≡ Menu

Minimalist fatigue.

I enjoy reading minimalist blogs. They’re a good source of inspiration and motivation. And it FEELS good to read statements and philosophies that resonate in me. I like to feel good. So, yeah, I do enjoy reading minimalist blogs. But, sometimes–like today–those upbeat, inspiring, motivating blogs are more of a beat down than a pick-me-up. Because today, I’m tired. And I’m looking to see if anyone else out there is tired, too. Too tired to cook real food. Too tired to sort and organize and dispose of… stuff. I’m reading these blogs and looking for an indication that other minimalist-minded people get tired, too. But it doesn’t look like they do. It would seem that other minimalists never get tired. Or apathetic. Or discouraged. Ever. But, on this day, right now, I’m all three. And that makes me feel weak. Like I’m an ineffectual minimalist. A failure.

I don’t like feeling I’m a failure. But, sometimes–like today–I come to a point where I’m done. I’m just over it. Mind-numb and apathetic. I have an intellectual understanding that minimalism works, and that it’s a journey worth making, but there’s a heavy fog that prevents me from seeing any progress made. Am I making tracks, or falling behind? I know that if I continue to strive for purposeful living I’ll be happier. Right? I mean, once I get out from under the crush of materialism life will be breezy and weightless. Right? That’s the appeal, at least. For me.

But, sometimes–like today–I simply can’t see that far ahead. This is when chicken nuggets and mac-n-cheez start looking like viable options again. This is when processed and easy are most appealing. This is when walking around the last five boxes of unpacking left in the hallway seems to make more sense than spending what little energy I have unpacking them one-by-one.

The minimalism march is rocky sometimes. I’d like to take a break, but inertia is a bitch. Once I stop climbing the mountain, I become the mountain. So, I read the blogs and I keep moving, one foot in front of the other. Just wish I knew I wasn’t alone in my minimalist fatigue.

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Nici September 12, 2012, 6:47 am

    Hey Lisa,
    I’m just taking my first real steps towards minimalism.I’m feeling happy and positive about all the blogs I’ve come across , all the books I’ve been introduced to all the endless posibilities that seem to be at my feet…simplified wholesome cooking,streamlined wardrobe where everything matches… But I’m also terrified of the massive undertaking this is going to be…I’ve started little corners here and there but it’s so daunting. I think you have to take a chill every now and then and take a step back and admire where you have got to to help you refocus on where you are going..take a few days off..take the easy option ( hopefully it’ll remind you why you are leaving it behind!) then be ready to bounce back.. I hope that works anyway..otherwise I’ m going to be screwed cos I have HEAPS to get started with! Enjoy your day – smell the roses !!

  • Lisa September 12, 2012, 12:29 pm

    Hi, Nici! I feel like I’m just getting started, too. I wonder if that feeling ever goes away? Does a person eventually get to the point where they have nothing left to simplify in their life? Is there a minimalist alive who feels they’ve completed their journey? I’ve been minimalist minded since birth, but I’ve been surrounded by hoarders almost as long. It wasn’t until I divorced that I finally had the freedom to cut all the miscellany out of my life. It feels good. REALLY GOOD. But every once in a while I get stuck. Thanks for your comment. You perked me right up! Enjoy your day, too!


  • Katy September 14, 2012, 8:51 pm

    I know just how you feel. Sometimes I get a little down when I don’t feel like doing the things I ordinarily want to like dry all the dishes, pick up everything before going to bed, cook every meal from scratch, etc. it’s usually because I’m tired. I know that when I get some rest my motivation kicks in again and I’m excited to pursue simplifying again. But sometimes it feels like a few steps forward and one or two back. Thanks for your post. It’s nice to know other minimalists aren’t super-human ( I am certainly not!!)

    • Lisa September 15, 2012, 10:16 am

      Yay, Katy! Thanks so much for letting me know I’m not alone in this. I’m exactly the same way about keeping up with little things like dishes and making sure everything is put away before going to bed. If I’m sick, or if we have a really late night and those things don’t get done, then the next day I feel like I’m buried and have to dig my way out. That can get me to feeling overwhelmed really fast. Thanks so very much for your comment. It feels great to be understood!


  • Kimberly September 15, 2012, 7:48 pm

    You’ll get there. Every once in a while you have to give yourself permission to take a break and relax. There has to be balance, you can’t do everything at once. And don’t forget to set small goals for yourself. Take it one step at a time and congratulate yourself each step you take.

    When you read those other blogs, you’ll realize it takes as long as it takes and the process of creating a better life for yourself is an ongoing journey. Enjoy the process of change and don’t worry about how long it takes.

    Good Luck!

    • Lisa September 15, 2012, 8:18 pm

      Wow, Kimberly. You said something there that really made me think. You said to congratulate myself. I’d never thought to do that! Congratulate myself. That makes perfect sense! I’d congratulate someone else upon reaching a goal, but hmm… don’t know why I don’t congratulate me. Usually, when I come close to reaching a goal I start thinking “what next” instead of “look what a great job you just did!”

      You’ve just helped me change the way I think. I love that. Thanks, Kimberly!


      • Kimberly September 19, 2012, 6:55 am

        Good Luck, Lisa.

        And hey, Congratulations!


  • Samantha September 16, 2012, 9:03 am

    Had to smile at this post. For me the road to minimalism has been an emotional one filled with ups and downs.
    I know I have de-cluttered a lot, but so many of the things that I have got rid of i can’t remember what they were. It feels like getting nowhere. Then every month the charity van comes and I think ahh this will be the last month I have loads to get rid of. . . then the following month I seem to have just as much.
    I know I have made an impact. I know I would not have a clue what to do if anyone returned everything I de-cluttered. Yet sometimes it is hard to see the difference.
    At the moment I am studying two literature courses. . .so as a result have gained about 30 books, which probably isn’t helpful, but I can get rid of them in 9 months or so.
    I sometimes wish I had kept a journal of what i had de-cluttered. . .something more concrete to show how far I have come

    • Lisa September 17, 2012, 8:57 am

      I really like the idea of keeping track of all that you’ve gotten rid of. Photos would be nice. Especially when the time comes where I’m looking high and low for something I think I still have but actually got rid of in a previous minimalism march.

      You’re right about the Lit books. You can sell them once your class is finished and what rich experiences you will have gained once you’ve read through them all! Happy reading!


  • Marijke October 6, 2012, 3:50 am


    I come for the first time on your blog, I totally understand your feeling. Maybe look on it form the other site, just try to simplify your life, make things easy, even minimalism should be easy, if you feel a day off, of a week of even a month.. don’t worry, it will be alright, things what go difficult in life, you should not take so hard, its hard to explain what I mean, but wen you do the right thing it feels easy, so if being a minimalist feels heavy for you right now, take a break. Find something else to focus on, for me focusing on simplify my life, gives me strength because even with minimalism it can sometimes makes things complicated. hope you feel better! enjoy life 🙂 greetings from Belgium, Marijke

    • Lisa October 8, 2012, 9:07 am

      Greetings from Texas, Marijke!

      It’s so exciting to hear from someone in Belgium. Thank you for writing! Your advice is good, and very welcome. You’re very right about taking a break. With school in full swing I’ve been focused elsewhere since writing this post, and I’m feeling the familiar tug of minimalism again. I’m ready to get started again. The break was restful and effective!

      I wish you had a website so I could read more about you. Enjoy life!



Leave a Comment

Next post:

Previous post: