Minimalism:Be More With Less by Courtney Carver

Minimalist, Courtney Carver, from Be More With Less is launching her new book today. I thought it was a perfect time for an interview. I've been inspired by her minimalist lifestyle ever since meeting her last fall in San Francisco.

"My name is Courtney Carver and I am a 41 year old, aspiring minimalist. I am (so happily) married, and mom to a teenage daughter. I am a writer and photographer. I love yoga, creating simple meals and hiking and skiing in the Mountainwest. I also love to travel and have my sights on a future in Mexico, living simply, on the beach."

Courtney Carver 03 200x300 Follow Their Lead...Live the Life of Your Dreams

1. What is minimalism and how did you get interested in it?

There are different definitions for minimalism. For me, it is quite simply, clearing the clutter to identify what is really important. Clutter might be in the closet, on the calendar or even deeper than that…in your mind! 

I blog three times a week, share world changing art, and started a fashion project that may not be changing the world, but is changing closets around the world.

The Bold Life: Isn't that the truth. I do think when I clear my mind clutter I'm less likely to have it other places. Once we decide to live clutter free nothing is left except the meaningful.

2. You say you are an inspiring minimalist? What is the difference between where you are now and where you want to be? Fill in the gap for us.

I think I say aspiring minimalist. 😉 I'm still learning about what I can live without. A year ago, I thought I needed cable TV, now I know that I don't. A year ago, I thought I needed a closet full of clothes, and now, thanks to Project 333, I know I can dress with less. I am sure I will learn to live with less of other things as I move forward.

The Bold Life: LOL I think you should change it to inspirational minimalist! As you can see you've inspired me! If you're serious about living on the beach in Mexico I'm sure you will! If anyone can be that free it would by you, Courtney.

 3. I love the simplicity of your book. How did you come up with your format of including other authors?

Thanks, I worked with an amazing designer named Heidi Larsen. You can find her on Twitter.

When I started writing the book, I knew I wanted to include chapters from the people that have inspired me along my journey. Each of them have very specific strengths that I wanted to include.

I wasn't sure if they would all agree, but they did. Leo Babauta, Joshua Becker, Everett Bogue, Dan Goodwin, Jonathan Mead and Tammy Strobel all graciously agreed to participate.  

The Bold Life: You're bold Courtney. I like bold!

4. I love the idea of a distractionless walk. How did we get so far away from simple activities? If I take my new camera along on my walk will it become a distraction?

I think Simple activities were replaced by our need for more. We want to make more, spend more and have more, and you can't do that by taking a walk. I am a photographer myself, so understand how tempting it is to take a camera everywhere, but I recommend leaving it at home sometimes. See the day through your own eyes, instead of through a lens.  

The Bold Life: I can handle sometimes! I'll begin there;)

5. You state that living debt free is the most important thing to do when choosing to live with less. I agreeHowever we weren't debt free until our 4 girls college. Can you give our readers a few tips for getting out of debt ?

Getting debt free can be the hardest thing, but it is so rewarding! I used to honestly think I would always carry credit card debt and have a car payment. I thought it was just the way it was. We made our last car payment in July 2010, and it is so freeing to be able to make decisions without money being the primary factor.

There's a chapter in my book about how I became debt free and I think it will be helpful to readers struggling with debt. 

The Bold Life: That chapter certainly will help! I would add it's never too late to begin.

6. Do you have any final words of wisdom to share?

I'm still learning and hope I always am, but my advice today is get started on whatever you want to do. Don't wait for the perfect time, or until you are rich enough, thin enough or strong enough. Just start.

The Bold Life: I'd encourage everyone that wants to live more with less to read Courtney's blog!

If you want a jump start with her best advice along with the advice of five other experts, A Simple Guide to Be More With Less is the way to go. (affiliate) She's certainly influenced the big changes I've made in my life.

Connect with Courtney on Twitter 

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Courtney Carver April 11, 2011, 9:14 am

    Tess, Thanks for this very flattering interview and post. I am so glad we met last fall and I am looking forward to a reunion!

  • Aileen | Kaizen Vision April 11, 2011, 12:11 pm

    Tess, I love your interviews 🙂 and this one with Courtney is fantastic! I’m more of a minimalist in training, but not there yet. It is such a liberating way of life to be free from the need for “more” – to live with appreciation for simplicity more than the cravings of ‘more, more’.

  • Angela Artemis April 11, 2011, 5:57 pm

    Courtney,
    Congratulations on the book! I found out from reading your blog that I am a minimalist – thank you for that. I’m enjoying with living with less too. It’s so freeing.

  • Patti Foy | Lightspirited Being April 11, 2011, 7:03 pm

    Thanks both of you for this inspiring and aspiring post! Tee hee.

    Courtney, that book cover is just beautiful and is a great example of how something’s simplicity can be an important element of why it is so attractive … whether it be a bookcover or a way of life.

    Congratulations on your book, and may you have great success with it.

  • John Sherry April 12, 2011, 12:08 am

    Firstly what an awesome book design and how the title perfectly matches the subject i.e. your blog, the book, and the minamlistic ethic Courtney. You really are a talented person and you interview with such a confident air and ease of purpose – totally promotes your stance and style of minamilistic living. I hope it’s a real smash!
    Tess a lovely caring interview where you ask gentle questions that zero in on the specifics of the book and minimalism as a stand point for life. You are accomplished at this, radio next??? This post is weaved with loving energy and I for one love walks so my next one is going to be a ‘distractionless walk’ where I’m going to immerse myself in right where I am like a tree in a field. Be blessed Tess and Courtney, two diamonds in blogging brilliance.

  • Galen Pearl April 12, 2011, 1:30 pm

    Great interview! I’m inspired to go on a distractionless walk right now. After many gray cold rainy days, the sun is shining. I especially like the boldness of going for the gusto of your vision. Wonderful!

  • Alison Kerr | Loving Nature's Garden April 12, 2011, 2:47 pm

    I’m thoroughly in favor of the idea of going on a non-functional walk. Whatever the time of year there is always something new to see. I try to walk around my garden every day just to observe what is new. Nothing feels more freeing than just visiting with nature with no agenda and no plan in mind.

    Congratulations on your book Courtney. I have a copy and I’ve already benefited from your ideas even though I have a LONG way to go to become a minimalist when it comes to possessions. Thanks for the interview Tess.

  • Bryce Christiansen April 13, 2011, 8:49 am

    I love the minimalist points you are making here. I sometimes forget to think about the mind clutter when I’m focused on physical clutter. I’m sure if I got rid of the mind clutter my stress, sleep, and general attitude would all improve. Thank you.

  • Patricia April 13, 2011, 9:21 am

    We have spent years living in voluntary simplicity – now that my kids are launched I want to go even to a more simple life style, though my partner is not ready. Our only debt is complex because we put all our child’s surgeries onto our house – we are just making in roads on that pay down now, but it means there is no retirement until age 75

    I just read a book about mindless eating – one can see how distracted we have become and how the marketers play to our weaknesses.

    Nice interview and clever idea sharing…Thank you so much

  • Betsy at Zen Mama April 13, 2011, 7:27 pm

    Courtney,
    You have great advice. I esp. like the idea of a distractionless walk. I often bring my camera along, too, and sometimes even a book to clear my mind. As I get older I, too, would like a more a minimalist life. It’s almost as if once you have a house full of things you’re ready to start giving it away!
    Glad to have “met” you Courtney.
    Thanks Tess for always having wonderful people here at your website.
    Betsy

  • Fran Sorin April 16, 2011, 9:58 am

    Courtney,

    Great post…alot of what you said reverberated with me. As a gardening expert, one of the exercises I tell readers about is to take a daily ‘nature walk’…to observer, smell, touch….even if only for 5 minutes….it’s amazing how it can help you make a connection to nature…and your inner self.

    Your thoughts on minimalisim are helpful and re-assuring. As so many other minimalists in progress, some days and periods are easier than others…

    Am grateful that Tess had you as a guest blogger. Warmly, Fran

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