If you’ve looked at the Minimalist page on my site, you may (I would guess you do since you’re here) still have some questions about minimalism. That page tells my story. Each story is different and now you may have questions. Here are a few that are common to those new to the concept.
Why be a minimalist?
Minimalism is a way to escape from the modern world excess. Minimalism is a way to have less while enjoying more. The modern world is full of to much debt, fear, overbuying, worry, consumerism, noise, sales, clearance, stress, work, waste, and even thought. When we cut all of that out, we are left with time and a more positive look on the world.
What good comes out of being a minimalist?
By being minimalist MadMan and I have less stress, less debt, less worry, less fear, less obligations, less work, less stuff, and less junk. Not only do we have less, we have more as well. MadMan and I have more happiness, more joy, more emotion, more time, more money, more memories, more space, and more life. And yet, that’s not all we have either. By being a minimalist, we have created a better environment, a more peaceful living, a healthier life, and stronger relationships.
Are there any rules I have to follow?
Are there any rules you want to follow? If not, then no. Minimalism is all about you. What I say is minimalist might not work for you, or the next person to read this. What you say is minimalism might be too much, or too little, for me. There is no one right answer, nor is anyone wrong. If I had to give a general guideline for creating your version, I would suggest a few guiding subjects.
If I were to tell you a guide on how to create your own minimalism, I would say to look at topics such as frugality, sustainability, early retirement, and mindful thinking. I would suggest thinking about those and maybe using them in your own version to the extent that made you happy. I would also say to look into eating naturally and to think about what is required in life and what is a distraction. At the end of the day, it’ll always be what makes you the most happy.
I hear minimalists are vegan/vegetarian. Do I have to be?
No. I’m not. MadMan and I not only eat meat, but we also hunt. In fact, our version of minimalism is only eating the meat that we hunt rather than getting chicken or cow from the local grocer. There can be weeks or days where we don’t cook any meat, but there might be a week where we eat meat every dinner. Some people will tell you that not eating meat is inline with a “real minimalist” but to me, that’s just adding a rule (and I really hate rules). If you want to eat simply, try eating fresh food that you cook from scratch. While it’s not always a simple matter, I always feel better after a fresh cooked meal. Maybe you will too.
If I am minimalist, can I have nice things?
Of course! MadMan and I have a 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback! By most standards, that’s not minimalist at all. To us, it was the best and most frugal choice we could have picked. Just because you live with less doesn’t mean you have to live as cheap as humanly possible. In fact most would say it’s the opposite. Minimalism is about living with less. Minimalism is about quality over quantity. For example, having one good backpack that’s $100 is much better than buying 5 backpacks over 4 years for $30 each.
If I am a minimalist, does that mean I have to be frugal?
It is true, the two do go hand in hand, and for good reason. However, that does not mean that you always have to get the cheapest of this or hand make that. Being frugal is simply a way to save money and find other ways of getting something, or even deciding if you need it at all. Minimalism, like said above, is about quality over quantity. For that reason, we look at frugal as getting the most out of your money. Use being frugal as a way to get a hold a high quality items and a better price.
What about children and pets or owning a house, or the newest phone?
The answer to everything is almost always, there’s no one right answer. Each person is different and each persons version of minimalism will be different. Not only that, but each persons version will also change over time. MadMan and I are still in our early 20s. We have a lot to learn and do. Many things will change before we even hit 30. What we think now may not be what we think in the future.
Getting MadCat was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. She is funny, cheap, and great company. Getting MadDogge was another story. We got MadDogge in May of 2016 and we weren’t at all ready. We picked an expensive dog and had no idea what we were doing. Even still, we will never get rid of him. It’s gotten better as time has gone on and we no longer think we did the wrong thing. Having a pet can be minimalist. We take MadDogge on all our our trips and love to go hiking with him. He’s trained to hunt and never leaves our side. That’s not to say having a pet is for everyone.
Having a pet costs money, as does having children. They both add stress as well as joy to your life. If you want to live the simplest life ever, don’t do either. Sometimes, however, the stress and price is worth the joy and happiness. MadMan and I don’t have children, but plan on having children after we graduate college and get settles into our lives. Will that change, maybe.
The minimalist life is one big balancing game.
Is buying a house worth the environmental impact?
Is getting this shirt improving my life?
Is selling this TV reducing stress?
Is selling my home reducing my problems?
We may never get it right, but we are constantly trying to do the best we can.
Are you minimalist?
Will you be becoming minimalist?
Do you have any questions I didn’t answer?
Do you have any advise to give?