unintentional minimalists

Have you guys seen Minimalists on Netflix?

minimalist living room

We’ve been making our way through the documentary -usually starting it before bed, so we only last about 20 minutes before we crash- but have been fascinated by it. It’s funny because now that we’re in Tucson, we’re getting a hint of unintentional minimalism, and can actually compare how it feels to have way less *stuff.* 

About 90% of our belongings are in Georgia waiting for us, so we’ve been living with the bare essentials. When we drove down to Tucson, we had a small U-haul trailer with the larger items, some suitcases, and the pets’ stuff. That’s it. I like to think that I kept clutter to a minimum, but now I know what it really feels like to live with zero clutter.

And it.is.awesome.

Livi's room

(We’re renting furniture. Lamps were not my choice haha.)

The vast majority of our stuff is packed up and in storage, and we don’t miss anything. We’ve already decided that when we get to Georgia, a lot of our belongings will be donated. Those boxes of college textbooks -why do we keep them??- the items that have moved with us from place to place and never unpacked, and all of the junk…. farewell, farewell.

What We’ve Noticed About Life with Less *Stuff*:

-I don’t feel so dang stressed out about cleaning all the time. Because I do most of my work from home, I would look around, see clutter or things I needed to clean, and get distracted. I’d end up spending time I could be creating content and working on behind-the-scenes tasks organizing bins of toys, or putting things away. It’s so much easier to keep everything clean and picked up (there’s hardly anything to pick up haha) and it really helps me with my work focus. Towards the end of our time in San Diego, I never felt like I was caught up on work life and home life. Now, I don’t feel like I’m submerged in chores anymore.

our bedroom

picture of my reflection

-We have a dedicated playroom, and it has been a game changer. This house has the CUTEST playroom, and we definitely want a space just for toys from now on. Liv’s room is so peaceful with just her bed, a nightstand and lamp + some books and her clothes. I think she falls asleep even faster because she’s not looking at toys or begging to play longer before bed. 


(I’ll share full pics of the house around moving time. It’s very *Tucson* and I love it.)

In the playroom, everything has a spot, P’s toys are on the bottom built-in shelves in the closet, and it isn’t ridiculous. I feel like we’ll need to consistently donate and swap things around when we’re in a more permanent (what is that?) spot, but for now, it’s pretty awesome.

-Here’s what I loved the most about the documentary Minimalism:

They make sure to say that you’re just keeping the items that have function and bring you joy. If you have a collection of books, and you truly enjoy them, you love the way they smell, and you’d never want to part with them, you’re not supposed to. It’s getting rid of the other stuff that has no purpose/meaning, watching your spending habits, and being mindful of how you use your space. They’re not saying to never shop again and live in a tiny house. (Even though that works for some people. I would die haha.)

closet goods

Have you seen Minimalism? Any other awesome Netflix shows/documentaries we need to watch? We’ve made our way through Chef’s Table and are working on Chef’s Table France right now. Also, we’re finally catching up on This Is Us after the move and omg. 

I wanted to give you a heads up that we’ll have some blog down time in the morning as she goes in for facelift surgery. A new and improved blog will be up tomorrow!



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  1. Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on January 17, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    GINA! Yes! I watched the documentary with the hubs and then even wrote a piece on Josh from the Minimalists for 24Life just a few weeks ago — (such a cool guy!). I am so intrigued by the lifestyle they live and teach about. And when we moved from Orlando to SF years ago, we ditched NEARLY everything and living in a tiny city apartment made it so we couldn’t buy much. It was such a clean feeling and yes, definitely less stressful to have less things around. Of course, I’ve accumulated a lot more in a bigger place these days. But watching the documentary reminded me of how to be better about stuff and things. Can’t wait to see the redesign! Love the look of your temporary digs. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on January 17, 2017 at 8:27 pm

      that is so cool you interviewed him! i’m still swooning over the fact that you interviewed shawn

    • Juliana on January 18, 2017 at 10:44 am

      San Francisco apartments have that effect! Haha

  2. Heidi on January 17, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    I so want to watch this now! Ever since getting Netflix, my list of shows to watch keeps getting longer. 😉 Thanks for the recommend.

    • Fitnessista on January 17, 2017 at 8:26 pm

      same! so many good shows to choose from

  3. Sarah on January 17, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    Have you read “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” yet? It’s next level and completely changed my life. I finally felt okay about giving up my books, donating gifts I didn’t like, clothes I might one day wear?, old letters/cards and anything that I wasn’t 100% loving. My house feels lighter and so do I.

  4. Annie on January 18, 2017 at 3:01 am

    My husband and I moved 3 times in 1.5 years. Each time we threw out more and more stuff because we got sick of packing and moving it. It felt AMAZING to not have the clutter! Now, with a one year old and a small condo, I am constantly picking up, reorganizing, trying to move the all the things from one spot to the next. I definitely prefer the minimalistic life!

  5. Cassie on January 18, 2017 at 5:31 am

    I love this and your timing couldn’t be better! Any tips for deciding how many toys to keep out? Rotate toys?

  6. Sana on January 18, 2017 at 5:38 am

    I just donated three huge trash bags of clothes I have not even put on in the past two years and never would have! It felt amazing!

  7. Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed on January 18, 2017 at 6:04 am

    I probably should watch it. Organizing our basement (and getting rid of 1/2 of the stuff down there) is one of my goals for 2017!

    • Fitnessista on January 18, 2017 at 11:36 am

      that’s a great goal!

  8. Kelli @ Hungry Hobby on January 18, 2017 at 6:16 am

    We’ve totally been watching it too! We’ve moved pretty much every year of our marriage and we get rid of so much stuff but someone we end up getting more all the time!!!! It’s a vicious cycle!

    • Fitnessista on January 18, 2017 at 11:35 am

      hahah that’s so true! when we move i get the tendency to want to decorate the new space and buy a ton. it’s my goal to ease it back this time!

      • Alicia on January 24, 2017 at 12:20 pm

        Shop from things you already own. Having packed them away should make them feel newish again too!

        • Fitnessista on January 24, 2017 at 8:21 pm

          ohhh that’s an awesome idea!

  9. Marianne on January 18, 2017 at 10:36 am

    I can’t find where to contact you. I purchased your advanced post baby bod program and still have not received it. I have a payment on my account from a GumCo Fpawp for 52.64, is this what that is for?

    • Fitnessista on January 18, 2017 at 10:37 am

      Hi Marianne,
      All of the emails with the documents went out yesterday. I’ll make sure you receive it. Is this the email address you used to purchase?

      • Marianne on January 18, 2017 at 10:39 am

        Yes it is. Is that the company that would show up on billing?

        • Fitnessista on January 18, 2017 at 10:52 am

          yes, it’s through gumroad.

          • Fitnessista on January 18, 2017 at 10:52 am

            i’m checking into it right now! i’ll email you in the next few minutes

  10. Juliana on January 18, 2017 at 10:43 am

    Oh I haven’t seen it but I think I will check it out. When I lived in SF, I was in a tiny studio with only one closet (just one for the whole place!) and ended up getting rid of a TON of stuff I always swore I could never part with. I have never missed any of it HAHA.Even though I have way more space in SD I find I don’t buy as much stuff– I like living with less. It’s very liberating!

  11. Tracy on January 18, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Love love love the blog facelift!!! Looks awesome 🙂

    • Fitnessista on January 18, 2017 at 11:33 am

      thank you!!

  12. Lauren on January 18, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    Yes, we watched the documentary a few weeks ago. Definitely inspiring, as any downsizing seems to be. I know I have too many clothes and it seems that every time I go through them, I find a few more things that I’ve told myself for years that I would someday wear, but inevitably don’t. I also have several boxes of college books that I can’t part with because I think “oh, they have such useful information in them” or “I paid SO much for these books but can’t really get much for them now.” Ugh!

  13. Erin on January 18, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    Love the blog facelift! Have you heard his interview on the rich roll podcast? It was really good too.

    • Fitnessista on January 19, 2017 at 10:47 pm

      no! i’ll check it out!!

  14. queenoffitness on January 18, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Love the new blog layout!!!! We have a single story with a basement (…PA living) & I am the queen of “decluttering.” I can’t stand clutter. When I get pulled to sub for teachers at school I usually end up purging teachers’ desks and rooms of junk. I don’t know how they or their students focus. I am at the point that I could live in an uber modern house with nothing on the walls. I never feel guilty for getting rid of undesirable gifts. I don’t need stuff I will never use taking up space. Does anyone know of a place that will recycle textbooks???? My husband and I have about 20 books we want to purge. We really want to recycle them as we read the paper is of good quality. We don’t want them sitting in a landfill. Our local library, recycling center, nor the Sal Val will take them.

  15. Caitlin on January 19, 2017 at 5:58 am

    Hi Gina, the new blog looks great! Quick question– where did you get that adorable mermaid bedspread? It would be perfect for my mermaid-loving niece 🙂 Thanks for the help!

    • Fitnessista on January 19, 2017 at 10:45 pm

      thank you, caitlin! it’s from land of nod! we got it last year and i’m pretty sure it’s on sale now

  16. Alana on January 19, 2017 at 7:09 am

    I haven’t seen the documentary but have read plenty of comments about it on social media. My husband and I sold our house and almost everything in it so we could travel around the world for two years. Having just returned about 6 months ago we have only accumulated the necessities and it’s awesome. I no longer have to spend any of my time taking care of “my stuff”. It’s a breeze to clean the house because it only involves cleaning and not organizing and putting away things and I don’t think anyone has noticed that I wear the same clothes every week. While minimalism came into our life unintentionally, it’s been awesome.

  17. Jayne C. on January 19, 2017 at 10:33 am

    I love this post! Gotta watch that documentary, although you are already inspiring me Gina. <3

  18. Bethany on January 19, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    I totally get the unintentional minimalist! We have lived in 4 houses on 3 different continents in the last 7 years. I look around and want to upgrade household items then I think…..do I really need it when we are about to move again. When I do pay things I think…..will this work in the next 5 houses we will live it. Do you have lovely dreams about your ‘forever’ home?!?! I do! It will have a large laundry room, foot pedal for the sink and lovely organizers in the closets =). My husband says he won’t get to retired at 20 years lol

  19. Fridays are for Favorites #55 on January 20, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    […] methods, I’m hyper aware of how much stuff we easily accumulate — therefore I enjoyed Gina’s post over at the Fitnessista about Unintentional Minimalism and how much it made a difference in her […]

  20. priya on January 23, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    love the minimalism documentary!! this week when i moved back into my apartment, i finally had them time to go through ALL of the boxes that had piled up, and misc stuff i had thrown in a crate and put it in my closet. i got rid of clutter and organized and i feel so much bettter! i’m the same way with clutter- i can’t focus if i need to work and i get stressed out.

  21. Alicia on January 24, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    I love having a playroom!!! We keep all toys in there except for dolls. My girls have their beds, books and dresses in their room and that’s it! I think the key is not having a lot of stuff and when you do buy stuff buy things that you love!

    • Fitnessista on January 24, 2017 at 8:21 pm

      it makes such a huge difference!

  22. Gina Hackbarth on January 26, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    I need to watch that documentary! Whenever we go on vacation I realize a big part of my time at home is wasted cleaning stuff that I don’t even like (toys, my shoes the toddler drags around, books I’ll never read…) and since September I’ve been really ready to donate mass amounts of stuff. My issue is my husband isn’t on the same page. He’s ok with getting rid of stuff, but not on the level I’d like to. I’ll do what I can and see how he feels about donating even more at that point!

    • Gina Hackbarth on January 26, 2017 at 7:42 pm

      Do you have a rule that all toys stay in the playroom? I can imagine my toddler would try to take them all over the house if we set up a playroom.

      • Fitnessista on January 27, 2017 at 11:57 am

        no haha. the toys go EVERYWHERE, but when they’re done, they have to put them away in the play room.

    • Fitnessista on January 27, 2017 at 11:57 am

      that’s a great plan! haha and sometimes i just get rid of things and tom doesn’t notice anyway

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