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Thread: A Day in the Life of a Minimalist

  1. #31
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by herbgeek View Post
    Does an empty apartment love you back?
    If one's external life (long work commute, HSSJ/chaotic environment, "complicated" relationships, etc.) is not minimal, then a place that meets one's preference for simplicity or minimalism can be a reflection of loving oneself. Personally, I think maintaining an inventory to a certain number is a level of minimalism I don't care to achieve, but if it works for someone else, it does not hurt me. On the other hand, I think we all need to find those places that rejuvenate us, and the multilayered Ralph Lauren or Early Twentieth Century Castoff look doesn't do it for me. I'll take uncluttered and monochromatic every time.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultralight View Post
    It isn't? I think that if a person likes to count their things and focus on perfect order in their surroundings and that makes them happier, then more power to them. Good on them.

    Minimalism, outside of the fundamentals, is what you make of it.

    I have minimalist friends here who live in ways I would not want to live, but they are minimalists.

    Why so concerned over this, Tammy? Why the strong feelings? I am asking sincerely. I am not baiting you.

    I donít have strong feelings on this. I simply have an opinion.

  3. #33
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    I'll take uncluttered and monochromatic every time.
    Oh me too! My sister used to tease me that my house was "boring" because of all the neutrals and lack of knick knacks. But for me, uncluttered is more than a mattress on the floor and a hard chair. To each his own.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveinMN View Post
    If one's external life (long work commute, HSSJ/chaotic environment, "complicated" relationships, etc.) is not minimal, then a place that meets one's preference for simplicity or minimalism can be a reflection of loving oneself. Personally, I think maintaining an inventory to a certain number is a level of minimalism I don't care to achieve, but if it works for someone else, it does not hurt me. On the other hand, I think we all need to find those places that rejuvenate us, and the multilayered Ralph Lauren or Early Twentieth Century Castoff look doesn't do it for me. I'll take uncluttered and monochromatic every time.
    Sometimes I miss the simplicity of wearing a uniform to work every day. Except for the shiny shoes part.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by herbgeek View Post
    From my perspective, the energy involved of keeping constant inventory, and feeling bad about it if my possessions exceed some artificially determined number (or conversely, having some sense of pride because I'm below some artificially determined number) isn't how I want to spend my limited mental energy.
    So putting a little note on my calendar that says "-grey polo shirt" because I wore it out and it has crusty armpits is constant inventorying? Or is it at the end of the month when I subtract it from my spreadsheet that makes it constant? Just curious...

    I noticed during my decluttering process that my mind felt clearer as I decluttered. And when I got to about 350 I could easily recall virtually everything I owned. And I notice that if I am between 150 (my lowest) and 250 (my highest since becoming an "extreme" minimalist) then I am in my sweet spot for daily life.

    If by "artificially determined" you mean decided on by an individual based on their wants, desires, budget, personal space, or what-have-you, then sure. It is certainly artificially determined, just like the 100 yards in a 100 yard dash or the pound of beans in a one pound bag of pintos.

    People feel pride about lots of things. Some people feel pride when they get pregnant (even if all they had to do was lay on their back for 2 minutes). Some people feel pride when they reach a weight loss or fitness goal (even if it is just walking a 5k). Some people feel pride after reading a huge tome (even though they found it entirely entertaining to do so). I could go on and on. But almost everything people are proud of could be said to be "artificially determined."

    You having no numerical limit on stuff could be said to be artificially undetermined.

    Quote Originally Posted by herbgeek View Post
    If I need to add a few extra cups because I want to have friends over, then why beat myself up for adding to my inventory? I prioritize relationships more highly than things.
    I don't think I know any minimalist who would have any kind of break down emotionally or otherwise because they got some cups to entertain friends. Do you know any who would?

    I prioritize relationships more highly than things. That is why I don't own many things or spend time on things I don't care about.

    Quote Originally Posted by herbgeek View Post
    Does an empty apartment love you back?
    Why would someone who claims to prioritize relationships more than things want their apartment and its contents to love them back? I don't expect places or things to love me (and this is probably one of the reasons I am a minimalist). I hope that certain people love me and I love certain people (and treat them accordingly).

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tammy View Post
    I don’t have strong feelings on this. I simply have an opinion.
    Okay, cool!

    So what makes you hold this opinion? What are the reasons behind it?

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveinMN View Post
    Personally, I think maintaining an inventory to a certain number is a level of minimalism I don't care to achieve...
    This "freehand" style of minimalism is totally acceptable.
    I know people who do it this way, by "how the place feels."

  8. #38
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    Why would someone who claims to prioritize relationships more than things want their apartment and its contents to love them back?
    I worded my original comment awkwardly, and what I said was not an accurate representation of what was in my head.

    My point was -- and I'm just throwing out an example here, this is not a dig or judgement-- if I had a goal for 12 items in my kitchen cupboards but none of those 12 items was a second cup for a guest, should I be happy in achieving that 12 item number, if it precludes a higher priority which is having company. Or if I did go get an extra cup so I could invite someone to tea, should I beat myself up because I no longer have my goal number of items.

    This does not apply to you, as you mention that you have played around with numbers to find your personal sweet spot. I was speaking more theoretical, about the principle I've seen on some minimalist discussions that one is a "good" minimalist if they have less than x things. The implication being that you are a bad minimalist if you have more (and should feel some guilt or shame for not having achieved this artifical goal).

  9. #39
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    I find the idea of keeping track of one’s stuff a little obsessive and crazy but it’s harmless.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultralight View Post
    Okay, cool!

    So what makes you hold this opinion? What are the reasons behind it?
    I see traits of OCD in people who are extreme minimalists. Especially who make YouTube videos about it.

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