Cozy Minimalist – Minimalism Redefined

cozy minimalist okdani blog

Hi Pinterest Friends! Thanks for coming to learn about being a Cozy Minimalist. Here are some other posts in the minimalist series:

  1. Minimalist with Children
  2. Fitness Minimalism 
  3. I Threw Away My Kids’ Toys


I have said before here on the blog that I don’t want to be a minimalist.

Then I go and throw away all my children’s toys.

And give away a whole mess of my clothes.

And refuse to furnish an entire room.

So clearly….something is there.

Here’s the problem I have

Actually… 3 problems.

One… I just don’t like the label of it. I’m not the most “joiner” personality. I may fall in to many categories, but I don’t identify strongly with them. I feel like if I say “I’m a hippie” or “I’m a minimalist” that it’s just too limiting to who I really am.


Two… Minimalism feels good to me in theory and then when I see blogs, or pinterest images of what minimalism is and “supposed to” look like… it’s horrible. It looks like… poverty and missing out and lack and bare bones and sad boredom. I saw a child’s room that looked like one of those places the bad guy on law n order SVU stashes the little girl he kidnapped to sell on the black market.

Three… The attitude around minimalism always seemed to rub me the wrong way. It was kind of… holier than thou. As if anyone who doesn’t want to live with just a capsule wardrobe, a cot and a single spoon in their barren home is a mindless sheep who’s fucking up the environment and getting played by “the man.” Umm…Dude… you can’t shame me for liking what I like and wanting to have what I have.

So yeah, I don’t like that kind of minimalism. It just doesn’t feel good. And that’s the whole point of all of this, right? Feeling good.

This struck me:

living space not storage space

To me, minimalism is about feeling free, light, uncluttered. And also feeling comfortable and safe. Having everything I need and want and love and use often. It’s not about getting rid of the ninja blender because I also have a nutribullet. (I use both regularly) But more about keeping the things we love and use daily, weekly, monthly (travel gear), annually (xmas decorations) and not feeling overwhelmed by “stuff.”

In searching for yoga for kids the other day I somehow fell down the google search rabbit hole and discovered the term “cozy minimalism.” I think I’ve found something more my speed! Cozy minimalism isn’t about having only 4 shirts and 2 pants, counting your belongings or having your worth determined by how little you own. It’s more about having a home (and wardrobe) that feels perfectly right for you while using the fewest pieces necessary.

are you a cozy minimalist

So for now I’m going to embrace the term “cozy minimalist.” You can too! If you’re feeling overwhelmed by stuff, in need of paring down, but not interested in being a minimalist… try this:

Step 1: Take a honest look at your life, schedules and how you use your home

Step 2: Plan out how you desire your home to look, feel and serve you and your family

Step 3: Clear out what doesn’t fit the vision in step 2

Step 4: Decorate and Replenish items where appropriate (and necessary)

For me this looks like:

Realizing (and accepting) that we are 1000% homebodies. Our home is mostly used by the kids and I, is a huge play space for them, not feeling as “us” as we want it to, and is much more “fixer upper” than we expected.

We want our home to feel peaceful for us and serve the kids in a smart way while keeping the grown-up balance. I want our bedroom to be a sanctuary and have the kids area more appealing to them. (They haul their toys into the family room all the time)

Giving away most of my clothes and shoes…and then s-l-o-w-l-y replenishing with select pieces I love (granted…90% of it will be workout clothes… but that’s ME so…shutup.)

Clearing out the kids’ rooms and playroom (AGAIN!) and replacing only with items that are simple, educational and promote imagination play. (I’m not even attempting to pare down their clothes because it’s useless…my family buys them clothes and shoes by the bushel)

Decorating/Redecorating the rooms in the house that don’t feel good or don’t serve me best. (First up: Making the second bathroom bright and friendly for the kids to actually use it instead of mine.)

Forcing…er…encouraging John to go through his clothes, gadgets…and the entire garage (which is a hot mess in itself and looks like the hovel where the killer on SVU was hiding from the cops)

I’ll be blogging my way through it all so stay tuned…

Other Minimalism Posts:

Minimalist with Children

Fitness Minimalism 

I Threw Away My Kids’ Toys

Are you a “cozy” minimalist?


  1. says

    Great post. Hmm, I don’t know what I am to be honest but I do love that saying you shared. Your home is a living space not a storage space.

  2. says

    My love of books, clothes and antiques won’t allow me to about that whole traditional minimalist lifestyle. I feel like in certain areas of the home I’m a bit of a cozy minimalist like the master bedroom and the kitchen. I need those areas as clutter free and organized as possible.

  3. Alexis says

    I definitely relate to how you feel about the minimalist style. I get all excited about it in concept and then I look at people’s homes or wardrobes and realize that it isn’t quite how I want to live, lol! #entry

  4. says

    I love the term ‘Cozy Minimalist’ and I think this is what I am! My home still feels comfortable, it’s not a white box (in fact I love colourful accessories in home décor) but we just don’t have lots of unnecessary possessions and clutter lying around.

    I’m also totally with you on the meal minimizing…we have a list of about 20 go-to meals for dinner that we prepare week in, week out. It makes things much easier in terms of planning, shopping and prepping and surprisingly never really gets boring!

  5. M560 says

    Your cozy minimalist term is just the definition of minimalism. Living with the amount of stuff that is right for you. I think people get confused with the meaning of the word minimalism and the aesthetic of minimalism that is thrown around on social media and in magazines. The aesthetic is something that will probably not stand the test of time, but the true meaning of the philosophy will stay.

    • Dani says

      It is?! Well someone should tell all those minimalist blogs/sites that are stuff-shaming everyone! Yeah I think the philosophy will stay and also catch on to more folks soon…

      • M560 says

        Thanks for replying to my comment!
        I can’t agree more. Stuff shaming is the worst 🙁 Sometimes I think people forget where they came from. Sure it might be fun to try and live with less than 100 things, but if it’s not practical and/or it doesn’t make you happy. Why should you? I feel it’s all about finding a healthy balance that works for you 🙂

  6. TexasGypsyGrl says

    This is exactly what I am!!! Now I know the name. Cozy Minimalist…..yep that’s me.
    Great post! Everything I have ever thought about minimalist is what you just stated.

  7. comicshoprl says

    I just found this post on Pinterest. Cozy minimalist is exactly what I am too. What a great name for it. The hardcore minimalists homes look so spartan to me. Maybe I don’t need three soup ladles but I do need six throw pillows, kwim? I think considering form and function is really important. Gret article. Now I have to check out the rest of your site.

  8. Catherine Elledge says

    This post cracked me up!!! I love the way you express yourself. It reminds me of me! LOL Keep up the spirited information. I am too trying to minimise my lifestyle…ITS REALLY HARD!

  9. Annie says

    Finally a post on minimalism that is not a rant about how much I don’t need my dearly beloved porcelain. Thank you so much for respecting me and my priorities!

    I agree with you.
    I think minimalism should be about priorities. If you love wearing different shoes every day? Do it. Adore your porcelain to the moon? Keep it. Do you use all of your kitchen machines? Have a blast! Is your collection of books directly related to your peace of mind? Don’t. Throw. It. Away.
    It’s only when you nod yes to it all that you might be met by a cluttered home. And if you do, maybe you are just so passionate about many things that minimalism is not for you. Then it’s not worth it to follow the trend.

    I’ve found in clearing my home that the best way for me is simply storing the items I doubt away for a while. Chances are I won’t grant them much thought and when I dig into the back of my closet in four months, I know I will not miss the items and can simply throw them away.

    I adore your way of doing it. It feels like you’re extracting the good parts of the trend and applying them where most important!

    • Dani says

      Yes!!! No stuff-shaming here. Keep what you love, toss what you don’t. Easy!! Thanks so much for reading. Now tell me more about this porcelain?

  10. Debbie Dowdy says

    I’m glad I stumbled on this. If your not downsizing to move into a tiny house, or going from 3,000 to 1,500 square feet, I don’t see any reason to be “minimalist extreme”. I like your approach. You don’t have to have a sofa and two pics in an 800 sq. foot living room or a bed and a dresser in an on suite with sitting area. Everything needs a place and if you haven’t seen it in two years, toss it. I want to become a cozy minimalist too! I want to keep the things I use, and toss the rest. Find a place for everything and call it a day. That capsule wardrobe was scaring me a bit 😉

  11. Zoe says

    I’m definitely a cozy minimalist. One point that really inspired me was told to me by this graphic artist. He had this beautiful Seattle loft apartment and it was very sparse. Only a few pieces of gorgeous furniture and throws graced this space allowing the expansive hardwood floors to really shine and the high ceilings to breathe. I’m an art junky so I couldn’t imagine how an artist would have such bare walls, but that’s when he dropped this on me; he says that “Full walls are stifling to creativity. When the walls are empty I imagine what to create and put there. When they are full I’m not inspired.” Obviously everyone is different, but this totally inspired me to remove everything I didn’t LOVE from my walls, put that ugly old chair I was holding onto for sentimental reasons in storage, and clear out the knick knack shelf. Nothing that doesn’t inspire you!

  12. JRG says

    You are hysterical! Your issue with the minimalist label is exactly mine. Enjoy your life. If your stuff gets in the way get rid of it. All these people becoming minimalist recently making backhanded comments about others lifestyle. I like a lot of the ideas of minimalism but I also like having my husbands grandmothers china to use at Thanksgiving. It doesn’t interfere with my life but brings joy. It doesn’t take up much space and sits in a corner of my attic until it is ready to be used. Yet this item has inspired a lot of comments about uselessness from people who until a few months ago had more nonsense and collectibles in one room than I have in my whole house! Good for them if they are enjoying purging but I also never acquired 10 different versions of the same DVD with different bonus features so I don’t have to chuck that.

    • Dani says

      Wait… do they really put different bonus features on different DVDs? haaaa!!!! I think minimalism should not be one size fits all, that’s for sure.

  13. mday says

    I like the concept of your definition of a cozy minimalist, but now you have just labeled yourself . Does that mean it will limit who you really are? (First paragraph)

  14. says

    You sound minimalist to me! Way, WAY too many people confuse the genuine minimalist lifestyle with minimalist home decor or people who number their possessions and/or live out a bacpack. Those are just different kinds of minimalist lifestyles.

    • Dani says

      Ahh I’m coming to see this from you and some of the other commenters! I guess it’s as customizable as anything else. Are you minimalist? And if so, what ‘kind’ do you practice? (is practice even the word to use hahaha)

  15. says

    You’re exactly right when you say that labels such as a “minimalist” are extremely limiting. I have tried to label my overall style with one or two words, and have failed. I have tried to label my home decor style with “20th-century” and then a month later it will be “cottage with a touch of modern” and then later on it would be “minimal, bright, crisp”. I love this idea of “cozy minimalism” because you can almost fit a whole bunch of different “labels” within this category. Love it. Just love it. Thanks for the post!

  16. Cathy Fink says

    Love this phrase! This is me. My husband and I are preparing to downsize from a 5 bedroom, 3 bath house with a huge yard to a much smaller retirement home within the next two years. I don’t want to wait for the actual move to start the reduction of 40 years worth of stuff. So, I’ve been reading Pinterest posts to help me with this process – trying to gain wisdom from others who have already gone down this road. I’ve bought into the mantra of having less = having more time, money, and freedom. Although I’ve already taken two van-loads of stuff to Goodwill, I still have quite a bit more to purge. However, many minimalist bloggers have left me with the impression I’m not doing it “right” unless I am willing to throw out all my crafting supplies and kitchen appliances. Pictures show people living with one piece of furniture per room and blank walls. I can’t imagine living in such a sterile, soul-less space. I don’t want to live in a house, I want to have a home that feels warm, cozy, and reflects my personality.
    Cozy minimalism gives me the positive attitude to ditch the things I no longer need (or will fit into my new space) yet keep things that provide beauty and allow me to feel comfortable. I should not feel guilty about keeping enough to live the new creative life I want to have in retirement!

  17. says

    Hell yeah I’m a cozy minimalist! I want to have just what I need and use and no more than that! I want a beautiful home, but not a cluttered one. I’m lazy as hell and want more time doing the shit I love. I was screaming “hell yes! Preach!” In my head the entire time I was reading this. So glad I stumbled upon you!



  18. says

    This post was super insightful, I also had my doubts about minimalism, I mean it sounds great in theory but I’m not sure I could do it in real life. This “cozy” thing sounds a lot like me, or at least what I would aspire to reach in my own home.

  19. Sue says

    Finally, a post from someone who understands minimalism from my point of view. I love the term cozy minimalist. All I ever wanted to do was pare down my stuff so my home feels cleaner and larger. I wanted to get rid of the things I disliked and replace them with things I love. I was tired of being criticized by others for having too many clothes, toys, and other things. I would never travel with only a backpack unless I was backpacking. I am so much happier with who I am and where I am now and feel 10 pounds lighter. Thank you for reaffirming that what I have set out to do is the right thing for me. I can finally see my closet floor and I love it!!

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