Becoming Minimalist was started on a Sunday night with little or no forethought.
Earlier that weekend, while spring-cleaning my garage, I had a conversation with my neighbor who mentioned that her daughter was a minimalist. As if the thought of living with less had never crossed my mind, I was instantly intrigued with the idea and began researching the lifestyle online. Immediately, I found a few articles related to the topic that resonated with my heart. And as a family, we decided to jump right in.
The next evening, I decided that it might be helpful to blog about our journey. I assumed it would be beneficial to us as a family to have a written record of our downsizing efforts and I wanted to keep my extended family informed about our progress. As a result, I sat down at the computer in our guest room with the intention of creating a blog just for them and just for us.
I had never blogged before and certainly didn’t know anything about it (or the industry). With little to no research, a simple Google search led me to wordpress.com which offered me the opportunity to host a free blog. It seemed easy enough and I was only required at this point to choose a domain name. I quickly chose “Becoming Minimalist” because it accurately described the journey I wanted to record, it best described the decision that we had just made, and it was the first thing that popped in my head. Luckily, it was available. And at that moment, becomingminimalist.wordpress.com was born.
Since then, the blog has been in a constant state of evolution. What began as a personal journal of our experience into minimalism quickly turned into a place dedicated to inspiring others. It became something different and far bigger than I ever dreamt. Yet through the years and despite all the changes/evolution of the blog, somehow… Becoming Minimalist continues to remain appropriately titled.
Consider the aspects of the name:
To me, my journey into minimalism continues every day. The word “becoming” provides the opportunity to humbly say that I have not yet fully arrived – that I am on a lifelong journey that still continues. Some days I feel like I’m gaining ground, while other days I feel like I’m losing. To be honest, sometimes I feel like I still have as far to go today as when I first started. After all, removing the junk and clutter is the easy part – it is the “next step” that is far more difficult (the sentimental possessions, the unopened storage boxes in the basement, the extra car in the garage, or the house that suddenly feels too big). Additionally, the word “becoming” allows me to admit that the ever-present culture of consumption surrounds me with a constant state of conflict. And though I may never be removed from it… I will continue to stay resolute in my journey toward minimalism.
To those outside the minimalist movement, the word “becoming” stands as an open invitation. It does not boldly require you to “be” minimalist overnight. Instead, it encourages you to consider the journey and the far-reaching benefits that come from it. At its core, this is a blog dedicated to reaching people far beyond the minimalist movement and inviting them to embrace it. That’s why I write monthly at Organizing Your Way… because I believe this simple message of owning less will allow them to live more. And the more we can reach with this message, the better!
To other minimalists, this is not a blog dedicated solely to you. In fact, I offer very little advice to those of you who are already living the lifestyle… who are hoping to reduce their possessions from 75 things to 55. While I think this blog can still push you forward in matters of the heart and inner-simplicity (generosity, forgiveness, service), when it comes to life hacks for extreme minimalism, this is probably not the best place.
And in that way, “becoming” has always been the perfect word to summarize both the journey and the focus.
While the decision to call the blog “Becoming Minimalist” rather than “Becoming A Minimalist” was not a debate I had in mind when picking a name, I have always been thankful for the accidental choice of neglecting the article. The article “a” transforms minimalist into a noun rather than an adjective. And I much prefer it to be considered an adjective in my life.
My life is not ultimately defined by minimalism – never has been and never will be. Minimalism empowers me to live a more meaningful life, but it is not the chief goal of my life. In the end, I don’t want to be known as a great minimalist… I want to be known as a devoted husband, a loving father, and a faithful follower of God. I value faith, family, and relationships above everything else. And I’d much rather be known for pursuing love than pursuing minimalism.
That isn’t to say that a minimalist can’t be all those things… I hope they are. It just means that I value the word more as an adjective than as a noun in both my life and the name of this blog.
This is a website dedicated to inspiring others to live more life by owning less stuff. It invites its readers to embrace a minimalist lifestyle that centers on their values. It calls them to intentionally promote the things they most value in their unique life and remove everything that distracts them from it.
In the very beginning, it encouraged me. The process of keeping a daily journal challenged my thinking and forced me to verbalize my thoughts. It celebrated my past successes and motivated me to continue on the journey. It still does even today.
More recently, it has begun to inspire others. Every day, it inspires thousands of readers from all over the world to reject the empty pursuit of more possessions. It has granted me the opportunity to share the message of simplicity and minimalism to rooms full of people around the country. And it has been the topic of conversation with close friends around the table in my dining room.
But through it all, the message has always remained the same: “There is far more joy to be found in living with less than can ever be found in pursuing more.”
1,000 Days Later
In March, 2008, I started a little blog named Becoming Minimalist. And now… 1,000+ days later, the name of the blog is as appropriate as the first day I typed it into WordPress. Who knew?