Tips on Becoming a ‘semi’ Minimalist, etc. (part 2 of 2)

Cont. from part 1 ‘Throughout the process of eliminating debt I began to feel a weight lifted with every bill paid off…and I wanted “more”….more of that feeling, so I began to purge belongings.

Over the years (and especially during that time of paying off financial debt) my relationship with Jesus was growing and as I read scripture like, ‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal…for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,’ I realized that ‘stuff’ and following Jesus don’t go hand in hand.

It’s a lot of maintenance to keep stuff:

  • It breaks and if you’re that attached you find yourself glueing parts back together that will never be the same in the end anyways.
  • It needs dusted.
  • It multiplies and takes up space, creating clutter.
  • It gets outdated.

I started weeding out belongings first by telling my mom to get rid of all that junk of mine she had at her house from when I was growing up. I figured if I hadn’t missed it over all these years chances are I wouldn’t and had no use for it anymore. So it went away without me thinking twice about it..except the baseball cards..I still have the darn baseball cards.

In my own home I went through and got rid of anything that seemed cheap or cheesy. Things I hadn’t used in months could go too.

This is something I still do at least twice a year (purging) and usually just one room at a time.

I want to be able to appreciate my decor, not be overwhelmed by the sight or burdened by the upkeep. Less is more in this case. It allows you to focus and enjoy your blessings.

To sell, toss, or donate once I decide I don’t want it anymore??…

Anything that has some value I sell on my mom’s Facebook account. Anything that is broken or stained I throw away. Anything that is still nice looking and usable (but I don’t want to mess with selling) I donate to second-hand stores.

MY ADVICE: Take inventory!

Get rid of things you have too much of!

For example our family of five has seven bath towels in our home. There’s no need for more than what you need or will use.

Saucepans: 1 large, 2 medium, 2 small

Skillets: 1 large, 1 medium, 1 small

Large soup pots: 1 tall, 1 short

We don’t need a dozen towels, pots or pans, coffee mugs, mixing bowls, etc when chances are we’re only going to use so many at one time.

I feel like blankets are another thing that accumulates easily in our house. Instead of four-plus blankets the kids are now each allowed only two. There’s no reason for more than that. We keep a few in storage for guests and from time to time I make sure the blanket area hasn’t surpassed its allotted number, apparently that’s a popular gift we receive.

I’m also trying to be more attentive to buying quality items as well...(thanks Nathan)!

For the longest time I was buying plastic containers and then when spaghetti sauce or something similar would stain the dish I would get annoyed by how gross they looked so I would throw them out and buy new. Now I’ve purchased glass containers with dark lids to store those types of foods; and plastics are still used but only for foods that won’t stain.

I try to decorate with simple, practical things that serve a purpose and echo the word ‘timeless’…by doing this I’m saving money in not trying to keep up with the latest trends.

Financially we have our necessity bills only: house payment, electric, insurance, and phones…thanks to Covid an internet bill until the kids aren’t at a chance of needing it, and then I’ll waste no time canceling it!!! Can’t wait!!

Using a budget and set amount in cash envelopes (for groceries, fuel, animals, and fun money) each pay check has allowed us to grow our savings account.

For phones we use a tracfone (Straightalk) at $45 a month with unlimited texting and talk and 25 GB of high speed internet.

We don’t do home internet (typically) or cable etc. because we don’t have time for it or an interest. Instead we lift weights (at home), play card games, read, play catch outside, or get creative for entertainment and family memories.

I understand many people enjoy tv programs etc. and that’s fine, do what works for you!!!

I know groceries can get expensive so to save on cost in that area we eat a lot of chicken and use turkey burger instead of beef (sorry cattlemen, I’m saddened by this too). Steaks? — ya well the only ones we ever see are the ones you poke in the ground.

We eat very clean and healthy…lots of fruits and veggies and manage to feed two gluten free people (which isn’t a cheap option) all while maintaining a $400 a month grocery budget. That amount covers not just food items but toilet paper, soaps, other bathroom essentials, etc.

No soda pop or Little Debbie snacks make their way into this home unless grandparents have spoiled their grandkids..that’s the only exception!❤️

I use the Walmart grocery app to order groceries that way I have more control of my spending habits in that way.

The animal’s food budget is $50 a month: feeding three rabbits, five chickens, two kittens, and three small dogs.

When purchasing material items I try to keep in mind a few questions — Is it good quality? Does it serve a purpose? Do I have a place for it? Is it going to end up in storage or a donate pile soon?

Y’all, the bottom line is that none of this is perfected by us; just a few weeks ago during my quarantine I went to our storage room (curse those anyways!!!) to where many unused items had collected and although it was easy to take them to the second hand store or toss some of them, I wondered how in the world we even had all of that and where had it nested beforehand??

Purging and organizing is an ongoing process. It takes time and self control to take these steps, and even encouragement from others!

Organizing…like items should stay together and never overpopulate their space.

Keepsakes…my kids are each allowed a large tub and can keep (as they’re growing up) anything meaningful in there (stuffed animals, awards, crafts). Sometimes if they’ve grown tired of something they’ll toss it to place something new in there, never overflowing their box. I use a wooden hope chest with the same process for myself.

When it comes to memorabilia or hand-me-downs from loved ones (especially those who’ve passed) it can be tough to make a call on ‘keep or toss’. If that piece means so much to you because it truly helps you feel closer to your loved one then by all means ABSOLUTELY KEEP IT!!! But if it doesn’t mean anything to you and you’re only hanging on to it for their sake, let it go. It’s not your beloved “memory-treasure” of them.

None of those things will bring our loved one’s back unfortunately.

Stuff is just simply that…stuff!! It’s never as good as our memories…those are the true keepers.

So while considering materialistic things and deciding what stays or goes remember that our memories and relationships deserve the most attention. Those can be built to last, they won’t fall apart if you mutually cover them in love, they grow more cherished with age, and they are the true and most important gift that keeps giving!!

Guys, if you’ve made it this far chances are you’re passionate or interested about this just like me. This post is waaayyy too long, but I hope you’ve found it helpful.

Message me with your own tips, advice or questions!!!

In the meantime, Happy Purging!!

Take me to part 1 Becoming a (semi) Minimalist

Author: alimw2013

About For His Purpose~ My name is Alicia and I'm a thirty-something year old who loves Jesus. Only through God’s amazing grace and mercy I have been redeemed from past regret and shame. Reading His word has allowed me to look past Satan’s forceful lies, to see myself for who Christ says I am in Him. Through writing I have learned why I made the choices I made in my younger years and I now have a better understanding of why I desire to love God like crazy these days. Despite my daily failures, God remains faithful always. I am reassured of His unconditional love for me by every ink-drop spilled out on paper, each committed prayer as I cry out to Him, and deep understanding reflected through reading His word as truth. Yes keeping a blog will make me vulnerable to others’ opinions- there will be some who don’t understand, some who may criticize or judge, but on the other hand if just one piece expressed through my writing grabs someone’s attention and directs them to God, then pouring out my heart in a blog for the world to read is worth it. I choose to glorify Him alone through words streaming across a glowing screen. And it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t reveal the fact that I’m incredibly quirky; I’m my loving husband’s best friend, my vivacious kids’ craziest cheerleader and spiritual trainer (3 John 1:4). I love anything farmhouse and rustic style. I think cupping a warm coffee mug in the palm of my hands is more satisfying than the contents within. I share a common obsession with my husband for the mountains, but I would (without a doubt) settle for waves crashing against my legs at the Atlantic Ocean just as well, and I almost always have a Yorkie curled up on my lap while writing. *All photos are photographed by and therefore may not be stored or photocopied in any manner.

34 thoughts on “Tips on Becoming a ‘semi’ Minimalist, etc. (part 2 of 2)”

  1. I love this! When I’m going through things that I know I don’t need, I always tell myself: “You can’t take it with you.” I love the idea of taking inventory, especially in the kitchen. I have bought things in the past only to come home and find it in the back of a drawer. I also love the idea of only keeping a few sentimental things. My daughter is terrible at giving up stuff she had when she was little and she’s only 13! I’m trying to get her to break this habit. Having only one tote is such a great idea! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel like I am constantly in a state of decluttering/anxiety over decluttering, lol. Sometimes I will be motivated and do a bunch, then other times it gets to be too much and I just stop and think about decluttering instead 🙂 Slow babysteps. Also, we have seven kids so they come with their own “clutter”. We have a small house, so it can get overwhelming very quickly. I am not, nor have I ever been, the best housekeeper, so this is a work in progress for me and probably will be for the rest of my life. I am learning to accept that and just work with myself to the best of my ability. No reason to beat myself up over what I can’t do. Someday I will be able to keep my counter consistently clean…once that happens I will focus on the next thing 🙂 Until then, I will keep reading inspirational posts like yours and giving myself grace when I don’t quite measure up to my own expectations! Great posts! God Bless!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes that’s all you can do!!! And honestly I wish I would’ve not paid so much attention to my house when my kids were little. They’re 10, 12, and 15 now and I’ll never get that precious time back from when they were tiny…just be a good loving mama right now and pour time and attention into those kiddos…those are our best assets!!!!❤️🙏

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Great post! Going to check part 1. I am wondering how to keep groceries under $400 with a big family. That’s outstanding! Living a semi minimalist life is awesome. I love the opening scripture, it also keeps me in check. Contentment is important. Isn’t the Bible complete and forever relevant?!! It teaches us how to leave debt free, be generous, and a lot more.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh yes God’s word is so good, covering every little detail!!!
      We eat lots of beans, rice, veggies, chicken, turkey, eggs, potatoes…those things help us
      keep the grocery bill down!!
      I also love the verse from Colossians 3:2 (I think) anyway it’s ‘set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.’ That one really helps remind me to keep in check!!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I love this post! We (I do really mean my husband insisted) began on a decluttering journey after the girls left. I did not realize I had so many things, but I lay it at the feet of homeschool 😩😩 now as for being a minimalist, I’m technically on the way, which means I declutter everything in the house but my stuff 😀😀

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Haha it’s such a challenge to declutter…and then there’s those times when I get rid of some thing just to realize I actually needed it!!!
      I honestly feel like organizing and declutter is something you can never be on top of or ahead of, so this helps give me mercy and grace when I feel unorganized 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you so much for this post! It is very motivating! I am going to share it with my husband so he can get on board. He likes to keep things much more than I do. But at times I also keep things I shouldn’t. We need to help each other purge. You should really be proud because none of this is easy, but you have done an amazing job. I was floored at your grocery budget. That is astonishing!! I love the way you keep things organized and you have your kids on board too! Thank you, again! I am ready to start working on this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s awesome, this is what I was hoping to read in the comments!! Both posts were kind of overwhelming to know what to include or leave out…I may do one at some point that explains the Dave Ramsey financial plan, or better known as my knock off version LOL… I guess I would never want to get in trouble for copyright though😂🙏
      Let me know if you have questions or need ideas…or if you have suggestions for me too!!!❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t feel like you included too much. I think the posts were a good size. I imagine writing them still might have felt overwhelming. But they were definitely inspiring! Thank you so much. If I think of anything, I will let you know.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. We have to budget well because we only have one source of income…my sub days and salon job are just for money to tuck away or use for some extras and right now it’s very limited days with Rona around.
      I write all of my post in my notes and then transfer over my post into WordPress, using my phone internet to read posts and comments only…but now I’m using our house internet of course while we have it.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Wow! This was useful info! I have a big problem with keeping things handed down from loved ones who have passed. The sad part is, I just can’t part with some of it. When you have both sides of the family who were avid sewers and quilters, along with embroidery and such, it makes it hard to part with. They put a lot of long, hard hours into those heirlooms.

    The good news is, I don’t have any intentions of doing hobbies like this myself to pass down to my children.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thats sweet though…those items that are handmade make a difference and you’re right it’s hard to part with them..but maybe those are something you’ll pass down to your kids one day❤️


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