Monday, November 9, 2015

Minimalist Monday: My Favorite Minimalist and Decluttering YouTubers

If you're toying with the idea of starting a more minimalist lifestyle and you're anything like me - meaning, full of questions, skeptical and a little cranky/ anxious about change - let me introduce you to seven amazing living and breathing humans who have walked that path before you and worked out all the kinks so that you don't have to. What makes these YouTube channels so special is that they're not just some mythical hero figures preaching about simple living; they're real people with very real lives who have made minimalism work for them, and they show you exactly how they do it. Seriously, how come you're not subscribed already?

Light by Coco
Coco is one of those 'aspirational' minimalists for me; she seems to have the whole thing down pat without any effort - you know, unlike some of us who keep dithering about keeping or donating that one high-waisted skirt for months on end. Subscribe to her channel for tips on traveling light with just a carry on, easy hair and make-up ideas, seasonal capsule collections and lookbooks, as well as practical tips for implementing minimalism into your own life, like dealing with reluctant family members or taking care of your reduced wardrobe to keep it in prime condition. Oh, and have I mentioned that Coco has an incredibly soothing voice, fantastic personal style and a lion's mane of beautiful curls? You know, just FYI.

Melissa Alexandria
Melissa's channel is quite unique in that she has incorporated minimalist (or essentialist, if you've read Greg McKeown's book) ideas into her entire life, including her work life (quit a 9-5 in order to pursue her passions and travel the world), her eating habits, her home, and yes, of course, her closet and make-up stash. She's an incredible source of information and inspiration for anyone interested in going minimalist. Among her videos, you'll find tips on frugal living and budgeting so that you can save your money for chasing after your dreams, tips for shopping for your capsule wardrobe, room tours, and my new favorite series on Inner Minimalism to help you change your thought patterns and work through some roadblocks.

Petite Pear Style
If there's one person who keeps it real, it's Leslie, no doubt. Leslie made the vow to simplify and declutter her life about two years ago, which is also when I first started to be interested in it. I feel a strong affinity with her: we both live in big cities (Leslie - Toronto, me: NYC), we're both beauty fanatics with make-up collections that sometimes feel like they could swallow us whole, we both live in small condo apartments with little storage (because you know, watching a vlogger declutter an entire 'beauty room' is not terribly helpful to someone who could barely fit a vanity table into her bedroom), and we both approach decluttering on a smaller, step-by-step project basis as opposed to burrowing into piles of belongings strewn on the floor for weeks (ekhm ekhm, Marie Kondo).

I also love that Leslie openly talks us through her decluttering process, which is especially helpful if you're convinced everything you own 'sparks joy', and shares her feelings about simplifying, which are not always pretty. Attempting a big declutter can feel very isolating as not many people talk about the negative emotions that tend to accompany it - guilt, regret, doubts, exhaustion. You'll find that Leslie addresses these feelings heads on in a very relatable way. She's also a great resource if you'd like to learn more about capsule wardrobes in general and Project 333 in particular; she offers a good starting point via her seasonal work/ conservative office capsules.

My Green Closet
What is it about minimalist YouTubers and superbly calming demeanors? It's like they've been zen their entire lives. Verena Erin shows a slightly different aspect to minimalist lifestyle as she focuses on eco and sustainable fashion, but she also discusses a lot of practical topics like fabric choice and care, researching clothing pieces for your capsules, as well as green and natural beauty products. I especially like her Project 333 videos; I appreciate that she follows her own style, which is quite a bit different from what we usually associate with minimalist clothing, and that she's not afraid to adapt Project 333 to suit her own needs.

The Daily Connnoisseur - Jennifer L. Scott
You may already know Jennifer if you've read her two popular Madame Chic books; and she has released her third book a couple weeks ago, 'Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic', which I have not read yet as I'm waiting for it to show up at my borough's library. Her books focus on a lot of topics that are close to minimalism, although I don't think Jennifer labels herself as being minimalist. Instead, she discusses her '10 Item Wardrobe' (another variant of a capsule wardrobe), the importance of taking care of one's appearance, cultivating creativity and appreciation for art, housekeeping, entertaining guests and many more.

Her YouTube channel (and blog!) focus on the same themes, and I appreciate Jennifer both for not being afraid to voice her opinions, and for showing us the practical application of the advice she presents in her books. It's one thing to publish a book extolling virtues of a minimalist closet, but it's another thing entirely to actually show your readers what your particular wardrobe consists of, including where everything was purchased from, how you like to style your outfits, what worked in a given season and what didn't. It's an easy starting point if you've been thinking about simplifying your life, but don't quite know how.

Christine Kobzeff (formerly Pink So Foxy)
If you remember Pink So Foxy, you must have been watching YouTube for a looong time. I actually only came across Christine's videos last year when I was researching various decluttering videos, and if you guys think the trend was started by Marie Kondo, just go check out Christine's videos. She's an example of someone who dramatically turned her lifestyle around to match new priorities and objectives. Formerly a 'beauty guru', Christine purged most of her belongings, including an extensive make-up collection and a bursting wardrobe, to pursue a simpler, bohemian-inspired life in Hawaii.

Watching Christine's videos now, you can't stop thinking that she's living the dream, selling handmade jewelry and blogging, traveling around the world, tending to her garden and raising monarch butterflies. If you're in need of some truly relaxing 'follow me around' videos, you should definitely check out her vlogs. Christine is also the queen of DIY, showing various tutorials for making your own drawer dividers, under the sink storage, furniture and much more. I just selfishly wish she posted videos more often!

I haven't been watching Lavendaire for all that long, but I'm really impressed by her thoughtful videos, especially those on practical application of the KonMari method to declutter your home.
I believe Lavi is also an aspiring film maker, so all of her videos, including life advice, travel and tidying are beautifully shot and edited. And she really rocks that lavender hair, people!

I hope you'll find some new interesting channels to watch among my picks - and please let me know who your favorite minimalist YouTubers are, I'm always looking for new videos and clicking through links on my sidebar. Mind you, I haven't really included regular beauty vloggers who just happened to jump on the decluttering bandwagon, even though I also love watching those vids; instead, I wanted to showcase people who have committed to minimalism in a fuller and sustained way. I hope these seven channels help to boost your motivation to further simplify your life; I find them all very inspirational, especially when I waver and start giving in to temptation of bringing more stuff into my life :)


  1. this is such a helpful post. for whatever reason, i've been watching more youtube lately and i'll def be watching some of these youtubers! thanks for sharing them!

  2. Nice suggestions, Monika, thanks! I'll definitely check out My Green Closet, Petite Pears and Lavendaire. Lately, I've been hanging out at Facebook page of KonMari (one is KonMari in small space "KISS" and another is KonMari for families with children). They have lots of practical suggestions & approach to KonMari and decluttering in general. For minimalism, I've been following instagram from the Minimalists. Last month, they have a challenge, 30-day of 30 suggestions on minimalism, you may want to check them out if you have not.

    Finally, Zero Waste Home is another blog/twitter/insta that I've been following. She is quite inspiring, too.

  3. coco's voice though. she and lisa eldridge are the two youtubers I listen to if I need help falling asleep!

  4. I love Lavendaire, petitpearstyle, and pinksofoxy so I will have to check out the others. Decluttering videos are magic to me; if I put them on at bedtime there's a good chance I'll be out cold within 20-30 minutes.

  5. A couple of favourites of mine on that list: I love the structured way Petite Pear Style tackles her decluttering by breaking down into manageable stages and Christine Kobzeff is the queen of lifestyle change! Thanks for the other suggestions - I'm going to be checking them out soon :)

  6. Of these I've only watched Light by Coco, so I'm excited to check out some new videos! Ironically, I'm also trying to simplify and pare down my blogroll/youtube subscriptions haha, so I'll only keep those that really speak to me. I'm in a real limbo currently with my beauty products; I want to have less but I can't seem to part with much more than I already have, and I still have strong urges to buy, buy, buy. I think in that respect Melissa Alexandria's channel might be helpful to change my thought processes as I feel like I'm *almost* there but I just can't quite shake old habits and the desire to consume. But I won't give up!

  7. I'm going to have to come back and give this a thorough read when I'm ready to follow some more YTers. I don't really follow anyone outside our blogging circle and pros like Lisa E, but there's a channel called Hello Cathy that I think is so quiet and lovely. She is very much a minimalist but really genuine and heartfelt about it. I find her to be well-spoken and videos relatively short (I like all videos to be well-edited and on the short side.) From your list, I guess I'll start with the one from Toronto since it helps to have local resources.

  8. Very interesting post, thank you. There are very few people I watch on YouTube in general but I have subscribed to Light by Coco. Although, I don't really have a minimalist lifestyle myself, I have re-organized a lot of my things last year, and it feels really good.

  9. oh fun, i can't wait to check them out!