Any minimalists out there (here)

Discussion in 'Community' started by stubeeef, Apr 17, 2005.

  1. stubeeef macrumors 68030


    Aug 10, 2004
    I mean this in your day to day practice of life.

    As a christian I sometimes find that I have become holden to objects, and it makes me both mad at myself and sad. I think if I had less, I might find comfort in the time I could spend elsewhere. (this is a synopsis not an essay)

    Are some of you minimalists in practice, or thinking of it? It would seem to be freeing to me. I have never thought of myself as being very material, but then when I step back, boom, tons of stuff/crap and the desire for more, newer, better stuff/crap (yes 10.8 on a dual G6).

    I guess the true minimalists will never have a computer, so this might be like asking the dead if there is life after death.

    Anyway I would love to hear from those that are, and how you deal with the day to day. And if you know someone that is, how they are doing at and with it.

  2. takao macrumors 68040


    Dec 25, 2003
    Dornbirn (Austria)
    well there are a lot of moments were i thank myself for being mostly matirial aout computers and perhaps elecronics..luckily in everyday live it's as important to my (except computers perhaps)

    no renting of movies or watching movies in the theathers, no eating out or going to drink a coffee in the afternoon, no car etc.

    but on the other side my aunt (who was a nun and is religion teacher now) is smoking as well and owns a gameboy ;)
  3. Guitarius macrumors 6502a


    Jul 8, 2004
    I try to be. I try to live with as little excess as possible. I enjoy my material things a great deal, but I try to to get attatched. I think its the mindset that's important as opposed to how much stuff you have. The stuff you own ends up owning you. It's just stuff. If someone were to steal something of mine, or I lose it, or it breaks, yeah, I'll get pissed off, and it will suck, but hey, I'll get over it because it's just stuff. Woah. Way too many commas. But anyway.

    My dad is exemplary of what it means to be a minimalist. With the exception of his tv (no cable or satelite. He watches VHS tapes of documentaries, and he doesn't even do that all that often) and musical instruments (a couple of guitars and a few fiddles) he truely lives with only what he needs to survive. The basic needs that Thoreau wrote about.

    Thoreau was the man. Transcendentalism all the way. Walden was an important thing in my life. You should read it if you haven't yet.
  4. Inspector Lee macrumors 6502a

    Inspector Lee

    Jan 24, 2004
    East Lansing, MI
    Yeah, I consider myself a minimalist (even as I type on my TiBook). I don't own a teevee and I don't have a cellular. My gf and I (yes, living in sin...) have one car - a nice efficient Civic. Before I buy anything, it has to pass the "Inspector Lee multi-purpose test." If it can't serve me in more than one way, it is a no-go. Granted there are exceptions.

    Sometimes I think it borders an OCD. I don't want anything extra lying around my pad - and that includes stuff hidden in closets. I will periodically engage in purges but these purges don't involve pitching stuff into a landfill. I recycle and anything that somebody else might be able to use is given to good will.

    And for vacations, I/we always head to the woods ( a la Thoreau and Muir). I guess I've learned a great deal about discipline and materialism by hauling my food, water and shelter on my back, being cold, tired, filthy and sometimes a little spooked with no help for miles.
  5. witness macrumors 6502

    Apr 7, 2005
    There is nothing wrong with material possessions - life is meant to be enjoyed - so long as you have the right focus. You should enjoy what you have but not live for what you have.
  6. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    Meh, asa long as everything is tidy I'm fine. Though if I have one object that serves the functions of another I usually throw out one of the objects. The only exception being my iPod and Palm. My Palm could play music, but I stay with the iPod as well.

    I do have 2 computers, though one is an extra and right now being loaned to a friend.
  7. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    im not a minimalist per-se, BUT i refuse to hold on to anything unless it is of some use to me in some way, and i only keep what i need, if i dont think it is neccissary then its gone

    now dont get me wrong, i do have a lot of crap, but i know that i have a lot less than quite a few people that i know (especially my sister who collects the disney snowglobes) i dont have many knicknacks, just a few that have an important meaning to me, i have a lot of books, but thats to be expected since i am an English major and writer.

    i try to keep only what i need, but its hard, i have a computer because it makes my life easier, i have an ipod because music is that importnat to me, my cellphone is my only phone, i have a decent dvd collection, but i dont have any sort of cable tv at all, just a tv and a dvd player

    i would like to think that i only have what i consider the neccessities, but i know i have a bit more than i need sometimes
  8. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Non-minimalist here. (despite two of what seem to be essential qualifications, no TV and no smoking...)

    I'm a collector -- I own things that I rarely (even never) use for practical purposes, because I get warm and fuzzies from just "having" them, even more from having the "complete set"...

    Very hard to get rid of books (I might want to read it a third time..) software, computers, fonts, musical instruments, scrap ends of wood, tools. Unfortunately I am also married to a collector of plants, fabrics, wool, pillows, kitchenware, china...

    We have a detente about magazines... Each title has a lifespan and any issues older than that gets given away.

    There is one online resource for those afflicted like me...
    Freecycle is a network of mailing list/yahoo groups of people who offer their surplus stuff for free and those who can put it to good use. There are several thousand local groups.

    "While part of the mission of The Freecycle Network is keeping good stuff out of landfills, the other part is fostering local gifting communities. Money is not allowed for a reason. It's about letting go and helping others and ourselves in the process without any expectation of reciprocation." Deron Beal, Freecycle founder

  9. revenuee macrumors 68020


    Sep 13, 2003
    A place where i am supreme emporer
    i like excess, indulgence --

    i could do without, but why should i when i can have it
  10. stubeeef thread starter macrumors 68030


    Aug 10, 2004
    It just seems that sometimes it is a chase for a car, then you find that you have all this crap you have to do to keep up the car, insurance, taxes, preventive maintenance, maintenance......
    Then you buy a bigger house, spend weeks on landscaping, new house projects out the ying/yang...........Watering the plants, reseeding the yard, blah, blah, blah. And Why? you ask. I have no idea. I could careless about the plants and yard but feel that it is expected in a nice nieghborhood so I do it out the whazoo and now my nieghbors are doing more too, it is a jones thing. And Why? you ask. I have no idea.
    Now I give about just over $400 per month in charity, so I want my money to do the right thing, but do I need a better lawnmower, trimmer, car, watch, phone, computer, tv, stero, sunglasses,............
    I am having a near mid life crisis on this, the more I think about it, the more I type about it, the more I hate it.
    Off to Thoreau.
  11. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    of course you dont need that stuff, if the old one works keep it, get a new one when you really need it, put your money away until you have to use it for something, etc, you know what im talking about so i know i dont have to explain it to you

    of course you are going to feel pressured into getting the latest and greatest, thats the world of consumerism that we live in, but you can make do with what you have without a doubt

    you should start doing the things that you want and living your life the way that you want and you shouldn't care what others think of you so long as you are not harming them and giving them any negativity, this is how i live....
  12. stubeeef thread starter macrumors 68030


    Aug 10, 2004
    I havn't really thought that I am doing other than what I thought I wanted to do. The question is now, should I re think what I wanted. My house is nice, but not over the top. My cars are all older, the newest is a 2000 with 120,000 miles on it. I try and do the right things with my money, but suddenly I feel the whole thing is a waste.
  13. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    well then, why do you think these are a waste?\

    new cars right out of the lot and luxury cars are a waste thats for sure, because for one the depreciation is so great and luxury is not essential

    you dont neccissarily have to change everything in your life, but perhaps the way that you are starting to view life is changing

    take a deep breath, step back and relax, thats key, and then examine what is important to you and what you want to accomplish and what you want to be happy and conent in the world. money and materials really are going to be of no value here, its your family i suspect that is key as well as your well being

    and dont expect the answers to come overnight, epiphanies like this just really dont happen for most people, let this simmer in the back of your head for awhile and see what comes of it, what ends up being the most important to you for your happiness and that of your family's

    and what you have done so far in your life has not been a waste because it got you to where you are now, it helped you come to the point in your life where you can look back and see that maybe now you dont need those things, but perhaps you did before to be happy/content

    just remember happiness is key
  14. Hoef macrumors 6502a


    Jul 11, 2004
    Houston, TX..... (keep walking)
    I enjoy minimalist art and I have minimalist taste (especially furniture and the art I buy/design I like). Sorry Stubeeef, not the minimalist you are looking for....
  15. obeygiant macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    totally cool
  16. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    You can't live life with nothing. You only get one shot. So enjoy it. But you don't need the top-notch car-- however, having a nice car to enjoy can be nice. You don't need a gigantic house, but remodel your current one so that YOU like it the way it is.

    It isn't bad to have nice things, but its what you do with them, take care of them, and do with your other money that counts more. Yes, I have a PowerBook. I like it a lot. But I also volunteer my time and teach people how to use computers. I do get paid to teach, but I could easily make far more-- $10 an hour is cheap compared to some services I've seen.

    Look, don't freak out because you have nice things. Be thankful that you have them and are in a position to help others. I'm thankful to have a roof over my head, and although I live a nice life I help others. Making and serving food at a homeless shelter and playing with their kids comes to mind. It's so sad seeing an 8-year-old kid who lives in the worst part of town coming, and when you play with them and serve them food you made... it feels good. You helped someone. That's what counts, and even though the vehicle that I used to help them is nice and a bit on the expensive side, it isn't like I'm just living the good life to live it-- I'm helping other people.

    I'd say give a bit less charity in the form of money and help people. Linkety is to a wikipeida article on the 8 levels of Tzedakah-- even if you aren't Jewish, this is a great idea to live by. Wikipedia doesn't have too much info on it, but you get the idea... maybe I'll add to it...
  17. Bad_JuJu macrumors member

    Apr 17, 2005
    North of Kalifornia
    Guess I'm a minimalist ---- I just dumped my mini-tower PC for a Mac-Mini :cool:
  18. Inspector Lee macrumors 6502a

    Inspector Lee

    Jan 24, 2004
    East Lansing, MI
    Yeah, forgot to mention I collect first editions, have about 80 of them. I guess out of sight out of mind. Also, have a vintage paperback reading library that numbers around 300 (all purchased retro and used). These sit on shelves in a closet overlooking my cat's dumper.

    Jeez, I've got more possessions than I thought. Gonna be a sleepless night... ;)
  19. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    Apart from my iBook, I'm generally a minimalist. I wear underpants round the house and eat grubs from the garden when I'm hungry.

    :::Cue Apple switcher ad with weirded out music and a white background - most of my life is stored on my Mac. iLife keeps me organised, just the way I like it:::
  20. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    I aspire to minimalism: especially towards a Japanese aesthetic as regards interiors.

    This also comes about because of the smallness of my flat but sometimes achieving it can be surprisingly expensive.

    And I still don't have a TV...
  21. Lacero macrumors 604


    Jan 20, 2005
    Who needs TV when there is BitTorrent. Thanks to BT, I'm able to download all the 2005 episodes of Dr. Who not available on the other side of the Atlantic.
  22. tooflets macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2004
    currently Sol-3
  23. stubeeef thread starter macrumors 68030


    Aug 10, 2004

    The wife and I had a small discussion about it, and are taking a closer look at our materialism.
  24. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020


    I think the term you're looking for is "ascetic".

    as·cet·ic n. A person who renounces material comforts and leads a life of austere self-discipline, especially as an act of religious devotion.
  25. stubeeef thread starter macrumors 68030


    Aug 10, 2004

    might be just that, thankyou very much, good job.

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