta make myself do it. Who needs all the JUNK around you never use?

    Posted 5.11.16 Reply
    • It is so much easier, Rebecca! You can do it!

      Posted 5.11.16 Reply
    • Exactly. So far I’ve went through everything in my house 1 time, but I think I could go back and do a second sweep and get rid of some more stuff that I’m holding onto out of the hope of “I may use them someday”, but you know how that goes 😉

      Posted 5.12.16 Reply
  33. Minimalism definitely appeals to me. I recently decluttered our apartment and I think about purchases thoroughly to decide if I really need something. I love Erin’s blog to learn more about it!

    Posted 5.11.16 Reply
    • Aww! Thank you, Marette!!

      Posted 5.11.16 Reply
    • I’m the same way now. Ever since I started decluttering I haven’t went shopping much at all and when I do it’s only for necessities, not just getting more “stuff”. It really does help with de-stressing I think, too.

      Posted 5.12.16 Reply
  34. Emily wrote:

    Loved this interview!! I have read articles on both of your blogs, but especially with Erin’s minimalism, I felt like I was jumping on the train late. It’s nice to read this interview to see how the journey developed!

    Posted 5.11.16 Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed it, Emily! The journalist in me always wants to know the backstory on what leads people to make lifestyle changes, so I definitely wanted to share that with my readers as well. 🙂

      Posted 5.12.16 Reply
  35. jessi otey wrote:

    This is so great! Thanks for sharing and linking up today! xo

    Posted 5.11.16 Reply
  36. Lindsay wrote:

    Wow, I feel so inspired!!! I can relate to Erin’s anxiety like when I’m searching for something in my house and sort through odds and ends – that makes me very stressed. Clutter makes me stressed! I want to read more about this and work on decluttering 🙂

    Posted 5.11.16 Reply
    • Glad you enjoyed it, Lindsay! I completely relate. Clutter stresses me out and I feel like if there’s something I can do about it, then I want to, which is why Erin’s blog really resonated with me. 🙂

      Posted 5.12.16 Reply
  37. Candy wrote:

    Cara and Erin I enjoyed reading this so much. Everyone can get rid of just stuff. Probably more than what we think.

    Posted 5.11.16 Reply
    • Thank you, Candy! I agree! When I started, I didn’t realize how much there was to shed, but I have been pleasantly surprised to see what I can live without.

      Posted 5.11.16 Reply
    • Thanks Candy! Glad you enjoyed it and I completely agree. Sometimes I think we hold onto things just out of habit, but it can clear the mind to rid yourself of clutter.

      Posted 5.12.16 Reply
  38. Andrea Nine wrote:

    Erin, what a sweet pea your are! Excited to head over read learn even more about you!! Isn’t Cara the BEST!!

    Posted 5.11.16 Reply