Minimalist PH 101: A journey on how to be a minimalist in the Philippines

Life blogger Teresa Gueco share the journey and lessons she learned on how to be a minimalist

In this post, you will know the journey of becoming a minimalist in the Philippines

“Love people and use things because the opposite doesn’t really work.”

I think I’ll speak on behalf of many Filipinos when I say that we were raised to think that acquiring loads of stuff is what makes you successful. It somehow became a basis for our life’s standing and for the longest time I was one of the solid believers of that thinking.

Growing up in a big family means not everything you want will be served to you and it somehow manifested on how I treat things. I treasure all my belongings too much to the extent that I became ‘madamot’. I hate it when people search through my things, because I know when my things are meddled with, and I even hate it more when they use it without my permission.

Throughout the years I blindly accumulated things that occupy too much space on my room and even my life that I feel like I was suffocating.


Last year went by in a blur and the fact that I somehow think that I wasted all the time I had made me wake up to a realization.

Something is wrong.

Inspirations won’t come by no matter hard I try and I’ve been slacking too much for the longest time, I am disoriented. I search online and found out that my save pins and ideas on Pinterest, as well as the podcast and videos I often listen to help me gain my missing energy.

I realize that I have too much on my plate already. I look around and our room is filled with clothes I don’t even use. I lay down in bed to sleep knowing my clothes and bags were just under my feet’ reach. My working table was stocked with paper and other paraphernalia that hinders me to work, I can’t even lay my notebook to write something.

And for the past months I started my journey towards minimalism. I would like people living in the Philippines to know that we can do such things if only we believe in ourselves, we can make minimalism work in the Philippines.


The first thing I did was to read, listen, and watch people discussing what minimalism is all about. I discover that being a minimalist doesn’t have to be complicated. There’s no single formula because the kind of minimalist that you are going to be will be based according to the kind of person that you are.

For example, in my case, I am a bookworm and I am also a bit chic in some rare moments so letting go of my books and my most-kept clothes are a big heartbreak in my side. I have a bookshelf that houses my collection of books that I am not ready to let go yet together with my sentimental pieces such as letters and old school memorabilia.

But all is under control so hold your horses! After months of watching and listening to quite some plenty minimalist guru I finally went on with it. So for this post let me tell you some things that made me just do it and other facts that made me start this journey.


As a young adult you might think that I already got my sheets together. Some might say ‘What are you wailing about, girl? Come on you have day job, great friends, overly supportive family, and you still do what you love in that website of yours’. And though I admit that I am blessed in those areas, there are just some things that I can’t explain. There’s still some void.

I’m living life the fullest in the eyes of other people but what my eyes see is that I am living. There. Just living. I don’t feel like I’ve found my purpose in life and I became stagnant. I feel mediocre in everything that I do that it somehow took its toll on my writings. The usual one blog entry per week went down the drain to the point that I can no longer post one entry in a quarter.

What I hate to see the most is the fact that I’m starting to hate myself for being like that so I have to take it seriously. I realized that I am too weak to convince myself from the inside and so I decided to do it from the outside. According to the videos and podcasts that I streamed, if you can’t make yourself do something from the inside then try to fake it and do it from the outside first. Your surrounding plays an important role, it’ll help you replenish some of your energy and confidence just by making you feel good about the place you stay in.


Recently I did a purging with my clothes. I told myself to be brutal about it. I went on and grab all my clothes from my closet and put them on the bed which forms a huge pile of different kinds of clothes. To be honest, this is not my first time to purge my clothes, I did a decluttering a few months back using the KonMari method to which I failed because my grandma put all my purged clothes back to my closet. As I was purging again I realized that I still kinda like and can use some pieces of clothing I purge using the KonMari method even if it doesn’t spark that much joy.

I decided to just go commando with my style of purging, mixing KonMari and the traditional way of being practical, and I think I succeed. After the purging I have a luggage full of used and ready to discard clothes and an additional huge plastic almost full of clothes that no longer fit in the luggage. Update: I purge again and I have a piece of luggage, a box, and a paper bag full of clothes and shoes.

Some might say it’s not that much and I agree.  It was indeed a baby step but I was glad I was able to do it. Clothing had never been an easy category to declutter and seeing I almost empty a closet makes me want to celebrate this kind of small victories.

Cheers to more toddler steps!

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