I have found that when you mention that you would like to live a minimalist life to someone they get this institutional picture of white walls and little or no furniture in there mind. But minimalist living has different definitions to it, depending on who you talk to.
For me, the definition of minimalist living is living well with as few items as necessary. It would mean that I sort through items every 4-6 months, I give away items that I haven't used since the last time I went through it. I basically keep what I need and use often and very few items that I want (I have few wants, which helps)

While I could minimize the furniture in my home to only a few pieces or cut down my wardrobe to what could fit in a small suitcase; I will ultimately want to make sure the items I do keep are quality, taken care of well and will last me as long as possible. This helps with the consumerism in my life, slowly, being whittled down as well.

I don't see this as a sacrifice but rather as a desire to keep my attachments and my responsibilities to a minimum.

The minimalist life is one that has to work for you, there is no set way to live a minimalist life, just like there is no set way to live a frugal life. And of course this may not work for your spouse or kids as well; I personally try to work within the limits that my partner can stand.

The nice part is that if you are not sure if you want to lead a minimal life you may find that just decluttering your home will set things into motion where everyone can get involved and form ideas about how far they would like to minimize. You may find that you really don’t have much ‘minimizing’ to do in your home and the rest is just minimizing your expenses or attitude toward things.

I don't run across many people who display the minimalist life- but I can occasionally spot them and am finding more and more of them as I move through life that I can learn from and adapt some of their ideas to my own life.

3 Comments

  1. Jerry // Friday, March 06, 2009 11:03:00 AM  

    I appreciate the post. I wouldn't say my wife and I are minimalists but we do sort through our things regularly and give/donate what we don't use. It's our insurance against clutter and it always goes to people that need it. This way of living does lead us to think seriously before purchasing something. There are no big impulse purchases in this family.
    Jerry
    www.leads4insurance.com

  2. Humble wife // Saturday, March 07, 2009 8:07:00 PM  

    I love your blog!

    I am not a minimalist but more one who tries to live a simple life!!

    Probably the same thing~lol
    Jennifer

  3. Dawn C // Monday, March 09, 2009 7:44:00 AM  

    @Jerry
    I would agree about thinking ahead, so much of what we buy is impulse.

    @Humble wife
    I think that just making a conscious effort at attempt helps to make things simpler.