two minimalist battles i’ve quit fighting


here are two minimalist battles that i have quit fighting:

  1. children’s clothes at clearance prices.  ever since the birth of our first child seven years ago, my wife has meticulously searched through every clearance rack of children’s clothing that she has run across.   more often than not, she comes home with something.  to her credit, she is always purchasing next year’s clothes.  and because she buys them on clearance, she gets them at rock-bottom prices.  because kids keep growing, i have decided that she is right.  and stopped fighting this battle
  2. mcdonald’s happy meal toys.  i’m not sure why my kids love little toys wrapped in plastic next to their french fries and chicken nuggets so much, but they do.  i’ve written previously of my disdain for happy meal toys, but have quit fighting the battle.  we don’t eat at mcdonald’s that often, but when we do we are either a) in a hurry or b) celebrating something for the kids.   and arguing about toys seems to put a damper on what should be a fun memory with the family.  so, i’ve stopped fighting.

but here are two minimalist battles that i won’t quit fighting:

  1. appliances on the kitchen counter.  i don’t care if i have to pull out the toaster every morning, i refuse to leave it out all day.  and that goes the same for the coffee maker.
  2. decorations/wall decor.  i’m not sure when i first thought that i should have a say into the interior design of my home, but it was sure easier for my wife before i started.  it’s one battle that i have refused to quit fighting.  one of my first minimalization projects around our house was removing dozens of decorative items. and i have no intention of ever going back.
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. Holly says

    With whom are you fighting? In the case of kids’ clothes, you gave in to your wife; in McD’s toys, you gave in to your kids. So that made me wonder who your opponent is in the fight against kitchen countertop appliances and decorative objects. My husband and I are great at decluttering projects when we tackle them together, but if one of us goes on a decluttering rampage when the other one is not on board…well, that doesn’t make for a very happy time. :-)

  2. queenstuss says

    I have always bought clothes from the sales racks. Now that I have a son, I hunt through them looking for cheap clothes for next season to put away for him. But after recently pulling out his size three clothes and putting away his size two clothes, I found too many size two clothes that hadn’t been worn enough, and too many size three clothes. I also found too many things that didn’t match, and so needed to buy more things. So, I don’t think I’ve really saved money by buying clearance clothes.
    I’m not buying things to put away anymore. He wears the same three or four shirts over and over, and the same three or four shorts over and over. When he’s ready for the next size, I’ll go shopping for those clothes.

    I always insist on the toaster being put away. I don’t have that much bench space. I’d like the coffee paraphenalia put away, but don’t have that much cupboard space… maybe I can declutter my cupboards even more… hmmmm….

  3. says

    Enjoy the Happy Meal toys. Believe me, the joy that comes is worth it. My sons are in their 20s now and we still have those Happy Meal toys around here. Clutter? yes? Good Memories? YES YES YES.

  4. says

    I’m sure your treatment of the family nest isn’t as harsh as that last point sounds. My husband has an equal say in decorating decisions… neither spouse should have the final say, though.

    Just make sure you aren’t removing things she cherishes in your efforts to minimalize. There are things around my house that I would balk at getting rid of right now but will be happy to part with in a year. If someone insisted they had to go, I’d be resentful.

    • di says

      Depends upon the emotions they emit. If I look upon something, on a daily basis, it really needs to be pleasant.

      Feelings towards the people that gave you things may change over time.

      Anything that emits quilt, regret, discord or other negative emotions, may need to be removed.

  5. says

    I cannot deal with decorations either.

    A large, bold photo here and there, okay.. but I’d rather keep my decorations on my body.. as in my wardrobe and jewelery.

    But I guess I’m just the odd sort of girl to not like that. :\

    I have given up that battle of trying to put away that rice cooker. I use it so often, and it has a potential to hurt my back trying to grab it back out from underneath the sink to use on a daily basis

  6. Justin says

    On the Mc’toy issue… don’t be disheartened. Allowing the kids to enjoy the moment is a great choice! Tomorrow, you can enjoy the moment of trashing/recycling it. Likely by then it is duly forgotten and will not be missed (that’s usually the case for my son anyhow).

  7. Eric says

    putting the toaster away every day? And I thought I was bad. That’s not minimalist, that’s OCD. If you use it daily, its ok to keep it out, along with your coffee maker. Maybe you need to buy a nicer looking one?

  8. Jasi says

    Any freebie small toys I can get my hands on get tossed into the glove. Perfect for those not-so-pleasant moments in the car. After the novelty wears off (what? an hour tops?), I toss into a bag in the coat closet to go off for other moms or donation. That way it doesn’t even “live” in my home. Once it’s had it amusement, it’s on it’s way out for some other children to love for a whole 15 minutes more.

    • di says

      If I’m going to purchase something or take something home that was free, it needs to be something I’ll keep for a long while.

      I usually keep a list of what I need in my wallet. As time goes by, I usually realize I don’t need certain items. As time goes by, I’ve thought of an alternative or realize I can go without.

      When you don’t have a lot of money, spending has to be scrutinized over and over again.

  9. Evelyn says

    I pull out my toaster every morning too. (and it looks really nice with all the kitchen decor). But I try to keep my counter as clean of stuffs as possible. So it is more confortable to me to pull it out each day, than to see it the whole day.

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