I will absolutely admit that the idea of switching to a “minimalist” lifestyle does have a strong appeal to me. I spent much of my life living in a home that had all sorts of chotchkies, dishes on display (two to three sets of “fancy” dishes, plus the “everyday” set in the cabinet!), lots of appliances on the counters, and a general sense of “clutter” by today’s standards.
That being said, I’m not trying to say that my home was dirty, but more like messy. I was always searching for something for an hour, or doing an arm sweep across the counter to clear off a space to do homework or some other project.
I read things like Adam’s page where he posts a photographic inventory of everything he and his wife own, and it amazes me. Leo has trimmed down his personal possessions to just 50 things that are his own, not including family items or things that belong to others in his home. I’m floored.
Maybe it’s a guy thing? Maybe it’s easier for men than it is women?
Nope. Lynnae has a deep-seated desire to be more of a minimalist. Jules minimizes her cooking, by doing it with only 5 ingredients per meal, and gets in and out of the kitchen in 10 minutes. I’m sure there are plenty more.
Okay, so maybe I’m just totally not cut out for this.
I currently live with my boyfriend who owns a computer repair business, so we’ve got computer parts everywhere. While you might think that I could easily work from anywhere with just my laptop and a wi-fi connection, I’ve got an entire room filled to the brim with my art and jewelry supplies. Yes, “stuff” that’s actually intended to serve two purposes: To give me that physical, creative outlet I crave, and to make some extra money.
And I don’t even have all of my “stuff” here. I left about 90% of it back at my father’s house when I moved. Seriously, 90% of my possessions aren’t even anything I’ve looked at in over a year, much less actually needed to keep.
Some of the thoughts and feelings behind the minimalist lifestyle that are appealing to me:
- Less stuff means less cleaning. Less laundry to do when you have fewer clothes, less dishes to do, less dusting, less cleaning in general.
- Maintaining means constantly paring down. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying something for a while and then selling it to make back some of your money.
- Money! Less buying of “stuff” you don’t need means you have more money to buy things you do. Selling off gently used clothing, older appliances, books… all of that money adds up in your coffee can labeled “Vacation Fund” or in our case, “House Fund”.
- Money #2, you can pay off your debt faster and stop creating more debt. How many times have YOU bought groceries or gasoline on a credit card because you didn’t have the cash?
- Less clutter means feeling less cluttered. It’s easier to find things you need, when you need them, because you know right where they are. Living in a chaotic environment forces your brain to feel chaos.
- More time. If you add up all the minutes in a day you spend looking for something, cleaning or doing laundry, or moving things around to create a space for a task, I’m willing to bet you could reclaim at least an hour a day, more like two or three, if you lived more like a minimalist.
I also think that applying the core beliefs above can be helpful in regards to work just as much as it applies to day-to-day living and home life.
I’m not sure I can do it and give it my all, but looking around the apartment I definitely see things that we don’t need, that we could find major purpose for with the money that could be made by selling it. I’m thinking that lots of craigslist, eBay, and garage sales are in our near future.