The Number One Rule of Minimalism

My husband is a very smart man. He knows me very well. We grew up together as best friends since we were 15 years old. My husband is not a minimalist nor is he a hoarder. In fact, I used to be the hoarder of the family and this poor man had to move all my stuff across the country, and an additional two other times within the span of the first two years of marriage. Needless to say he was shocked when I said I want to become a minimalist over a year ago.

Being the intelligent man that he is and knowing that I have a very short attention span, his biggest worry (and rightfully so) was that simple living was just a phase and I would get over this phase in a year or two. Then we would have to rebuy everything that I got rid of. Well, that is a very logical fear and since he was able to state this very early on in my minimalist journey, I have taken extra precautions and decluttered very, very, very slowly to make sure I didn’t get rid of anything that I would regret or want to repurchase. This is where the Purgatory Box came in. If you don’t know what that is, I will leave a link right here so you can check out that post after.

I am proud to say that I am going on two years strong and it apparently is not a phase. I have never gotten rid of anything that I regret or wasn’t ready to part with. I have also never repurchased anything because of my decluttering. I know I still have a long way to go but simple living is a journey so I have tons of time to get to where I want to be.

When you are on a minimalism journey but you have others in the household, it is really important that you have good communication. Because my husband expressed his worries, I was able to take them into account, think on it, and come up with a solution that would safe guard us against his concerns. This communication allowed for a slow, consistent, and smooth transition with his full support.

After reading all the books I could find on minimalism, watching all the you-tubers, and the documentaries, I had learned a few lessons and one of the most important lessons was...


That is a sure fire way to make them upset and in turn they will resent minimalism making it significantly less likely that they would participate in the future.

This has been a great rule and I have followed it religiously BUT there was one thing that I had never thought of. There are some things that I owned that I was about to get rid of that would have made him sad because he found joy in them.

There is one moment in particular that brought this to my attention. I had the car full of stuff ready to go. I was ready to make my donations. As I always did, I put the delicate things on the top of the pile. One day, he got in the car and saw these two Irish porcelain  tea things that were picked out for me after my Grandmother had passed on. I had other things from her that I valued more that I used often and I had no attachment to these items so off to Goodwill they were going to go...that is until my husband got in the car. When he saw that they were in the donate pile he looked at me with a sad expression and asked “Are you going to donate those?”. Me being totally oblivious, happily said "yes" and that I was thinking about making the trip this weekend. He turned around slowly to face the front of the car and said “Oh…those were my favorite things that you brought into our marriage.”. It was such a soft comment. He had acknowledged that they were mine so I had every right to do what I wanted with them...right?

Thinking about that moment later, I know why he loved them so much. My husband is Irish and his grandmother has a set just like it. My family has some Irish heritage which is why my grandma had those pieces, as well.

After thinking for a while, I realized that some of the things that I own bring my husband joy. I thought longer and I could think of a few things that he owned that brought me joy that he wouldn’t think twice about. That’s when I made a promise that I would try my very best to only get rid of things that affect me (my clothes, my makeup, my books) while taking extra special care that I talk to him about the things that I think might bring him joy. I also made a promise to myself to find a place for those things that bring him joy so that he will see them every day, and when he does it will bring a smile to him.

Oh, and yes, I did keep those Irish porcelain bowls.