The Eternally Valuable Practice of Becoming A Minimalist

Last night, I decided to become a minimalist! A minimalist is someone who owns only what they need. Nothing more, nothing less! We live in such a materialistic society, and even though the only place I ever shop is at thrift stores, I still have found myself accumulating far more than I need.

Just because something is on sale or is cheap to buy, it doesn’t mean you need it! Click To Tweet

In fact, when you think about what you really need in order to live your daily life, you’ll be amazed at how little it is.


Now, I’m not advocating having two cups, two plates and one pot if you’re a family of seven! I’m also not saying that we need bare walls and nothing in our homes that would give us pleasure, even though these pieces may not be necessary for survival.

What I am endorsing, though, is a lifestyle where you don’t have to spend hours of your day tidying, rearranging, organizing, cleaning, and maintaining your possessions. If we’re honest, a large part of our lives as women is doing just that.

  • Imagine your home with half the stuff. Stuff that you have forgotten you have because it’s buried deep inside cupboards you haven’t had the need to open in months.
  • Picture your crowded kitchen cupboards without bits and pieces tumbling out each time you open them.
  • Or the decision of what to wear each day being made simple by not having tens of items to go through in your closet.

The Effect That Your Stuff is Having on You

You see, my sweet darling friend, these things, this mess, this excess, is actually taking away from what you truly want to do, to accomplish, and to invest in.

We’re not called to be minimalists. Biblically we are called to be followers of Jesus.


We can use letting go of the huge number of our possessions as a tool to travelling lightly in this world in order to make following Him more efficient, productive, and fruitful.

Jesus is our ultimate example! If he had a house full of belongings taking his energy to oversee and take care of, how much time do you think He would have had to minister, heal, disciple, and teach? His thoughts would have been divided between His Heavenly calling and His earthly possessions.

Jesus didn’t even have a home!

Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests,

but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.

Matthew 8:20

The Blessing of Having Less

Now, it’s not wrong to have a home and effects, but the problem with our depraved and idolatrous hearts as humans, is that more often than not, our goods take up far too much space, time, and energy than they were ever meant to possess, simply because we have so much more of everything than we actually need.

We can’t be dabbling in, overwhelmed by, and preoccupied with our things. That will only take away from the important; that of being occupied with the eternal calling and work that God has for you and I.

The less stuff you have, the more you can focus on the people that God has brought into your life, the ministry that He has called you to, and the biblical priorities in which He expects you to grow.

Possessions are never laid out as a priority in the Bible. God did bless some in His Word with wealth and prosperity, but usually only those who were able, in spite of their riches, to keep their minds steadfast on His wisdom, voice, and path.

It is a hard and counter cultural decision to let go of our things, our comforts, and our abundance, and to choose to serve God with the time and energy they take away from us.

I, for one, want to spend more time investing in my husband and children instead of hoarding stuff and then having to maintain it all.

Practically, go through your home and ask yourself this question about each item: Do I need this? Click To Tweet
  • We don’t need three sets of dishes, we need one.
  • We don’t need 8 ice trays, we need two.
  • We don’t need 15 towels, we need eight.

Of course, we each need to take into consideration the size of our families, the amount we host others, and our personal needs, but if you live in the western world, you, too, probably have an exorbitant amount of stuff that is populating your storage spaces, and starving you of time and stamina for your God given, biblical priorities.

Our forefather Joshua asks us the bottom-line, heart-piercing question in Joshua 24:15:

Choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.

But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

The gods of today my friend may not be the Amorites, and they certainly aren’t “beyond the River.” They may right in front of us – in our homes – the gods of greed, exuberance, materialism, covetousness, and self. Will you choose to serve these gods? Feeding them each time you see something that appeals to you, or that’s on sale?

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

Matthew 6:24

Choose this day, whom you will serve! And make it the right choice!

Join me in going through your home and stripping it of everything you don’t need. By doing so, you’ll free up your time, life, and stamina to wholeheartedly serve our Holy God, laying up for yourself treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. (Matthew 6:20)

Are you up for living out the eternally valuable practice of becoming a minimalist?

Where are you going to start in decluttering your home? How do you foresee that having less stuff will help you to focus more on eternal priorities?


Over the past few days I have literally halved our stuff (and believe me, I was no hoarder even before this) in the kitchen, bathroom, living room, and some bedrooms. I have some storage spaces to still go through as well as our garage (help!)… And already, the time and stress that I am saving by not rummaging through things and just seeing what’s in each cupboard at first glance is incredible!! Plus I’ve loved giving it all to people who need and appreciate what I won’t miss. Seriously sis, go for it!!! xoxo



Tehila is an Israeli, God-loving, husband-serving, child-nurturing mom of five sweet little ones whom she homeschools. She resides in beautiful New Zealand from where she blogs at Women Abiding – Encouraging women to abide in God and His Word.

About womenabiding

Tehila is an Israeli, God-loving, husband-serving, child-nurturing mom of five sweet little ones whom she homeschools. She resides in beautiful New Zealand from where she blogs at Women Abiding – Encouraging women to abide in God and His Word.
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86 Responses to The Eternally Valuable Practice of Becoming A Minimalist

  1. Alma Mater says:

    Very wise. We have packed up a lot of our house in preparation for a move, and are currently living in a very minimalist way. The thing is, we have realized that we haven’t missed anything! We obviously don’t need any of that excess stuff — and it is much easier to keep things tidy without it! When we get to the new house, I plan to very carefully go through everything so that we don’t bring in more than we need.

    • womenabiding says:

      You’re a girl after my own heart, Alma! One of the first things I realised is that I can go to a cupboard to get something, and simply pull it out! Not look for it, or rummage for it… So you’re right, it IS so much easier to keep things tidy when you don’t have a lot of stuff… and to find things, too 🙂 Blessings to you for your new house! May God fill it with His love, peace, and joy! xoxo

  2. I recently downsized from a 3 bedroom with storage to a 1 bedroom with no storage. I became a minimalist by fire. It was freeing. We gave a bunch of stuff away, sold a bit, and threw a bunch in the trash. We drag around so much unnecessary baggage in our closets. It was freeing! Thanks for sharing.

  3. What a great encouragement to read this call to freedom from stuff. Warring against being owned by our possessions is one of the challenges of 21st century Christianity!

  4. Hannah says:

    I love reading about people reducing the amount of things they own! My husband and I did a major decluttering last year, but it’s an ongoing process. My main motivation was to be able to take better care of everything I owned. I don’t think I was being a good steward of what I’ve been blessed with by letting books go years without being read, or stockpiling clothes! Minimalism does seem to make a lot of sense for Christians. 😉 I found you at the Strangers and Pilgrims link-up. Thanks again for your article!

    • womenabiding says:

      Hi precious Hannah! Proud of you for doing a major declutter last year! What I’m finding is that it needs to be an ongoing practice… I’m a “chucker” but I’m also an accumulator, and so keeping the ongoing goal and heart behind leading a minimalistic lifestyle means that we need to keep doing it on a regular basis, as other things seem to creep in to our homes… I love how your motivation was to better steward your belongings. Thank you SO much for stopping by, beautiful new friend! xoxo

  5. Sarah Koontz says:

    “Last night I decided to become a minimalist.” You make me laugh, sweet friend. Why is it that the biggest decisions in life come so quickly, but when we are standing in the cheese isle….it’s like…life or death!

    I love this post, too much stuff can clutter our hearts and distract us from what truly matters. I’ve been a minimalist for years and my clean and uncluttered space sparks my creativity and leaves room for us to rest and relax.

    Keep it up, girl!

    • womenabiding says:

      And you made *me* laugh with your cheese isle analogy, Sarah! You’re so right 🙂 And it’s not often that I’ve come across a minimalist – so it’s an honour and a blessing… Thank you for encouraging me and my readers with the wonderful results of this way of life. You are such an inspiration as always! Hugs and love xoxo

  6. I find your post encouraging. Thank you. We have too much stuff and it drives me nuts, but there never seems to be enough time to weed it out. Thank you for sharing.

    • womenabiding says:

      I know what you mean, Melinda… I heard someone say that if you get rid of one thing per day, within a month you would have decluttered 31 items, within a year, you will be free of about 350 items in your home! So, even if you feel you don’t have time to sort through all your stuff, this may be a good way to do it… 🙂 Blessings, lovely one! xoxo

  7. Gil says:

    This is my struggle. I want to sell or dispose half of the things in the house, but my husband doesn’t. He even wants to buy more. I try to limit the things we have. I want to just focus on what’s essential. I pray it would happen soon.

    • womenabiding says:

      I hear ya, Gil! My husband is a hoarder, too, by nature! I must confess that I recently waited until he was out of the house and decluttered his cupboard for him… I got rid of quite a lot of stuff, and guess what – he never even noticed 🙂 I certainly don’t want you to disrespect your husband, but why not start with a few areas that your husband doesn’t use – a sewing corner, your own personal books, your jewellery… just areas and spaces that only affect you… I’m sure that will already make a significant difference in your life! Hope that helps xoxo

  8. With kids I find it hard to keep ourselves with minimal stuff. Birthday and Christmas bring gifts and toys and things we don’t really need. Even when we ask to not have gifts, they still appear! I do have to continue to sort, reuse or give away items we’ve lost interest in or have never used.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

    • womenabiding says:

      I know what you mean, Jess! But I think you’re totally on the right track by continuing to declutter… I’d say let the children play with their new toys until the novelty wears off, and then slowly but surely pass them on to others 🙂 Another idea is to ask people to donate gifts to your favourite charity instead of giving you gifts, or something like that… that way at least they feel as though they are giving something! 🙂 Big hugs to you xoxo

  9. We really don’t need what we have, but there are people who do. I love getting trash bags filled and ready to donate. So freeing!

  10. Cherie says:

    I am with you on this one. I am planning a huge de clutter of evry room in my house. I have things that I haven’t used in years. I am sure that someone else could use them every day

  11. This is a constant struggle between my husband and myself – I’m trying to get rid of things, but he doesn’t want to. I’ve done a lot of my “own” things, but have more yet to do, so at least I can feel like I’m working towards that goal.

    • womenabiding says:

      I totally understand, Lisa… Just as usually one in each couple is emotional and the other is intellectual, and one is extroverted while the other is introverted, etc. I have noticed that one is usually more of a hoarder, and one more of a “chucker” which can certainly cause conflict. It’s great that you’re minimising your own clutter, though! I have no doubt that you’ll see a huge difference in your home and life even by doing that… xoxo

  12. Hi Tehila,
    I could use some of this! My biggest struggle is with my kids right now. Determining what is unnecessary. I’m constantly weeding through things. It is so freeing to not have to take care of so much AND to not have to feel as though one must keep shopping for more!
    Blessings, my friend!

    • womenabiding says:

      It truly is, Lori! Keep going, my friend… your children probably won’t miss what you get rid of.. in fact they may find they’re less stressed and more relaxed with fewer of their own possessions, too! Love and hugs

  13. Hi Tehila, Great post! I think the best part is blessing others with the things you don’t need that they do need! Like everyone I need to declutter, too. It’s sad that we become so “attached” to our things that we can’t let them go! Thanks for the inspiration! Blessings, Janet

    • womenabiding says:

      I think you’re so right, Janet! Blessing others with my unnecessary stuff has been one of the most enjoyable parts of this new journey! May God bless you as you begin simplifying your life in this way, bit by bit… xoxo

  14. Kendall says:

    I think of being more minimal as having a manageable life, even if it’s not easy! I love having simple, yet lovely or beautiful things around me. I used to “collect” clothing and shoes as a single woman. Now, apparently we “collect” random boxes and containers for the boys to play with. Still, I do try to contain those things and I know overall I’m much happier for it! 🙂

    • womenabiding says:

      It’s great that you’re aware of how much “stuff” you’re collecting, also for your children, Kendall. I think a lot of people aren’t aware of the effect the volume of their stuff has on them! Blessings to you xoxo

  15. I needed to read this, as I’m sure other’s do too. It is definitely time for me to start minimalizing. Great article! I’ll be including a link to this on my next Friday Faves.

    Blessings to you and yours!


  16. Teresa says:

    “Be a river, not a dam!” is a quote that has affected my life to become a minimalist! God intends to bless us and wants us to use the blessings we NEED and pass on to others what we don’t NEED! I too am a hoarder by nature, so it is an ongoing process to clean out, organize, and pass on.
    When I examined my reason for hoarding things; I found deep down, it was because I was not trusting God to provide ALL my needs! Trust in God’s great Provision has taken away my fears!

    • womenabiding says:

      Teresa! I love how you got to the bottom of why you were a hoarder. That is such a profound quest to go on… and I really appreciate the quote shared, “Be a river, not a dam.” Blessings to you… your faith is admirable! xoxo

  17. Joanne Viola says:

    Wonderful post! It’s something that God has been placing on my heart to do as well. We don’t have a lot but it is easy for clutter to creep up on us.

  18. I am the opposite – well, not a true opposite of a minimulist. But I appreciate your Okay, now i’ll be one attitude! And i love the idea- one thing a day. Now that I can do. Yesterday I quit my job – so that was letting go of a whole lot (plus it was a job at a thrift store – now there’s a temptation for you – but oh, so fun!) Thanks – great post. Next to you this week at Moments.

  19. Jann Olson says:

    Well, I must say that I haven’t reached the minimalist phase yet. 🙂 I love being surrounded by the things I love and they make me happy. I do go through closets and cupboards and clean out now and then. But I’m a true believer of being ourselves and not worrying about doing what others tell you to. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  20. JES says:

    Great post! This is something I constantly work on– it seems to be a work in progress! Thank you for sharing with us on the Art of Home-Making Mondays at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth! 🙂

    • womenabiding says:

      Hey Jes! You’re so right… We can’t declutter everything in one hour, or day, or even month! It is an ongoing work in progress – one that I have found becomes easier the more I do it… Blessings to you, lovely! xoxo

  21. The gods of today my friend may not be the Amorites, and they certainly aren’t “beyond the River.” They may right in front of us – in our homes – the gods of greed, exuberance, materialism, covetousness, and self. Will you choose to serve these gods?
    So true!! Ouch!!
    I’m working on being more of a minimalist. God finally got it thru my thick head that stuff was more important to me than Him. So, stuffs gotta go!! I only want room for Christ in my heart!!
    Thank you.
    LivingProverbs 31

    • womenabiding says:

      What a JOY to hear of your transformation, Melinda! Praise God for working in your heart so powerfully and for revealing an obstacle to walking fully with your Saviour! A true sign that you belong to Him! Soooo encouraged to read your little testimony! God bless you mightily! xoxo

  22. Amy Hagerup says:

    This is something that tugs at my heart often. I periodically will go on a cleaning spree. I think you have inspired me to do it once again. So freeing. Interesting that you referred to the verse “Choose today whom you will serve.” I love this.

  23. Lois Flowers says:

    We had a garage sale last weekend, and after it was over, I packed up a bunch of unsold stuff to donate. It’s interesting the conversation I had in my head about why we should keep some of it instead of getting rid of it … letting go can be hard, even if it’s stuff you haven’t used for years! But also freeing in important, life-giving ways! I appreciate this thought-provoking post, Tehila. Glad to be your neighbor at Purposeful Faith this week …

    • womenabiding says:

      Thank you for your honesty, Lois… you’re right, it’s hard to part with our ‘stuff’ and minds can play nasty and intricate tricks on us! But I’m so proud of you for resisting and for going ahead and getting rid of what you were going to sell anyway! Blessings to you lovely one! xoxo

  24. sarahbeth says:

    I love this post. I totally agree that we can be better followers of Christ by practically getting rid of stuff that we don’t need. Because I live in a generally small house (although huge compared to other parts of the world), I have to regularly go through it and get rid of stuff I’ve accumulated for no reason other than wanting it. Thank you for sharing! This is both encouraging and convicting!

    • womenabiding says:

      I love your attitude, Sarahbeth, and going through our homes regularly to declutter is truly a good habit to have, no matter what the size of our homes! May God bless you today and always, sweet friend xoxo

  25. Sandi says:

    I am purging stuff every other day because we plan to down-size. Getting rid of things or donating to our Missions store is indeed freeing. Thanks for sharing with us.


  26. Leah says:

    This is very encouraging! I also have been trying to downsize our stuff, but I just realized this week that I’m too attached, even when I try not to be! I have two little ones, so it’s difficult for me to get rid of the toys they play with or things that have sentimental value. But I also realized that they would rather have a joyful mom who is focused on the right things than a stressed-out, always cleaning mom who is focused on, well, things! Visiting from Faith Filled Friday!

    • womenabiding says:

      Leah, I understand, and you are probably not alone in your thoughts! I definitely think that if your little ones are still using their toys, there is no need to get rid of them, but of course, they grow out of them quickly, and then others may be able to be blessed by them as they develop and grow into other toys. Sentimental stuff is *such* a biggie, though. You’ve hit the nail on the head! By far the hardest to declutter. I still haven’t figured out a formula to decide how to declutter stuff with sentimental value… Perhaps start with the other stuff, and then by the time you hit the sentimental possessions you’ll be on a role and will gain some clarity in what to keep, and what you won’t miss…. So lovely to have your honest comment here! xoxo

  27. Teresa says:

    Very well written post and very true. I have had a strong desire for some time to de-clutter, to get rid of “stuff”. I plan to slowly work at attaining this; one room at a time. Good luck in your journey to become a minimalist!

  28. When we downsized it was such a free and great feeling to have it all gone. I have not missed anything. God has always provided abundantly even though we don’t have a lot by most standards.

    Bloggers Pit Stop

    • womenabiding says:

      Thank you so much for your input, Kathleen! The overarching theme of all the comments on this blog post is how freeing minimalizing is, and your words have made that truth resound all the more! Love your perspective and faith on how God always provides! Amen and amen! xoxo

  29. Bibi says:

    What an encouraging post! My family is downsizing, it is such a freeing experience. And for me, it is not only about reducing items that possess us but also become debt free or not go into more debt over items we only want but don’t need. And through it all, of course, to be able to help others in need better.
    What a great reminder, I really enjoyed reading your post.

    Visiting from a link-up

    • womenabiding says:

      Bibi! When an honour to have you here at Women Abiding! I admire your gorgeous blog and am so glad to connect with you! You have an excellent point – while minimalizing our lives often starts with our physical possessions, it naturally spills over and develops into other areas of our lives, be it our debts or our calendars… I’ve just decided we’re great friends! 🙂 xoxo

  30. My husband and I are very naturally minimalists- it drives us nuts to have stuff cluttering and distracting us. He even has a habit of giving away an item of clothing every time he gets one (which is fine now that he has a full wardrobe of necessities!) We can honestly say that yes- the Lord doesn’t call us to minimalism as part of serving Him, but minimalism can be very freeing for making literal and intangible space to serve Him. Thanks for sharing!! Enjoy your freedom!!

    • womenabiding says:

      Bethany! How wonderful that both you and your husband share this mindset! I know many couples which experience a lot of friction because one is a hoarder and one is a “chucker..” Consider yourself blessed! I think people can sometimes only believe that it’s so freeing once they’ve actually taken the step to minimalize. So excited to have this in common with you! xoxo

  31. We’re working on this with my dad right now. The attachment we have to stuff can be overwhelming and stops us from really living.

    • womenabiding says:

      Totally agree… I had grandparents who never even through their yoghurt tubs or chocolate wrappers away… but many of us can get ourselves so attached to our own belongings. Such a great point, Camesha! Thank you and may God bless you as you help your dad to minimalise his stuff… xoxo

  32. I really love this post. We actually downsized from a three bedroom to a 41 foot RV and got rid of 90% of our belongings. It was really a freeing experience.

  33. Jamie says:

    Great tips! There are so many trying to move over to this lifestyle – less stuff, less stress! 🙂 Thank you for sharing with us at the #HomeMattersParty

  34. Michelle says:

    Totally agree with buying less and decluttering. We really don’t need half the stuff we have at home. Time for another spring-clean!

  35. Audrey says:

    Getting rid of the clutter frees your mind for other things. Thanks for sharing with us on #FridayFrivolity

  36. Patty says:

    You made some great points here! My husband and I are planning to do a purge in our house. Each time we clean out or get ready for a tag sale we are amazed at all we have accumulated! Thanks for the encouragement to downsize and go against the materialism we sometimes face!

    God bless you,

    • womenabiding says:

      I know exactly what you mean, Patty! It’s crazy how one can accumulate stuff without even noticing! It somehow sneaks up on all of us… Love and hugs to you xoxo

  37. danielle says:

    Your post caught my eye at a link party – I don’t see many people writing about this! I love our life of living with less! The quote by William Morris is up in our kitchen (our most frequented room): “Have only what you know to be useful and believe to be beautiful!” When I first became a minimalist I got rid of half of our stuff like you! It was wonderful to be able to give it to people who truly needed it! I think having a cause to give it toward helped me get rid of even more! Hooray for you!

    • womenabiding says:

      Thank you so much for your heartfelt encouragement, Danielle! What a blessing you are! And I adore that quote you mentioned! I am totally adopting that into my life from this moment forward!! So much appreciate your input here! xoxo

  38. Pat says:

    While I am by no means a hoarder, I really appreciate the spiritual connections you make here, Tehila. I come from a family of quasi-hoarders, however, so I know I can easily get there. But years ago, when our children were small, I used to save BOXES of clothes in between sizes and seasons. A friend of mine (who, by the way had even MORE kids than our 5) once pointed out, very sweetly and lovingly, that by holding on to them for so long I was keeping a blessing from others. I know that my heart was to be frugal and save money, but I think deep down it was as Teresa pointed out: fear that God would not provide. I gave away the boxes and still found that I had plenty of clothes for the kids each season…
    Thanks for sharing this at Coffee and Conversation, Tehila – we’ll be featuring it at tomorrow’s party! 🙂

    • womenabiding says:

      Pat! This was a a word for *me*! While I have and continue to declutter my house, one thing I haven’t intended to touch are the boxes of clothes that I’m keeping for the children as they grow up! Thank you so much for sharing this… My heart is convicted, and I will be considering passing them on as a blessing to others… Such an invaluable comment! Thank you! xoxo

  39. We constantly look for ways to become more minimalist. We purge and purge and purge as the kids grow and we move every 2-4 years with the military, so having less is easier and less stressful.

    • womenabiding says:

      That would definitely be a good reason to minimalist every move, Jennifer! Good for you being so aware of living a minimalistic lifestyle! You’re an inspiration! xoxox

  40. Cheryl Smith says:

    Oh, dear friend! SO thankful to meet you today! And, this post surely resonates with me. God has had my family and me on a minimizing journey for the past few years. He has brought us from being laden with debt and bondage to a 4 bedroom, 3 bath house with a huge, oversized 2 car garage, down to a 10×20 storage unit! And, IT is filled with so much excess that we are currently downsizing and minimizing. When it all boils down, all that will matter is what we do for eternity, and being bound to our possessions will hinder us from living freely in Christ and being unencumbered to doing all He is asking us to do. Jesus lived a completely minimal life…HE is our example and the One we most want to emulate and follow in this life. This is absolutely a spiritual journey into aligning ourselves with His mindset, will, and lifestyle. Today, on my blog, I am sharing an interview with another minimalist sister, if you care to read it. So thankful to meet you and read this amazing post! God bless you!

    • womenabiding says:

      Loveliest Cheryl! Thank you so much for sharing your journey, and what lessons you are learning in how to live free in this life and for eternity! Your story is inspiring and I have no doubt that God will continue to write it beautifully and graciously! With my love and care, Tehila PS. Thank you so much for your warm and beautiful words to me xoxoxo

  41. Laura Lane says:

    Thank you for this nudge. I needed it.

  42. Ceri says:

    For me, everything is better uncluttered. I don’t live a very minimalistic life but I do always like to have a good clear out, as good for the mind as it is for the physical space. thank you so much for linking up this post #pinningforfuturereference

    • womenabiding says:

      You’re so right, Ceri! It is good mentally for us to minimalise! It creates space around us, but also creates space in our minds! Love your thoughts… xoxo

  43. Great post which looks at sizing down with a whole new twist and energy, thank you


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