There’s more to life than buying stuff.
There are many wonderful people pursuing and promoting simplicity. Fortunately, some of them are gifted in communication and choose to encourage and inspire us with their words. I enjoy reading their unique perspective. I’m sure you will too.
So fix yourself a nice warm cup of coffee or tea on this beautiful weekend. Find a quiet moment. And enjoy some encouraging words about finding more simplicity in your life today.
‘I could live simpler’: Floods and fires make Americans rethink their love affair with stuff | Washington Post* by Lisa Bonos and Jura Koncius. “I think the coverage has affected people. It reminds them to think, ‘What do I have in my house and how would I gather those things and put them in my car and leave?’ ”
Lowering Your Life’s Requirements | Mnmlist by Leo Babauta. When something becomes a need, a requirement, it locks us in. We have to have it, which means we start structuring our lives around it.
Understanding The Marginal Utility of New Gadgets | Simple Living Daily by James. I used to be a big sucker for new electronics…
Albert Einstein’s Theory of Happiness Sold For $1.5m | The Independent by Maya Oppenheim. “A quiet and modest life brings more joy than a pursuit of success bound with constant unrest.” —Albert Einstein
Fall Wardrobe Challenge: 10 Pieces, 10 Outfits, 10 Days | Unfancy by Caroline Joy Rector. Here’s how it works: Pick 10 items of clothing from your closet. Include tops, bottoms, and shoes for your everyday life. Then, for 10 days, create a new outfit each day using your 10 items.
*Editor’s note: The Washington Post limits the number of free Post articles nonsubscribers can read to 10 per month.
Donna Rodgers says
Your articles are so inspiring! I had no idea what ‘minimalism was’ but have been striving for it for years. We went from housing the furniture for 3 adult kids in changing stages of life, down to one set. My husband and I cut our clothes down to the bare minimum. We sold and sold pieces of furniture. (For some reason I find to much joy in small pieces of furniture.) We got our bookshelves down to three! Now it only has the books I love and boy do I love books! Finally, I realized that stuff was not the only problem. I said Yes way too often and was over-doing all the time. I took the plunge and began to ‘unvolunteer’. I was doing things no one in their right mind would keep doing. Today, I got rid of the last ‘volunteer’ job. It took months to find a replacement for me. Now I have time to sculpt–a life long dream. My father sculpted and I’ve always been drawn to it. I’m pursuing an art education degree. The ‘extra’ bedroom that used to be full of misc. stuff is now my art studio. I’ve always had many many hobbies but I finally realized I had to let go of the old pursuits to make room for a new one. Tim and I are just reveling in the beauty of our ‘new’ old home in the country. Thank you for your constant inspiration. Your approach to realistic minimalism really appeals to us. We raised five kids and have 11 grandkids now. Less stuff means more living!
I love Unfancy! I am so happy to see her in here. I have been wanting to do a capsule wardrobe for so long…I have only heard good comments about it
Jeffrey Pillow says
To crowdsource ideas for a minute…
I enjoyed the “Fall Wardrobe Challenge” article, but what are some legit second hand clothing stores online for men? My wife uses thredUP, and is able to purchase gently used clothing that’s nice looking and return clothes after each season, which someone else can then purchase.
(She is officially a card carrying minimalist now after all these years of living with me)
I’d like to do something similar as she does with thredUP, but every store for men I’ve come across is terrible. And by “terrible,” I mean tuuuurbel, to quote Charles Barkley.
I’m not looking to be a fashionista by any means, but Goodwill doesn’t cut it very well when you’re my size. The clothes are entirely too baggy and dated in many cases.
I’m lean and 6’4,” so I’m limited in my choices already.
I have a very small wardrobe as is, but would love to replace worn clothing and shoes without having to buy something brand new.
Anyone have any solid recommendations?
Amanda S says
My husband and I are both tall; he’s 6’3 and I’m 6’2. It has been our experience that there is much lacking in the way of gently used clothing for tall individuals. For that reason, I don’t shop for used clothing anymore. If I’m out looking for something else and I randomly find something, great. Doing it regularly just took up too much of my time; time I would rather spend with my family.
Rather, I shop the sales for timeless pieces/colors that never go out of style, such as: solid dark wash jeans, neutral colored shirts, tailored like jackets, and neutral colored good fitting shoes. We keep our clothes for 2+ years and don’t mind investing a little more for good quality, if we find it. My newest pair of jeans are 3 years old. My husband’s are two years old. If you take care of them, you’ll never know the difference. Just a thought if you have limited used options. You end up with less items, but better quality. Let me know if you do find a gently used option.
Jeffrey Pillow says
Yes, indeed. Very much lacking. I’ve largely gone the route of a personal uniform over the past few years with a style that does not evolve seasonally. At one point I was going to try Project 333, but that was just too many options for me. Some of my current pieces need replacing, and I thought I’d stick my head out of the window here, and see if anyone knew of a more environmentally friendly way to purchase clothing other than brand new.
For tall people, men especially, it just does not exist. It should—for any of you entrepreneurs out there. Funny enough, thredUP started as a pilot program for peer-to-peer online sharing of men’s clothing, but there wasn’t enough interest at that time. Perhaps now…
Amy | More Time Than Money says
Love the distinction between needs and nice-to-haves in Leo Babauta’s post. Freeing, and also helps you to appreciate all those everyday luxuries that are so often taken for granted.
Becky Neff says
Inspiring! Thank you.
My husband and I love the weekend reads. They are always relevant to our current minimalising situation.
I wanted to share how your story about cleaning your garage on a beautiful holiday weekend struck a nerve (a good one) with us. We two were chasing our cleaning tails on the weekends, even after I cleaned our house every day! We were overwhelmed, missing out on quality time with our toddlers and eachother. I finally had enough with being overwhelmed by toys, junk in my two car storage of a garage, and underwhelmed by our life and my side business.
I had my husband bring home a dump trailer from work and I flew through the house, garage, and side yard storage like a tornado. I donated countless construction site black bags to goodwill, sold a few pieces on Craigslist (which paid for the dump), recycled what we could, and took a lot of good intentions (refinishing/fixer upper projects) to the dump
We are now entering the organizing what we kept stage, but a weight has been lifted. I only clean the house once a week, and I mean clean, not shuffle clutter from one spot to the next. I can park our suburban in the garage. My toddlers rooms stay clean with minimal effort. Laundry is a breeze. The family room is no longer cluttered with toys, and we have discovered which toys our children truly enjoy. Dishes are cleaned on a regular basis, and even if they sit in the sink overnight, I don’t stress out, because the rest of the house and kitchen is clean. I feel like I can finally work my small business without guilt and stress, while applying my minimalist lifestyle to it.
We also minimalized all four of our wardrobes. It helped us discover our true style profile. I never knew that: I dislike busy patterns and love navy/functional pieces that can be dressed up or down; my husband does not like bright colors; my son at almost 3 knows what he likes and cries less when I trust his choices; my almost 5 year old does not like jeans. By discovering our likes we were able to donate pieces we would really never wear and can now be intentional with our purchases. I also learned to let go of meaningless stuff and embrace the experiences and moments instead.
In the past month I have created more memories with my kids and husband than I had in 6 months. In fact, my husband and I are on our first ever adult only vacation since our honeymoon. We even packed minimalist style for the trip with 3 shirts, 3 shoes, 2 pants, 1 dressy outfit/scarf/sweater/jacket.
All that was possible because we chose to venture into the unknown and embrace a simpler lifestyle. We have been able to volunteer more, read our Bible’s more, be more thankful, and give more than ever before. Thank you, Joshua, for sharing your story. Looking forward to the next weekend read!
P.S. After decluttering our inbox of 10,000 + emails, you are the only weekly email we kept. You send all the relevant reads/links we need in one email. Thank you!
It sounds like you put a lot of work into your mission but the effort was worth it. I think a lot of people see how hard the task might be (at the beginning) and give up. You managed to see the positive effects of the de-clutter and gained momentum! Way to go. I try to tell people all the time that once you get going, you will feel energized.
Donna Rodgers says
Slakerjo, you are so right! It IS hard work and it’s emotionally painful at times, but it’s SO worth it! After a year of constant effort, we are exulting in the results this last couple of months. The momentum is addicting. :)
Well done Amanda.
Enjoy your holiday, sounds like you deserve it.
Laurie J. says
Fantastic! How wonderful for you and your family.
I love these Weekend Reads.
I usually notice and open it Saturday morning, just as I’m ready to tackle another cleaning/minimalism challenge.
A professional organizer in the Post article said, “We hold on to stuff because of what we believe it says about us.” How true. It’s why some folks drive a BMW or wear a Rolex. To make a statement about who they are (or think they are). However, I think people’s actions say volumes more about who they are than their stuff ever will.
Amy Z Kauffman says
JAMIE A SHANER says
I’m a professional organizer, and helping clients downsize and simplify is what I do daily. May I share a link to your blog in my monthly newsletter? I think many of my readers would find it interesting and inspiring.
I am excited to learn more about becomingminimalist and to enjoy the journey as I grow in this area of my life…
Thanks for the Editor’s Note re the Washington Post limit on articles. I wanted to let your readers know that if they have email accounts ending in .mil, .gov, .org, or .edu, they can get a free online subscription to the Post.
Great collection of articles this week, thank you!
I found I can live simpler article from Washington Post in Denver Post online word for word. Searching for article in other papers is another option if you’ve read your ten for the month.