F Simple and Serene Living: SO, YOU WANT TO BE A MINIMALIST.... 09 10
Saturday, April 11, 2015

SO, YOU WANT TO BE A MINIMALIST....


 ....or why the heck can't I get rid of all this stuff.

Minimalism is becoming a big movement. Apparently it is a pushback against the gluttony and over consumerism of this country.


So why do people collect so many things? Well, first of all we are bombarded constantly with messages to buy, buy, buy. We are somehow made to feel guilty if we don't have the newest and the best. If we don't keep up with our neighbors, friends, and family members we somehow feel less than. 


There is nothing wrong with having material items, but in excess they can take a toll on your wellbeing. I remember how McMansions became the norm, a status symbol of how well you were doing. Then the economy crashed and people began to realize that those huge houses with all of their possessions were becoming a burden. The children who were living in those big houses witnessed the toll it was taking on their parents. Now those children are growing up to become minimalists. They don't want the burden of all those possessions. 


Minimalism is not only for the young. We can all learn something about having too many possessions, about those possessions owning us instead of the other way around. I am not sure I will ever be considered a minimalist. I like my cozy surroundings, but I do know that there are things I definitely need to get rid of. So I am working on it. I look around and each day I get rid of something, and you know what? I find that I really don't miss those things once they are gone. 

So how about you? Do you feel that you can live with less than you have now? Is it difficult for you to part with your stuff? Do you think you could ever become a true minimalist? 

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43 comments:

  1. Like many in my generation, I struggle with this too. I'm working on it though.

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  2. Every once in a while, I ponder that. Most often, when I've been away living a pretty minimalist life in my coaching work. But I love my things and they reflect my personality and my passions. So, they'll stay. I wouldn't be happy any other way. (That's not to say that I can't do any purging. I can and will!)

    xo
    Claudia

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    1. I love my things too, Claudia, but like you I do need to do more purging.

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  3. Oh you hit the nail on the head Laura. I don't live in a McMansion but I 'inherited' a lot of vintage things that my mother collected and that my mother-in-law didn't throw out so I gathered them under our roof to enjoy. But, I'm not really enjoying them. They are taking up space in boxes and bins and cupboards. I'm not attached to most of it so I'm starting to sort through it and will get rid of it. I'm afraid I have fallen into saving these things from looking at blogs that collect certain things and feel I should have them and display them in my home. One thing I don't like is a sterile home with nothing personal around and everything is new or modern. There has to be some give I think. Last week I redid a wall in my living room as a gallery wall and managed to do it without buying anything new. I shopped the house and like the result. But, yes, I do have too much and need to purge it soon. Who wants it?? LOL xx Pam

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    1. Fortunately for me, my daughters love vintage things so I am able to pass on things to them. I make sure to try and keep the fmail things in the family, but some of the other stuff has got to go. I do sell a lot of it so that is a good outlet for me.

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  4. I found that I had accumulated way too much stuff! Now I'm downsizing and enjoying it. I will never be a minimalist but do enjoy a simpler life and less stuff. I'm working on keeping things I love.
    hugs,
    Linda

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    1. I think that is the most important thing for me too, Linda. Keeping the things that I love and that bring me joy. The rest of it I am learning that I can live without. :)

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  5. That's what I am trying to do. Then yesterday I went to a doll auction. I ended up bring home many because at the en they go really cheap. Now hat to do with them as they can't stay.

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    1. It's hard sometimes to pass up things that we really like when they are "so cheap', but I am trying to be a bit more discerning. :)

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  6. I am downsizing and decluttering, too. Luckily I am a vintage dealer, so it all has a place to go! Too much stuff feels chaotic to me...

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    1. Same for me, Linda. Being a vintage dealer definitely has its perks. Things are constantly moving in and out of my possession. :)

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  7. So true - our possessions do tend to own us! We have a lot of stuff because the kids refuse to throw away their toys - and also, we're kinda lazy! ;-)

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    1. I remember those days of being overwhelmed by toys :)

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  8. I lived on a sailboat for 5 years. If an item wasn't useful, it didn't stay on the boat. It was rare that I missed something. 10 years later... I seem to have way more than I need. I do keep a giveaway pile going all the time, but I need to put more in it.

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    1. Living on a sailboat sounds wonderful. Wish I didn't get so seasick. I need to put more in my giveaway pile too, but I am working on it.

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  9. My vintage shop on Etsy began because I needed to get a grip on my collection of vintage linens. I feel like I'm looking for good homes for my pretty things! Having said that, I still have way too much. I used to ask myself "do I love it or is it useful?" I need to start asking "do I love it AND is it useful"!

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    1. My Etsy shop started pretty much the same way. It served two purposes. It helped me get rid of some things and it gave me some added income. I like the "do I live it AND is it useful" idea.

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  10. I love to go junking but am pretty good about getting rid of things but could be better for sure. It's hard to pass up good Junk!

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  11. We have personally been 'blessed' with a 3 month long, water destroying event that has all of our entire downstairs contents boxed up in the garage. The reno will be done by tomorrow. We have already made a pact that everything that makes it's way back inside, has been critiqued for true need. If it hasn't been used within a year, it will not return. And even some of THOSE things might not return. We have a small kitchen, we are going to honor that. I see a big garage sale in our future come later this month or sometime in May. ;)

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    1. Good for you, Gwen. Sometimes the universe just sends us a message that it is time to get rid of some of that stuff :)

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  12. Well written and so true and accurate.

    Cindy

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  13. Hi Laura. If there is a minimalist here, I'd like to meet her. It's not me. hahaha Still, I have wayyyy too much "stuff" and try to de-clutter. I have numerous collections but have stopped adding things to "most" of them. I really would like a professional de-clutterer to venture up to the attic with me. (Pity the person). Alas, I do not think I will ever be a minimalist. Ever ever ever. But I would LOVE to have a stall in a flea market for spill overs. Susan

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    1. I took a bunch of stuff to my booth yesterday and one thing sold immediately. TIme for someone else to enjoy some of these "treasures". I am limiting my collecting to ironstone and blue and white transferware now. I am not adding (giving myself a stern lecture here) anything else. :)

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  14. I'm not a minimalist as far as household decor (I like too many pretty things!), but at the same time, I always have at least several bags sitting in my basement full of things to donate. As I was just packing away my winter clothes, I put shirts and pants in the bags that I didn't wear all winter or that I didn't truly like anymore. I'd say I'm more of a minimalist with clothing. I don't need a lot of clothing items with not working outside the home.

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    1. Now working outside the home definitely changes the clothing needs.

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  15. This is our first house...and it's so much larger then anything our little condo could ever offer. After decluttering the condo to encourage it to sell faster, living with a one in, two out mentality, we got used to having "less" stuff, and try to live our lives that way as much as possible. However my Mom bless her heart, sees that nearly empty basement and wants to regift all of her clutter to us. It's a struggle...and many times I have to politely refuse to have just one more thing.

    I think I might be a minimalist at heart, but with the eyes of a creative....anything can be repurposed. LOL.

    Jen

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    1. I think I do that to my kids as they roll their eyes at me :)

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  16. I wouldn't say I'm a minimalists but I detest clutter and it's practically non existent in our home. I am not a huge collector, and whatever I have needs to be useful, decorative or sentimental. If not, it's gone.

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    1. Sounds sort of like a minimalist to me, Doreen :)

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  17. Oh Laura, I so love all of my treasures and am not ready to give them up. I did purge the stuff I didn't want last fall and now feel very content! I'm certainly not a minimalist...yet!
    Great post~
    Have a glorious week!
    Nancy

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    1. It really is hard for those of us who love our treasures, Nancy. SIGH!!!

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  18. I remember my mother and grandmother having a lot of stuff and it was because they lived through the big depression and they didn't have a lot, but when they did get something it was never thrown away because "they might need it some time". I think growing up hearing all that is partly why I find it hard to part with stuff. I know I'd be happier if I had less to deal with so I'm beginning to look at things with that old saying in mind..."if you don't love it or believe it to be beautiful...." It's a start and I have far to go, I'll admit it!

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    1. My mom always talks about living through the depressions and I think some of that must have rubbed off on me, too. I am always afraid that if I get rid of something I might need it later.

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  19. I'm not sure I would call myself a minimalist but I don't like clutter and I DO like to down-size my stuff now and then. My husband, on the other hand, is a saver and pack rat so...It's always a balancing act here!

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    1. I bet it is a balancing act. Pack rats definitely don't like to get rid of their stuff, Sandy :)

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  20. I do very little shopping mostly because I live far enough from town to make it a hassle. I do buy things online but because of the shipping costs I will put a lot of thought into it first. My cabin is small so I do think about my purchases as I don't like my space to feel cluttered.

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    1. I think it is very important, in a small space to really think about your purchases. It is very easy to get overwhelmed with stuff when there is no where to put it.

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  21. I'm constantly cleaning out and donating. :)

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    1. Me too, Marie, but I think stuff is multiplying in my closets :)

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  22. I'd love to be a minimalist because I think it's easier to have a clean house that way, but I just can't! I have to rescue those things people to throw away and sell in our "empty your attic" sales.

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