Recently, MadMan and I had an epiphany. We, and hundreds of others like us, are going about minimalism the wrong way. We live in a world where we can buy a car, a new wardrobe, or just a new toaster from our phones and forget about it until it arrives. We live in a world where buying things is advertised as buying happiness.
We work to pay the bills for everything we already have and complain about wanting more after we get off. We work to buy more stuff.
People like stuff.
Having Stuff is OKAY.
Minimalism is about WORRYING LESS AND LIVING MORE.
MadMan and I are full time workers going to night school and getting married. It’s hectic life, one that until recently was fraught with worry about not having money at the end of the month. Now, we’re much happier. We’ve learned to accept where we are, what we have, and what we need. We’ve learned what makes us happy, and we’ve chosen to not worry about the rest. That’s not to say this change happened over night.
In 2015, we had tons of junk (the beginning of every minimalist’s story) and no money. We worried about never being able to save money and we never had any money to buy anything for ourselves (which makes me wonder how we accumulated as much as we did.) We went to college, worked, and went to sleep. Nothing changed.
In 2016, we realized we were awful with our money. We started budgeting and learned to control our expenses. We still had tons of stuff and still worried about never having a savings account. Then, in December of 2016, we planned a trip to Portland, OR for May of 2017. We can call that the catalyst. We watched a documentary on consumerism and the environment and it changed our minds. We took about two or three truck loads (MadMan as a truck) to Goodwill. Even though we got rid of furniture, clothing, electronics, and more, we still had a lot of stuff. By the end of the year, we had put a dent in our stuff and saved more than ever before.
In 2017, we took a trip to Portland. It was there that I decided to start this blog. It was there that we realized just what it was that made us happy. It was there that we learned that minimalism was a huge thing. We came home, took about 6 more truck loads to goodwill and now we would be considered minimalist, yet, we no longer know if that’s true. Yes, it’s a part of who we are, but maybe not in the way most people would see.
There are many takes on what minimalism really is; however, we don’t tend to agree with many of them. We don’t count our stuff, have goals of living with less, or even plan on downsizing our home. For us, minimalism is more than “not having stuff” it is:
- Not worrying about keeping up, fitting in, getting stuff, or being cool
- Helping the environment, the world, and others
- Simplifying our Clothes, Minds, and Life
- Being Happy
While it’s true, we don’t have a lot of “stuff” to us, it’s more about being in the right mindset about stuff, then not thinking about it anymore.
Is minimalism a fad? Some may think so and parts of it may be, but for us, it’s not. For us, it’s about being happy and that’s no fad.
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?
- The Minimal Questions – A FAQ
- Minimizing your wardrobe: The first in the five part series.
- Getting Rid of “Trash” – This is the second part of minimizing your wardrobe
- Wardrobe of Colors – Step two or part three.
- Building It All Back – Part four.
- Tips & Tricks for Clothes Shopping – The last part in minimizing your wardrobe.
- Going Makeup Free for a Month: This is a challenge for minimalists with makeup.
- Are You Happy? Realizations about Work. – Should you quit work?
- Minimalist Home Checklist – What do you really need for your first home.
- How to Make Christmas Mean More! – A minimalist look at the Holidays.
- Gift Guide & Snow in the South – Just like you read. A second part to making Christmas mean more! A guide to gifts when you still need to get some!