The entire world is a Minimalist’s back yard

StopI have given a great deal of thought as to why people feel the compulsion to have, keep, and own things. Why so many struggle to acquire the material “riches” our world has to offer. I have spent a great deal of time observing these people; friends, acquaintances, and strangers alike. I have also spent a bit of time observing those who are not so materialistic. Not necessarily other minimalists, but people who do not seem to get any joy, or as much joy in consuming. Through these observations I have come to an interesting hypothesis:

People who have the compulsion to possess things feel this compulsion as a result of an unspoken belief in our capitalist society that one must own things in order to use these things. That no matter where they are outside their home, they need to treat each place like it is a museum (stay behind the velvet rope) and not until they pay the admission fee, are they allowed to touch what is behind the glass.

Contrary to this, the person who has no interest in acquiring an abundance of material possessions believes that the whole world that they live in belongs to them anyway; it belongs to everybody. There is no urge to own a swimming pool, because there is a local gym they belong to where they can use the swimming pool whenever they want; or they can go to the lake. They have no urge to have a lawn of their own. If they want to see, smell, roll in, play on, or run on fresh cut grass they can visit the local public park. And that usually has the best kept grass anyway.

It’s the difference between insecurity and complete security.
Think about it. Consider the extremes: a hoarder versus a minimalist.

Hoarders seldom leave home (the hoard itself). And when they do its only to shop. They tend to be very introverted, have very few friends. Outside of their home they always seem in a hurry, as if they are very uncomfortable. As if they are in foreign territory, and they better hurry up, get what they want, and get out before somebody notices them. When they are home, they are finally safe in THEIR world within THE world, and as long as all the things they like are within those walls they are content.

Minimalists on the other hand are seldom home. Usually at home only to sleep, eat, read, or maybe work. They tend to be extroverted. Everyone they bump into is a potential friend, and is treated as such. They tend not to be in a hurry, very laid back. You will often finding them just strolling, taking in the sights.

Specific Example:

Say a hoarder/collector is interested in a food processor they see at Target. They will look at it in the store and try to think of how they will make room for it in their kitchen. Then of course they will purchase it. They will buy the processor and keep it in their kitchen so that way it is available to them in the event that they will need it. It will already be safe within their tiny comfortable world.

If a minimalist is interested in a food processor they will look at it and consider if they have any specific immediate use for it. If so, then they will purchase it. If not, then they will feel no need to purchase it now, but now they know where to find it in the event that they do. There is no need to keep it easy access in their home because the world IS their home. There is no need to keep it stored in their kitchen because Target IS their kitchen.

Now those were extremes, but I see examples of this all the time in people every day. I’ve seen a friend of mine buy a waffle-maker because in theory it sounded like a good idea. but that waffle-maker made it’s way from the shelf in the store to the back of the closet within an hour, and there it has stayed ever since. That was two years ago. This is a deep insecurity, no two ways about it.

With so many things we desire, the following is true:

We don’t have to own it, to use it. And even if we do own it, that doesn’t guarantee that we WILL use it. And with that being the case ……. where is the value in ownership?

Start your own personal Revolution

VforvendettaBig Business would have us believing that we must posses things we don’t need. That we must have an automobile with 200+ horsepower even though we all share the same road, and therefore have to follow the same speed limit. That we must serve “such n such” brand of succulent chicken at our table, even though it is all GMO. That we must wear this outfit/makeup/bra to attract, because we are not beautiful just the way we are. That we must be put on medication to negate the effects of your illness (likely brought on by all the tainted food that they have been selling us our entire life).

I turn on the TV and for a 30 min program I get to watch two commercial breaks, each with twelve commercials throwing suggestions at me; both clear and subliminal I’m sure. I open up a magazine and 50% of the pages are adds; and three inserts. I can’t walk down Main St without seeing billboard signs everywhere with adds.

Government would have us believing that in order to stimulate the economy, we need to buy more. Govt can, and is being bought, and therefore does not act on the interests of all the people. Only 1% of the people (less than that even). So govt cannot be trusted to mitigate the problem. So it falls on US.

As if you needed another reason to live a minimalist lifestyle, how about you purify your mind and body of all these toxins. How about you do your small part in giving power back to the common man. Lose the TV that is feeding you informational garbage. Quit the impulse shopping that is having you buy things you don’t need, and don’t enrich your life. Shop local when you do shop, and help boost your local economy. That money creates jobs in your community, growth, and ultimately that money comes back to you. That’s right.  Money spent toward Big Business usually goes toward some “big shots” third summer home. Get your food from a local farmers market. That food is fresh, all natural, and has no GMO’s (most of the time).

If you make these simple changes in your life, then others will pick up on it too. Before long this will make a big difference on our economy nationally. Start your personal revolution.

Embrace the things you have ….. or just get rid of them.

LampPostI live in a very suburban area, and everyday to and from work I see many beautiful houses with lush well manicured lawns. Such wonderful properties people own. Their own small plots of land fertile with life and broad open space. And with all the times I have observed these properties on my commutes, do you know how many times I have seen people out on their lawn or even decks playing, barbecuing, or even just chilling out? NEVER. I have never seen this.


I’m starting to believe that nobody actually lives in these houses. There is no movement. The cars are parked in the exact same space as they always are. Sometimes I think that I am one of very few actors in a movie about me where there are no extras (ever seen the Truman Show). These people spend enormous amounts of money on mortgages for property they do not use. Such a waste.

If I had lawn property, I would always be seen on it. Not just mowing it, but gardening, chilling in a hammock, playing games. I would have friends over barbecuing. You would see a volleyball net set up, because that is what we’d be doing on Saturday. Now, personally I do not believe the maintenance of having a property like this is worth how little I would actually use it. That is the reason I don’t have a plot of land. But these people are not using their property at all, but they are still maintaining it ….. paying for it. Where is the value in that??
I am an outdoors kinda guy. I love to run barefoot in the grass. I love to feel the sunshine on my face. I love to feel the a cool breeze hit my cheek on a warm summer day. I even love the mud. And don’t even get me started on the smells (I’m really into scent). The earth is my playground. I enjoy all these sensations when I ride my bike, go hiking, go fruit picking at a farm, see an outdoor festival or concert. And I do these things constantly during the Spring/Summer/Autumn seasons. I enjoy all the outdoor fruits life has to offer, and I don’t even own any property to do it on. Ownership is unnecessary. On the other hand, these people DO own their own outdoor property, and they’re not enjoying any of it.
These properties are a wasted investment. Are they a valuable financial investment down the line? Most likely (Real estate usually pays off well). But our lives are happening right now. We should invest our time and money into activities and things that fulfill us right now. And unused property is not fulfilling anybody, it’s a waste.