I am on my way to becoming a minimalist. Would you ever consider it?

I found the article below intriguing.....

So what is this whole minimalism thing all about? To tell you the truth, it’s quite simple: to be a minimalist you must live with less than 100 things, and you can’t own a car or a home or a television, and you can’t have a career, and you have to be able to live in exotic hard-to-pronounce places all over the world, and you have to start a blog, and you can’t have any children, and you have to be a young white male from a privileged background.

OK, we’re joking. Obviously. But people who dismiss minimalism as some sort of fad usually mention any of the above “restrictions” as to why they could “never be a minimalist.” The truth is that minimalism isn’t about any of those things, but it can help you accomplish many of them if you’d like. If you desire to live with less material possessions or not own a car or a television or to travel all over the world, then minimalism can lend a hand. But that’s not the point.

Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.

That doesn’t mean there’s anything inherently wrong with owning material possessions. Today’s problem seems to be the meaning we assign to our stuff. We tend to give too much meaning to our things, often forsaking our health, our relationships, our passions, our personal growth, and our desire to contribute beyond ourselves. Want to own a car or a house? Great, have at it! Want to raise a family and have a career? If these things are important to you, then that’s wonderful. Minimalism simply allows you to make these decisions more consciously, more deliberately.

There are plenty of successful minimalists who lead appreciably different lives. Our friend Leo Babauta has a family and six children and lives in San Francisco. Joshua Becker has a career he enjoys, a family he loves, and a house and a car in suburbia. Conversely, Colin Wright owns 51 things and travels all over the world, while Tammy Strobel and her husband live in a “tiny house” and are completely car-free in Portland. Even though each of these people are different, they all share two things in common: they are minimalists, and minimalism has allowed them to pursue purpose-driven lives.

But how can these people be so different and yet still be minimalists? That brings us back to our original question: what is minimalism? If we had to sum it up in a single sentence, we would say, Minimalism is a tool used to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.

Minimalism has helped us:

Eliminate our discontent
Reclaim our time
Live in the moment
Pursue our passions
Discover our missions
Experience real freedom
Create more, consume less
Focus on our health
Grow as individuals
Contribute beyond ourselves
Rid ourselves of excess stuff
Discover purpose in our lives
By incorporating minimalism into our lives, we’ve finally been able to find lasting happiness. And let’s face it: that’s what we’re all looking for, isn’t it? We all want to be happy. Minimalists search for happiness not through things, but through life itself. Thus, it’s up to you to determine what is necessary and what is superfluous in your life.

Through our essays we intend to present to you ideas of how to achieve a minimalist lifestyle without adhering to a strict code or an arbitrary set of rules. A word of warning, though: It isn’t easy to take the first steps, but your journey towards minimalism gets much easier—and more rewarding—the farther you go. The first steps often take radical changes in your mindset, actions, and habits. Fret not, we want to help; that’s why we’ve documented our experiences, so you can learn from our failures and successes, applying what we’ve learned to your own situation, assisting you in leading a more meaningful life.

Source: http://www.theminimalists.com/minimalism/

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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. 

LOL!!!! That's not the essence of minimalism Unseen, lol....you are more of a minimalist than you think (for ex: by not owning a car.....)....

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?

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