Minimalist Lifestyle: The Beginning

Isabel Whitehead here, a 25 year old graduate student. I wanted to create a space where I could share my process, thoughts, obstacles, and life revisions. More specifically, revisions  from the perspective of an engaged, former impulsive shopper. With an upcoming wedding in the works, my goal is to not only define my style and space, but also merge my own desires with another person’s tastes and needs.

Here’s the simple breakdown of my journey so far:

  • Age 15: my packrat self discovers minimalism, fails to enact any principles
  • Age 18: decide to create a uniform, buys a few monochromatic pieces, but refuses to release any other clothing items
  • Age 20: following a string of retail jobs (american apparel, buffalo exchange), my closet and apartment is packed to the gills with needless consumer purchases
  • Age 23: begins selling items on eBay, finally learning to release clothes that no longer work
  • Age 24-Now: after reading literature on letting go, minimizing, and simplifying, have effectively released over 3/4 of overall belongings. Still pursuing the uniform idea. Sustainability plays a larger role in my daily routine now, particularly releasing/selling/donating unused items, reducing my waste, and living as  sustainably as I can.


Ironically, throughout the entire process, I was in love with the writings of Henry David Thoreau. Specifically these two words: “Simplify, simplify”. Oh, how I tried. Conquering my clutter felt like an uphill battle. I scoured Ikea for cheap ways to organize my belongings, but to no avail. Eventually, I stopped trying to organize all of the STUFF, and began identifying what really mattered to me.

I was inspired each time I read blogs and books such as:

  • zen habits
  • becoming minimalist
  • the minimalists
  • marie kondo

However, it still took me a good two years of reading, researching, and releasing, to reach a point where I am ready to share my experiences!


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