Minimize Me: First Act

I was a hoarder, then a hoarding shopaholic once I got a job. When Youtubers started uploading “haul” videos, my frivolous spending got even worse! I used these videos, fashion magazines, and window displays to buy things I thought were cute. Going to the mall and browsing online stores were my hobbies. I had most of my credit cards maxed out, only being able to pay the minimum requirements every month. I had too much stuff, not enough space, and definitely not enough time to clean my room every weekend. Things stopped coming out of their shopping bags. These bags started accumulating into piles on the floor. In my closet, I found clothes that still had tags on them wayyy after they were purchased. I lost track of what I had and did not have; sometimes I brought something home, only to realize that I already had it! It was getting RIDICULOUS; I felt like stuff owned me!

Let’s talk about it.


Then it began. I don’t want to say “fad,” but that’s what it seemed like at the time. Some of my favorite Youtubers started to experiment with decluttering their closets. They claimed that it was to make room for MORE clothes, because they ran out of closet space (How did that happen??). Makes sense, I thought, glancing wearily at my bulging closet. So, I tried it. Anything that was stretched out or had stains went into a garbage bag*. I felt good because now I could go buy more clothes! Obviously, this was the wrong reason for decluttering (for me, at least), but I didn’t realize it until later when I educated myself with videos and blogs that promoted living and travelling light.

*Note that this is not an environment-friendly way to dispose clothes. If your clothes are too worn to donate, try to re-purpose them into rags for cleaning or art.


In 2014, I started decluttering more regularly. At first, I felt bad for getting rid of things I paid good money for. But, let’s be honest, you’re not going to miss that expired face moisturizer. Or those jeans that make you look fat unflattering. What about those childish clothes you got when you were in junior high? Are you going to feel fierce when you wear them out in public? Didn’t think so. Going through all my stuff really made me realize what I use and what I don’t use. There was a lot of self-reflection going on for sure. Maybe I wouldn’t be in such debt if I didn’t buy all these things I never used!


When I got engaged, my S/O and I started saving, so we could pay cold hard cash for our wedding expenditure. He knew about my crippling debt, so he didn’t want us to add to that. Neither of our parents were filthy rich, so leeching money from them for the wedding was NOT an option for us. After we got married, we skipped going on a honeymoon and instead used the excess money to pay off my debt COMPLETELY. OHEMGEE, you folks, this felt INCREDIBLE. It’s like finally being able to get away from that one toxic friend you’ve had for years (You know, the one you never liked, but all your other friends like them, so you’re like whatevs.)! Obvs, after feeling this way, I did not want to use my credit cards again to buy things I could not afford. I thought about cutting up my credit cards, but I decided against it because I needed to rebuild my credit score.

This is the very first video that really motivated me to declutter for the RIGHT reasons.

If you like that, here are my FAVE Youtubers who inspired (and continue to inspire) me to live minimally and plan my purchases (in alphabetical order):

Allison Anderson

Anna Edit**

Christine Kobzeff

Embracing Average**


Hello Cathy

Jenny Mustard**


Lia’s Loft

Meghan Livingstone

Melissa Alexandria**

Messy Minimalist

My Green Closet**

Taylor Nicole

Use Less**

**They also talk about capsule wardrobes and slow-fashion. Might be worthwhile checking them out first if you’re constantly overwhelmed with choosing what to wear every morning 😊


I believe that financial and emotional sustainability are more important than other types of sustainability that we normally talk about here on SustainableU. After all, you have to take care of yourself first to be able to help the environment and other people.

How is it so cute?? It must be the lifestyle!


Next time in the Minimize Me series, I will talk about what I did after I got my declutter mojo and where my stuff went. Stay tuned!


Leave a comment or email us with your questions and requests for specific topics ❤

Julia Lee
The Blog Team Noob
(But Minimalism Pro)

6 thoughts on “Minimize Me: First Act

  1. THANK YOU! I’ve been trying to declutter and manage my debt (not really credit card, but student loans cuz i don’t wanna be HELLA in debt when im outta school). Also, i really want a minimalist closet, you know, not a lot of clothes. Im trying to get into capsule wardrobes! Anyway, thank you for making me feel less alone! 💜


    1. Thank you for your kind words, Samar! I’m really happy that you enjoyed the post 🙂 I don’t know if this helps, but when I was trying to make my first capsule wardrobe, I limited myself to a number of clothes and shoes per season (only two in Edmonton – snow and no-snow seasons *roll eyes real hard*) while leaving out accessories, “loungewear,” and workout-specific clothes (Lulus we all wear to classes count as regular clothes :P) Then I picked out some of fave pieces (to be in my capsule), put the rest in boxes, and adjusted my “capsule” as necessary. If you find that this makes matching your outfits difficult, you can also try sticking to only 2-3 major colors per season. For example, I stick to mostly black and grey, with a little yellow, red, and purple.

      Let me know if you have any other questions! (And yes, Minimize Me will return about once a month.)



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