Minimalism Explained

 

Defining Minimalism

After my All 55 Things I Own post the other day, I want to take a second to go over Minimalism as a philosophy and a practice to make sure we’re all on the same page as to what it means and how it’s done.

So when you think of Minimalism, you likely think of getting rid of stuff, not buying anything new, and living in a small white room with no furniture or pictures on the wall.

This COULD be true, but in most cases it’s not.

It’s important to understand that the reduction of physical possessions is often a RESULT of Minimalism, not Minimalism itself. Just giving away a bunch of things doesn’t make you a Minimalist, any more than buying a statue of Buddha makes you a Buddhist or doing yoga makes you healthy. It’s one aspect of the whole, for sure, but you needn’t partake if that’s not where your priorities happen to be. There are always other options.

And that’s what’s important to establish here: priorities.

What Minimalism is really all about is reassessment of your priorities so that you can strip away the excess stuff – the possessions and ideas and relationships and activities – that don’t bring value to your life.

Once you are able to say with absolute certainty ‘This is important to me. My Little Ponies are my life and being involved with them is what makes me want to get up in the morning,’ you should invest more time and effort into your collection.

When they really start to think about it, though, most people realize that the physical things they own are not the most important parts of their lives.

If you can take a day and really dedicate yourself to focusing on what’s important, you’ll likely identify a whole slew of things that are more important than accumulating physical goods, and if this is the case, it could be time to start slimming down your haul.

My Minimalistic Tendencies

When I started deep-diving into my real hopes and dreams, I realized that what I really craved and wasn’t getting living in LA was a sense of adventure and constant change. I THRIVE on the exhilaration of adventure and risk and building things, and mostly I was only doing the latter-most of these activities.

It was time to refocus and reposition myself so that I would be able to fully-invest in my passions.

For me, getting rid of all the crap I’d accumulated was as much a symbol of my transition as a part of it. As soon as I started slimming down the closets and wardrobe, I thought ‘this is real…I’m really doing it.’ This thought can be just as important as the realization that something needs to change, because it reinforces that you have the power to change your destiny.

Booya.

Getting Rid of Stuff

If you want to get rid of a LOT of stuff, I recommend taking time to figure out what you’re keeping first.

The number of possessions you have doesn’t matter, but being able to live a happy life does. I count and list my possessions for shock value more than anything, and to give myself a yardstick as to how much I actually need to travel comfortably, but having more or less than someone else is completely arbitrary.

Don’t get rid of stuff just because you can. If you do this, the most likely result is that you’ll be sad and lonely without your things and will just end up buying new versions of them, which supports conspicuous consumption, costs you a bunch of money, kills the rain forests and generally wreaks havoc on the world in general. Don’t put yourself in the position to yo-yo when it comes to this many things.

What I WOULD recommend is slowly testing out the waters and seeing what you can and cannot live without.

I thought for sure that I wouldn’t be able to make it without my nice wardrobe, iPhone and tank-like desktop computer, but once they were gone, my heart kept beating and I had more time and money to spend on other things. I don’t miss them.

I have found, however, that I like to have a guitar, so I make it a point to by a cheap, locally-made one whenever I’m going to be staying in one place for a few months or more. I also like to have well-constructed (if simple) clothing and a high-performing laptop.

What’s nice about being a Minimalist is that all those freed-up resources can be reapplied to the areas of your life that you care about. I don’t have to think twice about spending money on a nice laptop because I know I’ve got it to spend…I didn’t spend it on a couple of massive monitors for my desktop computer, more suits for my wardrobe, or some other habitual money pit that doesn’t make much of a positive impact on my life.

Remember that Minimalism is a tool like any other, and you shouldn’t become dogmatic about it any more than you would about a religion or other philosophy. Take the practices that work for you and help you live a happier life, but leave the others for those who find value in them.

We don’t get bonus points when we die for owning more stuff than the other guy, nor do we get a trophy for owning less than someone else. We do get to smile on our deathbeds if we enjoyed the hell out of life, however, so that’s what I plan on focusing on.

You?

144 comments

  1. yes and yes! as i pare down my life, i find more and more that if i test the waters {usually by boxing something up and setting it aside for a few months} i find i truly don’t need the items in question and don’t miss them at all. knowing the reason why behind the pare down has helped a ton as well!

  2. Hell yah, Colin! I love it when people break down the philosophy instead of just the actions. With so much focus on many of the minimalist blogs on, “how to” instead of a unique “why”, I can understand why many people come to be confused about the purpose of the movement.

    Cheers to living a life of experience instead of a life of possessions!

    • Thanks Jonathan!

      Fortunately, there are a number of really solid bloggers talking about Minimalism, and the more voices we get, the better the chance that SOMETHING someone says will appeal to just about everyone.

      A movement like this gets stronger as more people participate, so I’m thrilled to have all the ‘how to’s’ along with the ‘here’s why’s’.

      Cheers!

  3. It’s great to read your stuff from time to time, especially on the topic of minimalism. I always tend to think in terms of stripping down to your NEEDS only, but it isn’t necessary to downsize to only your needs; you can keep the prioritized WANTS in your life as well – like your guitar :)

    • Exactly!

      Coming from a branding background, I’m full aware of that MOST of what we want, we’re taught to want; told we want by the mass media.

      This is what has allowed our economy and system of government to continue unabated (since the industrial revolution, actually, when we started to produce so much stuff we didn’t know what to do with it and had to come up with a way to make those penny-pinching Protestants buy buy buy) and is what we’re now trying to come down from as the planet has started to change and society has shifted enough that we realize ‘stuff’ isn’t the answer to all of our problems.

      That being said, if I can buy less overall, but spend on things that really matter to me, I most certainly will. Prioritizing first is the key, though, because otherwise you don’t know what’s really important and what’s just buying to buy.

  4. “once they were gone, my heart kept beating and I had more time and money to spend on other things. I don’t miss them.”

    This is what I love about purging the unused/unnecessary/superfluous.
    Somehow – life tends to carry on without…stuff, and it’s one less thing to think about or weigh us down.

  5. “once they were gone, my heart kept beating and I had more time and money to spend on other things. I don’t miss them.”

    This is what I love about purging the unused/unnecessary/superfluous.
    Somehow – life tends to carry on without…stuff, and it’s one less thing to think about or weigh us down.

  6. “once they were gone, my heart kept beating and I had more time and money to spend on other things. I don’t miss them.”

    This is what I love about purging the unused/unnecessary/superfluous.
    Somehow – life tends to carry on without…stuff, and it’s one less thing to think about or weigh us down.

  7. “once they were gone, my heart kept beating and I had more time and money to spend on other things. I don’t miss them.”

    This is what I love about purging the unused/unnecessary/superfluous.
    Somehow – life tends to carry on without…stuff, and it’s one less thing to think about or weigh us down.

  8. Hell yes!

    Minimalism isn’t about being dogmatic, or judging the other guy. Instead it’s about focusing on the highest priorities in your own life, and customizing your portfolio of “stuff” to match that.

    And since lots of us (me included) have mindlessly acquired piles of things that don’t add value to our lives, this often means reducing what we’ve got.

    My take on the phenomenon

    http://thirtytwothousanddays.com/blog/2010/06/minimalism-is-the-lifestyle-of-the-moment-and-the-future/

    agrees very much with what you wrote here.

    • I really like your post on Minimalism.

      Great idea for a blog, too. Good reminder to live every day like it’s a measurable fraction of all the days you WILL have.

  9. Hell yes!

    Minimalism isn’t about being dogmatic, or judging the other guy. Instead it’s about focusing on the highest priorities in your own life, and customizing your portfolio of “stuff” to match that.

    And since lots of us (me included) have mindlessly acquired piles of things that don’t add value to our lives, this often means reducing what we’ve got.

    My take on the phenomenon

    http://thirtytwothousanddays.com/blog/2010/06/minimalism-is-the-lifestyle-of-the-moment-and-the-future/

    agrees very much with what you wrote here.

  10. Love the post!

    After setting off on a journey 6 years ago I only realised recently that I had reached a goal I set for myself – and yet by realising this I now find myself wanting something different.

    Posts like this are helping me realise what this something different could be.

    Thanks!

    • Thanks Mike!

      You’ll have to keep us in the loop as to what you come up with. ‘Change is the only constant,’ as they say, and it’s great that you embrace it when necessary. Seems all too rare.

    • Thanks, and glad to hear it!

      I took a look at your blog: I love the photos of everything you own out on the lawn. Really great way to take stock of what you’ve got buried in that closets (something I was shocked by when I started downsizing…closets are deep!) and putting it out in the open adds that extra ‘exposure’ so that it’s not a private, hidden away, secretive thing. Fantastic idea.

  11. Thank you. I love this, “What Minimalism is really all about is reassessment of your priorities so that you can strip away the excess stuff – the possessions and ideas and relationships and activities – that don’t bring value to your life.”

    That is as good a measuring stick as anyone can ask for.

    • My pleasure!

      I think if we all could apply that one bit to our lives, there would be a lot less over-consumption, a lot less rampant consumerism, and a whole lot less unhappiness in the world.

      It’s a simple idea, but hopefully one that will spread.

    • My pleasure!

      I think if we all could apply that one bit to our lives, there would be a lot less over-consumption, a lot less rampant consumerism, and a whole lot less unhappiness in the world.

      It’s a simple idea, but hopefully one that will spread.

  12. Colin-
    This is why I like your blog ;)

    Not that I’m a minimalilst (i’m working on it…), but minimalism to me, is more about clearing out the junk in our lives so we have time & energy to focus on the things we do have & enjoying them.

  13. This is now my most favorite blog post on minimalism EVER!

    I continue to fall in love with your writing more and more. You are so good at conveying ideas in a way that doesn’t put people off but rather invites them to consider a different point of view.

    My wife and I have a passion for interior design and decorating. That is about as antithetical to the typical way that minimalist is conveyed as you can get. YOUR definition allows for that passion while still being true to it’s purpose.

    I love this, your writing, and how you portray yourself. Marking this as one of my favorite posts in a long time…well, one of my favorites where someone didn’t mention me. LOL

    • Thanks David!

      I see no reason anyone should be forced into a round hole when they are a square peg, triangular peg, or not a peg at all.

      What’s great about Minimalism as a philosophy is that it can apply to everyone with little muss or fuss, and then once you figure out your priorities, you can take more or less from it, depending on what makes you happy.

      If you enjoy decorating, why shouldn’t you? What’s really important is filtering out all that other junk that gets in the way of enjoying life.

      Thanks again, really appreciate the kinds words :)

    • Thanks David!

      I see no reason anyone should be forced into a round hole when they are a square peg, triangular peg, or not a peg at all.

      What’s great about Minimalism as a philosophy is that it can apply to everyone with little muss or fuss, and then once you figure out your priorities, you can take more or less from it, depending on what makes you happy.

      If you enjoy decorating, why shouldn’t you? What’s really important is filtering out all that other junk that gets in the way of enjoying life.

      Thanks again, really appreciate the kinds words :)

  14. Colin, can I say I just love your minimalism philosophy? Because I do. :)

    It is straight forward, honest, and poignant. You hit it right on the spot. Especially as a minimalist, I can find truth to many of your philosophies and thoughts on such a lifestyle.

    “Take the practices that work for you and help you live a happier life, but leave the others for those who find value in them.”

    Well said. Thanks for yet another excellent post, Colin!

  15. p.s. [this might be my favorite part]“I count and list my possessions for shock value more than anything…but having more or less than someone else is completely arbitrary.”

    i love that you’re honest about the “shock value” part. You’re awesome.

    • Haha, thanks brother.

      Shock value can be important in grabbing people’s attention: what’s important is that you have a larger message to share beyond that initial punch to the gut.

      Otherwise you may as well just be writing a celebrity tabloid. Or a news item for Fox News.

  16. Hey Colin, was having a chat with a friend yesterday too on the topic on minimalism—“hey, you’re a minimalist right? so what do you practice?”I’m more about doing things simple; no need to go all fanciful on things that can be done with less.Examples:Food business: no need to have a huge menu of stuff from 5 to 7 suppliers, while we are already working with 1 supplier that’s an accredited award winner for a specific range of products (saving time and costs on traveling to purchase orders -> delivery ; increase happiness in work / less work no stress if 1 of the few suppliers suddenly run out of stock).Fashion mannequins (selling to established retail and startups): No need for big and clunky online sales systems while one contact form with specific instructions to book appointments does the trick (sell in 1 step instead of 5).And the getting rid of stuff part?I stop using paper for years (except when I’m taking down notes). It’s easier to commit things to memory by writing down. I won’t refer to old notes again, hence out goes paper (and every other thing that was moldy after 25 yrs of existence). :)Not a bunch of set rules about minimalism; find what works and stick to it.

    • It’s hard to go wrong with slimming down. I can’t think of many circumstances when just buying more of everything is a good idea.

      I went paperless a while ago (aside from the few dozen business cards I still haven’t handed out, and my Moleskines), and it’s really liberating. I read a whole lot, but I’m so accustomed to ebooks now that I definitely prefer them to hardcopies.

        • Awesome!

          I’ll be doing several formats with my next ebook…thinking PDF, EPUB and some kind of regular text. That should allow just about everyone to read it however they want with little trouble.

  17. Great post. I’ve been starting to think more in terms of minimalism myself, even though my goal is not to pare down my possessions as much as possible. (Maybe this is a cop-out, but I think it’s harder for girls to get behind the x-number of items of clothing idea without just looking like a mess.) For me it started as a travelling-light thing when I moved, then a saving money thing, and now it’s just easier. I find I get much more pleasure out of buying a new teacup or something small that I’ll use every day, than buying some new clothing or accessory or whatever that you use maybe once every few weeks.
    Anyway I like your approach because these ideas can be applied to most people in moderation, and still help them, but there are so many people out there that preach minimalism as an all-or-nothing thing.

    • Yeah, like I said, the ‘let’s get down to X items’ is kind of just a goal for those who like goals, anyway.

      I think you’re right, though, that women have it a bit tougher, taking the Minimalist route. Social expectations are very different for women, and fair or not, women are treated differently if they don’t measure up to higher standards than guys (I’m talking about aesthetics here, by the way). A guy can be a slob and get away with it…much tougher for a gal to pull it off and not be looked down upon.

      Traveling and saving money are two great reasons for embracing Minimalism, and they are actually a big part of why I ended up getting into it.

      Moderation! Exactly. Those Buddhists had a great idea with the Middle Path. Avoid extremism and you’ll usually be just fine.

  18. Bonjour Colin!
    I’ve been exploring and reading your posts for quite a while now, also watched some of your videos and i just love the person you seem to be and your values. Maybe because it sounds like me, or it used to anyway…
    Im at a point right now where i stopped travelling but i really miss it, like so much and it feels good not to be alone to think like that, like you do.
    Im planning to travel again at some point, just need to be able to earn money while i would be on the road.I would love to meet you, so you should come to England (where i live right now) or France (where i come from) :P
    Keep what you do, you do it very well!
    Caroline x

    • Bonjour Caroline!

      Thanks so much! Glad you’re enjoying my work!

      Keep in touch and I’ll let you know when I swing through the UK. I’ve got a handful of people who have been harassing me to come visit there, so I can’t put it off forever :)

    • Bonjour Caroline!

      Thanks so much! Glad you’re enjoying my work!

      Keep in touch and I’ll let you know when I swing through the UK. I’ve got a handful of people who have been harassing me to come visit there, so I can’t put it off forever :)

      • Thanks for answering! i find it great that you take the time to reply to every comment…not everydody does that :)

        Im working in Marketing for an international translation company near London atm, we are starting a new blog soon and it would be amazing if you want to do an interview for us. As you are probably not coming in UK soon, would you want to answer few questions on paper? (til i have the chance to interview you in person :p)
        Let me know,
        Many Thanks
        caroline

        • My pleasure!

          Being able to meet amazing people is a big part of why I started this blog to begin with; conversation is one of the fun parts!

          I’d love to do an interview. Shoot me the questions at colin (at) exilelifestyle (dot) com and I’ll get them back to you lickity-split.

  19. I’m in the process of minimalizing my lifestyle to travel indefinitely in January. I guess the biggest part that resonated with me was,

    “As soon as I started slimming down the closets and wardrobe, I thought ‘this is real…I’m really doing it.’ This thought can be just as important as the realization that something needs to change, because it reinforces that you have the power to change your destiny.”

    As soon as I started going through my items it really hit home. Wow. This is really happening. To have the strength and courage to take action on something I want, feels amazing. People around me ask how I can do what I do… I just do it. It also feels great to throw away a bunch of crap that has been cluttering my place (and mind).

    • Symbols are important for any movement or major change, including those on a personal level.

      This is why most people who are slimming down their possessions like to have a number to aim for: it’s incredibly symbolic to think ‘wow, I have under 100 things’ because our minds process ‘factoid-style’ information better than raw data in a lot of cases (and 100, or multiples of 100, are easy reference points).

      Any step along the way can serve the same purpose, though, and so long as you take the time to stop and realize what’s going on, you’ll benefit from each and every move you make toward your goal.

      January is super-soon! Keep me updated on your progress: this is an incredibly exciting time!

      • I’ll consider working towards a number. There are a few things that I might have difficulty throwing out, although I like the idea of having less than 100 items.

        I have some scrapbooking stuff that I have bought over the years. I have been working to make a book of my travels and print out my blog entries to create a keepsake book… to pass on. So with all those little pieces, maybe I could just have scrapbooking stuff as one item, although I’d feel as if that is cheating.

        January is very soon… this trip also came to fruition just a few months ago because of circumstance so the preparation for this life change has been quite rapid. I’ve always known I wanted to do it though.

  20. This is a good post. It gives inspiration in many ways. The part I like is how you say by removing some things it gives you the opportunity to re-apply it somewhere else. I so need to do that in my life right now.

    Also, I never really seen a good definition of minimalism until now. It makes sense.

    • Thanks Ben!

      It’s true…I think the vast majority of people have plenty of energy and resources to do what they want to do with their lives, they just aren’t applying the torque to the right things to make it happen.

      Glad I could clarify a bit! Sometimes all it takes is having something explained in a slightly different way.

  21. This is the perfect tome for those who misunderstand the results of minimalism versus the reasons for taking up the philosophy. Superbly written!

  22. I’ve read your post and it really came to me. I’ve been planning on moving with my fiancée, and we’re going to let many things behind. It’s going to be a lot more comfortable (since it’ll be a small apartment) and we’ll have the chance to share more time and focus on what we really like instead of trying to do everything.
    I have a question: what would you do with books?
    I know that e-books are coming (or have come, depends on the country), but if you went to a place where conventional paper books are the rule, would you buy some?
    (asking because I’m into Shakespeare’s drama)

    • Books were a big issue for me, too, as I read VORACIOUSLY and every time I move, I have hundreds of books I have to get rid of.

      My solution was to move over completely to ebooks. I very seldom come across a book that I can’t find in an electronic format.

      Failing that, used books are great, and when you’re done with them just pass them on to a friend that you think would enjoy it, or use a site like bookcrossing.com to make sure the book makes its way to a new owner.

      There are also a lot of services that allow you to trade your books for other books and DVDs and such. I’ve used a few of these and they are okay, though sometimes you get skewered by the shipping costs, and it ends up being cheaper to just give the book to a friend and buy another used one.

    • Fermin,

      I had the same issue, hundreds and hundreds of books. I finally downsized to none and it’s been incredible. I do the local library now (wherever I might be there’s usually a library nearby!) When I really want to read something that the library doesn’t carry I buy it, read it, then donate it to the library. That way I can read it again any time I want!

      Cheers,
      Tanja

  23. Did you minor in philosophy? Because most of your posts challenge me to reevaluate my thinking. Most people don’t.

    Traveling does help people with recognizing their priorities. After I came back from my trip to Myanmar last month I wanted to get rid of everything that I did take with me on the trip. I threw out half of my clothes, again, and then I did an inbox purge (newsletter galore!)

    When getting rid of newsletters, the question I kept asking myself was, is this something that’s so important to me that I could do it everyday? A lot of things did not make the cut. When planning my future, I have always asked myself what I want my grandchildren to read about me. After, reading your post I’ve come back to the first question. I am content to be happy with everything I’m doing now.

    • I’m a big fan and lifelong student of philosophy, but I’ve got no paperwork to back that up :)

      Ah, the inbox purge! I’m a big proponent of ‘Inbox Zero,’ where the only things in my inbox are action-items…emails that I need to do something with. As soon as it’s read and has no action associated with it, though, it’s deleted or labeled and archived (I use Gmail for this, by the way).

      Get off newsletter lists if they don’t bring real value to your life. You’ve got a very finite amount of time on earth, and you should spend as little of that time as possible filtering through email.

    • I think in large part it’s a result of consumerism, which came to be during the Industrial Revolution as a way to keep selling what the factories were producing in such massive numbers.

      There’s a much longer story than that, of course, but serve to say that it’s something we’re all (in the First World, at least) brought up with and it’s not easy to get away from.

  24. People do obsess about the number instead of the reasons sometimes, this is a great primer on how minimalism works and why. I’ve been refining my list lately too and trying to sort out my priorities.

  25. Hey Colin,

    I’d agree that, on the whole, all practices (minimalism, sure, but also things like religion, etc.) should be adopted only to the point that they are useful to you. If you don’t need an item or aspect of a philosophy, let it go. If you do need it, keep it.

    That said I think the convergence of ideologies or lifestyles can sometimes force our hands in the matter–generally in a good way. Take minimalism: on its own, a certain “take it or leave it” attitude might prevail, but when you also want to be location independent, it really helps to have only as much as fits into a backpack, carry-on bag, etc.

    What I’m getting at, I suppose, is that minimalism only isn’t about the numbers until it is. And for a decent amount of the location-independent crowd, it’s about the numbers (or, really, the packing volume) for a reason.

    Haidn

    • Yeah, take what you can – what works for you and your goals and your life – from any and all philosophies and you’ll generally be better off than buying into one wholesale.

      People tend to like to have a full set of instructions, dos, do-nots, etc when they take on philosophy, but that’s the easy way, not necessarily the best way. All too often we end up stuck in a belief system we don’t fully subscribe to, and then it’s an issue of tearing away from something you feel has done you wrong (when in reality, you should have just picked and chosen from the get-go).

  26. this is a great post as always and really interesting comments. it is so true that they why as well as the how to of minimalism is so important. I think those that thinks it’s about denial are somehow missing the point – my journey includes being minimal with kids and not only is that possible, it’s desirable and I’d recommend it to any parent. thanks colin for your refreshing take on this growing phenonmenon – I’m still wearing the exile lifestyle t-shirt by the way …

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  29. I like the way you break it down to what’s real here–turns out minimalism is only about “stuff” indirectly. Like all great transformational principles, it begins within and manifests outwardly as a side-effect.

    Thank you for making this point so clearly and sharing it with us so simply, nondogmatically. I appreciate how sanely and straightforwardly you communicated these ideas.

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  32. “We don’t get bonus points when we die for owning more stuff than the other guy, nor do we get a trophy for owning less than someone else. We do get to smile on our deathbeds if we enjoyed the hell out of life”
    noted!

    if only there were more ppl like you in this world
    keep writing!

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  43. I do love your explanation of minimalism. I feel that sometimes I fall into that trap of focusing on the things rather than the strategy. Something I think I just realized while reading this. I tend to have a one-track mind sometimes. But, on the flip side, ever since I started paring down my possessions and other aspects of crowded life I have been sleep better, my days are relaxed and my workouts are more concentrated. Funny how that happens.

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  55. This is exactly the advice I give people transitioning to a minimalism. Asceticism and minimalism aren’t the same thing. Minimalism is a pragmatic and situational endeavor. It should be approached thoughtfully and in accordance to your aspirations.
     
    I’m currently writing a book about my experiences downsizing to a tiny motorhome and I’m so excited to share! Check it out if you have a chance: http://minifybook.com
     
    Cheers!

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  57. I liked a bunch of stuff you said here. First of all this is a great attitude
     
    “What Minimalism is really all about is reassessment of your priorities so that you can strip away the excess stuff – the possessions and ideas and relationships and activities – that don’t bring value to your life.
    Once you are able to say with absolute certainty ‘This is important to me. My Little Ponies are my life and being involved with them is what makes me want to get up in the morning,’ you should invest more time and effort into your collection.”
     
    and 
     
    “What I WOULD recommend is slowly testing out the waters and seeing what you can and cannot live without.
    I thought for sure that I wouldn’t be able to make it without my nice wardrobe, iPhone and tank-like desktop computer, but once they were gone, my heart kept beating and I had more time and money to spend on other things. I don’t miss them.”
     
    This article here seems to take somewhat of the same approach but then somewhat of a more extreme approach to how to go about living your life in though minimalism. What do you think? http://postmasculine.com/minimalism

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  77. Just stumbled on your blog today and I am so glad that I did! My husband and I are in the process of becoming minimalists ourselves and I really appreciated this post. It’s funny because whenever we tell our family and friends what we are doing they seem to get a glazed look in their eyes and I’m sure that white room with nothing on it is what they picture. But you are so right when you say that it is so much more than just getting rid of things. It’s about keeping what you actually want!

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  80. Thanks for the comments, very stimulating since I grew up Catholic–so I go way back. I was intrigued by teejayvansylke’s comment regarding the difference between minimalism and acesticism.

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  89. I have been gravitating towards being a minimalist for quite some time. But did not call it anything. Since my mom died in 2003 and my dad in 2010, I had to go through their things. What a job! So, I decided not to put my daughters through that. I moved to a small retirement apartment complex. Got rid of a lot of stuff and down sized. And I must say, I feel like I can breathe. However, after hearing about the Minimalist movement on the radio, I may just go a little farther.

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