I don’t think of myself as a materialistic person. I carry the same purse everyday. It’s basic black and goes with everything. I don’t have a problem with buying shoes from Payless (they fit my wide feet comfortably and I practically live in my Sanuk flip flops anyway, so whats the point in spending tons of money on shoes I rarely wear?). Minimalism seems like a no-brainer for me.
My husband, on the other hand, loves his stuff. He insists that we keep the Keurig AND our old drip coffee pot for when company comes over. This would make sense if we had lots of people over on a regular basis, but we rarely have company over (less that 5 times a year), and usually only one or two people want coffee when asked. He is guilty of buying multiple tubes of the same chapstick because he misplaces them in jacket pockets, drawers, or the car. Needless to say, he is not a minimalist.
Much to my surprise, a few weeks ago he said he heard about a minimalism documentary on a podcast he was listening to and thought we could watch it together. Of course I had already seen the documentary he was referring to (twice!), but I jumped at the chance to watch it again with him 🙂 The documentary made many valid points, but I think the one that stuck out for him most was that we are trained to always want more. We live in a consumer culture and we are groomed to want the latest and greatest items at any given moment. This doesn’t stop at traditional advertisements. Social media is also to blame. We see celebrities posting their latest purchases on Instagram, influencing us to buy the newest tech items, skincare products, or fancy clothes.
How can we possibly be happy living with less?
It is possible to live a simple, happy life. For starters, you need to define happiness and what it means to you. What makes you truly happy? For me, it is spending time with my husband, traveling, hiking, and cuddling with my cats. ❤
How do I get started?
Start small if the idea of decluttering overwhelms you. I feel invigorated when I get rid of clutter. I can go through our entire bonus room in one sitting, creating piles of stuff to be sorted or discarded. My husband is the opposite. He would prefer to do one thing at a time, and that’s ok.
What do I do with all of the excess?
I would recommend selling valuable items you no longer need on Craigslist or eBay. You can also have a yard sale, but I have not had much luck with them myself. I usually give myself a month or so to keep the “for sale” items around, and if they don’t sell in 30 days, I donate them to charity. Another awesome tip for things like books and movies is the Amazon trade-in program. Not all items are eligible, but if you have an item that is a trade-in item, you can send it to Amazon and they will send you back a gift card. Did I mention Amazon pays the shipping too?!
Since watching the documentary, my husband has willingly donated or sold a large chunk of items he no longer needs 🙂 He is more comfortable with the idea of owning less, and just keeping what he truly loves. (Glad he is keeping me! Haha) Owning less means less upkeep, less money spent on things, and more time to do what we love. And that makes me happy 🙂
Until next time….