When we talk about life made simple, we talk about every part of life. This is the story of how we became minimalist and how it helped us. While we are no where near perfect, we hope that by reading it it can help you too. We are just one version. Maybe we’re the right version for you, maybe you think we are crazy. If you want to know about minimalism and have questions, read here (its more to the point, less story). Check out the bottom you of this page and you can find posts we have written about minimalism as well as other blogs that can help you!
In short, minimalism can be simple, it can be complicated, spiritual, or for the environment. It can be for you or for your children. It can be in one part of life, or in all of the. It’s about making life easier, having more with less. It’s not about wasting or having nothing at all. That’s what we think at least. But most importantly, we think whatever makes you happy is what you should do. After all, we’re all just pretending we know how life works (or is that just us).
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.
In the Beginning there was confusion…
When I first broached the minimalist topic with MadMan he was confused and didn’t like the idea at all. He assumed I meant we would live with nothing like monks. He thought we would throw away all of our belongings, own no shoes,
and sit on rugs to eat dinner. Maybe that’s a bit extreme, but he was wary of the subject to say the least. After the initial wariness and some convincing, we looked together at what other people thought of minimalism. We thought about ourselves and our lives to come up with our own version.
In the end, we had our own version…
There are many takes on what minimalism really is; however, The Minimalists version (the quote up above) really rung a bell with us. Going from these words, our version of minimalism took shape. For us, minimalism is more than “not having stuff” it is:
- Not worrying about “keeping up”
- Staying away from consumerism
- Helping the environment
- Living clutter free
- Traveling light
- Dressing simply (and having room in the closet for MadMan’s stuff)
- Really and truly enjoying life
By living minimally, we enjoy the happiness and freedom that comes from all of these points of interest. We keep ourselves away from the fear and depression of “normal every day life” and learn to shed a positive light on the small things. The simple things. For us, minimalism touches every part of life, from the way that we dress to what we own and even how we think. We like to think keeping everything simple enables you to have more time for what matters the most.
How did this happen?
Last year were your everyday broke college couple. We lived from month to month and could never envision owning a house, having a savings, or retiring. That kind of life and stress that came from it got tiring rather quickly. This stress lead us to look for change in the way we lived. We searched for ways to save and methods to live simply, which lead us to become frugal. In the beginning, being frugal was just a way to start saving even the smallest amount of money. Over time we realized we could do more than just save money. We learned about financial independence and thought “if we try hard enough, maybe we can do this ourselves”.
Once we began aiming for financial independence, we had to do more than just save money. We needed to learn how to not spend money in the first place. We invested our time in learning about being minimal and living simply. We re-trained our brains to stay away from consumerism. Very quickly, we realized minimalism was actually making us a happier couple and it had nothing to do with the money we were saving.
This new happiness was coming from the acceptance of living simple and having less. We began to downsize, we began to sell the items we used to “need” (more correctly, the items we thought we needed). The newfound simplicity and space in our home made everyone happier. Then we changed the way we dressed, I got rid of 90% of my clothing (then wrote about it here). Finally, we hit the goal we didn’t know we had.
Minimalism had effected everything.
It changed the way we thought and lived.
Now we are a happier couple. We save money for the more important things in life and stay away from the consumerism that has taken over the modern world. We utilize the Art of Asking and always check thrift shops first. We are by no means experts at being minimal, but we are students that are always learning.
When you read about minimalism, you read about people who don’t have cars, only own 3 pairs of shoes, and still don’t know what Facebook is. That’s not like us. We enjoy video games, we love our car. While we stay away from consumerism by trading with others, going to thrift shops, and making what we can ourselves. We realize that there are somethings that we simply enjoy. The wonderful part about life, is it is customize-able. No one said you couldn’t have a nice car. No one said you had to sell all your posters. Even if they did, no one said you had to listen to them.
It is with this version of minimalism that we write and talk about our lives. It is this version that we discuss in our postings. Remember though, minimalism is an individual choice and each person’s version of simple is different. Perhaps you prefer not having a car but like clothing more than us. No version of minimal is wrong, it’s about what makes you happiest.
Ready to take the plunge? Here are some great places to begin!
- The Minimal Questions – This is an FAQ and information guide to Minimalism. Realizing that this page is more about our story, we made this for any questions left over as well as information in general.
- Minimizing your wardrobe: This will take you to the first in the five part series, the FAQs.
- Getting Rid of “Trash” – This is the second part of minimizing your wardrobe. This will take you through throwing away all the stuff you really don’t need.
- Wardrobe of Colors – Step two or part three. This is where the real minimizing begins. Look at how to choose colors that will go in multiple ways and styles.
- Building It All Back – Part four. This will talk about building up your wardrobe with pieces that will go with anything. No more shopping without purpose.
- Tips & Tricks for Clothes Shopping – The last part in minimizing your wardrobe, this will give you some last bit advice on how to save, spend, and why it’s okay.
- Going Makeup Free for a Month: This is a challenge for those that want to go all in on Minimalism or just embrace spending less on stuff.
- Are You Happy? Realizations about Work. – Should you quit work? Does your job line up with minimalism and make you happy? I quit. Now, I’m happy.
- Minimalist Home Checklist – What do you really need for your first home?
Here are some other blogs for more information!
- The Minimalists
- Becoming Minimalist
- Practising Simplicity
- Be More With Less
- Zen Habits
- Exile Lifestyle
- Minimalist Baker