Where have all the minimalists gone?

Over the past few weeks I’ve been searching online for the topic of minimalism. Back in the days when Twitter was big, that search would reveal people, real people, that were undertaking the journey to simplify their lives.

Now it all feels like it’s been constructed by AI (Except for Josh. Josh is still here).

It makes me wonder if Marie Kondo killed Minimalism.

Hear me out. When I realized that I felt lighter, happier, and liberated as I tossed my stuff, I went online to see if there was anyone who shared that feeling or if it was just me. I found Ev, Josh, and Leo right off the bat. They led me to Tammy and so many others who were on their own minimalist journeys.

These people were real then and they are now but it’s like they’ve been buried beneath a mountain filled with crap. Many of the faces I’d loved back then went back to their old lives. They just disappeared. And when you search on the subject now you find a whole lot of consumerist nothing.

This bothers me. I was that average consumer. I was the consumer who was tired of being poor and tired so I took some steps to change it and it gave me the gift of being a stay-at-home single mother in return. But then after my baby moved on I had to find out, once and for all, if everything I’d ever been taught was a lie, so I jumped into the Middle Class lifestyle with both feet to find out.

I discovered that it is a lie. The game is rigged in such a way that you’ll kill yourself if you play it but you won’t know you’re dead when it happens.

You’ll be too busy taking vacations to flee from your stuff to notice you’re dead when you’re not working 60-hour weeks to pay for it all.

And to make things worse this incessant pursuit of a lie is destroying the planet. It’s killing us all the way around yet the topic of the day is about the latest “must-have” gadget that’s going to make everything better.

Where did everybody go? Are they out there, buried in the algorithm, thinking that they are alone? And how do we fix this? How do we outsmart this corporate machine that wants to silence the truth?

If you know of any real people actually writing about minimalism, please leave a link to them in the comments. And if you have read any good books on the subject, please leave them in the comments as well.

Thank you for reading my rant. This has been bugging me for a while now.


15 responses to “Where have all the minimalists gone?”

  1. The current trend of minimalism is drifting toward financial minimalism centered around frugality and resilience. I have a feeling that the last few years with all the inflation and supply chain issues caused minimalists to question the wisdom of not having at least some reserve as the old “the store is your place to store your just in case stuff until you need it” depends upon having the luxury of the money and availability to buy things on short notice. Another shift is that YouTube and podcasts have almost completely overtaken blogs; and now we may be witnessing TicTok/Shorts/Reels starting to overtake longer YouTube videos due to too many people no longer having the attention span for anything longer than 2 minutes.

    A noteworthy person in this newer style is Amber who goes by “Prepper Princess” on YouTube. She openly admits that she choose the name when Prepper videos were going crazy online as a way to be more easily found on YouTube. The reality is she is a frugal minimalist with a high savings rate who has lived below the poverty line in terms of her spending for most of her adult life by choice. She has also been inspired by you, as your books are side by side to books like Living Well on Practically Nothing on her bookshelf – I’m noisy whenever somebody provides a glance of their bookcase I take a screenshot to enlarge and examine what they are reading.

    1. Oh wow. My books are on her shelf? That just made my day!

      I’ve seen several videos on YouTube about minimalism. I’ve thought about experimenting with the format. I’d be starting from scratch as far as experience goes, but if it helps get the message out….

      What do you think, John? Should I see about teaching myself how to make videos with my phone and go from there?

      1. Annie, there is nothing holding you back. It is clear that Prepper Princess started out filming on her phone and using the webcam on a laptop when sitting and talking with no editing. (I believe she still films most if not all her videos this way too.) The good thing about people after content on frugal living, minimalism and saving money care more about your ideas than if you have flashy and fancy video editing.

        I found my screenshot of her bookshelf cropped and rotated but I don’t remember which video it is from. I’ll email it to you as I don’t think I can upload an image in a comment.

        1. Thank you!

          1. Yes, Annie, please YouTube videos!

    2. Kelly L Barrington Avatar
      Kelly L Barrington

      I’m really into watching Prepper Princess. I like her videos and she make a lot of sense.

      1. Thank you for letting me know! That’s two votes for Prepper Princess. She must be amazing!

  2. HI Annie! I have noticed this too…But if feel it´s simply because the minimalist trend is gently coming to a healthy closure. Not that minimalism doesn´t still have a following…it has just swung into a more healthy part of the human experience.

    Let´s face it….if we become too minimalist….we cease from stimulating the economy, and while that may be fun when we see ¨evil¨ corporations lose money, it is not very fun when seeing extreme frugality hurt some of our loved ones, when small local businesses close because folks are eating at home so much and buying second hand clothes instead of supporting local eateries and clothing stores with their dollars.

    Those ¨famous¨ minimalist guys….sorry I forgot their names..are still featured on Netflix for all who still want to look into the movement. But it definitely does not have that trendy new vibe it once had.

    You really rode that wave rather well Annie and we enjoyed reading about all your downsizing highjinks, and inventive ways of living on little.

    I have noticed a newer focus on luxury and high quality goods and ¨maximalism¨ ….which is the more indulgent sign of wealth. I must admit that i find it rather refreshing, and not at all guilt inducing.

    Well that´s all for now. If you are interested in an unusual lady who has walked a personal journey of minimalism on her youtube channel check out https://www.youtube.com/@AtoZenLife … Spoiler alert…..she can be a tad emotional and sensitive, which doesn´t bother me….but may bug some viewers.

    Peace, Annie, glad to read your writings again.
    from Carla the Canadian

    1. If it’s done thoughtfully, minimalism is not only good for the planet but local businesses as well. For instance, when we use up the items we already own instead of buying more, we help reduce the excess that is clogging our landfills. When we choose to shop at a yard sale, we are helping our neighbors and the planet as well. The same goes for supporting our local thrift shops.

      We need food, so if we at least try to purchase locally grown foods, we benefit our communities and help the planet as well.

      And if we are thoughtful on the items that we do purchase, we can use that financial vote to support corporations that we do believe in.

      As for the guys who call themselves The Minimalists…they just seem a bit off to me. I’m not sure why. I’ve read their books and watched one of their documentaries, but it hits me in a place that I can’t vocalize. Maybe it’s just me.

      As for maximalism, I’ve seen that trend. I’m not sure what to say about that. It reminds me of what a former coworker said years ago “I buy everything that I can buy because it tells me that I’m doing better than my neighbors.”

      And thank you for the link! I will definitely check her out!

      1. I agree that there’s something about some of the minimalists that I can’t relate to. I also think having a reasonable stockpile of things like toilet paper, cold and health items, water, canned goods etc is a very good thing because you never know when you might get sick or whatever and can’t leave home.

        1. Exactly! In my opinion, if you know you will use it and come across a reason to stock up (price, etc.), you should go for it!

          I also believe that if you own it, you should use it up BEFORE buying new. That was one of the reasons I left the original minimalist group behind. They were more obsessed with throwing stuff away regardless of consequences in a race to the bottom instead of actually accepting responsibility for owning more than they needed.

          To me…it just seemed a bit too perfect the way they came into the scene. Just a bit smarmy, to use a word from my childhood. I don’t have anything against them per se, but something feels off about them for some reason.

  3. Ima minimalist when it comes to adding anything else that is not consumed unless I’m replacing something that has worn out because it is used often.

    One of my great nephews who saved and paid cash for his first (late model high mileage) car told me that he was able to save for the car because he’s a minimalist and only buys the minimum of what he needs. He’s half way through his junior year of college and will graduate debt free. So I don’t know how/where he heard about minimalism but I was thrilled.

    Sorry I don’t have links to share although once again I’m grateful to you for sharing another interesting article. Hope to hear from you again.

    1. That is so wonderful to hear, Karen! I’ve been using up what I have, then waiting to see if I even NEED to replace it. I don’t understand the logic of tossing things that can be used. It makes the problem we’re trying to solve even worse.

      Clap your nephew on the back for me please. He totally rocks in my book!

    1. Yes!!! Thank you, Linda! You are awesome!!!