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Old 08-14-2010, 10:58 PM   #21
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Gotta be kidding...

Forget that minimalist stuff....

When I kick the bucket someone else will have to deal with the stuff. Then it is NOT MY PROBLEM.
It is about time somebody starts a thread called "We LOVE our stuff!"

I do make a conscientious effort to not bring more stuff home. But all this talk about happiness being bought if you spend money on experience and not material misses one important point. The experience you are after may require new "stuff".

Here's my recent example. I want to travel by RV and tour North America "wilderness", the various National Forests and Parks, etc... It's a mode of travel that is completely different than what we have done before. Now, that RV brings with it all sort of stuff that I did not need before.

Also, here's my dilemma. My LBYM mentality requires me to maintain and take care of my stuff. Hence, I have tools that the average guy may not have. I totally agree that my life will be simpler if I just pay somebody for every little thing that I am doing now. But that brings up my cost of living. And then, will I have to worry about what to do all day?
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Old 08-14-2010, 11:09 PM   #22
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[QUOTE=NW-Bound;967861] It is about time somebody starts a thread called "We LOVE our stuff!"


Ahhh, Stuff Lust

I doubt I'll ever aspire to be a minimalist, but I am working on getting rid of stuff that I don't use, won't use, or don't want any longer. Heck I probably have more than 100 items in my car.
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Old 08-14-2010, 11:51 PM   #23
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Have you ever noticed how your stuff is stuff and everybody else stuff is sh*t.
Get your sh*t away from my stuff.

Guess I better give George Carlin his due credit for that line.
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Old 08-14-2010, 11:53 PM   #24
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I'm a fairly extreme minimalist, but I have a lot more than 100 things. I'm continually culling crap, and I take great pleasure in it! I feel like every thing I throw or give away makes me a little bit freer. I can't conceive of ever failing at minimalism.
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:03 AM   #25
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What I wonder about is the possibility that I'll head towards minimalism and discover I don't like it because some of the decisions are relatively one-way. If I sell my house and move to a smaller one, discover I don't like the lifestyle, and then move back to a bigger house, that would be an inefficient use of finances. Of course if I get a smaller house and like it, that would be a big plus financially.
To avoid problems like this, I would suggest that you might try moving gradually into minimalism over a period of years, instead of going from your present lifestyle to that lifestyle so fast. You could start by making other minimalist changes before selling your house. See how it goes. Eventually try closing off a few rooms of your present home and see how that goes. At some point you may be ready to sell your house, but after you do, why not rent for a while? You could try renting a small house or even a small apartment for a year and see how that goes. Slow and steady wins the race.
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Old 08-15-2010, 07:04 AM   #26
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There was a time when I joked that the inside of my apartment looked like the inside of a ping pong ball. A bed, a chair, a table, a TV, a four-place setting of cheap tableware and a four-place setting of Corelware was the extent of my possessions. Oh, yes, a car and a motorcycle (bike parked in the living room). At age 25 I still had clothes I'd bought in high school. That's not the entire list but you get the drift.

I'm not quite ready to go back to that level of austerity.

I like stuff, especially tools, computers, and machines that go fast. But we are in the process of weaning ourselves of stuff that we don't use much or at all anymore.
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Old 08-15-2010, 07:59 AM   #27
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I'm starting to currently read into minimalism a bit more and it does interest me. I don't think I'll ever go as far as <100 things, but I do see it a bit like a pendulum for myself. Right now, we currently do have too much "stuff" and we need to weed our wardrobes and storage spaces. I mean, who doesn't want to be more organized and have only the stuff you actually use and need?
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Old 08-15-2010, 08:23 AM   #28
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Heck - I just bought a 48 jar spice rack for the new house!

And organizing the spices I already had in the motorhome, I filled up 45 of them!

So, I can already tell - even in the kitchen I'm way over the 100 item limit. Not for me! LOL!

And we are already way downsized compared to most people, as we got rid of a huge amount of stuff when we sold the house and moved into a motorhome and we are trying to add only what we really use.

BTW - I really do use all those spices! Can't cook without them.

Audrey
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Old 08-15-2010, 08:45 AM   #29
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Sorry, I don't get one in one out either. I have two desk top computers. I use both, however one only four or five times a year. What do I gain by getting rid of it. More room on a desk I don't use. OH, get rid of the desk, then I have more room in a room I would not use, SO get rid of the room, then I would have a wife that is not happy as it is her dream house and we would have to move. In the end we would have a smaller house, in a place we did not like as much, to have more money in the bank, which we would not use, because we would not be buying stuff. The only one that comes out ahead in this is our kids when we dye.

Hey, look at Bill Gates. He would be happier as a minimalist.
Inside Bill Gates House - Pictures of Bill Gates Home - Digital Inspiration
Wouldn't he be happier with a 15 car garage?

When DW and I were married and living on less than $500 a month, with $120 of that for debt, and $600 for rent, we purchased like a minimalist. Now we don't, and I don't make excuses for not.
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Old 08-15-2010, 08:59 AM   #30
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I am definitely a failed minimalist. I have added quite a bit of useless but pretty antique junk to my household over the years. I recently boxed some items and stored them at the back of my garage to get them out of the way as they were taking up too much room in my kitchen cabinets. And I think a trip to the thrift store with my Land Cruiser packed to the gills with donated items is on the horizon before winter sets in. I should really learn to sell on Ebay but I am too lazy (and still working M-F). I blame it all on my father. He was an antique collector and inculcated in me a love of charming but largely decorative things. I have to be more utilitarian...if I can't use it, it doesn't matter if it is a bargain.
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Old 08-15-2010, 09:16 AM   #31
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I've gotten rid of a lot of stuff since I retired, as I had time to think about whether I will ever really use the stuff again. Freecycle and Craigslist is my friend.
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:05 AM   #32
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Just counting my clothes and what's in my pockets and the computer (and peripherals) I'm at 17. That doesn't count the chair or desk or anything. Sounds pretty ridiculously impossible to me, unless you're going to be a cowboy ridin' the range with his boots, saddle, horse, and hat. Yee haw! Enjoy yourself. I want a tent, airmattress, camp stove, flashlight, TP, socks, etc.

Seriously, I'm always in the process of lightening the load. I'll let you know when we get under 10K. I'm down to 4 or 5 hundred books. Hmmm, does this count virtual stuff? I have another 3 or 4 hundred ebooks and pdfs.
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:24 AM   #33
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This big infatuation with minimalism is just typical American faddishness. Middle aged people used to sit around talking about all the toys that they had, and how cool they were. Now they sit around talking about all the toys they don't have, and how cool they are.

The last thing modern people are after is simplicity. If American style minimalism is so simple, why do we need 100s of books and blogs telling us how to do it?

Ha
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:52 AM   #34
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This big infatuation with minimalism is just typical American faddishness. Middle aged people used to sit around talking about all the toys that they had, and how cool they were. Now they sit around talking about all the toys they don't have, and how cool they are.

The last thing modern people are after is simplicity. If minimalism is so simple, why do we need 100s of books and blogs telling us how to do it?

Ha
I don't know, but sometimes we don't think we can retire early, then e-r.org comes along...

The thing Americans do excel at is carrying things to absurd extremes. If a little is good, then a lot must be better, right? Or vice versa...
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:23 PM   #35
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One of the things I've really started getting interested in is minimalism -- owning less than 100 things, etc. I'm 99% sure I'll like it. Stuff is a drag for me, I don't like shopping, I don't have that much stuff now anyway, etc. The vagabonding and/or teardropping lifestyle seems very appealing.
So has anyone out there thought they'd like minimalism, tried it, and it didn't work for you? If it didn't work for you, why not?
I think the biggest obstacle in my case would be my kids, who at least so far appear to be on the pack-rat side of the spectrum.
You mean "minimalism" as in a submariner lifestyle?

I think minimalism fails when you start a family and shortly thereafter discover that you're one diaper short.

Our kid left almost a week ago. Spouse has already taken over the abandoned toiletries and cleaned out most of a bathroom cabinet. She took over our kid's desk and has cleaned out/stored most of the leftovers there too. We need to spend some time cleaning the fridge & pantry of "food" that we'll never eat. Then we'll move to the closet(s), and so on. Eventually all that will be left are things which we'll actually consume/use.

I don't deprive myself of possessions, but I don't buy more than I can use or more than I want to take care of. Good enough for us.
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:37 PM   #36
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I vote for the "We Love Our Stuff" thread - bring it on!

I'm a Stuff Lover, and so is my husband...my art and craft supplies take up a good-sized room all their own, while he spread newspapers all over the floor. That said, my philosophy is not Accumulation, but Mindfulness. I try not to live mindlessly, because I want to squeeze all I can out of the only life I have.

So, if we purchase something, it's after much thought, including "How much happier will we be, really, with this item in our lives, and the money it cost gone from our bank account?"

For 2Cor51, the decision to move to a smaller residence needs to be thought through like any big decision...based on what you know of yourself, your progeny, and the neighborhoods in which you might buy a smaller residence. Suspect the more you think it through, and the more data you command, the less likely it is that you'll regret your decision.

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Old 08-15-2010, 12:37 PM   #37
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You mean "minimalism" as in a submariner lifestyle?

I think minimalism fails when you start a family and shortly thereafter discover that you're one diaper short.

Our kid left almost a week ago. Spouse has already taken over the abandoned toiletries and cleaned out most of a bathroom cabinet. She took over our kid's desk and has cleaned out/stored most of the leftovers there too. We need to spend some time cleaning the fridge & pantry of "food" that we'll never eat. Then we'll move to the closet(s), and so on. Eventually all that will be left are things which we'll actually consume/use.

I don't deprive myself of possessions, but I don't buy more than I can use or more than I want to take care of. Good enough for us.
Never had kids. Am working on getting rid of stuff.
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Old 08-15-2010, 01:02 PM   #38
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If you count every individual piece of clothing, bedding, etc as one item each then, yes, I have more than 100 things but they're all small things. Other than my car and bed I could fit everything I own in the back of a pickup truck and have no intention of accumulating any more stuff. Every extra thing I accumulate costs more money which requires working longer. No Thanks!
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Old 08-15-2010, 01:46 PM   #39
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Regarding "100 things" -- if you dig into it a little, most minimalists stretch their definitions and counting abilities quite a bit -- they exclude household items, they group "underwear" into a single item, etc.

I'm not interested in getting down to any arbitrary round number amount of things, but I am already quite spartan and am interested in getting rid of stuff that is lying around that I don't use, don't want, don't need.

In general, most "stuff" to me weighs me down. Every item of stuff comes with the following additional tasks: acquiring the money to acquire it, acquiring it, locating a place for it, maintaining it (washing/dusting/vacuuming), sometimes buying other stuff to go with it (a grill begets grilling tools, grill cleaner, a grill cover, a grilling apron ...), and often eventually getting rid of it. All of that takes time and mental energy that I'd rather spend elsewhere.

Just like I want to be free from my job and my debt, I'd like to be free from most of my stuff.

I like the "try before you buy" approach that several have mentioned. I plan to do that. I've already done that to a certain degree and have enjoyed it immensely each time.

As for the "we love our stuff" people...I say live and let live. I'm not going to try to convert anyone else to minimalism, and I assume those who prefer more stuff and posted on this thread wouldn't mind me being spartan. I was mainly interested if there was anyone else here who had tried it and hadn't liked it.

As far as my kids go, I'm probably going to hold off on the minimalism until they're out of the house. Just because I want to live in a teardrop trailer doesn't mean imposing that on them is the right thing to do. Plus, the great State of Idaho probably wouldn't agree with me that it was in the best interest of the children, especially since it would be a very unconventional lifestyle.

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Old 08-15-2010, 01:55 PM   #40
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As for the "we love our stuff" people...I say live and let live. I'm not going to try to convert anyone else to minimalism, and I assume those who prefer more stuff and posted on this thread wouldn't mind me being spartan. I was mainly interested if there was anyone else here who had tried it and hadn't liked it.
We know. We were just joking around.

The reason we still have so much stuff is mainly because I am frugal. If something still works, it is difficult for me to throw it away. Still, I will admit to times when I got fed up with my stuff.

We have been slowly cleaning things up. Due to us having to empty out our closets for the drywallers to fix damages due to the roof leaks, I threw out many years of IEEE periodicals that I am never going to read again. My wife got rid of a lot of her clothes.

We will continue to clean things up, but it will take some time. It's so god-awfully hot to work in my garage now. There are things in there I need to throw away, I am sure.
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