10 Reasons to Escape Excessive Consumerism


I am trying to live a minimalist life. But that doesn’t mean I still don’t own stuff.

My family of four still owns three beds, three dressers, two couches, one table with chairs, one desk, eight plates, eight bowls, eight glasses… My kids own toys and books. My wife sews. I read, play sports, and care for the house. We may be seeking to live a minimalist life, but we are still consumers. After all, to live is to consume.

But we have worked hard to escape excessive consumerism. Consumerism becomes excessive when it extends beyond what is needed. When we begin consuming more than is needed, boundaries are removed. Personal credit allows us to make purchases beyond our income-level. Advertisements subtly reshape our desires around material possessions. And the consumption culture that surrounds us begins to make excessive consumption appear natural and normal.

Excessive consumption leads to bigger houses, faster cars, trendier clothes, fancier technology, and overfilled drawers. It promises happiness, but never delivers. Instead, it results in a desire for more… a desire which is promoted by the world around us. And it slowly begins robbing us of life. It redirects our God-given passions to things that can never fulfill. It consumes our limited resources.

And it is time that we escape the vicious cycle.

It is time to take a step back and realize that excessive consumption is not delivering on its promise to provide happiness and fulfillment. Consumption is necessary, but excessive consumption is not. And life can be better lived (and more enjoyed) by intentionally rejecting it.

Consider this list of ten practical benefits of escaping excessive consumerism in your life:

1) Less debt. The average American owns 3.5 credit cards and $15,799 in credit card debt… totaling consumer debt of $2.43 trillion in the USA alone. This debt causes stress in our lives and forces us to work jobs that we don’t enjoy. We have sought life in department stores and gambled our future on the empty promises of their advertisements. We have lost.

2) Less life caring for possessions. The never-ending need to care for the things we own is draining our time and energy. Whether we are maintaining property, fixing vehicles, replacing goods, or cleaning things made of plastic, metal, or glass, our life is being emotionally and physically drained by the care of things that we don’t need—and in most cases, don’t enjoy either. We are far better off owning less.

3) Less desire to upscale lifestyle norms. The television and the Internet has brought lifestyle envy into our lives at a level never before experienced in human history. Prior to the advent of the digital age, we were left envying the Jones’ family living next to us—but at least we had a few things in common (such as living in the same neighborhood). But today’s media age has caused us to envy (and expect) lifestyle norms well beyond our incomes by promoting the lifestyles of the rich and famous as superior and enviable. Only an intentional rejection of excessive consumerism can quietly silence the desire to constantly upscale lifestyle norms.

4) Less environmental impact. Our earth produces enough resources to meet all of our needs, but it does not produce enough resources to meet all of our wants. And whether you consider yourself an environmentalist or not, it is tough to argue with the fact that consuming more resources than the earth can replenish is not a healthy trend—especially when it is completely unnecessary.

5) Less need to keep up with evolving trends. Henry David Thoreau once said, “Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but religiously follows the new.” Recently, I have been struck by the wisdom and practical applicability of that thought whether relating to fashion, decoration, or design. A culture built on consumption must produce an ever-changing target to keep its participants spending money. And our culture has nearly perfected that practice. As a result, nearly every year, a new line of fashion is released as the newest trend. And the only way to keep up is to purchase the latest fashions and trends when they are released… or remove yourself from the pursuit altogether.

6) Less pressure to impress with material possessions. Social scientist Thorstein Veblen coined the phrase “conspicuous consumption” to describe the lavish spending on goods and services acquired mainly for the purpose of displaying income or wealth. In his 1899 book, The Theory of the Leisure Class, this term was used to describe the behavior of a limited social class. And although the behavior has been around since the beginning of time, today’s credit has allowed it to permeate nearly every social class in today’s society. As a result, no human being (in consumption cultures) is exempt from its temptation.

7) More generosity. Rejecting excessive consumerism always frees up energy, time, and finances. Those resources can then be brought back into alignment with our deepest heart values. When we begin rejecting the temptation to spend all of our limited resources on ourselves, our hearts are opened to the joy and fulfillment found in giving our personal resources to others. Generosity finds space in our life (and in our checkbooks) to emerge.

8) More contentment. Many people believe if they find (or achieve) contentment in their lives, their desire for excessive consumption will wane. But we have found the opposite to be true. We have found that the intentional rejection of excessive consumption opens the door for contentment to take root in our lives. We began pursuing minimalism as a means to realign our life around our greatest passions, not as a means to find contentment. But somehow, minimalism resulted in a far-greater contentment with life than we ever enjoyed prior.

9) Greater ability to see through empty claims. Fulfillment is not on sale at your local department store—neither is happiness. It never has been. And never will be. We all know this to be true. We all know that more things won’t make us happier. It’s just that we’ve bought into the subtle message of millions upon millions of advertisements that have told us otherwise. Intentionally stepping back for an extended period of time helps us get a broader view of their empty claims.

10) Greater realization that this world is not just material. True life is found in the invisible things of life: love, hope, and faith. Again, we all know there are things in this world that are far more important than what we own. But if one were to research our actions, intentions, and receipts, would they reach the same conclusion? Or have we been too busy seeking happiness in all the wrong places?

Escaping excessive consumption is not an easy battle. If it were, it would be done more often… myself included. But it is a battle worth fighting because it robs us of life far more than we realize.

Excessive consumption promises happiness, but never delivers. True life must be found somewhere else. (tweet that)

Image: schizoform

Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

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  1. says

    It seems to me that minimalism is a continuum, one in which we constantly improve our lives by questioning our possessions and shedding the chains of consumerism promulgated by our heavily mediated culture. As we continue to experiment, we move further down the continuum and live more meaningful lives.

    Take care,

    Joshua Millburn

  2. says

    Great post as always Joshua! We do have to consume to live, that is so true. It’s the excessive part that is the problem. Minimalism asks that we be intentional in our consumption, and it is a constant process as we are constantly consuming. (we do have to eat and drink!)
    I loved number 9. Hubby and I went to movies this past week and I saw a very cleverly done commercial for Buick. They weren’t selling cars, they were selling quality family time, enjoying life together, in the comfort and quality of a Buick. Sounds nice, til you see the price tag!
    Are you overwhelmed?

  3. says

    Minimalism is a journey unique to all of us. Each of us has different things we hold important. I live with my daughter in a 1-bedroom home: she gets the bedroom, I use the living room (and a futon folded away during the day).

    We have minimal furniture: 2 Wingback chairs, a wooden rocking chair, 2 folding chairs (for guests, makeshift tables and step stools), a kitchen table with 4 chairs, Katie’s bed, her nightstand, a metal storage shelf, a coffee table and a small 3-shelf unit in the living room for books, shoes and a lamp.

    We have no television; we use our laptops instead. Instead of a home phone, we use a MagicJack. For appliances we have an under-cabinet refrigerator, a hot plate, toaster oven, a microwave and a small chest freezer.

    We have a van that is paid for and live a very simple life together by utilizing technology to the max with a minimum of devices. Instead of a smartphone or portable music player (or even a Kindle or Nook) my small laptop (netbook really) goes with me everywhere to perform all of those jobs and more.

    Some look at our home and say we don’t have enough; we look around and say “life is good.”

    • Jen says

      What a wonderful, minimalist life you have together! It sounds like you have everything you need. I’m living in a 2900 sq.ft. house with my husband and two children (and pets:) and it’s overwhelming. I just started the minimalist journey and wish I had started years ago. Paring down and getting rid of so much stuff feels great. We’re even going to sell the house and rent a townhouse for awhile. I look forward to every day now because my head’s not in the bubble of “consume.”

    • Sarah says

      When I first read your comment, I was floored by how little you have…but when I really thought about it, it made total sense! What more do you need? You are happy with what you have and that is awesome. You literally have all the stuff you need – Not like some people who have enough to give to an entire village. I am in the process myself with trying to decrease the “stuff” I don’t need. I keep reminding myself that Jesus didn’t have anything, in fact you could say he was homeless.

  4. says

    The whole article was great but number 5 resonated with me the most. “A culture built on consumption must produce an ever-changing target to keep its participants spending money.” That’s going in my quote book! Maybe by showing it to friends and family I could get their brains moving in a more intentional and less consuming manner. Or I could just forward them the link to this blog and tell them to spend 30 minutes being transformed.

    Maybe I’ll do both.

  5. says

    Thanks Josh… spot on! I’m heading to NH this weekend to speak and am always mindful that our appetites for food, clothes, and shelter have often become masters rather than servants, creating a slavery to consumption. The reminder of all the benefits inherent in contentment and simplicity is a much needed message!

  6. says

    Like it a lot – especially, of course, that you are noticing that such a better life is not just (but also) better for us personally, but also for the world. That’s exactly where I’m trying to exert some influence. You say minimalism, I say sustainability, and many people say “oh no, living in sackcloths, giving up the good life…” In fact, though, it’s more conscious and chosen living that turns out to be richer and better than the endless, senseless pursuit of more.

  7. Susan says

    Wonderful post…first time I have seen your site; I will return! My family and I have been continuously downsizing for the past several years; job-related cross-country moves have helped the cause considerably. With both kids in college, my husband and I share a 2 bedroom duplex and a paid for 1995 pick up truck. My husband walks to works, and like Annie, we use technology in lessen our “need” for more gadgetry.

    We live way below our means, and I see the quizzical looks on the faces of co-workers when they see what I drive! I’m not at all bothered, because I am able spend my money on travel (just returned from 2 weeks in Greece), save it, donate it or whatever. All because I don’t buy, or need to store and insure, a bunch of STUFF.

    My daughter was informed that her college roommate couldn’t understand why she brought so little to college -she brought all that she needed, but the roommate had every knickknack and gadget known to man. She thought perhaps we were “poor”…but how could my daughter afford college and summers in China..? It’s amazing how being anti-consumerist lights the fires of speculation, isn’t it?!

    In January, we are moving to Panama for at least 6 months to see if we want to make it permanent. We plan to bring our computers, guitars and clothing. We are selling everything we own with the exception of certain “irreplaceable” items that our kids want for when they graduate from college and set up their own homes. We have complied a list of our personal “road rules” for our trip..one of them is to consume as little as possible. Another is to “be a blessing” wherever we go, so we will be volunteering for animal rescues and children’s causes wherever and whenever we can. This would not be possible if we were saddled with a need for stuff.

    So nice that there is a community of like-minded folks out there.

    • rachel says

      Joshua, wonderful post!
      Susan, I want to be like you. I think about what you are doing and it really inspires me to buy a lot less, and start saving for what we want (trips, adventures).

  8. laura m. says

    Maintaining a house and yard in town or anywhere, is almost a full time job. Two cars, washer, frig, stove have to be maintained, cleaned. Had to replace a water heater last yr. Paying insurance and taxes too. Social life is rare, we’re either on the computer or working around the house. Everyone else, retired or working, same thing. No community involvements, very little social life. This is basic living in the twenty first century, more stress and way more isolation in neighborhoods; way less interacting with anyone to include family.

  9. Becky says

    If ever there were a case to be made on minimalist blogging, you could use this one over and over and I would read it every time and be reminded. Thanks

  10. says

    This is all well intended well written, but have you ever read “Das Kapital” from Karl Marx? Sadly he is always associated with communism to such an extreme degree that many people don’t consider his works, they are really quite inspirational. Many people recognized problems with consumerism even before capitalism really took hold of many western cultures (and now all cultures). I highly recommend finding a translation and discovering its wisdom for yourself (or humor, too).

    Don’t think I’m trying to belittle your efforts, I find them truly commendable and highly respectable, more people need to have similar realizations (and at much earlier points in their lives). cheers.

  11. says

    I certainly agree wholeheartedly. Less environmental impact is the big one for me. I intentionally reject the consumption lifestyle by uprooting my life to Asia (I’m young, single at the time, no kids), and now live a very modest, “Minimalist” life in the slums. Yes you heard/read that right. :)

  12. says

    In 3.5 weeks I’m moving to Costa Rica and I’m elated to be moving to a culture that is not purely focused on consumption and consumerism. It’s so hard to escape when you live here – our culture is inundated with advertising, even in movies and our favorite TV shows. It’s all about ad space! My favorite part of doing an international move is that we’re getting rid of nearly everything. It’s so freeing! I hope I never go back to the old ways. I hope to get closer to True Life in Costa Rica. Pura vida!

  13. Laura says

    What a great post. So many points really resonated with me. I have been trying to lead a less consumer driven life and posts like this one help keep me focused on what is truly important in life. So thank you.

    • Laura m. says

      I agree, spending on experiences (travel, eating out, etc) makes more sense, especially for retirees who already have enough “stuff”. I declutter twice a year and give to local charities and group homes. With the bad economy, people don’t need to buy items not needed. I encourage friends to donate to these places as others need household items and clothing of all types year around.

  14. Cindi says

    A.M.E.N!!! Happy comes from within!!! There is nothing outside of you that that change true happioness that comes from inside of you! You should work on the inside as much as the outside to achieve true balance in life.. diet and exercise causes chemical releases but mind and soul causes emotional releases!

  15. says

    Thank you for capturing with such clarity the value of halting the madness of consumerism. Happily, reversing it does not take long because the liberation and contentment are experienced quickly and they motivate us to keep going.

    Our culture also encourages us to fill our precious time with unfulfilling activities. This is madness of the same cloth and deprives us of lasting satisfaction through close relationship and working to fulfill our purpose. Simplifying is the answer here too.

    Thanks again for an inspiring blog. I will keep coming back.

    Take care,

    Deb Kinney

  16. says

    You are absolutely right. Moderation and balance is definitely the key to having a minimalist lifestyle. We all have essentials that are necessary, and habits that require some material possessions. As long as we continuously keep our goals and priorities in mind, we will be able to maintain a life of happiness and simplicity.

  17. says

    I completely agree. 100%. As an aspiring minimalist, I struggle constantly with want v. need. Of course there are things that will make life easier (for me, I love cleaning supplies and desire a good camera). I think it makes more sense to spend on leisure items that have been poured over and will be used for a long time. Sometimes happiness does sprout from items-the key is to not focus on the item itself, but the experience if provides. For example, I love photography. Looking at beautiful photos and seeing the world through a different key makes me happy. However, in order to do that, one needs a camera. I really think consumerism can be okay, but in moderation–something this society has a major issue with.

    • lisa says

      Vinegar, baking soda, rubbing alcohol and rags can clean most everything in the home. Inexpensive and non-toxic! I used to like all my fancy stuff for cleaning. Now I use a spray bottle of vinegar water mix for most everything. I feel safer knowing that my little one won’t get sick from the cleaners.

  18. says

    I love your blog and I do love this post, but don’t you think you’re selling the fashion industry short a little bit? Yes, it has a heavy hand in excessive consumer culture, but it is also a form of art, and that should not be forgotten. Fashion and trends are not just a marketing ploy to get us to spend more money. Fashion designers are exploring new and exciting concepts all the time!

    • Dana says

      Have you ever looked at how native tribal people dress? They don’t have a fashion industry, but their clothing and jewelry are still artistic and gorgeous. And while there is some variation from individual to individual, and their style might evolve somewhat over time, it doesn’t change constantly year after year the way our fashion industry does.

      And to be frank, I hate most industrial clothing. Fits poorly, is put together shabbily and doesn’t even protect against the elements. For instance, after I became a knitter it struck me funny that most of the mittens available to people today, at least the mittens made in factories, end at the wrist. Doesn’t sound like a big deal til you have to walk out in the cold and realize that there is cold air rushing up your sleeves. You can’t stay warm if your limbs are taking heat away from your core because your mittens don’t work right. Not a big deal to people who drive everywhere, I suppose, but sooner or later the car breaks down or you have a wreck and there you are, on the side of the road, freezing your tushie off.

      And this is not even getting into the haute couture I catch glimpses of in news reports from time to time. I don’t know when modern artists decided art didn’t have to make sense to the viewer, but there you go.

  19. Shane says

    I have becoming minimalist set as my home page. I haven’t posted before, though I love the message. I also appreciate that you share links to other good folks, as I have learned much from them through my portal to the minimalist style (becoming minimalist)

    This has been my favorite writing of yours so far. In fact I am going to print it and leave it on my desk because this is something I want to really sink in.

  20. says

    I can connect with #8 Contentment. The basic principles of getting rid of ‘stuff’ we don’t need and re-thinking every purchase we make is practical in theory, but somehow creates a deeper sense of joy and fulfillment for me. I feel like I’m living with more purpose now than I ever did when I was on the consumption race track.
    I’m still a moderate/high consumer but have made some big changes in how I think and feel about all of the things in my personal space. I’m pickier than ever!
    I love your story, Joshua! Very inspiring.

  21. says

    I really love this post. Many of these ideas are things I have been thinking about but not in such a pointed succinct way. I am working on getting rid of stuff to become more simplified and free of things I don’t need. As I do this I am disgusted as I think about how much time and energy went into acquiring it.

    My biggest realization recently has been something that is related to reason #2. I have always loved gardens. I have always had a garden that I design, tend and work to maintain. I have had aspirations of a magnificent garden someday. But lately I have been thinking about how all of the things I was imagining putting into the garden and all of the time I would spend caring for it would actually remove me from living my life fully. It would likely consume so much time, money, energy…just to keep it up as well as the rest of the yard, and the house etc. That is not what I want.

    Another thought I have had about this is about how i get rid of stuff. I have been gathering up things to sell on Craig’s List. Why? I think because I feel I need the money. Do I? Not really. I have enough. There is not more that I need to be content. S now i am planning on donating, giving it away etc. Freeing…

  22. says

    Good points here. You mention lifestyle envy. As I have come around to minimalism I have enjoyed less stress and many of the other benefits you talked about. I never dreamed that my friends and coworkers would envy my lifestyle. When they talk about the chaos I just smile and say call me if you want to change that.

  23. says

    great post!

    I tend to think I’m immune to excessive consumerism. I’m *so* over that keeping up with the Joneses and credit card debt phase. Yet, I’m struggling with the little things – spending every dollar out of each paycheck on little random things, when it could (and should!) be put in our emergency fund. I’m really good at finding excuses to shop, and I do it as a hobby! Lame-o, right?

    Since I’ve started my minimalist journey I’ve been working reaaaaally (times a billion) hard at NOT adding to my collection of crap. I’m practicing questioning every single purchase, and utilizing that whole, “one in, one out” idea – as well as encouraging my family to do the same!

    While far from perfect, I’m already enjoying the feeling of having more control over my money and myself! Excessive consumerism blows. I used to be able (before my mega declutter) to look around me and see a bunch of garbage that we spent our hard earned money on, that isnt being used. It’s nice to not add to that collection of unused stuffs now :)

  24. says

    Thanks for great thought provoking inspiration. My first step is de-cluttering and reducing what we do have and being more mindful of what I bring home.

  25. Sharri says

    Goodness gracious! When I grow up I want to be like you. I have this open in one tab and a clothing store site open in another and I am trying so hard to fight this temptation. Buying clothes is an obsession of mines and it’s hypocritical of me because I abhor materialism. While I am far from a label junkie, I am a sales/ frugal junkie. Part of me wants to sell my whole wardrobe, half of which I do not wear. A part of me dies every time I think about it. I feel awful because I know money that I am using to buy these clothes could be used to save someone’s life. Its hard. Now that I finished this spiel, I have managed to close those 3 tabs lol. This helped/

  26. says

    A few weeks before my parents’ estate sale, my young-adult son and I were walking through the house, surveying room after room of stuff we really didn’t want. (My parents weren’t really materialistic; they just loved bargains and hated to get rid of stuff.)

    My son turned to me and said earnestly, “Mom; please live a minimalist life.”

    It was a defining moment for me.

    Your list is great. I’m quoting most of item 5 on my blog today.

  27. Houda says

    I’m writing this more to remind myself.
    When I was pregnant (starting around the fifth month when my belly showed), I used exactly two drawers in my huge closet. I had only a few items of clothing that fit and I just mixed and matched them to death. Pregnancy gave me the excuse not to buy but to use what was available.
    And I was happy! I felt free from deciding what to wear, what to buy.
    If I can only bring myself to de-own most of my closet and live like that for ever.

  28. says

    Also, author David Platt quoting one of his parishoners in Radical:

    I realize that there will never come a day when I stand before God and He looks at me and says, “I wish you would have kept more for yourself.”

  29. MaryB says

    Great points, thank you!! I have now gotten rid of a lot of stuff, and we don’t watch a lot of TV in my house (and when we do we talk about the marketing message). But I still struggle with the idea that “if I just buy the right thing, I won’t need another…” which now leaves me still buying clothes, a new suitcase, new laptop, considering a different vehicle, all with the thought that if I just get the right one I won’t need another for a long time. What I should be focused on, is that whatever I have now actually works just fine! *sigh*

    But I did want to point out a misconception — you stated that the average American has $15K in credit card debt. I think the “average” that most people state for this statistic is misleading — yes, the average credit card debt (of those who hold credit cards) might be $15k, but **most people don’t carry even credit card card debt at all.** This “average” stated here is the mean, not the most often occurring value (mode). So for example if you take 1 person who carries $75K+ and average her in with 4 people who carry $0, you get a mean average of $15k. That makes it sound like everyone is carrying $15K, when in reality, 4 out of the 5 people have zero debt.

  30. J says

    Stumbled across your blog. It basically puts into words the gnawing feeling that I’ve had for awhile now, which has been weighing be down for some time. It’s an idea that was lurking in my subconscious, but hadn’t yet been fully realized.

    I live in corporate America, am a sales person where image is important. I love my job and don’t want to change that, but I know I can change how I fit into the environment around me. I also have young twins, so we have lots of “stuff” lying around that’s just for them. I don’t think that I’ll ever get down to the true point of minimalism.

    However! We will point ourselves in that direction and see where it leads us. Slowly. Surely. We have a small home, and don’t have tons of stuff by normal standards. But now that I’m going through it, I am amazed by how much excess there is. We got rid of half our coffee mugs, and still have an entire shelf full. Half our towels. Still have a shelf full. More than half of my clothes. Still drawers and a small closet full. It almost seems too overwhelming. Like the bags and boxes that I get out the door aren’t making much of a difference. But I know it will. I’ll just keep chugging along.

  31. says

    Great post, Joshua. Bullet 2, in particular, resonates with me. When I’m thinking of purchasing something, I weigh the pros and cons between how much space the item will take, how often I have to clean it, how often I have to repair it, how often I will use it, how difficult it will be to move, etc, against how much joy I think it will add to my life. Sometimes (and I hope I’m not the only crazy person doing this), I’ll have a little conversation with the object in question. “I’ll take care of you, clean you, and give you space in my precious sanctuary, and in return, you will bring me happiness. If not, we’ll agree it’s not working out and one of us will have to leave.”

  32. Pam rutledge says

    Amen Sister. I have had many elderly people tell me that when they were young they had to work really hard to have things. When they got older they had to get rid of the things to simplify. I have been told if they knew when they were younger what they know now, They wouldn’t have had to work so hard. For as time passes The things just becomes stuff that has no meaning and needs discarded.

  33. Mary Lou says

    Josh, I could not agree more. We took a 10 day trip to vacation with our 12 yr old granddaughter as we delivered her to her new home in Georgia, where our son (her stepdad) is now stationed. The only thing we came home with that we didn’t leave with was ticket stubs and receipts for food, gas, lodging, and attractions. We left her with one tshirt, and 1 small items she purchased with her own money. It’s amazing how much less she wants if she has to use her own money to buy it. As we helped our son and DIL unload the moving van, we strengthened our resolve to get rid of more stuff when we returned home. We recently emptied a hall closet and converted it to a small library for our 3 grandchildren. The stuff that was in the closet? All gone.

  34. Nathan says

    I have always been a minimalist, my first home was 320 square feet, after that I lived in a cabin that was 500 square feet, and my most recent home was 700 square feet that I built myself. I recently sold it with all the furniture in it and bought a camper for $200.

  35. lily says

    It is so nice to read your articles here, i am a reader from china, and could you please tell me how to add you on the blog?

  36. says

    I really wish that I had learned about minimalism long ago. I think I am two years into the process and loving it, but also I get frustrated at my slow pace. I expect it to happen over night, I know that isn’t possible, yet I still feel like my success has been limited. I’ve clear out a lot of items and feelings, so I know I am on the right path. It’s isn’t easy as you say.

    Thank you for doing what you do. You are a guide of sorts, which I desperately need to keep going.

  37. Alexis says

    I have always strived to live with much less then others and watched while people spiral out of control in the tide of materialism. I live in a studio less then 700 square feet,, drive a 10 year old car, shop only thrift stores and never participate in that part of our media driven culture that I see brainwashing so many that believe the next greatest item will bring them happieness. It truly is a blessing to live with less and appreciate life for other then materialism. Thank you for a very insightful website that will. help teach others to live with less.

  38. Alicia says

    I am a homemaker, but I fail miserably. We have “too much stuff.” It is a heavy burden, all of our posessions. Looking through all our stuff to find a certain object that is quite obviously underappreciated. If it were of such importance it wouldn’t have been lost in the first place! I’m on a journey to pare down our posessions, and save my sanity. I am not a maid, I am not the finder of lost objects.
    I would like to add that one of my fondest memories from childhood is going swimming with mom and siblings. We would go swimming at “Hickory Lake” every Monday. Always mom and us kids, sometimes Dad would come too, and we would barbecue for lunch. It wasn’t extravagant, but it was always anticipated!

  39. Lucy says

    I’m new to this whole way of life and I’m enjoying learning and reading up on it as much as possible. It’s like a breath of fresh air to release all this consumerism from my life. My husband and I were always living lavishly and not truly happy because then the worrying would creep up about bills and always wanting more. We are moving soon so I’ve been selling everything that we don’t need and soon we’ll be buying a house. We were looking at the big expensive houses when all we need is a small one since it’s just the two of us. It’s a sigh of relief to know that we are both in one accord on the living simply lifestyle now.

    • Jeanne says

      I have been cleaning out my house of junk. The release that u feel with each closet or cabinet that I clear out is amazing. Your site is so inspirational to me. Thank you!!!!

  40. Alex says

    I’ve just came across this blog. I’ve long espoused the minimalist lifestyle for years much to the amusement/scorn of family, friends and colleagues/co-workers. So it’s great to hear of other people with similar values as unfortunately I don’t come across any in my daily life. People are always trying to convince me and my wife that we could get better paid jobs, a bigger house with it’s own garden etc. We say why do we need our own garden when we have the countryside on our doorstep. Why do we need 20 pairs of shoes when we’ve only got two feet. We tell them we can walk to work, be back home by 6pm to do the stuff we like. We can spend time quality time together because we’re not stressed after a crap day at the office and have’nt had to waste 2-3 hours in traffic jams.

    They get it when we explain but they seem to lack the courage and conviction of making the break in case their families and friends reject them. We say if their families and friends are prepared to do that, well, who needs people like that anyway. Here’s hoping you folk here are more successful in getting others to see the light.

  41. says

    I love your commitment to this cause. I am heavily supportive for the environmental aspect. It really is terrible how much waste we consume. How many people have loads of electronics that they are not even using but they will rush out to buy the newest latest and greatest. Thank you for your well thought out blog. For me I would like to move away from consumerism and start traveling more. -Daniella

  42. Renee says

    A friend of mine has let me borrow a book called LIVING LOVING AND LEARNING by Leo Bascgalia. He covers some of the same topics on this website; which I have just discovered. I think the univers is trying to tell me something. I live pretty simply. But i know that paring down even more could open my life up to infinite possibilities.
    Thank you for your wonderful post.

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