Anyone out there a minimalist when it comes to living ?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by glocke12, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. glocke12 macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    #1
    At 43 years of age, Ive come to the conclusion that I just have waaay to much stuff. Some items Ive acquired because I was into collecting them, other items I have I bought because I am impulsive (i.e. my 3 different ipods come to mind).

    The end result is I have a house full of stuff, much of which I do not use, and some of which I have just so I can say "I have one of those".

    There are a few problems this causes me. One is the fact that it all needs to be maintained to a certain extent, but I think that the first, and foremost issue that I have is that I feel like such a slave to my possessions that I no longer go away for more than a few days at a time out of fear that my stuff will get stolen.

    So, one of my goals for this year is to cut down dramatically on the number of expensive items I have, and hopefully get to the point where I am living with more or less the bare necessities.

    I'd like to hear from those that more or less live a minimalist lifestyle, especially folks closer to my age (43). How much stuff do you have ? What don't you own that other people probably do own?
     
  2. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #2
    I don't qualify in your age-range, but I would say I have none of the latest technological toys.

    I have been reduced to the Internet, via my iMac, and music.

    TV, as presently offered, holds no interest for me. Same with most movies.
     
  3. r1ch4rd macrumors 6502a

    r1ch4rd

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    #3
    I'm not near you age range, but a tip I picked up that is quite good follows.

    Pick a load of items that you think you don't need and seal them all up in a box. Put the box in a cupboard out of the way and leave it alone. If after a certain amount of time, say 6 months, the box hasn't been touched then throw it away (or sell the items inside).

    This has worked wonders for me when trying to cut down on clutter.
     
  4. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

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    Jan 25, 2009
    #4
    I'm in my 50s and we have a houseful of "stuff", not much in the way of new or current tech, but lots of stuff none-the-less. I've been working for the last couple of years to reduce it. I can't say that I've made a significant, noticeable change, but I keep picking at it and feel a little better knowing that there is less. It's nothing huge, but I try to somehow eliminate at least one thing every week. It might be as simple as getting rid of a shipping carton or an article of old worn out clothing, etc. but it is at least one thing less I have to deal with. I also learned somewhere, can't remember where, that if you have something that you don't really need, but have a memory attached to it that's keeping you from getting rid or it, to take a picture(s) of the item(s). Then you can get rid of the item and still have the picture to remember the memory. It may not be fast but little steps do work. Good Luck!
     
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #5
    Some of your purchases are just unnecessary.

    Some of it is just stuff you bought. You may not buy things frequently, but over a number of years, you're going to have "stuff". It's inevitable, unless you don't buy anything at all.


    I think that just by reducing the number of purchases you make is sufficient. Like I said, you're always going to have more stuff as you get older because you've had time to buy things. Unless everything you buy has an expiry date, it's inevitable that your house becomes more cluttered.


    And perhaps your house is cluttered because you don't throw things away. :confused:
     
  6. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #6
    And, by extension, a 2-car garage that never sees a vehicle.

    That may be o.k. in the Deep South, but up here it's just insane. ;)
     
  7. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    Quebec, Canada
    #7
    i just sold tons of stuff/threw out even more moving into my new home. No need to live "minimalistic" (we call it "simplicite volontaire" here in Quebec, it involved a 6k$ year income, a trailer home and lots of MacN'Cheese boiled in fresh tomato juice) though, that's just ridiculous. Just clean up once in a while to get your "inventory" manageable.
     
  8. Lone Deranger macrumors 65816

    Lone Deranger

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    #8
    glocke12: Reading your post is like looking into a mirror. I feel the same way about my possessions.
    I've accumulated too much over the years and started to realize that, as the saying goes, "the things you own, end up owning you".
    So for the past several years I've been working to get rid of a lot of it. Either by selling, or even better, by donating to charity.

    The attached picture of Steve is my muse. :D
     

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  9. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    #9
    I find it best to have a clear out every new year. Send some stuff you dont use to charity shops, or put it on ebay or something.
     
  10. steve2112 macrumors 68040

    steve2112

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    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    #10
    I'm currently in the process of moving 3 hours away for a new job, and I am getting rid of stuff. I don't know that I would call it minimalistic, but I have been seriously selling/donating stuff. By nature, I am a packrat, so stuff tends to build up. My biggest weaknesses are books and my computers. I can't bring myself to get rid of still functioning electronics and every time I try to thin out the books, I can't bring myself to do it.
     
  11. erickkoch macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 13, 2003
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    Kalifornia
    #11
    I'm moving towards being a minimalist. Used to collect all sorts of stuff, put it on a shelf, then buy more.

    What's driving me was that I moved to a small apartment without a garage and I threw out lots of stuff because it just got in the way and I had no place else to put things. Now when I get the urge to impulse buy or collect more junk I have to ask myself, "where am I going to put that?" Now I buy to replace stuff instead of just adding more. I do need to get rid of more stuff though.
     
  12. tonywalker23 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2003
    Location:
    SC
    #12
    The past three years I've been able to go on a week long mission trip during the summer. Went to Mexico, the Philippines, and Peru. After a day or two of being cut off from almost anything modern it's like you feel you could do without it. Then I get back home and lifes back to "normal."

    Tech still has an appeal to me (I work at a certain store, can't say where though:) but the more I grow up (27, just had our first child 15 months ago) the less excited I get about new gadgetry.

    If I wasn't married and had a child, I'd live in an rv or one of those little houses that are about 100-200 sq ft.
     
  13. Surely Guest

    Surely

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    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #13
    I wouldn't say that I'm a minimalist (not like Steve in that photo!), but I have definitely changed my way of thinking when it comes to stuff.

    I used to keep everything because I had the storage space for it. I wasn't a hoarder, I just kept certain items that had meaning or a memory attached to them, and I bought stuff That I thought was cool, even if I really didn't need it.

    Then we decided to move across the continent to LA, and we had to fit all of our possessions into our SUV. I threw a lot of stuff away, sold some stuff on craigslist, and donated a lot of stuff to Goodwill. At first it was hard, but once I got going, it was pretty easy. When would I ever need all of my CD cases? Never. so I bought a CD binder and threw them out. Do I really need that program from that event, or those ticket stubs, or all my notes from university? No.... Trash. And so on.

    Now if I collect an item that, in the future, may trigger a memory for me, I simply take photo of it and get rid of it.

    Our place is kept very neat and orderly. There aren't a lot of knick knacks and things everywhere. When we make purchases, I do extensive research to ensure the item will be useful and not just sit in a closet collecting dust.

    Now that we have a baby, there are toys and other baby items. When he grows out of something, and it's still useful, we donate it. Even with a baby we've found a way to maintain a tidy, yet still warm, place.

    My Mac, iPad, and iPhone have definitely helped to minimize the amount of stuff we have. Music, games, videos, productivity apps, photos.....with those devices, there's no need for physical versions of those things (like board games, books, DVDs, CDs, etc).

    Not sure if that was helpful or not. My advice is to just stare at something and ask yourself: "Do I really need that anymore? Will it ever hold value, will I ever actually use it again, or am I just keeping it to keep it?"

    Yep: tl;dr

    Summary: get rid of all your useless crap.
     
  14. Doc750 macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 11, 2010
    #14
    I can place everything I own into my pick up and drive away anywhere.
     
  15. (marc) macrumors 6502a

    (marc)

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    the woods
    #15
    That's true freedom. I definitely want to live like that one day - just a car, driving around seeing places and meeting people, escaping all the BS nonsense keeping us trapped in the dull lives most of us lead.
     
  16. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    Sunny, Southern California
    #16
    I am heading in the direction you mention. Both me and the wife are getting rid of a lot of stuff. We are having a huge yard sale. Whatever doesn't sell we donate. But I have come to the conclusion we have to much stuff!
     
  17. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

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    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #17
    I wouldn't call it "minimalist" but I definitely am moving in that direction too. I try to do a "purge" every couple of months or so and bring a cardboard box through the house, filling it with stuff that I no longer need. That can be anything from clothing I don't wear anymore, gadgets that I purchase but never or seldom use, kitchen or workshop tools, books, movies, music I don't use anymore. Old electronics like DVD players. The other day I found a brand-new, still sealed, D-Link "g" router. When did I buy that?? Well, I don't need it anymore now...

    Once I've got a pile of stuff, I bring it to the local Salvation Army.

    As I get nicer things, I try to give away what it replaces instead of hoarding. For years I've used a cheap $20 knife block set, and last fall I bought myself a complete new Henckels set at a good price. I gathered up most of my old knives and gave them away. Yeah, I kept one or two that I couldn't bear to part with. :) Also gave away a couple of chopping devices (think Slap Chop) because I've since gotten to know and love my kitchen knife.

    Among my friends I'm always known as the guy with all the toys. This was especially true when I started working but still lived with my parents (e.g. no living expenses). If Engadget.com existed back then, I'm sure I'd have bought one of everything they featured. Eventually I realized that having a device that does something really well is better than hacking stuff together. I have returned countless gadgets because they aren't excellent. (In fact, a Sony Dash Internet Viewer is going back to the store tomorrow...)

    I'm nowhere near done yet. In my basement I've got boxes of stuff that I keep meaning to do. Like a box of Decora-style wall switches for one day when I go around the house and replace all of mine. Or some brand new light fixtures (only $3.00 each on clearout!) Eventually I'll either get it done, or give those away too...
     
  18. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #18
    Just get separated, and half your "stuff" will be gone in a flash. :D
     
  19. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #19
    He didn't say he wants a minimalist's bank balance. ;)
     
  20. Keebler macrumors 68030

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    Jun 20, 2005
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    Canada
    #20
    great thread.

    i don't think i'm a minimalist, but i'm maybe heading that way. I realize I have too many things I don't use at all.

    I've been selling things on kijiji and bringing stuff to the salvation army etc.. Most of that has been clothes due to me being much slimmer and I've told my wife that now it's the house's turn to slim down.
     
  21. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #21
    I don't think it's been stated here, yet, but if you can look at something and truthfully say "I haven't used this in a year.", dump it.

    After e-Bay, etc, I would suggest the Sally Ann. :cool:
     
  22. steve2112 macrumors 68040

    steve2112

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    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    #22
    My dad was like that at one point. After all the kids were out of the house, he had a business go under, hose repo, etc. He got another job that required him to be on the road a lot, and basically he loaded everything he had left in the truck traveled to job locations. The employer paid his travel expenses and per diem, so he was pocketing most of his income. At the time, I was college and thought he was crazy because I wanted "the American dream" with the house, nice car, etc, when I graduated. Now, I think he was incredibly smart.
     
  23. glocke12 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

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    Jan 7, 2008
    #23

    That is an awesome photo. Thats not the degree I aspire to get to, but add a little furniture, an imac or MBP and Id be good.

    All the replies in this thread were awesome, I was most interested in hearing from people close to my age because I figured they would be like me, and either have alot of stuff, or if they were a minimalist had gotten rid of alot of things.
     
  24. glossywhite macrumors 65816

    glossywhite

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    Feb 28, 2008
    #24
    I live naked in a field, eat berries from the branches of a tree, and wash in a stream. Is that minimalist enough? :)
     
  25. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #25
    You have a water wheel, to give your computer power??
     

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