When Minimalism Becomes Ingratitude

Minimalism is sweeping the world in a refreshing wave of less. It’s an idea that’s very close to my heart. Five years ago, before I knew it was called ‘minimalism’, before there was a documentary and a thousand other blogs on the subject, getting rid of the excess in my home saved my motherhood.

Minimalism is basically a lifestyle of purposely choosing to live with less stuff in your home so that there’s less to maintain and more time and space to focus on what really matters.

For moms, this is everything, which is why I started a movement for mothers based on this idea. I spend my days encouraging hundreds of thousands of my fellow women to ditch the clutter and the chaos and get intentional about how they’re spending their mom lives. And it’s incredible!

In doing what I do, there are a few things I see on a regular basis that make my heart ache. One of them is when a desire for minimalism takes over and becomes ingratitude.

In a world saturated with materialism, we have to fight to live with less, and it’s dang hard. I get it.

But sometimes, in our fierce attempt to simplify and be more aware of what’s coming into our homes, we become ungrateful guardians of our domains that make other people feel like we don’t appreciate their gifts. And maybe that we don’t appreciate them.

I know where the passion for less comes from. It’s like an inner uprising- a deep desire for a simpler way of living when you figure out what works and you’ve been living in the clutter and chaos for so long… you just want out. You found a way and you see the light and you’re not stopping for anything.

If you find yourself in this place, sister, let me encourage you to press pause.

Why are you doing this?
What brought you to this place of desiring simplicity?
What is the root reason for you seeking out minimalism in your life?

The root for most of us is relationships. Our relationships began to suffer because we were doing all the things, cleaning up constantly, running on a treadmill fueled by an endless cycle of stuff.

We want to be closer to our children, we want to stop being nagging, stressed out wives. We want time to be better friends with the other women in our lives, we want to have the time, space, and focus to love others and be present for them.

Let’s not get so caught up in being the editors of our homes that we hurt those around us.

Obviously, there’s a huge difference between someone giving a gift to you or your kids and someone who is blatantly against the way you’re choosing to live and continuously brings things over when you’ve kindly asked them not to. But what we’re talking about here is making minimalism into some legalistic law you follow to the death, no matter who you take down in the process.

It’s easy to do as we fight for the motherhood we want, so I encourage you to take a scoopful of grace if you’re feeling like you’ve gone down this path.

When it’s your child’s birthday, have a grateful heart.

Be honest when people ask what he’d like as a gift, but don’t keep other people in your life from blessing your kids. Ask for an experience gift over a material gift, tell them how much he loves *insert child’s favorite activity*, but don’t be upset when the day comes and he receives toys you know he doesn’t need.

Minimalism, the way I teach it and the way I believe in it, isn’t about only having what you need. Where’s the joy in that anyway?

When you get a basket of lotions and candles from your mother-in-law, give her an authentic hug. She cares about you! It doesn’t matter if the gift was totally obligatory or truly heartfelt- it’s a gift, and gifts are exclamations of love. Value your relationships over the state of your home- that’s what you came into this for in the first place, right?

Plus, I can tell you having spent years on the “other side” of minimalism with four kids… if you simplify your home and live this out day to day, gifts can’t set you back!

You don’t have to fret over the little things or stress out about how many presents your kids get for Christmas. When everything else is truly simplified, there’s room for holidays and birthdays and tokens of love from the people in your life. It’s okay.

My advice to anyone looking to implement minimalism is this: walk away from the legalism of it.

Don’t count your things, don’t guard your home from gifts like a lioness guarding her cubs. Just focus on simplifying what you can control and remember what matters most in this life- loving the people in it.


Are you struggling to become a minimalist mama? It’s hard! But like any labor, so worth it. When you say “no more” to the cycle of clutter and chaos, you get your life back.

You can be the mom who sits down and plays with her kids, the mom who isn’t stretched so thin all the time.

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My course, Your Uncluttered Home,  is the A to Z of realistic, doable minimalism for mothers. In it, I walk you through the issues you’ll face during this lifestyle change (what if your husband isn’t on board, what if your kids aren’t, do you sell or donate your things, etc) as well as the decluttering process for each and every room in your home.

There’s a section just for your kids, taught by my daughter Bella. There are checklists and worksheets and interviews and videos for you to make this happen in your life. There’s a reason this course has earned me global attention and interviews on multiple national news networks and websites- it works!

If you’re ready to dive in and make a forever impact in your home, yourself, and your family, I’ve got your back, mama. Let’s make it happen!

Allie Casazza

Allie Casazza , Murrieta, CA