Minimalist upkeep Part 1: Cycling

In this series of essays I will be going over the different methods, “life hacks”, or tools that we can use to maintain a minimalist lifestyle. It is one thing to BECOME minimal, but it is often even more of a challenge to maintain a minimalist lifestyle with the influences of excess/consumerism all around us. Sticking to these rules will help curb the temptations.



Part 1: Cycling

Most of the things we need are things we already have. Ah, but these things don’t last forever. Shoes wear and tear, computers become obsolete and slow, clothes become tattered, and couch cushions become flat. When this happens we need to replace these things with newer and more modern replacements.

Now, I would hope that we all realize the necessity of this, and practice this. This is what I call “cycling.”

But this same concept can apply to so much more than our …… “perishables.” It would be wise to practice cycling with ALL our possessions. This is why in our home we institute a “Something in, something out” policy. That is: for every possession we acquire, something else has got to go.

Logically this makes sense anyway. As all the things we own take up some of our time to use. This means that adding something new to our lives, means devoting time to it. And if all our time is full (and it always is), then something else we own is being robbed of the time we once devoted to it. The question is: What is the thing that is losing time? That is the thing we must remove. So in a sense, everything we acquire is naturally cycling something out of our lives anyway; we are just not aware of it, and perhaps not de-cluttering (and that is a time commitment too).


– New clothes replace old clothes.

– Swimming pool replaces Volleyball net/court.

– Bicycle replaces Kayak.

– Cell Phone replaces LAN line (no brainer)

– Crib replaces poker table (Nursery replaces “Man Cave.” As make no mistake, once there is a child in your life, there will not be a lot of poker with the boys.)

– Mini Van replaces sports car (same principal).


With cycling we must be honest with ourselves: “Now that you have a swimming pool, are you really going to spend much time playing volleyball ……..really? Is it enough to make it worth keeping and maintaining both a pool and Volleyball court.”