I've been a minimalist for most of my life. Everything I own fits into 2 pick up trucks, and only because I own a couple pieces of bulky oak furniture. The lifestyle is easy on the wallet, and I'm remarkably free of stress.
I live close to everything I need, and about 6 months ago I sold my car. While I will get another if the situation demands, I quickly realized what an expense and pain in the ass it was to maintain.
Kudos to you Obfuskation. I am of a similar frame of mind. I have very few possessions. One car load and I am on the road. I keep my house de-cluttered and I recycle most things if not used for a few months.
Back in the early 90s i hit on a little trick. Every spring i bring a copy paper box or two home from work, and put things i don't seem to ever use in them, then seal them with duct tape and write the date on them. If by the next year the tape is unbroken, I donate the stuff to Goodwill.
I've always found that a move turns an opportunity into a near-necessity to take a second look at everything one has and decide if you're likely to use things in the future that you haven't been using.
Changes in technology allow one to unload things, too. I used to have a sizable CD/DVD collection, but nowadays with streaming sites, there's no need to take up space with many music and movie titles in physical form.
True, but when the optical media came on the market, their manufacturers boldly made the claim that unlike magnetic media, CD's and DVD's would be an everlasting way to preserve data. Now we know that temperature, sunlight, and more obviously careless handling can damage them and result in lost data. In some cases, magnetic media might preserve data more long term. Anyway, backing up data with duplicates is the best way, but when you have about 15TB of hard drives like me, that really isn't terribly practical. (Digital photos shot in RAW eat up drive space very quickly.)
I find some things about it appealing. I get tired of having a bunch of pots and pans filling a cabinet when we could be using a few pieces of cast iron and a couple pots for everything. I like getting rid of old paperwork, taking things to Goodwill, and selling superfluous items on eBay to recoup some of their value. Ideally, I would have fewer items but better quality ones.
However, sometimes it feels wasteful to me to get rid of things that still have value. If they can be donated it takes some of the sting away but I still don't like facing the fact that we spent money on something we didn't need. So a lot of times, I'd rather hold onto something to try to get my money's worth.
I don't necessarily share the value that "things" weigh us down and limit our freedom. The relentless pursuit of money for the purpose of having the newest luxury items can have that effect, and certainly being actually overwhelmed (like hoarding) does. Beyond that, it's a personal value. Having fewer things and more experiences is psychologically sound advice in general, but the exact balance is up to the individual.
Some people are collectors, and find it rewarding. Others appreciate craftsmanship and design and enjoy having multiple examples of things like watches, firearms, antique furniture, etc., that may not rise to the level of a "collection". There's also the category of "things" that allow us to have the experiences we love. I, for example, would never want to give up my camping gear or my truck, because spending time in remote outdoor places is important to me. Maybe all these types of items can fall into the definition of minimalism, I'm not sure. They're not what people would think of as being minimalist, though.
WOW!!!! I TOTALLY forgot about this discussion! How serendipitous that it should re-surface at the same time as my current blog "Omnia Mea Mecum Porto," lol!!!
It's actually a great reminder/reflection over the past year and a half. I really have turned into such a different person than I ever thought possible. I have to say that the transformation into this deep minimalist lifestyle that I live happened seemingly overnight, but the internal transformation has been so much more profound....
Well, I DON'T want to end up in a 10'x12' room sleeping on a yoga mat with a singe light bulb hanging down from the ceiling with a sink with a mirror and toilet in the corner and a small chest of drawers.
That sounds like a prison cell.
My cat would probably get bored without me around, or can one really be a minimalist if they have a cat?
Hmm... Means I'll also be needing a litter box and cat tree.
I can only sit on one chair at a time, sleep in one bed at a time and eat of one plate at a time. I must spend close to half my life using those 3 things.
But if you have a few guests over?