Friday, March 20, 2015

March Challenge #20 Minimalization

Years ago (and maybe because it was consistent with the "have it all" times of the 70s, 80s, and 90s) I wanted everything.  And the bigger the better.  Big house?  Check. Multiple vehicles including a big truck?  Double check.  A massive amount of food and supplies stockpiled, more consumer goods than anyone in their right mind needs, and the best...everything with no expense spared?  Check, check, check.

And then a whole bunch of things happened at about the same time.  The kids had been moved out for a while and the spouse and I were rattling around a house about ten times bigger than we needed (and heating it and painting it and cooling it, etc).  The economy tanked and with it some of my bigger clients.  And then it dawned on me that having it all meant running on the hamster wheel just like everyone else to afford the out-sized lifestyle that had become the norm.

So we sold nearly everything we owned, packed up our backpacks, and decided to travel until we decided what to do next.  That single act of changing our mindsets from having it all to having just enough, no more and no less, brought about a paradigm shift to the wonders of minimalism.

Your challenge today is to minimize.  Everything.  Do you really need four vehicles when there are only two drivers in your family?  Do you need 300 cable stations when an over the air antenna and Netflix will serve the same purpose?  Does your closet still contain clothes from decades ago?

By minimalizing your life and your lifestyle you not only save a boatload of money but you have less things to keep track of, maintain, and insure.  You make space both physically and psychologically when you don't have a bunch of stuff dragging you down.  You can buy higher quality things because you will only have one of those things, not a half dozen of those things in various places around your home.

As Thoreau said "simplify, simplify, simplify!"  And he was right.

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