The Who, What, When, Where, How, Why

You’re ultimate guide to wholistic minimalistic living

the desire of ages living well resources


  • The Who, What, Where, When, How and Why of Minimalism
  • Minimalism in 3 Easy Steps
  • How To: Make Minimalism Holistic: for Body, Mind, Heart and Soul

Minimalism: Why?

These days we hear the word minimalism tossed around a fair bit.

Let’s face it, we are living in an affluent society.

So a lot of people are starting to feel that we just have too much stuff.

So just what is the minimalist approach to dealing with our accumulated technologies?

My most recent journey with minimalism began with my plans to move house almost 12 months ago.

At the time, the idea of living in a nice big house had seemed great.

Heaps of space, nice big yard…

But after a few years, it lost its shine…

Yeah, great house, great location, great neighbours, I’m settled, but…

I just can’t keep up with everything!!!

I have to dust, vacuum, mop, scrub…

Then there’s the mowing, the weeding, the watering…



Minimalism: Who?

My most recent journey with minimalism began with my plans to move house almost 12 months ago.

At the time, the idea of living in a nice big house had seemed great.

Heaps of space, nice big yard…

But after a few years, it lost its shine…

Yeah, great house, great location, great neighbours, I’m settled, but…

I just can’t keep up with everything!!!

I have to dust, vacuum, mop, scrub…

Then there’s the mowing, the weeding, the watering…



Minimalism: Who?


Yeah, ‘cause I’d actually thought that I didn’t really own very much.

I’ve travelled the minimalist road a few times…

Don’t need that jumper, don’t need that skirt, don’t need that jacket…

Oh, hang on a second, it’s winter and I’m really cold and –

where was that jumper again…


Why did I get rid of that???

But now that I’m moving to the cutest place (with the help of a few significant others, especially my a-MAZ-ing sister who totally knows her housing market and a great opportunity when she sees one)

…. in another great location…

…that’s a 2-bedder…

Yep, I’ve got to downsize.

But this time:

I was going to be smart.

Minimalism: How?

Rather than just random turfing, I needed a plan.

I couldn’t just chuck stuff so I had only a few things.

Because at the end of the day:

That’s still just thinking quantity.

My past experiences had taught me that:

Minimalism that works is about quality.

It’s choosing the things you really need.

Getting down to essentials.

And turfing the rest.

So that I could downsize…

…but still keep the stuff that would actually be useful in the future.

Maybe it was because I now had a different space that I would be fitting my stuff into, but the plan kind of happened just unconsciously.

In the end it boiled down to…

3 Steps to Minimalism in Practice

1. What do I need?

OK, so in Japan they may sleep and eat on mats, but in Australia most of us would prefer to have a bed, dining table, lounge chairs…

I formed a priority list in my mind (and on paper).

Did a bit of a house-furniture assessment.

Then once I had the living absolute essentials cf. more optional extras (that is, the ones that I think will still be useful) well in mind, the next step was:

2. What will fit?

Yep, tape measure time.

1450… 1180: Yes! The dining table will still fit into my new space…


• drew up a to-scale floor plan of my house
• measured my absolute essentials furniture (first),
• diagrammed the essentials in
• then looked at the extras


Now that I knew that would fit –

I did still have one other thing that I needed to think about:

3. What will match?

Eg., OK, so the burgundy lounge will fit… (bites lip) but will it match the colour scheme of the house?… Maybe they will pick up the red ties on the curtains…

or possibly:


And the dining seat covers, not sure about those…


Had I gotten rid of enough?

Would the colours match in real life (lip numb by the stage)?


I sent a victory text:

“The lounge picks up the burgundy ties!…”

The dining chair covers will work (at least temporarily)…

Once I had the how, the…

Minimalism: What…

…will I keep

… and (sigh, tear) turf…

was (relatively) simple…

at least in theory…

I did get rid of enough stuff to enable me to at least fit everything into my fantastic new place…

… and create an aisle through the unpacked boxes.

That gradually widened over several weeks.

As a lot of the stuff went into cupboards ☹

I discovered:

Minimalism is a process.

Now that I’ve been here for nearly a year, I’m still sorting stuff out.

Specially things like photos.

But my place is looking more and more uncluttered.

(The clutter is now confined to a few discrete piles in discreet places.)

(Out of the view of visitors.)

The colours are matching.

I’m finding more and more freedom from dusting so many things.

More and more freedom from moving so many things when it’s time to mop and vacuum.

And from not looking at so many things.

I’d probably describe it as kind of…

… much more sense of peace, actually, about my place.

I like the space I’ve created.

Though I’d still like to replace those blinds, put in more insulation, get rid of those last few boxes that are junking up my cupboard…

But I’m doing minimalism.

Not done minimalism.

I’m in the process of minimalist living in my house.

And I’m definitely feeling the benefits already – even if its not totally there.

Going back to the core, asking myself:

  • What’s my purpose in life?
  • My specific life goals?
  • Does this particular article help me achieve this/ those?

If not:

Turf it.

Minimalism in my book is about connecting everything.

Holism, really.

Looking at things in wholes rather than in little bits.

Connect everything up to the priorities.

Then it’s pretty evident what you really do and don’t need.


A minimalist process worked for me to move into a new house…

Could it work for other parts of my life too?

Minimalism: Where?

Like maybe –in things I can’t see?

Do I have excess mind baggage?

Could I use my 3-step minimalism process to clean up, organise, whol-ise my spiritual life?

I thought I’d give it a go:

1. What do I need?

If there was one essential to spiritual life, and we could look at things holistically:

What would that be?

Where can I look to find out what God is really like – so I can become like Him?

In 2 Corinthians 4:6, Paul says that “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.”

One of the most well-known Christian writers, Ellen G. White, wrote about this in her classic book on the life of Jesus, The Desire of Ages.

She wrote:

… turning from all lesser representations, we behold God in Jesus. Looking unto Jesus we see that it is the glory of our God to give…
The earth was dark through misapprehension of God. That the gloomy shadows might be lightened, that the world might be brought back to God, Satan’s deceptive power was to be broken. This could not be done by force. The exercise of force is contrary to the principles of God’s government; He desires only the service of love; and love cannot be commanded; it cannot be won by force or authority. Only by love is love awakened. To know God is to love Him; His character must be manifested in contrast to the character of Satan. This work only one Being in all the universe could do. Only He who knew the height and depth of the love of God could make it known. Upon the world’s dark night the Sun of Righteousness must rise, “with healing in His wings.” Mal. 4:2.
-The Desire of Ages, pp. 21-22


Jesus is what it all boils down to.

He shows us what God is really like.

Jesus needs to be the model, the hero, for my life.


2. What will fit?


When Jesus was here on earth, what was important to Him?

What was His focus?

His inspiration?

Ellen White wrote further:

From its earliest years the Jewish child was surrounded with the requirements of the rabbis. Rigid rules were prescribed for every act, down to the smallest details of life. Under the synagogue teachers the youth were instructed in the countless regulations which as orthodox Israelites they were expected to observe. But Jesus did not interest Himself in these matters. From childhood He acted independently of the rabbinical laws. The Scriptures of the Old Testament were His constant study, and the words, “Thus saith the Lord,” were ever upon His lips…

In every gentle and submissive way, Jesus tried to please those with whom He came in contact. Because He was so gentle and unobtrusive, the scribes and elders supposed that He would be easily influenced by their teaching. They urged Him to receive the maxims and traditions that had been handed down from the ancient rabbis, but He asked for their authority in Holy Writ. He would hear every word that proceeds from the mouth of God; but He could not obey the inventions of men.
– The Desire of Ages, pp. 84-85

Jesus didn’t have any time for empty traditions that people had made up to try to win God’s favour, or things people did to appear “religious”.

The things that fitted in His life were the things He found in God’s word.

“It is written.”

Understood in context.


One time Jesus said to the leaders of Israel:

“Search the scriptures.”


Because “they tell about Me.” John 5:39

And from God’s word, He understood God’s plan:

To heal.

To save.

To serve.

Christ was not exclusive, and He had given special offense to the Pharisees by departing in this respect from their rigid rules… He exercised His helping power in behalf of all who needed help.

Instead of secluding Himself in a hermit’s cell in order to show His heavenly character, He labored earnestly for humanity. He inculcated the principle that Bible religion does not consist in the mortification of the body. He taught that pure and undefiled religion is not meant only for set times and special occasions. At all times and in all places He manifested a loving interest in men, and shed about Him the light of a cheerful piety. All this was a rebuke to the Pharisees. It showed that religion does not consist in selfishness, and that their morbid devotion to personal interest was far from being true godliness. This had roused their enmity against Jesus, so that they tried to enforce His conformity to their regulations.

Jesus worked to relieve every case of suffering that He saw. He had little money to give, but He often denied Himself of food in order to relieve those who appeared more needy than He… To those who were in need He would give a cup of cold water, and would quietly place His own meal in their hands. As He relieved their sufferings, the truths He taught were associated with His acts of mercy, and were thus riveted in the memory.
– The Desire of Ages, pp. 86-87

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on Me,
because the Lord has anointed Me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.
Isaiah 61:1-3


So then the final question that really brings this home to my life:

3. What will match?

What things in my life don’t actually match the word of God?
The Word of God, that is, as shown in the life of Jesus?
Am I just doing some things out of habit?
That are actually stopping me from experiencing the quality of life that God, through Jesus, is offering me?

In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus gives a sublime invitation:
Come to Me, all you who are tired of carrying burdens, and I will give you rest…

Ellen White expands on this by saying:

In these words Christ is speaking to every human being. Whether they know it or not, all are weary and heavy-laden. All are weighed down with burdens that only Christ can remove. The heaviest burden that we bear is the burden of sin. If we were left to bear this burden, it would crush us. But the Sinless One has taken our place. “The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Isa. 53:6. He has borne the burden of our guilt. He will take the load from our weary shoulders. He will give us rest. The burden of care and sorrow also He will bear. He invites us to cast all our care upon Him; for He carries us upon His heart.

The Elder Brother of our race is by the eternal throne. He looks upon every soul who is turning his face toward Him as the Saviour. He knows by experience what are the weaknesses of humanity, what are our wants, and where lies the strength of our temptations; for He was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. He is watching over you, trembling child of God. Are you tempted? He will deliver. Are you weak? He will strengthen. Are you ignorant? He will enlighten. Are you wounded? He will heal. The Lord “telleth the number of the stars;” and yet “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” Ps. 147:4, 3. “Come unto Me,” is His invitation…

Worry is blind and cannot discern the future, but Jesus sees the end from the beginning. In every difficulty, He has His way prepared to bring relief. Our heavenly Father has a thousand ways to provide for us, of which we know nothing. Those who accept the one principle of making the service and honor of God supreme will find perplexities vanish, and a plain path before their feet…

As through Jesus we enter into rest, heaven begins here. We respond to His invitation, Com, learn of Me, and in thus coming we begin the life eternal. Heaven is a ceaseless approaching to God through Christ. The longer we are in the heaven of bliss, the more and still more of glory will be opened to us; and the more we know of God, the more intense will be our happiness…
– The Desire of Ages, pp. 328-332


When I have Christ at the centre of my spiritual experience, the same scriptures that once seemed so impossible to keep…

… suddenly become new…

… because they now show me Jesus:

Jesus: my Creator and Sustainer. Colossians 1:16, 17.

Jesus: the Lamb of God dying for my sin. John 1:29.

Jesus: the Resurrection and the Life. John 11:25

Jesus: the Lord of the Sabbath. Mark 2:27, 28.

Jesus: the One who cares for me without ever sleeping. Psalm 121:3, 4.

Jesus: my Judge and Advocate (how can I be defeated?!). John 5:22 ;1 John 2:1.

Jesus: the One who is preparing a home for me. John 14:1-3.

Jesus: my soon-returning Lord and King. Revelation 22:12; 19:16.

Minimalism: When?



When will I implement my minimalist spiritual plan?

This new concept of looking at every Bible verse through a God-shaped, a Jesus- shaped lens?

It took a moment of crisis (almost) for me to come to the realisation that I needed to minimalise materially.

But why wait for that before I try this spiritual approach?

Definitely, the time to being my new journey in the heaven of peace and bliss with Jesus, is:


The Desire of Ages is the perfect companion and guide to a new experience of rest and peace in Jesus.

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