Humor, Soul Homework, Universe

Our Minimalist Home

Before I begin, I am giving all of you a homework assignment.

If you have Netflix, please watch this:

We fell in love with the principal character, Dick. Yes, we fell in love with Dick (insert immature snickering), and I think you will fall in love with Dick too. I was crying like a baby at the end of this documentary.

I had no intention of becoming a Minimalist when I began my journey over four years ago. We saw a documentary about it on Netflix one night and thought it would be interesting to watch.

However, we* gradually and unintentionally became minimalists over the course of several years.

*I must admit that the rest of my family was initially unimpressed.

But now that we’ve been doing it for a few years, they can see the results and appreciate how it makes us feel inside this house.

I think Mike got it when we went to IKEA for the first time in years this summer to get something for Ella’s room and came out with only four items for less than $40.

I’ve previously written about this lifestyle, so I won’t bore you with the details, but I thought I’d highlight what it isn’t because I’ve received a few questions about it, and I believe many people believe it means living with nothing.

That’s not it. 

It’s also not a trend. Well, at least not for me, anyway.

tiny homes - tiny houses
Courtesy/ Country Living

It also not living in a tiny home.

That may be part of it for some people, but that is an extreme form of minimalism.

Simply put, it is making do with what we have.

It has no bearing on how we decorate our homes, but rather on how we decide what to do with the items we keep in our homes.

So I suppose that has unintentionally dictated how we have decorated.

The term Minimalism refers to an art movement that emerged in the 1960s.

The minimalist/minimalist lifestyle is about living with less.

This summer, I participated in a challenge that helped me in getting rid of many items in our home that were weighing us down physically and mentally. We discovered that the less that we had, the more time we had to spend with each other, and the fewer stuff we had to clean and maintain, the fewer obligations we all had around the house.

It was freeing.

We were all happier and more pleasurable to be around because we weren’t under as much stress, and I don’t think we even realized it was happening. I’m sure my family didn’t think, “Oh yeah, we feel this way because my mom is buying less stuff for the house or dropping things off at Goodwill.”

Less chaos on the inside of our home in a time where there is chaos all around us is sorely underrated. I don’t think we’ve discussed how essential that might be for our mental health.

This isn’t for everyone. I get that some of you are probably rolling your eyes right now.

There are no affiliate links in this post. I am only sharing this because this has brought me so much peace in such a chaotic time.

I appreciate that now, when I go to a store like Target or HomeGoods (two of my Achilles Heels for shopping), I can rationalize what is a need versus what is a want and I don’t even feel sad when I walk out empty-handed.

Minimalism doesn’t mean going without. It means taking care of what you have, not over-consuming things, but buying quality items that are built to last and taking care of those things.

For example, automobiles and phones.

Man Fixing Vehicle Engine

We just paid my vehicle off for the first time since I was 25 years old. I worded that wrong.

It has been 25 years since I HAVEN’T had a car payment.

Why? Because my husband works in the auto industry and when my car would make noises or get older, we would just trade it in instead of fixing it. We would get great deals, get the newest model blah blah blah.

We bought the schpeel. You know the one. The one they give when you sit in front of them at the dealership? AND HE WORKED AT A DEALERSHIP.

Now? We buy an extended warranty, we take care of our car.

Our children don’t ask for a brand new phone anymore. They ask for things like screen protectors and good protective cases.

I am not trying to sound all righteous with this post, so I hope that isn’t how it is coming across. We have made huge mistakes with our finances and we are still making them, which is why we began this lifestyle years ago. We were exhausted from making those mistakes repeatedly. We wanted a change for our family.

So here will be a hard rule for some of you that is not a rule for minimalism but has become a rule for mine: I will try not to buy things that are used.

Old Kari was a garage sale/thrift store maven. Goodwill was a store I used to shop at weekly.

I am not a snob and I love to save money, and no; we aren’t rich in monetary means, but I really don’t want other people’s energy in my space ever again UNLESS it is from someone I know well.

For example, my grandma’s beloved rocking chair.

I do still have a couple of things in my home that are from some resale shops over the years, but I have had them for many, many years and I have cleansed them over time.

But when I was doing the minimalism challenge over summer, I got rid of most of the Goodwill, garage sale, thrift store items we had that had belonged to other people and if they haven’t been purged already, I am still looking to get rid of the rest of those items.

Did I feel a shift in the energy in our home?


I don’t need to stack the deck against us in our home during the worst year of our lives. Some of you may have superstitions or little things you believe in.

This is what I believe in: I don’t want someone else’s negative energy all over my belongings in our personal space.

I work hard to create a positive, happy nest in our home, especially during this time. I don’t need a cheap coffee table coming from someone’s home who doesn’t believe in being a good human being or who kicks their dogs or who roots for the Chicago Cubs.

Kidding. But you get the idea.

No price tag is worth the bad juju.

My minimalist journey is still a work in progress. There are days I go to Target and see things in the Dollar spot and think OOH THAT BLACK $5 JAR IS SO DAMN CUTE I MUST HAVE IT! WHERE IN THE HELL WILL I PUT IT?!

Oh, wait…

But it makes me stop and think about that five-dollar bill (or debit card because who has cash anymore?) in my wallet more than I ever did before.

Will that cute little black jar make me happier?

Maybe. Or maybe not.

It makes me think about money in such a different way. It makes me think about material things in such a different way.

I don’t care anymore if I have the latest of anything.

Who I am isn’t wrapped up in anything I find on amazon or on Instagram or on a lifestyle blog.

Our home is enough.

For the first time in its existence, it is enough.

I am in love with that.

46 thoughts on “Our Minimalist Home”

  1. I’m not sure that I see your home as minimalistic, as much as purposefully cozy. I suppose this is all in how you define the term ‘minimalist.’ I like what you’ve created inside your four walls, it is beautiful, and clearly this approach to living has helped lift your spirit.

    As you know I’ve had to deal with, to use your words, “items we had that had belonged to other people” and I’m slowly finding my way to part with them. I don’t feel lighter because of it, but I keep hoping I will. I do like the emptier space in the basement and in the closets. So there’s that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OOOH! Purposely cozy! I am changing the name. I love that.

      I also know that for me, it depends on where the item comes from. Even if I know who it came from, I still won’t keep it because it depends on their energy. I know I sound like a hippie and that makes me giddy.

      But isn’t it something about the emptier feeling? Unburdened is a good word. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your home looks lovely – personable and cozy! Most minimalistic homes look cold and sterile to me – yours is definitely not that.
    I had to downsize in order to move to Vancouver Island, to a space less than half the size I occupied before. Moving that big of a distance forced me to look at everything I own through the lens of “would I pay to bring this with me?” And “is it worth taking up the limited space in my new place?” So now I am settled, surrounded by only things that I absolutely love/need and it’s wonderful. I don’t miss the extra space or things.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you on that. Even the creator of the lifestyle has a home that is way too sterile for my liking. I like a bohemian look but with less laying around if that makes any sense.

      YES. I love that! Surrounded by only the things you love. You get it, Deb. I love that so much. That is exactly what this lifestyle has given me and every day I wake up and look around, I only see the things that made “the cut”. The things that truly bring me joy. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. First: I can’t wait to watch Dick.
    Your home is so darn cute!!
    I’ve not intentionally gone more minimalistic, but somehow I have felt a shift. Even though we have a bigger ‘than we need home’ and now another one, I’m only adding things that we really, really need. (I brought some excess from FL to GA)
    For me, it’s not even been about $, but the number of things in my life. I DO want less quantity and only want quality. Something I learned as I’ve grown older is to spend $ on good quality or don’t buy at all. Like you stated, those nicer tops will last so long and you’ll get your money’s worth.
    The spoof video was funny!!!
    Going to clean out my Thanksgiving cabinet now so I can take some to GA. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think we all are going to be better off because of Dick. NEVER GETS OLD.

      YES TO ALL OF THAT. YES YES. It doesn’t matter if you have ten homes. It is what you are intentionally doing with what you have. Exactly. Also, I don’t want people to think I am telling them that if they have lots of something, they are doing something wrong. That isn’t what this lifestyle is. I still have a lot of things in my basement. But someday, we may want to move to somewhere smaller and maybe not? It depends on how we feel when the girls are older. But the less we have holding us back will help me with anxiety to make the decision easier if that makes any sense.

      I want pictures of the inside of the Georgia home! I cannot wait to see more of it. 🙂


  4. Good for you for having paid off your car! My family jokes all the time that they should just get me a dumpster for my birthday and let me go crazy since getting rid of clutter does make me smile. I feel like with so many of us in the house the decluttering is always an ongoing process.


    1. That is so funny! It is hard for SO many people, so you shouldn’t feel alone. I know a lot of people “get married” to their things, as my mom would say. It is hard because I think a lot of people place memories on items and feelings and that makes it even harder. If you can live with that and it doesn’t make you anxious, then that’s okay! It is your life and you need to get through each day feeling good. Do what makes you happy. If we haven’t learned that lesson this year, I don’t know what else we could have taken away from it. 🙂


    2. I am very interested in watching Dick too.

      I am not necessarily a minimalist but I AM ALWAYS trying to purge and get rid of stuff. The kids closets, YIKES. I do have lots of kid toys still but they serve a purpose for my daycare. By the time I am ready to get rid of them, I will probably be getting ready to be a grandparent . . . so looks like I am stuck housing kid toys FOREVER.

      I have always valued good quality things which is why shopping for a great deal gives me a high. I do have to stop myself and think do I need this? With no where to really go right now, I am really not adding much to my wardrobe. *sigh*

      Liked by 1 person

      1. NEVER GETS OLD.

        When this is all over, I’m coming to your house and helping you. We will call it that but really I’m coming over to hang out.

        That’s my problem. Which is why I didn’t have any long sleeve winter tops. 😂


    1. I thought about you when I was writing this post! I had just begun reading your posts about your husband, God love him. Listen, I feel your pain. Literally. I FEEL YOUR PAIN. My husband comes from two hoarders. So I threw away your share this summer. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love your house. It’s a mix of eclectic and funky and neat and cool all at once. It’s filled with things that you love and I love that about you.

    Now will you come to my house and help me? After the pandemic that is.

    Also you have given me so many fun things to watch, listen to, read that my bucket is full through the rest of the year. You are doing a service to so many and I don’t think we are talking about what you are doing for all of our mental health. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that about our home too. It’s a mix of all the things I love.

      I would love that, quite honestly. I love going through peoples things and organizing. But the hardest part is telling people to get rid of their stuff because a lot of people don’t like the part with it and it’s very personal.

      Aww, I’m so glad to give you all things to keep your minds busy. It’s a selfish task because it has kept mine busy as well.


  6. That Dick show looks good, maybe a little sad. But that’s OK. Maybe we’ll watch this after we’re done with Schitt’s Creek.

    I’m not a minimalist in terms of how much stuff I have (I still have so much more to purge from my basement!), but my shopping habits are definitely much less. And it’s not because of the pandemic. I started this about a year ago. I haven’t stepped foot into a Goodwill or other resale store in easily a year. I used to go just to browse and find “good stuff”. Didn’t matter if I didn’t know where I was going to put it at the time or not. Pretty dishes, knick knacks, etc all at a good price – I was sold. But now that my basement is overflowing already with too much stuff, I’m done. I don’t mind other people’s “energy” in things – that has never bothered me – but I can understand how you feel.

    Now when I do go shopping, I’m looking for something I need. I needed some new fall tops (I don’t have many clothes and my old tops were…old!) and first I tried Best Friends Consignment in Algonquin and didn’t find anything. So then I went to Sierra Trading Post in Deer Park (if you’re not familiar with that store, they have a wonderful selection and great prices) and found a few tops. And like you said, they are good quality. (I totally agree with what you said about Kohls.) I also found a pair of shoes, which yes, I needed.

    I *am* going to a barn sale this weekend with my family, but it’s all about having fun and spending time with loved ones; our form of entertainment. I will only buy something if I know where I’m going to put it or how I’m going to use it. Pinky swear. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a sad documentary in terms of the content but it is very heartwarming too. There are layers. It is worth watching.

      I’ve heard of Sierra Trading but I’ve never been. I have a friend who likes it too. I should check it out.

      Listen, I’m all for fun antique shops and all of that! And you do such a good job of finding such adorable items. I’ve never been very good at that to begin with. I love how for you, it’s about the people you enjoy doing it with! I wouldn’t turn down a fun day of antiquing even if I didn’t buy anything, by the way. HINT, HINT. ❤️


  7. PS – sorry, got distracted by cats and pumpkin empanadas….

    I also meant to comment on another aspect of your post – less debt. I didn’t know about your car situation and how you guys “drank the Koolaid”. I am not bragging, I’m just letting you know how we’ve done things…we have always driven our cars into the ground. Never bought new ones until the old ones died. We buy quality to begin with (Toyota or Honda – I know there’s other good cars, too…we always look at Consumer Reports and research online, too) so they last a loong time. Have never bought an extended warranty. (Side note: my sister is a CPA and vice-president of a car warranty company – even she says to never buy an extended warranty, lol.) We recently bought a “new” (2016) vehicle for me because my 20-year old Honda Accord was not 100% reliable anymore. Go figure! 😉 But this is the first time we’ve had a car payment in over 11 years. We took out a 3-year loan and are paying it off early. My husband still drives a 12-year old Toyota Corolla with 262,000 miles on it! We have never felt the need to “keep up with the Jones’ “.

    We’re the same with our phones. We don’t buy new ones until our old ones don’t function anymore. I know several people who are always trading in their phones for the newest model and no surprise, they’re always in debt.

    Great post, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am a minimalist blogger and I believe minimalism is far more than what you own. It’s living intentionally and being more present. Yes it means living with less but I have also found it’s more so a life with purpose focusing on the important things in life. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. AMEN! It has served me well during this year. I feel like it prepared me for 2020. I mean, it’s still been rough but at least my home it’s helped us shelter the storm a bit. ❤️

      So glad to have another minimalist here!


  9. Kari I have seen a few of these documentaries and love the idea but it is so hard to implement. I am trying to get rid of stuff and slowly but surely I am on the road there. My daughter has taken it upon herself to sell all the books we no longer need on e-bay and she is doing great. It feels so good every time something leaves the house. I am also making conscious decisions about what comes in. Have you heard of Marissa of Birds of a Feather? She has a blog and she also has lots of You Tube videos that help you with Minimalism. She also believes that you should live with what you need and no more. Check her out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So the way I look at it is doing what makes YOU happy is all that matters. I have been reading a Universe book since this summer and that has helped me with this journey even more than before. In fact, the book has nothing to do with Minimalism but has helped guide me towards my goal. It feels like this is where I need to be in my life to help with my mental health and the pandemic. This lifestyle has soothed me and I realize it might not do that for everyone but that’s okay! Little steps toward happiness are what I hope for everyone and that’s why I shared it with you all. 🙂


  10. I’m going to start with “You still go to HomeGoods?” I’m jealous, as I haven’t been since January. Not because of Covid, specifically, but more because of Covid rules, there is ALWAYS a line now outside of our HomeGoods. And when I drive by I realize there’s nothing that I need that badly to stand in line outside in 90º+ Texas heat.

    I’ve been paring down a lot – all the while I’ve been searching for art for my yet-unfinished master bedroom. I think I need to bit the bullet and get it done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Why is there a line outside of your HomeGoods?? I have only been to HomeGoods once since February and it was underwhelming, especially when you are a “minimalist”. Also? It isn’t as much fun when you can’t entertain people on the inside of your home. Now, that might change things for me a little bit when this is all over HA.

      If this pandemic has taught us anything it is that we have time to go through the stuff in our homes because we are home more and we are going to be home more this winter too, so there is PLENTY of time.


    1. I do love that too and never really thought of it that way.

      It has taken me years to get to a place where I feel like I finally feel in control. You still have little ones and it’s hard to keep clutter in control when little ones are afoot. One day. 😘

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I have moved over 20 times in my life and if there is anything that will cure someone of sentimental attachment to stuff, it’s moving 20 times. We’ve lived in our current home for 8 years and it might as well be 50 for how long that feels to me.

    I’m a huge believer in buy the best you can afford and make it last. I’m not unwilling to buy used/thrifted, but my standards are just as high for that as for anything else. I also am NOT a minimalist. I have more yarn and books and crafty things to fit that description, but I don’t buy junk and I don’t buy knick knacks.

    I love the pictures of your home. Especially the green door. It is very welcoming and cozy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So I just did the math and I’ve only moved half of that in my life, 10 times total but still enough to know I hate moving. 😂 I think if I knew we would be moving, I’d throw most of our things away only so I wouldn’t have to move them because I know how much of a pain it is.

      I’m not a big knick knack person, so I feel ya there.

      That green door is my favorite part of the house besides the people and pet who dwell within it. ❤️


  12. We were doing so well in the beginning of the pandemic in terms of spending, because we were too afraid to go out. Eric spends a lot by buying a lot of little things, I spend a lot by buying a few big things. Either way, we have too much stuff! We just had a veterans run, and when they came they couldn’t fit everything into the truck! We still have a long way to go, but I am a firm believer that letting go of stuff will set us free. I clean so much and so often and it barely makes a dent. I also live with a bunch of hoarders. They literally don’t like to get rid of boxes that toys come in. Anything they’ve touched they want to keep forever. I recently went through our big toy dump spots in the house and weeded out three reusable shopping bags full of toys that are going bye bye. If it were up to me, we’d have about a fourth of what we currently have. I admire you! And I’m learning from you. Also, your house is so beautiful, I love it when you share pictures of it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know it was so hard to get rid of things when the kids were small, so I get that completely.

      I think the timing of this is perfect because we are home so much more so I am seeing things more and saying THIS IS OF NO USE. Now, I have yet to tackle the basement but I plan on doing that over winter. So I still have places in the house I haven’t touched but it feels good to be in the place we are now.

      Aww, thank you so much! I feel the same way about your home! ❤️


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