MINIMALISM IS SO YESTERDAY …

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

It’s official:  Money won’t buy happiness & buying more and more stuff actually makes us crazy!

Our lives are crazy right now! The average American’s schedule is out of this world crazy. It is just so obvious to me that given the near absurd frenzy everyone is in on a daily basis, that something in life is missing.  If you own every toy, every game, every book, more than 15 outfits for each of your kids and a packed garage and storage unit you might have a problem.  Something is definitely missing in your life and you are trying to fill that void via buying.

clutter

Think about it.  We accumulate stuff just to accumulate it.  It is like an albatross around our necks.  We are conditioned to acquire it … we are judged by what we have and how much we have and what type we have and how expensive what we have is. It doesn’t matter how big or how small our living space is, we fill it and it consumes our lives, cluttering every bit of our homes and our minds.

We are now consumed by collecting stuff and simultaneously decluttering that very stuff.  I know people who have been de-cluttering for decades and they will never finish because no sooner is a 5’ space in their garage cleared, they fill it within hours!!  They are seriously addicted to buying stuff and getting rid of stuff.

Today our friends pay to acquire stuff, pay to house stuff, even pay to store it in storage units when they run out of room for their stuff in their living space. This is insanity!

But I have good news.  And Bad News.

Inspiration abounds.  Regardless of how serious you want to take the decluttering thing there is a plethora of advice, suggestions and information.  There are some great bloggers out there who blog about their victory over stuff and their victory over the need to collect stuff.  You can find wistful blogs titled, 25 Ways To Declutter Your Home and “How I Got Rid of All My Kids Toys”.

But, none of this will really help you. You have to stop the cycle of buying.  You must confront the real reason for your compulsive buying.  Ask yourself, What is missing from my life?  Why the heck do I feel such a need to buy stuff?  Why am I letting stuff define me?  These are truly liberating questions because when you get to the root of the problem, you ease the number one stressor in people’s lives today … money.

Apparently everyone is living paycheck to paycheck these days. Parents are stressed to the max bending over backwards to give their kids everything they can possibly dream of … except themselves and their time – they are too busy for that.  In fact, they are so busy making a living to buy junior everything his heart ever dreamed of that they have forgotten to make a life.

Minimalism is the new rave, it’s the new, “We don’t watch TV” said with the haughtiness it’s meant to portray.  I’m so sick of listening to people go on and on about how they don’t watch TV so all the other crap they allow their kids to do is justified.  Sure we eat fast food 3 times per week, but we “don’t watch TV”.  It’s all just so boring to me.  What’s really exciting is FORCED minimalism!

Forced minimalism is when you move into an RV and can’t possibly bring even a fraction of all the stuff you thought you would die without.  Forced minimalism is playing cards every evening before bed because you don’t have satellite and therefore really, truly don’t watch TV.  Forced minimalism is wearing the same 7 outfits week after week because really, who cares?  Forced minimalism is asking the question, and being dead serious, “What is Duck Dynasty”?  It’s having no-where but church to wear nice clothes.  It’s eating every meal together, it’s a slow-er life, it’s watching the sun set, the stars and moon rise and waking with the dawn of a new day.

sunset

True minimalism is having zero tolerance for shopping, traffic, crowds and noise.  It’s having no need to keep track of a hectic family schedule.  Our forced minimalism had the amazing side-effect of actually lessening our budget woes and bringing us closer as a family and closer to nature and all it’s raw and wild beauty.

This minimalism has spiraled out of control.  It’s crept into corners of our lives that I never thought possible.  For instance, I’m now a bonafide RAW foodie.  I’m about 85% RAW and 15% junk food.  Our meals are even minimalist in preparation but chock full of health and vitality.  I could shock you with some of our minimalist ideology, it’s quite controversial, so maybe in another blog I’ll touch on it.

And before any smart-aleck says it, I’m going to beat you to the punch … minimalism doesn’t transcend into child-bearing … i don’t subscribe to less love.  I think the world needs much more love and understanding.  I think the world needs to cut the cord on material crap and have a re-birth of sorts into life, real interpersonal life.

While I’m late to the game, I’m raising children who will have much more appreciation for the immaterial, they will hopefully have less stress, more freedom, be more productive, and have time to show their love to the people in their lives!!

10 Comments

  • This blog was made for me. I’m a compulsive buyer & I know I do it for reasons way beyond need. Been trying meditation, but it’s so hard to turn your brain off. Any suggestions aside from living in an RV? I would love to have that courage, but I am not an adventurous person.

  • Freeing myself of the shit other people value was the best thing I did for myself. My wife was a shopaholic. One day I told her it was going to end. We were going to travel and see the world, not by meaningless crap that makes you feel good for a few hours. God, Family & Memories, man.

  • I’ve been trying to de-clutter my life, but then I realized that a big part of doing this is not buying new stuff. I’ve been doing fairly well this year and this blog post just re-confirmed my need to stay on track. I always ask myself, if I was to lose everything in a housefire what would I miss and I’ll tell you now that it’s only a few special items. Even the thought of losing everything and starting fresh is such a freeing feeling and fills me with so much joy. Thank you for posting this.

  • I have a throw out problem. I don’t buy anything because we are dirt poor, which is also why I can’t throw anything out. What if we need it at some point?

  • “What is duck dynasty”? LOL. As if. But I know, the holier than thou “We don’t watch TV” triggers my gag reflex. Epecially when I see them buying McDonald’s or eating crap at the football field.

  • hello I just remembered about the huge family taking the adventure of their lives—we are former rv’ers. I did want to comment—we never ever had satellite for tv—we used our wind-up antenna on the roof and had a converter box hooked to the tv—-we are no longer rv’ers—ill parents etc, so are off the road, still miss it to this day—but we now live in a modular,and guess what—we still have converter box with indoor antenna inside and get lots of channels clear out here in the country in s.w. MI. If you have a digital tv, all ya need is an antenna, inside, or out and viola! Free tv! I can believe you are still full-timing out there—it’s gets in your blood and ya never want it to leave!

  • THIS… I thank you, my wallet, checkbook, and formally maxed out credit cards thank you, and my “sooner or later” cleared out basement and garage thank you also. You CAN’T take it with you, and STUFF buy you not a drop of anything except MORE stuff!!
    A standing ovation from Ohiooooo!!

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