Contact

Contact

Feel free to drop me an email if you have a question about our minimalist journey or a suggestion for something you would like to see a post about. Media inquiries are also welcome.

You can email me at: the minimalist mom at gmail dot com

Guest Posts

If you would like to guest post here please contact me. I occasionally accept posts from other bloggers and writers in the minimalist or simplifying niche. NOTE: I don’t accept guest posts from companies, third party content providers or freelancers.

Media

The Globe and Mail: essay I wrote featured in the Facts & Arguments section.

CBC Radio The Early Edition: Pinched interview on December 7, 2010

CKNW Radio: featured on the Bill Good Show January 27, 2011

CFAX Radio: featured on the Dave Dickson Show January 28, 2011

Global News: featured on January 30, 2011

Calgary Herald: Calgarians ditching consumerism in pursuit of happiness on April 4, 2011

 

Comments

  1. Jodi Rogers says

    I always push deadlines. I knew you were deleting your FB account (and I am envious), but I thought I had until tomorrow? Clearly, you’re so organized, you pulled the chute early.

    I feel I almost missed the cut on “people that know and love Rach that don’t always keep in regular contact.” I’m hoping this message vaults me into a “yes, we’re still in contact” category “even though I don’t see her as often as I would like to.” (insert thought bubble (know there is a more technical term you writer types would call this – we PR types can’t remember at 11:00 pm on a Thursday) – but, I like and admire this person and her family SO much and don’t want to lose contact)

    I love your blog. I catch it when I can. I should “like” it on FB ASAP. Note to self. Katy pretty much rocks too. And Henry??? Wowza. I want to say the same about Chris, but other than a JR drunken induced introduction, I fear he fears.

    So….let’s do a walk/run/coffee. I would LOVE to see you.

    Do you still have my number iPhone gal?

    Here’s to a new year….I love what you write and I want to adopt some of the changes you’re making in your world to fit mine – it makes lots of sense to me. Minus the carless life ;-)

    xo, JR

  2. theminimalistmom says

    Got number and emailed you this morning. Great to hear from you. We need to meet up. I am just over the bridge from you.
    Thank you for the kind words. Life has taken some interesting turns in the last six months but all for the better. Call, email or send smoke signals!

  3. Mike says

    I love the minimalism concept and do okay on my own, but my wife certainly isn’t for it. Fortunately, she’s not a hoarder either. Any advice on how I can do less without upsetting the spousal apple cart too much?

    • theminimalistmom says

      Are you reading my mind, Mike? I just wrote a post this morning about this subject – it goes up Monday.
      If you have time, pop by next week, have a read and let me know what you think of my advice

  4. Maggie says

    I love your story. Found you today in the globe; what a refreshing morning read. I too have fantasized about minimalism, and after reading your story I am keen to start. Will keep up with your blog! Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. Julia Longpre says

    Read your Globe article today and had to check out your blog. I love to hear of stories like yours. My husband, 2 yr old and I live in a less than 600 sq ft apartment and because of my love of minimalism and second hand shopping, I too am able to stay home stress free. I want my child to have memories of family trips abroad and experiences, not toys and stuff. Thank you for bringing a more enjoyable and sustainable way to live to more people’s attention.

  6. Shawna says

    Dear Minimalist mom,

    I am intrigued by the idea of traveling with kids. I am wondering, though, do you ever feel lonely on the road? Being the kids’ only source of interaction? Do you make friends on the road that you spend time with in your various destinations? Feeling “disconnected” is my biggest fear…I don’t mean out of the loop on news and such….I already am that! But I mean, just feeling like you don’t have any close friends. Of course, here at home most of my close friends are too busy trying to maintain their stuff so we rarely gather anyhow!!

    Have you children ever expressed any serious discontent with this lifestyle? My girls are currently 4 and 1. How old were yours when you first embarked on your journey?

  7. Living in Excess says

    Hi, I stumbled upon your website and have found it to ring true for me. I feel so burdened by things I own, want to own, the debt of all my impulse purchases which in the moment made me feel warm and fuzzy and like I got a killer deal. I have two children, 5 and 3 and a 1800 sq. foot home. Before, my husband and I had kids I thought our home was so big and that we would never need this much space. Since, having had our two little girls it feels cramped and suffocating. We have too many things and despite my efforts to purge, recycle and re-gift it just never seems to get any better. I feel I’m my own worst enemy and definitely have a problem when I see a red sticker which says “sale” and I love makeup! I have so much of it, which I don’t need but then find myself buying more. I’m compulsive and obsessive over it. I feel like I’m finally reaching a point where I can say that I don’t need it. I imagine a life without constant clutter and feel that I too would have a much more clear mind, and more energy to be with my kids if I rid the one main stress which is now their own reality. To rid ourselves of stuff. Unnecessary mind cluttering stuff. I feel I’d have way more energy if this stuff wasn’t weighing me down. Now, the fun begins. What should I keep? Love your articles! Robynn

  8. Gloria Starita says

    Since 1974, my company, Jade & Pearl has sourced and distributed Sea Pearls reusable sea sponge tampons. Sea Pearls are a safe, comfortable, easy to use, economical and sustainable alternative to ordinary, single use tampons. If you would be interested in reviewing our awesome product for your blog, we would be delighted. You can read more about Sea Pearls and our other awesome products on our website at http://www.jadeandpearl.com. Please email your shipping address if you would like to do a review. Warm Regards, gloria, Jade & Pearl, Int.

  9. Jason McFadden says

    I really like your blog and minimalism. I like Leo at Zen Habits a lot, but I also like your practical and thoughtful approach to minimalism regarding family. It’s hard to declutter
    since my wife and I have 4 kids. Thanks! I also have shared a few posts on minimalism on my Sheepish Thinking blog you might like. It’s more about being content.

  10. Dee says

    Rachel – I haven’t reached out in a bit but wanted to thank you tremendously for access to your ebooks and of course you wonderful blog. I have a dilemma and wanted to see how you would approach it. In our mini efforts to minimalize – we just aren’t getting THERE. We have an opportunity to list our home (money pit) in a highly diserable neighborhood. We of course will not sell w/o breaking even or getting a small profit. I am very attracted to this idea and renting while we kill all consumer debt and save save save. My question is this – I’m finding very little options to rent within the desired area for a decent price. I know electric will be less but is it worth it to rent if our mortgage is potentially the same as our potential rent? Why sell and move – I guess I thinking it would be a huge opportunity to purge purge purge – with our day-to-day lives its difficult to focus on that in our current situation. Would really welcome your candid advice! Thanks!

    • theminimalistmom says

      Dee – That is a big question! If you’re looking for some anecdotal and emotional responses to renting vs. owning check out the comments in this post: http://www.theminimalistmom.com/2012/05/americandream/.
      As for the purging, true, moving house can be a great time to do the big work. While it’s tempting to move as a kick in the pants to downsize your stuff I wouldn’t have it be the whole reason for the move. Moving is stressful. And a lot of work (on top of sorting and giving away stuff).
      Do you know anyone else close by that is looking to downsize? A partner in crime always helps. I know one of the reasons I didn’t give up was because my sister was doing the same thing at the same time. I had someone to commiserate with and cry with when it felt like there was no end to how much crap was in my home.
      This is from someone who is tentative about selling her own home. We would have a simpler life if we didn’t own our condo in Vancouver but we’re just not comfortable with selling it. Possibly in the future but not right now.
      Good luck, Dee and shoot me an email if you want to chat more: the minimalist mom @ gmail dot com.

  11. Christa says

    OK Minimalist Mom, I give up!
    Well, not really, but I have hit a definite wall. Two walls in fact that I hope you can help me with.

    First, when I minimalized my kitchen, it was an awesome transformation. I as then able to put appliances like toaster etc under the counters to get more space which has really made me feel better and helped make my life easier. But the one area I struggle with continually is the cupboard! We have a small cupboard for 2 parents, a toddler and an almost one year old. The youngest is in that neither world of not wanting baby food but needing soft food to feed himselves and my 4 year old is a picky eater. I feel like I have snacks falling out of the cupboard. New food that I hope one of my children will eat or back ups so I dont run out of something. How can I minimalize and organize?

    The 2nd “wall” is we have plenty of toys- too many that I am working on pairing down. Especially baby dolls and stuffed animals (a bed full, plus a hamper full, plus two bins, and one small bookshelf). It is heartbreaking for my daughter to part with any of her friends so this has been a slow process, I’m OK with that. The trouble is, both children have birthdays coming up, then of course Christmas. My husband and I would LOVE to ask for money for college instead of toy presents. Yet, this seems rude. We plan on having another child and would like to make it work in the house that we are in (3 bedroom and a finished basement, people have done it with way less room, I know). But if we are going to accomplish that goal, we need less stuff and we need people to stop giving us stuff! We bought them a small swingset for their birthday present- small. They play on it everyday, its exercise, its imagination, and it makes my life a lot easier so even though its a luxury and maybe not keeping with the “minimalist” lifestyle, we love it…and it’s outside the house, so it doesn’t count, right?

    So please help me with my two dilemas! How do I pare down my pantry and how do we politely tell people “no more toys please”.

    Thank you so much for your help,

    Christa :)

    • theminimalistmom says

      Hi Christa,

      I’ll tell you a few things that we’ve done and maybe they will work for you too.

      Pantry: I only keep a few snack type items around. I’ve found that more choice overwhelms my son and that he gets attached to certain snacks and will want them instead of a meal. So we only have raisins and a type of biscuit or cracker in the cupboard (other snacks, fruit, cheese, yogourt, are in the fridge or fruit bowl). We’re actually in a learning phase, sometimes we call it a battle, over meals with our almost three year old. We’re really putting our foot down that what’s on the table for dinner is what’s available. It’s hard but we’re seeing progress. I loosely followed baby-led weaning http://www.babyledweaning.com/ and it greatly simplified our meals and meal preparation.

      Toys: if they use it and love it always keep it. We have a train table and train set that is used every day. Sometimes for hours. In addition to that we have two buckets of toys and about 50 books. Plus a balance bike that my son has yet to figure out.

      As for family over-gifting, I let people know what, if anything we need, and then graciously accept all gifts. What we won’t use/don’t need I return or donate. At this point our family knows we are trying to live an unclutterred life. If they send us boxes of dollar store toys and things we will never use we give it away to people who will use it. For us, one of the real lessons to living with less stuff is to stop being concerned about what others think. If you let your hopes be known, say mention a college fund, or a toy that would be adored, and they are ignored, then you have to move on and do what’s best for you.

      This is not easy but it’s worth it.

      Good luck!

      • Christa says

        Thank you so much for taking the time to write- what great advice! The baby led weaning is interesting and I plan to look further into it, I’ve never heard of that. You are absolutely right, they really do just eat a few favorite snacks so this week I’ve worked on finishing up the old and only replacing the staples. I have made more headway on the toys, still at a stand off with the stuffed animals and dolls. And a million one of a kind Etsy blankets…I have to take responsibility for my part in creating this clutter and accepting all this stuff into my life. I went through a divorce when my daughter was 3 months old and tried to compensate and funnel my feelings into “spoiling” my daughter. On top of that people/friends/coworkers felt bad and kept giving us more things. Sometimes when I’m putting something in the donation pile I have to say out lout “my child will not end up in therapy or be scarred for life because I am getting rid of this Elmo they haven’t played with in a year” LOL! And when it comes down to it, they really do play better with less and it also creates room for more creativity..and more room for epic fort making.
        I am now happily remarried and have an almost one year old as well and it has really been kind of theraputic getting rid of all the toys I bought out of guilt (over a divorce that wasn’t my fault) and only keeping the most loved toys with happy memories attached to them.

        Thank you, most sincerely.

        Christa

  12. Sarah says

    While perusing the blogosphere recently, I came across your blog. Your Globe & Mail article spoke to me and I couldn’t stop reading (twice). The ‘things’ in one’s life can be suffocating, no? The twenty pairs of pants that don’t fit, the debt that we’ve incurred over the years (though I can’t remember what on), and years of using the clearance rack at Target as a pacifier.
    Although I’ve (slowly) freed myself of a number of the bad habits, many still remain. And I’ve come to realize that these ‘things’ make me feel bad. For the money wasted on them. For the abandoned diet that was surely going to whittle my waist into that particular pant size. For the lack of savings. Our income is more than enough for my husband, son and I to live comfortably, and is more than most make, yet it seldom feels like it. Less than a year from now, I will be a college graduate. I will also walk away with student loans.
    I always think about what we can change and how, but no budget seems to make it through summer vacation. Your minimalist lifestyle is so freeing! It not only minimizes the ‘stuff,’ it has the added bonus of doing the same for the guilt, the burden, and the stress.
    What I’m trying to say is thanks. For being honest. And daring. We can all benefit by taking your lead.

  13. Jackie B. says

    Hi! My name is Jackie from CT. I been reading your blog for about 6 months now. I just wanted share to you my journey of declueterring. I am a mom of two girls age 8 and 20 months. My journey started when a friend walk in my garage a year ago to help my husband put camping stuff away. He said oh my god have you seen the show hoarder. Me and my husband felt so embarass. After that me and my husband made a commitment that we will declutter and clean. I started decluttering my garage made 4 trips to the town dump. We also made at least 30 car full trips to goodwill. Then I started decluttering each room. My house is now looking really neat and clutter free. My friends is now asking my help to declutter also my inlaws.

  14. lindsay says

    Hi Rachel!!
    Just wanted to let you know that my son and I watched your House Hunters episode last night!! Such a treat! You guys were lovely – and the Isle of Man is breathtaking. I think it was the first time it was broadcast in Canada..it said it was “new” on my cable box, anyway! I think you absolutely made the right choice, as well!
    Hope all is going wall for you and your family!

  15. Catherine says

    Dear Minimalist Mom, I have been car free for several years now and love it…of course it’s just me and my dog so it’s quite easy. I moved closer to work and now live on the same street as my employment. I often walk or bicycle to work or a colleague will drive me home. It really is saving me money and I use it for traveling and having experiences in life rather then things.

    • theminimalistmom says

      Yeah! Love to hear that others are going car free and enjoying it. We now have two children and are still managing without a car. The weather has been terrible lately so we’ve been taking the bus (wind so strong it can blow my 3 yr old over!). The older child loves the bus, it’s an adventure, and for where we live and travel to, it’s just as fast as having a car. :)

  16. Jamie says

    Laundry….now that is an area that I have simplified and don’t have a problem keeping on top of. I have 4 children and for almost 8 years now I have been doing laundry the same way. Each family member has their own laundry basket/hamper in their bedrooms. Once a week, on their assigned day, they do their laundry….wash, dry, fold and put away. When we first started this they all needed a bit of help but now they are all running solo on doing their own, youngest was 7 by the time he could manage his own laundry on his own. The best part, no more sorting clothes, which was tough with 2 boys in the same size but not the same style clothes. I’ve never had a problem with clothes bleeding and I dont typically bleach anything as they wear through their clothes faster than they get dingy white.

  17. Beth says

    Hi! I love your site, and I was wondering if you’ve ever run across any minimalism info on dog ownership. It might sound silly, but our family is hugely enriched by always having a couple of adopted dogs as part of it, but properly caring for them keeps space and money-saving a constant challenge. Thanks!

  18. Heather says

    I just found your site and thank you for sharing your journey. I have a blog about finding myself and what it is that really makes me til and how I really want to live and be the person I want to be. Your site has made really think and I love that. So thanks again I can’t wait to ponder this see what it really means for me.

  19. J.Lee says

    I’ve been reading here for a long while now and I just want to say that I love your tone and how you break down the process of paring down your belongings. I think it’s so genuine and authentic how you really live it. You’re not claiming some ascetic lifestyle of nothingness and one t shirt, but you are showing a family living well with a lot less nonsense. This is my style minimalism. Not the kinds of “clutter free” with 50 baskets in baskets and chalkboards everywhere so we don’t need as much paper. This is real and workable and livable and just delightful. Please keep blogging.

    • theminimalistmom says

      Wow, thank you for the compliments, J. Yes, we’re not perfect or superstars: just an ordinary family battling stuff and trying live mindfully and with less. I try to get this across in my posts here – perfection is the enemy of done/good – so it is nice to hear that that message comes through.

  20. stephanee says

    Hi, I have been making small steps toward a simpler life and less stuff for years. Do you have any posts/ advice on what to do about a spouse who doesn’t feel the same? He is not necessarily against what I want to do, but he isn’t excited about it. We have no credit card or car debt, house payments our only debt. We live below our means and save lots for college and retirement (we have 3 kids). He isn’t worried about spending too much money, but I keep telling him if we pay off house and have enough to retire then he can retire that much earlier (assuming we are out of habit of consuming too much). Have enjoyed reading your posts!

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