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!
I'm kind of a minimalist myself. The more stuff you have, the less creativity, freedom and inner harmony there's left. It's hard to stay calm and peaceful when there are so many unnecessary distractions around.
How romantic would it be to get a bit of Robinson Crusoe as a first hand experience :D I mean... The empty island, water, sun, sand, forest, fruit... Agghhrr... This +one and the only soulmate & here you have it - the perfection ! :]]]
Oh, just remembered ! If anyone here haven't yet seen "No impact man" movie, you MUST see it !!! It's about making the best of one's life without destroying the environment. Brilliant !
I think I am in a process of going minimalist.
The first step I have taken is to change my frame of mind and to mentally detach myself from things.
I live in a house with other people, and I cannot throw their things out, but I know if I leave, I do not need to take those things with me or replace them.
I have a folder with my bureaucratic bio data ready to go.
I do not need soaps, cosmetics, and products, and I can survive with minimal clothing.
If there is anything I need, I can always buy it at a moments notice.
In the USA, there are things people can do to minimize expenses like rent a mail box from a place like mailboxes etc. You are given a physical address that can be used for driver's license, pay checks, and credit cards.
In my situation, I have a few heirloom items I am responsible for and those could be placed in storage. So within $100 or less, my bio data is taken care of and my storage needs are taken care of. One could then stay with family, friends, campgrounds, and or cheap hotels, and the need for expensive rentals is less.
Of course in winter and people with families may need to rent shelter, but that can be small. Does not have to be a mansion.
Through the next year, I am planning to do some purging in my house and try to reduce some of the things I am responsible for.
I have already been practicing reduce, reuse, recycle, and besides food products, have done very little shopping for myself in the last year or so, and years since furniture has been purchased.
I have already shared my personal experience, but wanted to share the experiences of my mom and her sister my Aunt.
My Mom was a flower child hippie in the 1960s, and has always been anti materialism and anti large house. She likes civilization, but prefers to live in small houses that might be like a 1-2 bedroom apartment on the outskirts of a small town. She still has all the modern utilities like water, electric, ect.
My Aunt is part of a movement called the Small House Movement that is taking place here in the United States, and this is an architectural and social movement that advocates living in small homes. (Wikipedia)
This is usually done by choice and not necessarily due to a financial issue.
My Aunt was living in what many people would define as Paradise, and her family was financially successful. But she and her family did not like the chase of materialism and the slave based rat race society they were a part of.
Big Pine Key West Florida
This is who I am! 25% Cherokee Indian who loves animals, nature and our beautiful Earth that God created. I am in to being simple and living a simple life and I am creating this nest to slow down to enjoy the bountiful pleasures that surround us. People have lost focus and have forgotten about the little things in life and it is those things that can make a person happy. It does not have to be high end and wealth and how much one can obtain as you are not taking it with it anyway. My mid-life crisis has brought me to this! I plan to "enjoy" the rest of my life and not be involved in all of the stress that is associated with the obtainment of "things" as things are nothing, whereas, happiness is something! I am happy with God and his Green Earth which is a massive production of his Art that man is destroying and I plan to enjoy some of it and not let anyone destroy my little piece of heaven on Earth!
Still a lot of work to do, but I am getting closer to being able to unload and move in and clean up this mess. I will be able to keep working part-time and quickly pay things off and then I am done to enjoy the simple things in life. This is one of many unique and interesting Chapters in my life. I have never conformed to societal norms, nor do I want to. I like being carefree with a live and let live attitude and I have carried this with me all of my life. I was raised alone by my Father and he produced an independent tomboy girl who loves woods, nature and animals and some things never change. Stay tuned as things evolve as I plan to not only continue to sell online from my backwoods, but to also write books from this little cabin in the woods.
She buys antiques and vintage items from garage sales and estate sales and sell them on Ebay.
This is her internet access: (I do not think she watches tv at the moment)
Not that I feel like I need "things" but I go to auctions, garage sales, thrift stores and buy out Estates to sell "things" to make a little money part-time. I sell on Ebay, Craigslist and auctionarms. I needed a good work station in my cabin so one corner of my living room, I set up my work station in front of the window so I can see the woods. I found this old beautiful tiger oak desk at auction and I won it at an unbelievable price!
She has since added a few more buildings to her property. The Hobbit House is her son's house now, the bigger structure is hers, and the airstream is for her work.
The Hobbit Village:
She has a simple electric line coming in for electricity. She collects rain water and or has water delivered which is stored in an underground tank. Washes dishes with a little bleach and water. (She still eats cooked, but I am trying to convert her:)
Nature's cooking stove
Thank you for your kind words. I am very proud of my Aunt and the hard work she did to get this life going.
I am sorry about your friend. You would think that living in the woods they would have been more lenient.
That is just a painful reminder that most of us, even if we intend to be minimalist, are not truly free. We are slaves to the rat race system. For example, most of the land in the USA is privatized. That means owners have to pay taxes on the land and the government makes money. This forces people to either buy land and pay taxes and or rent. One is really forced to work some kind of job most of their lives to pay the taxes and rent, and squatting and foraging is almost non existent. In return, the government gets more taxes and social security revenues on those earnings. And when one is too sick and ill to contribute anymore, he cannot pay for his medical care, and is left to die.
In regards to the lifestyle and zoning:
Actually, I do not mean to be misleading. Most places in the USA are strictly zoned, have homeowners associations that do inspections, and neighbors can call the police for cosmetic disturbances.
Missouri, and especially the region of the Ozark Mountains, is still pretty relaxed in regards to zoning. My mother and my Aunt bought properties where they made sure there is no zoning laws applies, and that they can do what they want in regards to buildings, structures, and gardening.
That reminds me, I once lived in a place that did not allow gardens. Something about the veggies attracting wild animals.
Some words of my Aunt...
... I was supposed to be in a condo on the ocean, but I can't complain about this either. I never knew that I would be making a cabin in the Forest however, it is nice to escape the RAT Race and only live with real RATS that slither out of the woods to eat your food and party down! lol
OK Peeps, I add one more reply from my Aunt, you can probably see we are in an ongoing Facebook chat about this move of hers.
She was very happy that I told her story here at 30BaD. She will not join us here and comment herself as she is not ready to do our diet yet, but happy to be featured.
PK, I thank-you!
I wanted to reply on the post, but I couldn't without becoming a
member. I can not be a member of that site as I don't do that diet,
but anyway, thanks for your kind words and you are welcome to use any
of my pics and words
I was one of the "early" birds of the little house movement. I just want to keep it simple because people don't need as much as they think they need and after living in the keys all of those years ans seeing that life is Fleeting and knowing that your not going to take it with you made me realize that I just wanted a simple life and to own everything that I have. I just want to keep it simple and enjoy the little things in life that so many people are missing because they are working so hard for that mortgage payment and so on. I love having no restrictions on my land and can do anything that I want and I am enjoying living small and making money off of "stuff" that other people think that they need to have! Sorry, but I don't think that I will do the diet part. (PK grins wickedly to self...life is not over yet Aunt;)
I know that Alex Pino has. I was one of the
early ones in this new movement. Very early that I became a friend of
Jay Schafer when he only had 78 friends on Facebook. Alex was wanting
to get me for an interview, but life was just to busy for me at the
time. I will say that the Pace trailer in the picture is gone. I
traded it for a slide in truck camper fo me and your Mom to go have
retreats together. I hope she gets her health issues stabilized. What
I wanted to post is that anyone that is in the tiny house movement
should consider some of this cheap land that is available all over our
country. Getting five acres with no restrictions was a good way to go.
There is a special feeling about knowing the fact that one can do
whatever they want and once your land is paid for and your tiny house
is paid for, then you don't have a mortgage payment and coming out of
a V. A. Gov't loan Fraud house makes it all that much more attractive
to me. I don't want "stuff." I want to enjoy life and do fun things! I
do however, make money off of "stuff" for other people because they
think that they gotta have it! lol Why?
Love you! Aunt R
You can find Alex Pino and his page Tiny House Talk on Facebook and "like" it.
You can also find Jay Shafer of Tumbleweed Tiny House Company on Facebook.
Thanks for reading my Aunts story, Peace, PK
That sounds amazing!
I've been slowing moving in this direction as well.
Here is my process: I go through one room at a time at leisure when I feel like it and get rid of things that I know I don't use and can easily part with. If there is something that I haven't used in a while but think I might still need, I keep it. If I haven't used/worn those things by the next time I'm going through that room, I get rid of them.
That seems to work pretty well for me. And then of course there is not only the getting rid of things side, but the not buying more. Slowly, I've become more conscious of my purchases and am trying to only buy things that I will use frequently.
I agree with all of the above. On the last holiday occasion, I was given some cash, not much, but I am holding it on the side. What people do then is come and ask what was bought with said cash.
Do you have any advice as to what to do and buy with the cash?
To add to your comments above, many of my family members and I do agree not to buy gifts and or give cash at birthdays and holidays. We do phone calls instead. Saves on the consumption merry go round, and does not burden someone who is struggling financially. This might be an option for some folks, and sometimes it is the thought and the love the count more.
Number five made me laugh for some reason. I always give things I don't want or need to my roommates. The first time I did this, they were like "is everything ok?" Now I always say "Hey I don't like/need this, would you like to have it it?" and usually they say yes.
I kinda did that by default in college, and I haven't really gone far beyond that...out of choice at this point, though. My entire life used to fit in a few bags, that's it.
Coffee shop internet + laptop; sun drying things in the window, doubling a desk as a cutting board surface, and using only a mini fridge were all things I did back in the day. Hardly wearing make-up, walking or biking to most places, etc., there really are so many little ways!