Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.
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.
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
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).
Current interests - Starting Strength (reading it very slowly)
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.
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.
Yes, indeedy! Except for our Amex (air miles) that we pay off every month we are debt-free and it is simply heaven!being otherwise debt-free is nice.
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?
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.