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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 1, 2007
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    648

    Default Minimalist lifestyle anyone?

    I'm living one by accident.

    I've never liked "stuff". Clutter gives me a feeling of being overwelmed and anxious, even if there is nothing going on outside of the too-much-stuff situation. Under more extreme stress, I've completely torn apart my house and taken boxes of things to the Salvation Army. I never replace what I get rid of in these moments and hardly have more than the necessities and I like it. Apparently this kind of behavior has a name, minimalist. Glad to know I'm not too crazy, lol.


    I was just curious if anyone else lives with less and prefers it. How did you get to this point? Have you, like me, always hated excess, or did you finally hit a wall and realize that less is more and begin decluttering then? Is there anything that you have in excess that you would have a hard time letting go of such as books or clothing?


    7 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2003
    Posts
    1,700

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    I, too, am not too much of a "stuff" person, which I think helps us live well within our means. Our house is small, our living room furniture pretty old (and was given to us when our neighbors across the road moved and didn't have room for it), our TV comes via antenna, etc. I like living simply and knowing that if we should fall over the fiscal cliff, we'll do ok because we aren't over-extended.

    Unfortunately we have way too much stuff in our little house because we have a hard time getting rid of stuff. DH is worse than I am. One year about Christmas I spent 30 hours burning his old paper. He still had 10-year-old credit card statements and whatnot. It took me 30 hours to get rid of it all. Me, I keep two years max of most statements. A couple years ago when we had that really big snowstorm, DH was stuck at my dad's for a week because he couldn't get up the road to our house. I think he was afraid I was going to burn more of his paper. It really kind of freaked him out, but that's another thread...



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 22, 2004
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,407

    Default

    It's doubtful this is the case for most minimalists, but I knew one who you couldn't stand having around. She would repeatedly praise herself for being a minimalist, but then ask everyone to borrow this or that. Want to be a minimalist? Be one! Just don't loudly proclaim to be one and then want to borrow my shirt, shoes, money, sunglasses, etc. after having dissed me for "having so much stuff."


    2 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 21, 2010
    Posts
    2,467

    Default

    I would say we're probably considered minimalist, or cheap, by our friends. I consider us normal. But in today's society or excess, we look like Little House.

    Our house is very small by today's standards, and not modern. We don't have the latest appliances, phones, TVs, sound systems. We drive old cars. We don't have a car payment. My clothes are from the clearance aisle or Salvation Army. My daughter got like 3 things from us for Christmas. And they weren't extravagant. She also wears all hand me downs. our furniture was all given to us or bought at garage sales.

    We just don't value "stuff" for the sake of having it. It doesn't do anything for us. And it infuriates me the amount of stuff people toss away, and there are so many in the world without anything. So why buy it in the first place?

    I have everything I need, and we don't want for much. I dont live like a cavman, but i dont buy things on a whim, or that i dont really need. Works for us!


    3 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 1, 2007
    Posts
    648

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LulaBell View Post
    It's doubtful this is the case for most minimalists, but I knew one who you couldn't stand having around. She would repeatedly praise herself for being a minimalist, but then ask everyone to borrow this or that. Want to be a minimalist? Be one! Just don't loudly proclaim to be one and then want to borrow my shirt, shoes, money, sunglasses, etc. after having dissed me for "having so much stuff."
    Lol, she sounds like a pain in the butt. I'd have trouble interacting with that one.

    I'm definatly of the mindset that whatever makes you happy, do it (well, within reason of course. Murder and mayhem excluded ). Whether you have a little or a lot, as long as you're comfortable, go for it. I'd never condone anyone with what I consider an excessive amount of stuff (I did question my ex-MIL as to whether she needed a 12th set of china or a 586th spreader whenever I got suckered into going anywhere near a store with her). Same goes for people that have little. Not my business.

    I would quickly get irritated with someone being a hypocrit like the woman that you mentioned. Next time she stops by, I'd recommend telling her not to let the door hit her where the good lord split her



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 9, 2001
    Location
    Lake County, IL
    Posts
    1,242

    Default

    Me! Me! Me!

    I started on the minimalism path a few years ago. I finally am to the point of having basically essentials. I have 1 purse, a couple of pairs of shoes, not that many clothes. I feel that because of minimalism, I am financially secure. I don't spend money on anything that is not a 'need.' Horses are my 'need,' so pretty much everything goes towards them. If not for minimalism, I could not afford board on 2 horses.

    It took me years to get rid of all my sh!t. I still have junk I don't need, but my husband freaked out when I really went through a huge cleanout and kept thinking I was getting rid of everything and was leaving him. LOL. Now I just go through things a little bit at a time so as not to upset the poor man.

    That is the toughest part - living with a non-minimalist. He has lots of STUFF, but we've compromised that he has his very own office/junk room he can do with as he pleases. As long as the STUFF (comic books, computers, etc.) stays in there, I don't pester him about it.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2003
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    1,700

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcella View Post
    Me! Me! Me!

    I started on the minimalism path a few years ago. I finally am to the point of having basically essentials. I have 1 purse, a couple of pairs of shoes, not that many clothes. I feel that because of minimalism, I am financially secure. I don't spend money on anything that is not a 'need.' Horses are my 'need,' so pretty much everything goes towards them. If not for minimalism, I could not afford board on 2 horses.

    It took me years to get rid of all my sh!t. I still have junk I don't need, but my husband freaked out when I really went through a huge cleanout and kept thinking I was getting rid of everything and was leaving him. LOL. Now I just go through things a little bit at a time so as not to upset the poor man.

    That is the toughest part - living with a non-minimalist. He has lots of STUFF, but we've compromised that he has his very own office/junk room he can do with as he pleases. As long as the STUFF (comic books, computers, etc.) stays in there, I don't pester him about it.
    Good plan! Sounds kind of like our house.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 4, 2010
    Location
    yonder a bit, GA
    Posts
    3,355

    Default

    I'd really like to be more in the minimalist mindset before having kids, if that's the path I'll take. I was talking with a coworker friend about Christmas and she was telling me about the things she bought her six year old daughter for the holiday. It was.... ridiculous. At least two gifts that were big ticket items including a four wheeler (for a six year old!) and other really expensive things. She admitted she worries about what she'll give her next year since this year was so much. She also talks about maybe having a second kid (just casually, don't think she's dying for another) but she would have to cut back on things for her daughter and she wouldn't want to do that (like horseback riding lessons would have to be out, which the girl loves... I'm wondering how far $1500 for the four wheeler could have instead gone towards riding lessons??? Hmm)
    I just am terrified to get into that mindset, and i know how easy it is to spoil someone or let go of the restraint in purchasing things, especially if it's for someone else.

    Trying to get down to half the wardrobe size for myself this year, starting with a new years resolution of not buying new clothes! Less is more! Bare table tops are beautiful! Drawers that close, so glorious! Room to enjoy my house, heavenly!
    (A decidedly unhorsey) MrB knocks over a feed bucket at the tack shop and mutters, "Oh crap. I failed the stadium jumping phase."
    (he does listen!)



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2007
    Location
    Beside Myself ~ Western NY
    Posts
    6,720

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    My husband and I are collectors. Our house leans towards the cluttered side because my husband and I have more cool stuff than square footage but it's not messy. Just too close together. We are very organised and tidy and routinely purge so we can enjoy what we do keep. We even try to rotate what we have out to display to keep things less cluttered. With my horse equipment I am a minimalist. I buy really good quality, take good care of it and when I upgrade, I donate or sell the extra.

    My sister, on the other hand, is the minimalist. I envy her. I love to go to her house and just sit and look at the clear corners. And she's so stylish.

    I often think that if I were to lose everything I would never go back to my "stuff" but it's probably too hardwired into me.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Posts
    594

    Default

    My mom is like this. I need to be, because clutter makes me stressed and gives me insomnia. Too much stuff, as much as I love to look at it in other people's homes, really affects me mentally -- like you, I get overwhelmed and almost scared.

    In the past, I've struggled because I'm also sort of a compulsive shopper, but buying a horse has pretty much cured me of that habit. In 2013, I will absolutely be moving toward a much more minimalist lifestyle.

    I think in my ideal life, I'd have a closet like a pop star and the rest of my house would look like it belonged to a buddhist monk.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2000
    Location
    Greenville, MI,
    Posts
    11,816

    Default

    Ohhhh there are others! I HATE stuff, I like the least necessary.
    I never buy junk, and I am forever throwing things out or giving them away, I consider myself a closet minimalist!
    Edited to add, I think it makes one feel more in control. The older I get the more I became this way. I have no family and no children so who would I leave it to.
    Last edited by Sannois; Dec. 31, 2012 at 04:15 PM. Reason: Add
    "you can only ride the drama llama so hard before it decides to spit in your face." ?Caffeinated.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,602

    Default

    When I hear minimalist, I want to ask "how deep is your cave"?

    I lived practically all my life with all I own fitting in two larger suitcases plus my English saddle, other than maybe books, that I generally clean out and take to the local small library.

    The last years, life changed and now own "things".

    Most of us without a family to share with may own this or that, more or less, but in reality, how much of most anything do we get to really use?

    There is that old phrase, "the one that has the most is the one that needs the least".


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep. 4, 2012
    Location
    Southeast US
    Posts
    1,157

    Default

    I became one by accident and I love it. A few years ago I bought a tiny house on some land - in spite of the house, not because of it. I found decluttering to be so liberating! I had so much stuff that I didn't need and never used. I had a box of stuff that I had packed up to move in 1993 and had moved it 3 times post-1993, all without ever feeling the need to get anything out of it.

    Now I think I'm pretty much a minimalist. Except when it comes to horse stuff. I've still got more bits and saddle pads than anyone who's not a professional trainer needs to own.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 1999
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    12,275

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    I'm struggling to get down to that, because it's the way I want to live. I never have been extravagant, and have always lived within my means, but, living in a three generation house does have disadvantages, one being that there is a plentitude of stuff. Everything I own is old, but in good shape. I don't have all of the latest technological things, and don't want them. I went on a cleaning jag in November and December and inundated Goodwill with a ton of stuff, but there is a lot more to go. I plan on keeping going on this road, however, because I don't want to have to worry about what to do with all of the stuff when it's time for me to go to the old folk's home.
    Originally Posted by Alagirl
    We just love to shame poor people...when in reality, we are all just peasants.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 9, 2000
    Location
    California
    Posts
    8,113

    Default

    I wish we were more minimalist than we are. I'm not into knick-knacks so at least there's that. Whenever I see someone with a lot of knick-knacks in their house, I think "they don't do their own cleaning!"

    Mr. PoPo is actually more of a collector than I am. Mostly books. Lots and lots and lots of books. I do have a bunch of clothes in my closet that I should get rid of but for some reason I'm convinced that I'll need them again someday (business suits)! Actually, I wore one of those jackets just last week, so there!

    What freaks me out is how much stuff my parents have. When they pass it is going to be an amazing clusterf..k trying to clean up their lifetime of possessions. I keep trying to convince them they should downsize but my dad will have none of it.
    My Mustang Adventures - Mac, my mustang | Annwylid D'Lite - my Cob filly

    "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun. 15, 2001
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    1,116

    Default

    Hm. I have two roommates, both of whom like the "cozy" feeling of having a lot of stuff perched on surfaces. This makes me uncomfortable.

    My boyfriend, on the other hand, is a true minimalist. He proudly told me within a few weeks of meeting me that almost all of his belongings fit into a suitcase. He attributes this to his identity as a bit of a nomad.

    He truly doesn't have much stuff. He has a bed - with a broken bedframe, but that's another "thing" - and the pad from a futon that represents his "couch". He doesn't have a TV, but he has a laptop, a projector, and a Netflix account His only other furniture is his dining room table, which is actually a steel door from Home Depot set on two saw horses.

    His clothes consist of underwear and socks, a couple t-shirts, dress shirts, vests and blazers, and two pairs of shoes (rugged boots and dressier boots). He mixes and matches these with jeans for casual affairs, and dress pants for work and parties. He owns a very nice suit.

    He does have a lot of art, but it's mostly his own work.

    I could live like this in terms of the furniture and uncluttered surfaces, but I have a weakness for kitchen gadgets...and well, you know, clothes and shoes!
    Disclaimer: My mom told me that people might look at my name and think I had an addiction other than horses. I don't; his name was Bravado.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    14,147

    Default

    The saying "don't let your possessions possess you" rings true with a lot of people.

    Many have to pair down because they live in condos. After 36 years in one house and all those gifts, we do have a lot of stuff, mostly old. But its been there for years, we don't go out and buy new stuff - two things have to leave before we bring one in.

    But clutter and mess stresses me out - I cannot live in it, though my husband cannot even see it. I'll need one of those 'experts' when it is time to downsize and move, that and 1-800-got-junk.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


    1 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2007
    Location
    Hollowed out volcano in the South Pacific.
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    11,125

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    I take old stuff to GoodWill all the time.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have,
    at this moment, been thrown up from below!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2007
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    5,141

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    we're like spacytracy-and I'm like suzzier...we had a small place for several years when the kids were little we were going through tough times-it got more and more cluttered and while we never reached hoarder status it was uncomfortable for me to the point of panic attacks... we moved a year ago and while I had vaporized most of my stuff DH still had all his crap and he had some big piles of man crap out there, it was so so difficult to get it all cleaned up, it was a huge horrible task. We finally got out of there and moved into another small house and I won't let anything come in the door. If I don't use something in a couple weeks I box it back up. We have stuff but it's tucked away in boxes and stacked in a spare shed. if someone leaves something laying around I take it and pack it up again. it's downright sparse around here and I love it. NO CLUTTER. We also don't buy a lot of new things, we aren't big purchasers, don't buy a lot of new things, our appliances are old and work very well (the lost generation of appliances)... the things we have that are out to see are few and very important... it feels very peaceful here and it doesn't cost much! lol



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep. 29, 2009
    Posts
    2,576

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    Yes, me. I do not like lots of junk or stuff.

    I am not a high maintenance type person.



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