In the spirit of minimalism I’ll try to keep this post brief. I would never call myself a minimalist, I’m far from it in fact.
We live in a 2500 sq ft house on a lot larger than an acre. We own a ton of stuff considering there’s just two of us and a baby and to compound it all we tend to keep everything. Just as an example we have at least four digital cameras not including our cell phones, we’ve got two desktop computers and a stack of five laptops that never get touched on top of the two MacBooks that we consistently use.
Our excess stuff extends well past just our electronics, over the past year we’ve given away bags upon bags of clothing and we still have enough to pack our closets full. With the new addition to our family it has recently dawned on us that we are on the cusp of becoming full fledged hoarders and the funny thing is that we probably aren’t too far off from the typical North American family.
Part of it is that this stuff represents a financial investment and rather than throw or give it away we’d prefer to sell it to recoup some small amount. This is great if you have the time to dedicate to taking pictures, listing online, and being available to ship or sell in person, however as soon as things get busy your garage turns back into a warehouse, or even worse, you pay to store all this unused stuff in a locker somewhere.
The other part of it is that we’ve assigned emotional meaning to this stuff. Some of it is maybe warranted as a family heirloom or important keepsake. Some of it is absolutely atrocious like the old Johnny Cash t-shirt I have yet to throw out because it reminds me of when we started dating.
We’ve found over the past year that having less stuff can actually allow you for more freedom. Instead of spending free time sorting stuff, or organizing stuff, or searching through stuff for other stuff you can hopefully spend more time doing things that you want to be doing.
So, as I write this we are on an airplane flying across the country to stay in a 600 sq ft log cabin for the next 9 or so months. As part of all this I’m going to be wearing only one outfit for the entire next year. I boiled my wardrobe down to what I figured was the absolute bare minimum essentials for the life and climate I live in, which works out to ten pieces of clothing including footwear and outerwear.
I still think I’m far from being a minimalist per se, but this next year should give some useful insight on how much stuff I truly need in my life and how much one can accomplish when they’re free of excess.