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Has Minimalism bitten anyone?
Old 06-15-2017, 09:39 AM   #1
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Has Minimalism bitten anyone?

I have spent my life accumulating stuff (read trappings). Since I am 6 months away from FIRE, I have this overwhelming urge to downsize almost everything. I have sold my homes (3). I have had 5-6 estate sales to sell my personal household items (furniture, knickknacks, pots/pans, old luggage, lawn equipment, tools, etc). I moved to a 1200 sq/ft apartment. I have very little now comparatively speaking but I want to off-load more.

According to Buddhist beliefs, attachment is a major cause of suffering. In terms of our personal belongings, objects eventually break down/wear out, can also be stolen or taken from us. If we are mentally tethered to our material possessions, these outcomes and events will make us suffer greatly.

Anyone else feel the same way?
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:41 AM   #2
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YES. Stuff has been a hindrance for travelling more... but I'm almost there.
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:51 AM   #3
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I am definitely trying to move in that direction. Moving my Mom 2x in the last 5 years is what is motivating me. She has been such a hoarder!!! I don't want to have so much I don't even know what I have!
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:53 AM   #4
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I wish DW had this mindset. And, I am not giving up my tools or antique VW!

But, for a lot of stuff we have accumulated, I have no attachment to it.
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:53 AM   #5
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The biggest minimization came after my wife and I married. We both lived in 1800 sq ft homes, and we were moving to a 1400 sq ft new home.
Since her furniture and small appliances were better than mine, I got rid of the most big stuff.
I put some stuff on Craig's List free, took some to w*rk for the production people to have, and the rest went to Goodwill.
We traveled extensively, but did not buy souvenirs unless they were useful. For example, a beautiful hand painted olive oil cruet from Ravenna Italy.
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:58 AM   #6
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My only downside is I do sometimes get rid of something I now "need". It happens rarely, but it does happen. Overall though, I would much rather go overboard in this direction, than in the direction of hoarding.

I've even gotten rid of my library with only a core of books that I refer to often. Have also scanned pictures and discarded.

A few days ago, I was in San Diego visiting a friend. His garage is his storage. In over 35 years of owning his home, he's never parked his car in his garage. He said if he was able to park a car in his garage, he'd buy a nicer car.
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:04 AM   #7
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You tell yourself that there is a secondary-market for your used belongings when make these purchases. I have really nice, high-quality things (furniture, dishware, clothes, etc) and I can barely get any interest on Craigslist or eBay. My goal this year is to get rid of the rest... No more consuming for me. I want to be light in-life. One of my happier times was when I was in college and I lived out of a small storage unit and couch surfed.
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:07 AM   #8
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I'm trying to get rid of my old 180,000 plus miles car this year or next, I'm waiting to see how much my insurance goes up if I do get rid of it. So that's one step in the mimimalism for me. Every time I moved in the past, I donated tons of stuff. I don't even want to have garage sale or anything.
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:07 AM   #9
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Elbata. I know! Happens to me too.

Me - "Damn it. Where is my __________"
wife - "You sold it for $3"
Me - D'oh!
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:10 AM   #10
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Fed Up. Yea. By the time you spend 4+ hours selling your yard-sale items and having everyone nickel and dime you, you get almost nothing for it. You might as well donate it and take the tax bracket write-off.
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:17 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ_Native View Post
Anyone else feel the same way?
In our household minimalism bit but DW bit back harder, and I chose to side with DW.
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:18 AM   #12
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After retirement, I decluttered and downsized repeatedly. As a result, I found that I had some closet space! I thought I was very well minimalized and decluttered, when I unexpectedly found my dream home and decided to move. Despite how downsized I felt I was, there was a lot more to get rid of. For every box I packed, I threw out and/or donated several full trash bags of stuff. It was nice to be rid of so much stuff.

The older I get, the less attached to stuff I am.

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Old 06-15-2017, 10:21 AM   #13
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Yes, we have spent time this year de cluttering. Not even trying to sell stuff, it all goes to Goodwill if usable, or the garbage if junk. Love having empty shelves and cupboards! Finally cleared out kids bedrooms and have a formal nice guest room and study/den/grandkids playroom. Not planning on downsizing the home as it is perfect for us and is only 1700 sq ft, single level. Great to age in as long as we can.
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:23 AM   #14
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Absolutely, I've been that way most of my life. In fact, I've taken up Buddhist practice to further explore the consequences of attachment in all aspects of life.
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:26 AM   #15
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The things that weighs the wife and I down are the hobbies... We go through a lot of hobbies and those hobbies have their own accouterments. We've been into tennis, running, biking, aerobics, rollerblading, hiking, etc... You always think that you'll get back into said hobby one day.
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:35 AM   #16
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We aren't minimalists from a philosophical perspective but we try not to buy/acquire an item unless it has a very practical use that will be used regularly. We're not perfect though as we'll still get a souvenir when travelling but it's usually just a fridge magnet.

However, we haven't de-cluttered the house enough yet. We definitely need to get rid of stuff that just sits there and we haven't used or haven't interacted with in over a year.
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:35 AM   #17
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> overwhelming urge to downsize almost everything

Not here. I still like stuff.

What I have done is cutting back on buying junkier stuff (it used to be all I could afford) and am now focusing on quality items. This probably means I buy fewer things, but spend more money on each one.
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:38 AM   #18
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Yes, we have an ongoing decluttering project. I have another stack of stuff today to take to Goodwill. I also like seeing empty space in the cupboards and closets. We have been thinking about downsizing so half the stuff has to go to make that happen.

I enjoy reading books on topics like sustainable living, Feng Shui and minimalism. Less stuff has been better for our mental health plus not buying a lot of depreciating consumer goods has been good for our retirement budget as well.

This has been a good resource for me:

University of California TV Series Looks at Clutter Epidemic in Middle-Class American Homes

" Contemporary U.S. households have more possessions per home than any society in all of global history. Put simply, Americans sure do love their stuff. But at what point do all of the toys, gadgets and big box consumables that fill their homes become too much? University of California Television’s (UCTV) web series “A Cluttered Life: Middle-Class Abundance,” tackles these questions by following a team of UCLA anthropologists into the stuffed-to-capacity homes of dual income, middle-class American families in order to truly understand the clutter that fills them."
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:39 AM   #19
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Can't get there yet. All funf kinder are out of the gartens, but two are still in the haus. We're still burdened with stuff from all of them.

Not feeling the urgency yet since I've still got TMY to go.
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:41 AM   #20
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Get rid of a huge amount of stuff including a boat and a house to move into an RV and travel full time. It was very freeing.

After five years we bought another smaller house, and have more stuff, but less than before.
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