The things that help me live a Minimalist Life.

I have spent so much time speaking and writing about all the things in life that we can do without; all the clutter, the filler, the STORAGE. I wanted to take a moment to mention many of the things in my life that not only add value, but many of which help facilitate this minimal life.

 

First, and probably most important, is my laptop computer, the only computer I own. Compact, handles all my writing, financial, and many other needs.

 

My iPhone. I said it before and I’ll say it again, there is no better tool for a minimalist than a reliable mobile device. The amount of functions this one thing has, makes modern minimalism not only possible, but real easy. Just think of all the things we DON’T need, because a good mobile device replaces these things:

  • Computer ……. mostly. The majority of the functions one needs a computer for can be handled right on a good mobile.
  • Music Player
  • Calendar
  • Game Console
  • Streaming Video Player
  • Camera
  • Photo Album
  • Shopping
  • Meeting
  • Radio

I mean the list actually goes on and on.

 

My bicycle ( and all the accessories that come with it). Everyone’s got to have an activity to keep them active and healthy. This is mine. It gives me great joy. I actually have two bicycles. One for training, and one for just getting around. I have only ever had two. Ask any cyclist and they will tell you ……. that IS minimal.

 

I am also an avid “Magic the Gathering” player. An excellent mentally stimulating game of strategy. The container in the pic below contains my entire gaming collection (cards and supplies). I submit this picture as proof that no matter what hobby one has, they can keep their “hoard” small. They just may have to trade out with the old to make space for the new.

 

My nook e-Reader. Physical books?? Not in my life. I keep all reading material on this thing. e-Readers can store more books than anyone can read. I would have even considered just sticking with my laptop for this purpose, but back lighting is horrible for the eyes.

 

We keep two white boards in the home. One on the fridge, and one in the dining area (presently my office). White boards are an invaluable tool for jotting reminders and ideas down quick while we can still remember them. Also good for quick lessons. I can’t stress enough the value of having one in a high traffic area of the home.

 

My Tibetan Singing Bowls. Having taken up meditation in the past couple of years, these items have proven to be very valuable toward finding peace and mindfulness. This is turn, assists with a life of focus. I have come to appreciate eastern medical practices as a path to wellness.

 

A Tumbler glass of water. I make a point to say “tumbler” because I no longer use any other type of glass. It’s the most efficient and durable glass I have found. Also, glass is the material I prefer to drink from (safest). I make an attempt to drink as much water in the day as possible, starting with my morning glass of water you see in the picture below. No matter what our lifestyle, if we wish to have a healthy one, it should always start with water, and lots of it.

 

 

Hobbies are seldom expensive

Always I hear people say “It’s an expensive hobby”, no matter what their hobby is. It could be something as financially simple as being a Chess Player/Enthusiast.  One would think simply having a couple Chess sets was enough (one for home and one for travel), but NO. It’s only a matter of time before they purchase a genuine marble chess set, a gemstone one, and a whole bunch more that they seldom or never use because they are too precious. And then of course there are the volumes of literature on the game that are “must haves”. Computer games ……. I could go on, but I think the point is clear.
Hobbies/Passions become financially demanding when the act of DOING the hobby is no longer enough to satisfy. Then we are motivated to escalate the hobby to a level where we need more stuff to get the same old thrill we used to get (It’s a type of addiction). After a while it’s not even about the thrill of the experience anymore, just the beautiful artifacts associated with it. When this happens we become collectors instead of experiencers.
More Examples:
When riding a bicycle doesn’t give us the same thrill as it used to, we buy more bikes to keep the passion alive.
When the ROAR of the engine in our 72 Dodge Charger no longer gives us goosebumps, we sell it and build our new vehicle. How long till that one doesn’t satisfy?
“Now after I’ve spent large amounts of time and money to build a large deck behind the house, we’re never motivated to use it. AH, but if that deck had a hot tub, we’d use it! ……. (I think).”
The way to fight this human addictive tendency is to cultivate gratitude. With gratitude every bicycle ride feels like freedom. With gratitude the 100th start of the engine will feel just like the first. With gratitude, we will sprawl out on the deck and look into the sky with a shit eating grin and say “this is my castle”. With gratitude comes the realization that Chess is not about the pieces, it’s about the game.
Hobbies/Passions are as costly as we want them to be.

Spring Cleaning!

It’s that time folks. Time to do your yearly downsizing of stuff.

This doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Handling it in baby steps will make it far less stressful. Just a little bit here and there, maybe only 15-30min a day.

Every day, pick a section of our home to focus on: The linin closet, a couple of the kitchen cabinets (or maybe just A kitchen cabinet), The storage closet, a section of the basement, a section of the attic, the wardrobe.

Focus on the storage areas as it is most likely there that we will find the things you no longer use. Pick a small storage area section a day. Instead of tackling the entire linen closet,  just focus on the first shelf today. Start from the back of these areas, as the things we use the least will be found there. A persons storage habits reveal what items they’re using, and which they are not. The things in the back of these storage spaces are likely the things we can get rid of. Keep this in mind when determining what we will downsize.

Create a section in our home to gather all this excess so we can properly dispose of it all at once. Keep it all in Glad trash bags for convenience. Section them all out according to how you will dispose of each pile: Dump, Good Will, Consignment, eBay, Iron Mountain (sensitive document disposal company), etc.

Once we are finished with all the downsizing, it’s time to move out those piles we’ve created. As far as I am aware, the only time demanding part of this is selling things we wish to sell. It may be less a burden to just trash these things or just give them away (depends on our circumstance).