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Thread: A new minimalist in progress here!

  1. #1
    Junior Member minimalisticaspirations's Avatar
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    A new minimalist in progress here!

    Hi! Im Maria. Two-story home owner, wife, full-time employee. Living in a place with 4 seasons. I am trying to simplify my life, downsize my stuff and wanting to live as a minimalist. The goal is to have a more meaningful life, to be more aware. This is a journey that will take many more years - might I ever be content?

    I would love to connect with people here that are on their own journeys towards a more conscious, simpler, minimal life. Where was/is your starting point? How do you go about downsizing?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Hey!!! Very cool. Glad you are here and welcome!

  3. #3
    Williamsmith
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    Welcome! I guess I'm post minimalist meaning I had several years of downsizing and re examining the values in my life and now am satisfied at my current level of possessions and connectedness to the world around me. But there was a beginning to the journey, a definite work in progress and now a lull in the action. However, I am still relearning what is important to me.

    I lived in a four bedroom brick ranch with a few acres and lots of possessions for maintaining a house with a wife and three kids. I retired early in lifes at the age of 51 after 25 years in a stressful job. For 11 months, I recovered and slowly rehabilitated myself from too many unhealthy addictions. And then I began cleaning out every nook and cranny of my property one nook and cranny at a time.

    I sold, gave away, threw away and bartered everything I owned. All in preparation for a move to a smaller two bedroom condominium which I had not yet found. I was open to a smaller house with short driveway and postage stamp grass to maintain but that turned out to be impossible to find. I was even open to apartment living but that was unacceptable to my wife.

    One winter day an Amish logger knocked on my door and informed me that my neighbor had just contracted with him to clear cut several hundred acres of trees directly behind my property and that he was setting up a sawmill and landing zone basically in my back yard. He would be there for a year, shredding the natural area I had valued for 25 years. I took it as a sign that now was the time to get serious about moving. I hired a realtor to sell my house and six days later I had a contract signed.

    The same realtor had a friend who owned a condo in a very desirable location very close by. It turned out to be the perfect spot. I probably shed 75% of all my possessions to get into that condo but I have been here a year and am very comfortable and at peace. Along the way I read many minimalist books and notwithstanding the religious aspect of it, Just the freedom of less possessions makes it a worthwhile journey.

    Goodluck wih yours.

  4. #4
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Welcome, Maria! You should find a like-minded community here!

    I, too, live in a two-level home in a climate very much like Finland's; I'm a husband, but I am essentially retired after 30 years as an IT geek.

    I have been simplifying life slowly over the past several years. Sometimes there are plateaus; sometimes there are steps back (we're getting used to the chaos of our first grandchild); sometimes you look back and realize how far you've come (and you wonder what you feared about letting go).

    I'm looking forward to seeing more posts from you!
    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

  5. #5
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by minimalisticaspirations View Post
    The goal is to have a more meaningful life, to be more aware.
    Minimalism/voluntary simplicity can definitely facilitate a more meaningful life.

    And dollars to donuts, I bet you are already more aware and your awareness will grow with each wave of simplification.

    Quote Originally Posted by minimalisticaspirations View Post
    This is a journey that will take many more years - might I ever be content?
    It could take years, but maybe not nearly as many as you think. I started minimizing in earnest in 2014 (as a new year's resolution). By 2015 I was quite minimized! I have kept at it, here and there mostly as maintenance since then. My best advice is the think of simplification not just as a journey, but as a destination. Imagine what your "click-point" will be. Imagine how it will feel. Imagine what it will allow you to do and enjoy. And keep that destination in mind!

    Quote Originally Posted by minimalisticaspirations View Post
    I would love to connect with people here that are on their own journeys towards a more conscious, simpler, minimal life.
    You will connect with various minimalists, simple livers, frugal types, DIYers, and a whole cast of interesting characters on here.

    It has been fun and challenging. That makes it great!

    Quote Originally Posted by minimalisticaspirations View Post
    Where was/is your starting point?
    My starting point was probably back in 2009. I had a false start into minimizing after having somehow accumulated enough stuff to fill a 1200 square foot townhouse (with a balcony, outdoor storage closet, and a little porch). haha

    After losing discipline I tried another attempt in 2011. It did not stick this time either. I was married and my wife at the time was not so into minimalism. She was not a hoarder or cluttered but she was more materialistic than me and she was an art collector (quite selective about it, but a collector none the less).

    When I got divorced in 2013 I started thinking about going minimalist. But I did not really go for it until Jan. 1st 2014.

    Quote Originally Posted by minimalisticaspirations View Post
    How do you go about downsizing?
    At the time I just went for it! I did one wave of purging and at the end of that wave I counted all my stuff. I had about 550 things.

    Since then I have gotten as low as 150. I am currently at 175 things.

  6. #6
    TxZen
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    Hello and welcome!!

    I have been conscious of what I own since I was teenager. Over 20 years now. They things and amount changes, as my life changes, but I keep a watchful eye.

    As far as just getting started, I wrote down my priorities in life and then coordinated the things in my life that supported those priorities. I spent a lot of time getting to know my true self before I purged 1 item.

    As far as physically starting, I started with 1 room and did a top to bottom deep cleaning and purging. It was my Master bedroom/bath and it was nice to come home to something clean and organized.

  7. #7
    Senior Member sylvia's Avatar
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    HI Maria! You are in the right place!
    Yes we all enjoy each other's input of collective journeys into simplicity. It takes on a different meaning although we all have same goals, you will see on your journey what works for you. The ultimate goal, more time for you and what makes your heart sing. Its almost like a maze you get deadends , turn arounds and the straight and narrow path. You may even surprise yourself but learning something you never knew you could do. But the great thing is the journey of a thousand miles start with a first step. I grew up with packrat parents, immigrants from postwar Europe. My dad major packrat saved everything. My mom major shopacholic wore it once the threw it in the basement. Me caught inbetween. Then we lived ina two bedroom apt with 2 kids, couldnt figure out why there was no room. Eventually in my thirties debt, clutter, countless unfinished projects later, it was tie to save myself. So here I am and debt comes and goes , clutter pops rarely now, but Im more steady in my shoes, and no more new projects. Now at 40 my journey is clarifying to exercising like yoga and stretching and going vegetarian. A healthier lifestyle for my health issues.So its on going but I thank God for that opportunity. Good luck and please share !

  8. #8
    Junior Member minimalisticaspirations's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sylvia View Post
    I grew up with packrat parents, immigrants from postwar Europe. My dad major packrat saved everything. My mom major shopacholic wore it once the threw it in the basement. Me caught inbetween.
    Hi Sylvia. I have a similar story. My grandparents and my mom had a post-war mindset and saved everything and of course I inherited this way of thinking. Its still hard to break some habits connected to this, but I have come a long way already...oh...the gift that keeps on giving.....isnt it bittersweet.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    About 10 years ago I decided we had way too much stuff and started the process. Each time we moved we went to a smaller home and i got rid of more stuff. Our last move was to a 1400 sq ft home that is perfect. DH unfortunately has trouble getting rid of stuff so I limit his junk to his shed, garage and his office. He has gotten a little better thru the years but will never be like me. Initially I did huge purges with donation trucks coming over to get the stuff etc. Now when I do one I never get more then a few bags so I guess I have just the right amount. Of course if my dH would let me at his stuff I would have a lot more)

  10. #10
    Senior Member sylvia's Avatar
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    I guess it could be a trap of reversed psychology as a child things were scarcer and harder to come by ,peoples things just lasted longer and you just saved things. Now we are just overflowing with cheap goods, new store, second hand stores and garage sales, malls , home delivery etc. So now I believe we are decorating simply because of all the mental clutter we aquire through internet , information. We are just overstimulated thats why national parks now have record numbers of visitors. People want to get away! I am just wired to be minimalist and not multitask my life. I have too much in my head and I need peace and quiet from all the noise around me.

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