I think we’re becoming minimalists?

In early May, I was browsing TEDx talks on YouTube while drawing comics and came across one that changed my life:

It was about minimalism.

I knew the buzzword “minimalism”… but only to the extent that you were supposed to get rid of basically everything you owned. Which didn’t sound like my cup of tea at all.

I clicked on the TEDx talk to see what all the fuss was about.

Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.

I have hoarding tendencies.

I’m very attached to stuff – I can remember where, when, why, and what I was feeling when I came into possession of every article of clothing, knickknack, and piece of furniture in my house. If I bought it, I remember exactly how much it cost and if it was a present, I remember who gave it to me.

I liked having things because it made me feel prepared for the messy, complicated, unpredictable nature of life.

But “more” doesn’t necessarily mean “better prepared.”

Instead, hoarding anything I thought might possibly be useful left me feeling confused, overwhelmed, and guilty. And Ryosuke and I were constantly bickering over the clutter and my inability to get rid of anything (even things that were broken and/or had outlived their usefulness).

“I need five phone chargers because what if one of them breaks and then I go on a trip and accidentally leave the charger in the hotel room like I did when we went to Nasushiobara and then we only have three chargers so I can charge my phone, my kindle, and our camera at the same time so obviously I need to keep all these chargers and okay one of them sometimes doesn’t work but sometimes it does so it seems kind of wasteful to just throw it away.” 


I needed to simplify my life.

I looked more into minimalism, downloading some books on my kindle and reading through them every night before I went to bed. I shared some of what I was learning with my husband (who pretty much always responded with, “I’ve been telling you that for years! But now that you read it in a book you listen??”)

We started decluttering twice a week together.

decluttering minimalism

So far, we’ve taken three truckloads of stuff (most furniture, books, and old appliances) to a resale shop. Ryosuke and I both can’t believe how much more livable our apartment feels without the clutter.

We’re (probably) not going to go “hard-core” minimalist.

Truth is, we like stuff… but we’re also committed to eliminating excess and focusing on the things we truly love.

We wanted to share with y’all because posting it on this blog makes it real. And y’all will hold me accountable from here on out, if I’m ever tempted to fall back into my hoarding ways.

I’m feeling good. Positive. Hopeful.

I will write a bit more about our steady downsizing over the next couple months (this is very therapeutic for me) but in the mean time, look at how beautiful our closet is!

closet minimalism


About Grace Buchele Mineta

I got into the writing business by accident. Now I live in the countryside near Tokyo with my husband, Ryosuke, where I draw comics, blog, and make videos about our daily life. Contact: Website | More Posts

2 Comments on I think we’re becoming minimalists?

  1. I understand exactly what you are going through. I am very attached to stuff myself, but recently two dear friends lost everything they owned in a house fire. You would think they would be heartbroken, but somehow they’re managing to be positive. One of them said, “It was just stuff.”
    I hope one day I can live like them. Good luck!

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