Stop buying unnecessary things.
Toss half your stuff, learn contentedness.
Reduce half again.
List 4 essential things in your life,
stop doing non-essential things.
Do these essentials first each day, clear distractions
focus on each moment.
Let go of attachment to doing, having more.
Fall in love with less.
I became interested in the minimalist living movement after watching our kids’ behaviors. They have a ton of toys; most of which they never play with. That, coupled with the copious amount of clutter we’ve accumulated over the years, drove me to question our lifestyle.
Like most Americans, we work to make money to to buy stuff. We’re good consumers. We’ve been conditioned to associate positive feeling with purchasing new stuff. Even though we’re acutely aware of the concept, we still get excited at the prospect of buying a new “toy.”
There’s more back-story, but we’ve essentially decided to simplify. The quest to be more minimal is one reason; the looming task of packing to move in the future is another. Regardless, I am going to begin a quest to minimize our lives. I am going to follow the plan outlined above.
Step one (in progress): stop buying unnecessary things. We’ve actually been pretty good with this one. We’ve been working on paying off our accumulated debt (Dave Ramsey plan… good stuff.) Part of that has been a conscious attempt at limiting spending, especially on unnecessary crap.
Step two (in progress): Toss half of my stuff. Over the last few weeks, we’ve begun throwing out or donating some of our unused possessions. We started with clothing and kids’ toys. Next will be our own possessions. I have a lot of garbage.
Step three (in progress): List four essential things in your life. This may take some time, but the plan is to list these four things and systematically eliminate everything else. Among the things that will go: cable.
The remainder will be an extension of the first three steps. I’ll document each part of this journey here.
To my readers- how many of you have made a conscious effort to simplify your lives? What steps have you taken? How would you describe the journey?