38 Responses to “Notes From a Minimalist Teen”


Read below or add a comment...

  1. What a mature and insightful young man. This was a pleasure to read.

  2. Kathleen Moscato

    What an amazing choice for a teen and even more amazing considering where he is from. I grew up in the OC and materialism is very much part of the culture. I know it is everywhere, but in the OC even more so! Congratulations on a very smart choice!

    • Hey Kathleen!
      Thanks for the comment! Isn’t it crazy how in Orange County so many people focus on materialism? On the bright side, this extreme has also helped me see what really matters in life.

      Chase Miller

  3. Courtney, way to go. I’m 57 now, but when I was your age, I had my head so far up my ass…. Just let me say, that with your way of thinking, you can create a great life for yourself. And that’s what you’re doing–you’re actually thinking for yourself.

  4. Sorry Chase, I thought Courtney. See, I still have my head up my ass.

  5. Way to go, Chase! Wish you all the best.

  6. Tonia

    “If you are a teenager considering becoming a minimalist, I would suggest giving it a shot as it will become much harder if you wait until you are an adult. And if you don’t like it, you can always refill your life with useless things.”

    Loved this ^^^^ So true. Wish i was this wise as a teenager.

  7. Jen

    You are wise beyond your years, what a neat person! You are bound to have an exciting life because you have such a great attitude :)

  8. good work, Chase! With your minimalist attitude, you’ll have room in your life for lower-paying, soul-satisfying jobs.

  9. Fiona

    WOW! Simply wow! This was so compelling to read! I really enjoyed it & will be sharing it on my website!

    I enjoy clearing out and thankfully when I was your age I had a rule that things couldn’t be sentimental unless they fitted in a shoe box, so I don’t have tones of boxes in the loft, but you’ve inspired me to go a step further and think about what extra things I’m holding onto.

    You’re an inspiration, I’m going to get my teenage sister to read your blog! May your journey hold many blessings, Fiona,x

  10. Phyllis

    Great article Chase! You’ve inspired me and I quoted you in my latest blog post :) http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2012/01/teen-inspires-minimalist-spending.html

  11. Love this. Very cool!

  12. Sophie

    When I grow up I want to be Chase Miller! Great article and it has really got me thinking about my own stuff. I ❤ the line “that you could travel the world and not worry about your possessions” I’ve been worrying about my stuff for too long, it owns me and not the other way round.

    I’m going to print that out and put it on my wall and it will inspire me to declutter


  13. I seriously loved reading this! I was thinking back to my teenage self who kept every little sentimental thing. I’m 25 now, and while I’m not old, I’ve been through a lot that can age your soul quickly. I’ve spent the past nearly 2 years learning about minimalism and loving it. I went through some sentimental cards and letters this weekend, enjoyed the moment of reminiscing, and threw all away but a few of the most precious ones. I’m not quite to the sole suitcase life (and I’m not sure I’d ever want to go that far), but I certainly am purging the unnecessary.

    Cheers to a great start to your adult life!

    I will say that after a couple years of community college, you can probably save up and get scholarships to go to a four-year college, if that’s your thing. Of course, you may not want to go the traditional route, but if you have a change of heart, know that there are options out there.

    Surf’s up!

    • Thanks for the comment! And yes, after community college I am planning on transferring to a four-year college to major in either Communications or Photography which I am definitely looking forward to.

      Best of luck!
      Chase Miller

  14. K Silva

    Thanks Chase! Hope you don’t mind, but I’m having my seniors read this tomorrow as part of our unit on reflective writing. I think it’s a great example…and hopefully will get them thinking about how they choose to spend their money as they get ready to head out into the world.

  15. Kim

    I was shocked to see Chase was from the OC. I live in HB and most teens here are incredibly materialistic. I have two young boys that we try very hard to teach the value of a dollar and the concept of need vs. want. I was never prouder when my 9 year old told me he had know idea what he wanted for christmas since he had everything he needed and maybe could we just go on a family trip instead of gifts! Loved it! I am sharing your essay with them this weekend so they can see how full your life is and how much you have achieved by letting go of the unnecessary. Best of luck with your photography it’s beautiful and inspiring.


  16. Laura

    Wow, so impressive to be thinking this way at an early age and I was really stunned when he said he was from the OC! Very inspiring.

  17. Wow Chase, very impressive. I wish I had started at your age.

    You state: “If you are a teenager considering becoming a minimalist, I would suggest giving it a shot as it will become much harder if you wait until you are an adult.”

    So true. I’m 38, and despite having reduced my possessions by at least 25%, I still have too much. I admire your minimalist approach and learned a lot from reading your post.



  18. Great story there, thanks!

    Just a question about ‘the note’. How is different from what we receive with an RSS subscription to your blog posts? I don’t mean to sound snippy, but I’m trying to be minimalist here, and one more thing to clean out of my inbox doesn’t sound appealing! If you could let me know a little more of what it’s about, I’d appreciate it.

    • Courtney Carver

      Not snippy at all. You can read more about the note here: http://courtneycarver.com/the-note/ – it’s completely separate from the content on this blog. I’m not quite sure how it will evolve, but I wanted a different avenue to connect with readers that wanted to work on what comes after simplifying and living with less. I want to explore other methods of connecting and see what comes from it. Feel free to join me and/or continue to read here. I’ll love you either way. ;)

  19. Mary Blanton

    Fantastic!! Thanks, Chase, for inspiring us! I can’t wait to share this with my family. Truly, you are an amazing young man.

  20. Denise

    Brilliant post. Chase, you are so wise to realize the importance of a curated life at your age. Most of us waste valuable time accumulating “stuff” when we’re young and then we spend our golden years getting rid of it. Or worse, our family members become burdened with our possessions. Can’t wait to share this with my teenage son! He’s already on the right track with school by attending a high school & early college program at our local community college.

  21. Good on ya, Chase. Spread the word.

  22. This girl is brilliant! Thanks so much for sharing. Making some of these counter-cultural decisions as a teen is tough. Way to go!

  23. This was a wonderful post. Chase-you are definitely going places. I’ve learned that the best leaders lead by example. I’m convinced that your minimalist lifestyle will inspire others, even if you never speak a word about it. I also hope you continue to write! Thanks for sharing this post.

  24. Megan LBA

    Hey, I find this really inspirational as I am a teenager too trying to become as minimalitic as possible, to be able to live a life full of freedom and experience, to spend time with the people I love, and to do things I love.
    I have found the path difficult, to let go of what I am used to, to just experience life as it should be, but this has given me empowerment to carry on and not go back a step than forward, so thank you! :)

  25. John

    This is such an amazing post! I too am a teenager accepting minimalism, and it feels great!

  26. Eva

    Very inspiring, Chase! Great to read. I too came to minimalism through blogs, and still read them frequently to stay motivated and inspired. Reading your guest post today helps. I love the Daily Choice part of your action plan.

  27. Marisabel

    Inspiring! Reading from Australia as a 2nd year university student, this is awesome! :)

please comment