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, 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Interested in learning more about minimalism, or participating in one of Erin’s challenges? Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org 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
P.S. If you would like to collaborate with me on a project or blog post, feel free to contact me at email@example.com! I’d love to hear your ideas and I’m always open to working with other bloggers! 🙂