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  • #46
    Originally posted by zoebird View Post
    I think it's important to note that minimalism is not about amounts, but about space-use.

    I really think that's what "minimalism" and/or "simplicity" is. It's about really having what you need -- not more than you need, and not living without things that you do need -- and then keeping it and using it well.
    Brilliant, zoebird! Thanks for reminding me about the true essence of minimalism.

    In 1995, when my first marriage ended & I moved into a vintage 350 sq foot apartment (with a Murphy bed, gas stove & clawfoot tub-yum!) I decided I only wanted things around me that I loved. The only closet was about 2 feet wide and 6 feet tall. It was the first time in my life that I gave myself permission to give away gifts that I had received that didn't suit or no longer served me. What a revelation!

    I was very happy there! I had a dinner party every week to improve my cooking skills & at one point had 10 people over! (in the garden, of course!)
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    • #47
      that is so cool.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by Dragonfly View Post
        In 1995, when my first marriage ended & I moved into a vintage 350 sq foot apartment (with a Murphy bed, gas stove & clawfoot tub-yum!) I decided I only wanted things around me that I loved. The only closet was about 2 feet wide and 6 feet tall. It was the first time in my life that I gave myself permission to give away gifts that I had received that didn't suit or no longer served me. What a revelation!
        That concept, of just keeping the essential/loved things, is really beyond my parents' understanding. I am probably the only person in my family that likes that kind of living. I am a pack-rat by nature, so I've had to fight the urge to KEEP ALL THE THINGS pretty hard. My boyfriend and I live in a 2 bedroom apartment and I think the only things we have that we really don't need are my fabrics (two trash bags full in a large closet), our dining room table (though recently he started using it to study on), and my 1970s Pioneer stereo (we don't really use it, but I LOVE it). I started getting rid of unwanted gifts by donating when I was in high school and got rid of a ton of clutter when I moved around in college (minimizing to move into dorms, accumulated crap when I moved off-campus, super minimized when I moved back home after graduating because I threw almost everything out). It's really liberating to have stuff to rid yourself of, which is probably why I try to organize cleaning campaigns in my parents' house to make their space more functional =P
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        • #49
          The other thing that happens when you lighten the load, is that you minimize guilt. At least for me that's how it works. When there is stuff around that I have no need for I feel bad for not using it. That time spent thinking about it is also wasted. So once I give things away that I am not using, I am essentially freeing up brain power for more creative pursuits.
          Female, age 51, 5' 9"
          SW - 183 (Jan 22, 2012), CW - 159, GW - healthy.

          Met my 2012 goals by losing 24 pounds.
          2013 goals are to get fit and strong!

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          • #50
            Originally posted by namelesswonder View Post
            It's really liberating to have stuff to rid yourself of, which is probably why I try to organize cleaning campaigns in my parents' house to make their space more functional =P
            Haha! I used to organize my mom's broom closet when I came home from college on the weekends...
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            • #51
              Originally posted by jojohaligo View Post
              So once I give things away that I am not using, I am essentially freeing up brain power for more creative pursuits.
              ^This. A large part of the impulse behind moving into an Airstream is to open space for more creativity in our lives.
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              • #52
                Originally posted by namelesswonder View Post
                TI am a pack-rat by nature, so I've had to fight the urge to KEEP ALL THE THINGS pretty hard. My boyfriend and I live in a 2 bedroom apartment and I think the only things we have that we really don't need are my fabrics (two trash bags full in a large closet), our dining room table (though recently he started using it to study on), and my 1970s Pioneer stereo (we don't really use it, but I LOVE it).
                Ugh, this is so me. I need help. I should hire someone to help me. I have so much stuff. I have a hard time throwing anything away. And it's mostly crap. I hang on to clothes too long, although I'm not too bad at parting with my clothes. I just never seem to make it all the way to the thrift store. I have all these odds and ends for various projects and crafts. As soon as I get rid of something I kick myself because I go looking for it to make something. I have a pile of leather scraps that's growing growing growing plus two sides of cow leather under my bed. So much clutter and dust I just look at it and then try and look away. It's too overwhelming to get started getting rid of it.
                Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                • #53
                  I see us as minimalists living without cell phones, TV, dishwasher and microwave and only have a CORDED home phone (one!)---and yes we have kids and still dont "need" these things---ahh, the last straw would be to give up the Internet. My hubby and kids tend to pack rat stuff, but kids have no problem finding things to "donate" to those who need them when I ask them to pare down their STUFF.
                  Check out my blog on nature and nurture!
                  http://thewoodsygal.com/

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                  • #54
                    i sold a 3-bedroom antique home and moved into a loft. with one closet. i donated over 800 books to charity, sold all sorts of furniture and homegoods. a friend who had just bought a beach cottage inherited a dining set, a few tables and chairs, some carpets i bought in morocco and some china. i donated tons of clothes and omg over 40 umbrellas to goodwill. junkman came and took a truck full of other stuff.

                    it felt great.

                    i don't have a tv or microwave and have never been a kitchen gadget girl. reduced finances have curbed my shopping habit to about nil unless a burning necessity.

                    i am debt-free.

                    about 10 years ago i helped my mother empty my childhood home because her husband had died and she was down-sizing. the amount of stuff was staggering. just the basement had more than a dumpster's worth. she, of course, was paralyzed as to what to heave, so i just made her leave the house for a few days. clothes from decades earlier, still with tags on. hundreds and hundreds of pairs of shoes, the BOXES for every appliance she ever owned were still down there. a huge console tv from the 60s. 5 empty aquariums. it really was horrifying. a true cautionary tale.
                    As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

                    Ernest Hemingway

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                    • #55
                      Paying off my students loans faster than the 10 years designated in my loan repayment plan is definitely a goal that goes hand-in-hand with trying to live more minimalist. If I was paying for the internet, I'd downgrade us because as awesome as it is to have super blazing fast Fios, it's a stable connection and we could pay less for a smaller bandwidth. I don't think it would affect our gaming habits, when we're actively gaming. If only they sold individual internet packages instead of house packages (we have TV and internet and rarely use the TV).

                      So far, I'm not ahead by anymore than about $800 in a grand total of $22k. All my spare money is going to go towards filling up our oil tank so we can have heat this winter (I did not sign us up last year, just wasn't thinking/it's my first real apartment).
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                      • #56
                        My husband had 3 elder relatives die in 3 years, and his mother had to clean out their homes. My husband helped (I was usually working those weekends), and he said the amount of stuff accumulated was astronomical.

                        We visited a friend whose grandparents were immigrants, those parents practiced Taoism pretty seriously. When the grandmother in the family passed away, I went to help her pack up her grandmother's things. She said to me "No worries, it's not that much." And I thought "obviously, she hasn't done this before."

                        I took some food for the family, and we went out to the little cottage on the property that her parents owned, where her grandmother lived. We went in to simply clean the place and get rid of grandmother's things. But, it turns out, there weren't a lot of things. She had a very capsule wardrobe, a few photographs, letters, and diaries, and. . . library books.

                        I was told that when a person in the Taoist tradition turns 60 (or was it 65?), they have a large party. Everything that you own is to be given away. Everything -- and that includes your house (at this point, legally, it's usually living trust and given over to the kids -- but that's too much detail). All of your clothing, your cooking supplies, your personal items. It's as if you are dead. Everything goes.

                        Then, at the end of a designated period of time during which everything is given away, there's a birthday party. You start counting your birthday's backwards (so, you turn 60, but the next year you'll celebrate 59 again). At that party, you are "given what you need." And that means that if you are still living in the house (living trust), that you do have the basics of what you need to live there (furnishings, pots/pans/dishes, etc). And then each year on your birthday, as you count down, you do a declutter -- and then you are gifted what you need if anything in the declutter was a need that needed to be replaced.

                        Which means that -- at the end of life -- you leave with very little, just as you came. And the family is completely unburdened.

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                        • #57
                          my student loan is our only debt. considering it's mortgage-sized, I do my best. Right now, it's on minimum payment because of the business/life right now, but we live very simply. Once things start to click into place more financially here (already doing great, btw), my plan is to pay it off in under 10 years. I'd like to do it in five, but it depends upon the income.

                          being otherwise debt-free is nice.

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                          • #58
                            being otherwise debt-free is nice.
                            Yes, indeedy! Except for our Amex (air miles) that we pay off every month we are debt-free and it is simply heaven!

                            We were talking about how much stuff my folks have and the (potential) pain of dealing with it--definitely makes our de-cluttering an act of love, YKWIM?
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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by zoebird View Post
                              I do have this wild-hare dream about living in a yurt.
                              OMG me too! Like these ones.
                              Today I will: Eat food, not poison. Plan for success, not settle for failure. Live my real life, not a virtual one. Move and grow, not sit and die.

                              My Primal Journal

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                              • #60
                                I just watched the video on the Tumbleweed house site, a fox news bit on the house. Why were they so incredulous? "Would you live in one of *these?*" Yes, stupid, yes. "You'd really have to downsize, no room for your flat screen!" First, there is room for your flatscreen -- if you want it. Second, most of us who want to live like that do not give a fig about a flat screen. DUH.

                                It's not as if this is some crazy, foreign concept. I mean, go to Ikea. They have apartments kitted out in the store that shows you 100-300 sq ft places. This is *normal*.

                                Ah, main stream news in the AM. So stupid.

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