Today on The Simple Life Podcast I’m talking about when minimalists don’t follow their own advice! The fifth episode in my podcast series is all about free stuff and the two lessons I learnt from a recent experience with something we picked up for free. Click here to listen to the episode on Anchor (you can also or subscribe in the Anchor app, which is available free in the Apple and Android app stores). If you use iTunes, you can subscribe to my channel here. Thank you for listening!

Mentioned in this episode:



  1. Hi Lisa, I’ve just listened to your podcast – terrific as always! I was also struck when I read Steph’s post and thought it was an excellent topic. It amuses me now to see how shocked people are if you refuse something ‘free’. But years of listening to The Minimalists or Courtney Carver has taught me that ‘free’ may mean that it costs no money, but it can certainly cost in your time, attention, maintenance, upkeep, storage etc. and that was an eye-opening discovery for me. By the way, love the ukulele! Lxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for listening, Lorraine! Steph’s post really was inspiring, wasn’t it? 🙂 The cost of free has definitely been an eye-opening discovery for me, too. And I’m glad you like the ukulele – thanks!! xxx

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I love your new music! If I had any skill on any musical instrument, I’d use it for my music too. I also love this topic. Free stuff is very appealing to me as a minimalist because it obviously means I don’t have to exchange money for it. And, like in the case of your printer, free stuff tends to be second-hand which means you’re reducing your environmental footprint.

    I agree with you though that free does tend to be a burden on your time more than anything else. For my shopping ban, I didn’t explicitly address free stuff until a reader pointed it out that it still does cost something, even if it’s not money. And they’re absolutely right.

    My mom always tries to give us stuff that she doesn’t need anymore and I always say no. Sure, it would be great to have a bunch of free stuff given to me. But, I’m in no mood to have to move that stuff or take care of it or generally be responsible for it.

    Great episode, Lisa! I’m sorry the printer didn’t work out for you guys!


    1. Thanks Britt!! Glad you enjoyed the new music and this episode, too. 🙂 Thank you for listening!

      You make a great point about free stuff very often being secondhand. It’s extremely appealing to me for sustainability reasons, too. But, as you say, then you have to take care of all that stuff! So it’s all about balancing the lure of getting something sustainably with our actual need, and I think turning it down if we don’t need it is really sustainable too after all. Good on you for sticking to your guns and turning down free things your mum is offering you when you know you don’t need them. I know from experience how difficult that is!!


  3. I just had a chance to listen to the podcast, and I love the points you highlight! I never thought about the flip side to the coin, but it’s true that making mistakes often help us decide why we’re doing something, and whether it’s worth it to continue. At the time of my conference I wasn’t practicing minimalism, but now that I’m here I know not to make that mistake again.
    I love your story about the printer. My parents are avid garbage pickers, the basement and garage are full of projects for “someday”. On the one hand, my dining room table and chairs set were all picked out of the garbage and unwanted by someone (actually 5 different someones as they’re all mismatched and I love it!) but some projects never seem to come to completion. It’s a reminder that we’re constantly learning what works best in our lives. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Steph! Thanks so much for listening and for inspiring me to record this episode. Really glad you enjoyed it!

      I can only imagine how foreign your parents’ garbage-picking tendencies might feel to you nowadays. I think you’re so right – some free items (like your funky mismatched dining set!) turn out to be awesome finds, but others become that ‘someday’ that never comes. I guess the process is all about being able to recognise when an item will be useful today rather than someday. That process has been a long time coming for me, and I’m not where I want to be with it quite yet, but the journey is certainly teaching me a lot!

      Liked by 1 person

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