Happy to report no Freudian slips on TV yesterday. When I have the footage I’ll post it here. It was a very short segment but hopefully people got the message: stuff = time + money. Let go of what you don’t use, and stop accumulating, and you’ll have more of both.
Interesting comment from a reader that found me via the Globe and Mail on this post. “dd” as he or she calls themselves wrote:
I think you may be minimalizing something else though, and wonder if it’s intentional.
It appears you have a sex-based division of roles for you and your husband. You stay home with your child. You will find this will create a minimalist career and insecure future for you too, if that continues. Not your husband of course, who has a growing CV, established credit rating, skills accumulation, contacts/network support, professional reputation.
Sometimes minimalism is not a good thing.
To answer the comment I will get a bit personal for a moment.
Okay, so I only have photos of four of them (there were two of the night stands) but can you believe that we sold five pieces of furniture last week and have, so far, replaced them with…. NOTHING.
The night stands were emptied out last fall, the two chest of drawers were barely half full and the chest was holding a few pieces of sports equipment. My snow shoes are now in the front hall closet and we have a laundry basket of clothing that needs a home.
I was all set to hunt down a night stand and dresser on Craigslist, items with a more modern look that would go with our bed. Then Chris asked me, do we really need to get a dresser? Made me think. I’m not so sure we do. Maybe we can make it work with just a night stand.
The extra space in our bedroom is heavenly. I forgot that we actually have a large master bedroom for a condo. We can fit a King size bed in it and a few pieces of furniture. Most condos max out at a Queen size bed with barely any room to walk around the bed. With all the furniture gone we’re enjoying the view of False Creek again. And if I could do I cartwheel I now have the space.
More photos of our home to come as we switch out larger furniture that we no longer need.
posts I loved this week
RowdyKittens No Refrigerator Challenge: we aren’t close, probably never will be, to going without a refrigerator. But I am fascinated to see how Tammy Strobel plans her meals and shops with just a small cooler to store dairy. I’ve been on a good week/bad week cycle of meal planning here. Need some motivation to get my routine down. Help me, Jo!
Vote for a Minimalist Novel: Rayna has a few pages of her as yet unpublished book up on Authonomy. Go have a read. I was riveted with the opening page. If you’re wondering how some people find the motivation to become minimalists Rayna’s story will hit home. Warning: it’s quite emotional.
For anyone in BC that gets cable, I’ll be talking about life with less on the Sunday morning news segment at GlobalNews. Should be on around 9am PST. Yes, the draw back to no cable is that we won’t be able to record it. Or maybe that is a bonus. And for your next question: no, I will not be going out to buy something new to wear on TV. Although I may borrow something from my sister.
Have a great weekend and remember to unplug.
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If you’re new to my site and want to read about my minimalist journey and thoughts on living a rich life with less, you can visit here, here and here for background.
If you’re new to minimalism and looking for more how to and inspiration on living with less stuff, here are three e-books I recommend:
Finances: paying off over $50,000 in debt in less than a year was a huge feat for us. Our approach was pretty simple: we spent less and sold things we weren’t using. If you need a pep talk in getting started, along with more detailed how to, I suggest Unautomate Your Finances by Adam Baker. I’ve now read it a few times and it’s helping me stay on track as we tackle the rest of our debt.
Getting rid of clutter: Getting rid of more than half of our things was exhausting. I blindly attacked rooms and drawers and spent two months with piles of things to sell and donate in my living room. For a more methodical approach, I recommend the 30 Day Clutter Bootcamp by Tanja Hoegland.
Minimalism: Leo’s book The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life was the first e-book I read on minimalism and is a great way for anyone to get started. He writes in a very gentle and approachable manner.
There are many ways your resources – energy, time and money – can be drained. Sadly, sometimes it’s not your car payments draining you but a friend.
My circle of friends is really circles: groupings of people I’ve connected with over life events like university and my national team rowing days. Many live in other cities and, while we haven’t been roommates in 15 years, when we see each other it’s as if no time has passed. They’re still the same kind, generous and hilarious souls they were long ago. When I visit with these friends I feel renewed and invigorated. They know me well and are positive influences on me, always cheering me on. I like to think I do the same for them.
Then I have a few assorted friends of a different variety. They don’t return phone calls and we often can’t make a simple coffee date or walk on the sea wall happen. We do a lot of ‘we should really get together’ but never end up pulling the trigger.
If I’m not getting much out of the relationship, they aren’t either. Instead of being a dark ‘I feel bad we aren’t connecting’ thought weighing on me, I’ve decided to let these friends go. Sure, relationships require effort but they should reward in return.
So I’m giving up a few friends in 2011. Time is my most precious commodity and I want to spend it on people that value it: me, my family and good friends.
What if your bad friends are family?
That’s tough. I’m a big proponent of strong family ties. This is hugely influenced by the fact that my immediate family and my in-laws are all great people.
You can’t cut family out (unless they are really heinous people – then go ahead) but your sister that makes snide remarks about your lasagna or your brother-in-law that keeps borrowing money could use an honest conversation. I believe family ties should be salvaged whenever possible.
So tell them the truth. Their comments hurt. You’re not an ATM. You want a better relationship with them. Engage in a positive activity together or go for a walk. Exercise improves everyone’s mood.
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Salon.com has a lot of articles and discussions right now on the A&E show Hoarders. I’ve never watched the show and am resisting (I see that it is on Netflix so it is available to me). While I find hoarding interesting I also find it so very sad. Here is an account by a woman who’s mother was a hoarder and the devastating effect it had on her family.
As Minimalism is now a buzz word so is it’s sad counterpart, Hoarding.