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 am sure I can find a few spares once they don't mind sharing the bed :-) I have a house to myself so I use very little as I hate "chores".

.....at least I did until a black cat appeared on the couch last winter and decided to move in. It has even allowed me to remain so long as I feed it. There have been a few of these days.....

...we thought it was a gonner...

Dark children songs. Ahhh. Such memories!

LOL!!!

My Victorian style house is adorned with oddities, curiosities and musical instruments. My kitchen is tiled in real green river fish fossils, a skull sits besides a candelabra on my piano. A 6" megeladon tooth resides on a teak bar below a teak sailboat rudder that washed ashore during a hurricane. I find minimalism a bit devoid of interest and character. I surround myself in things that inspire me to create. I was "cleaned out" a few times, once by a devastating hurricane and then by an even worse divorce...but slowly and in a rather undeliberate fashion, I invariably end up in a museum like setting..

Minimalism is less about "owning less stuff" and more about being intentional about the things you do own, and having a compelling reason for it. Everything I own has a purpose, and i'm constantly re-evaluating "why" something is important to me.
For me it was also about a process of recovery. For different reasons, I lived my life in a constant state of "fight or flight" and it (literally) impaired my own sense of well-being. You can only be resilient for so long....it's like a rubber band. At first you stretch it all you want and it always bounces back...but the more and more you stretch it, eventually it becomes weak and fray...no longer holds the same amount of "weight" as it used to....

For me, minimalism was not as much about focusing on "stuff" (or getting rid of stuff), but rather it was about managing stress, saving money, re-gaining confidence, meditation, feeling safe, feeling peaceful, living sustainably, and having something to give back to people, while not diminishing my energy or causing undue mental stress. It was the final icing on the cake in how I went from victim to survivor.

That's not what comes to mind when I first hear "minimalism", to me that sounds like someone learning how to be happy.

I do prefer a fertile organic environment, and feeling connected to a place and the land. Maybe that's part of being a Southerner. In fact, I wish I lived in my grandmother's old house. It is an old fashioned concept, I know but I believe this transitory world we "enjoy" these days has a cost. Transients tend to trash some place and move on. Home is just temporary. If you look at the loving care that many Italians or French impart on their habitat that their families have nurtured for generations, you know what I mean. Of course that tradition in now in peril as well.

@Robert: Why don't you associate minimalism with learning how to be happy? Is it not all the same thing?

Again, it's not about "stuff." It's not about getting "rid of stuff" as much as it is learning to drill down to what is essential, and creating time and space to focus on those things in your life that are MOST important...like relationships with people you love, etc.

To me minimalism does mean having less stuff or refers to specific styles of art/music, etc. and is not the same as simplification, being frugal or focusing because you can do that without minimalizing. If you extend the word too mean other things it loses meaning and ironically is the opposite of minimalism.

It's not a rule, but minimalists are often mobile, many tiny houses have wheels. I was talking to a tiny house couple who had taken up locally... said they do it to be "green". Well they had reared five kids...kinda blew the "being green thing", in my opinion.

I see minimalism as not accumulating a lot of stuff you don't need just in order to have them or to be able to say "Look, I have a fancy car." I get along quite well without a car. A lot of people want a car even though they could get by without one quite well. All it would take is reviewing how much a car costs them (initial cost, maintenance, fuel, insurance, etc.) becoming shocked at the the number they see, then changing some of their habits.

Here in Portland there are around a dozen taxi service plus ZipCar and now Uber. Those are all there should I need a car for some reason, which is only 2 or 3 times a year.

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