So this is off topic for a reason, but I guess a lot of people who care about their bodies and their environment would naturally progress to this style of living.
I would quite like to "minimalise" my life...well, not my life (I want to MAXIMISE that!) but my "stuff" and my need for "stuff". I'm not a particularly materialistic person, but we do live in a consumerist age and I think most people would admit to being swayed by that.
Anyways, I was wondering if anyone here ascribed to minimalist living?
I've already started by decluttering my wardrobe (I managed to get rid of 75% of my clothes, how disgusting is that?) and I've promised myself that the "luxury" toiletries and cosmetics I have right now are my last...I've already started experimenting with all natural home made beauty treats. But I don't find it easy...I live in the city and I enjoy being stylish and having a kitsch and kooky apartment, but ever since I came back from Uganda its all felt like a noosae around my neck.
So does anyone have any tips, hint, personal stories or inspiration?
Maybe we can have a challenge to minimalise a little something each week!
My idea of a good move is one where you give away everything you can't carry on you and in one not too large backpack. I left my home at 19 with two sets of clothes (wearing one, the other in my half-empty backpack) and a bike. Haven't looked back... Marrying gave me a wife who was attached to stuff but I've done a decent job converting her to my Church of Non-attachment to stuff :-) She's given up every single "heirloom" possession she had and tons of other stuff, including "family jewels" and other worthless stuff you were taught you "had" to keep.
Stuff is limiting. Freedom from stuff isn't "real" freedom though, freedom is a state of mind, but most of the times you feel you 'must' have something, you don't. What you really need is a starry sky and grass/sand/rocks to lie/sit on to look at that sky, and someone to share that with.
A good way to start is to downsize your income (or have it downsized involuntarily!) It certainly gives reasons to question value of material things. An alternative to that is to just imagine that it was going to happen and try to think how you'd adjust.
Either way, I've never been a particularly material person. I've been happy with a family car, one TV, one computer, no games consoles and very few unnecessary gadgets. I rent movies instead of buying them, look for the best deal in phone/cable/broadband, utilities, etc type packages, take cheap holidays when I take them and similar. And if I was going to buy a new item e.g. washer, fridge/freezer, computer, etc, I always went on line to make sure that I was getting value for money.
But when I was made redundant 2 years ago and took the early-retirement option, I immediately started to tidy up my shopping habits. As it was pre-healthy eating, I was still purchasing inexpensive wines but that I put an immediate stop to that saving myself £500 a year plus removing almost completely one of the biggest drains on my health. After finding Natural Hygiene and the 811 diet, I found that most of the products in standard food stores were no longer of use to me especially those expensive meats. I also stopped using all of the chemicals, soaps and fragrances that I used to apply to my body regularly so big savings in cost and bathroom cabinet space there. No need for them as my cleaner, healthier diet resulted in a naturally clean-smelling body that didn't require covering up artificially.
Due to my diet change, I lost significant weight which meant that my previous wardrobe no longer fit me. A big shame as I'd just bought an inexpensive tuxedo which I'll probably never be able to wear. In restocking, I trawled the charity shops first and only purchased from regular shops what I needed but couldn't find second hand. This is partly because I prefer to recycle instead of adding to the continuous consumption of resources but also because I'm not happy paying full price for products made for a few dollars in a sweatshop where the employees are exploited for slave wages.
I also started taking a good look at all the old books, clothing and other never-to-be-used-again items filling up the house and shed, packing off to charity what I could and the rest off to the recycling center.
There's still more to be done but already I can see the benefit of less-cluttered shelves and corners which makes for a more relaxed, comfortable home.
I like to minimize and consolidate all of the time. I have the hardest time with clothes (any tips?). Things that I would love to get rid of at some point: computer and phone. I only use my cell phone for normal phone purposes and to talk to my husband on my work breaks, I am ALWAYS happier when my internet breaks and I only use it at the library. I don't think I will be getting a new computer when this one dies, I'm not sure about the phone yet.
All of my furniture (not much of it) was free off of the side of the street. I really hate stuff, it does make life worse.
Getting rid of the computer and cell phone is definitely possible, but it does feel a little akward at first. My husband and I each had a cell phone, but we now share a cell phone due to not having a house phone (by choice) and it works out pretty well. I also was without internet for a little of a year, but decided to purchase a little over a month ago, and boy do I miss the freedom...I'm really contemplating cancelling the service, my life was much better and I was actually LIVING LIFE and not watching everyone else's life on the internet.
Sell, donate, recycle anything you havent used in the last year. Thats a great start. I read a book and then give it to a library.
The more we own, the less we own it and the more it starts to own us. :