Home Forums Welcome Hello! Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

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    • #160313
      Xiro
      Member

      Or even borderline minimalist to some degree.

      With all the de-cluttering you have done over time did you at some point start to become a minimalist without even trying to do so?

      It seems I may move that way without really trying to, I notice that what I really care about and use is not all that much and I think when I am done everything will make a lot of sense, I am not trying to, I will have hat is useful (practical levels, no needing to ask for things) and of course a few things here and there that I want. I even like that large items are completely replaceable, furniture? It is all cheap stuff that I could give away which I am fine with for now, not to say I would not love some real stuff one day.

      I think by getting rid of stuff and by needing to sell things I will end up at a place that I like.

      I know uncluttering does not mean minimalist, yet it can if one chooses to. Has this happened to anyone?

    • #231754
      Parsifal
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      My friends have commented that I don’t seem attached to material possessions anymore and I often give books and things to friends after I have enjoyed them. I think long practice of giving up items has made me MUCH less desirous of acquiring ‘stuff’. Now when I handle something in a store, I’m already thinking about how I would eventually get rid of it before I even buy it. Often, that stops me from buying something I would only use for a short while.

      I’m not to the point of having a clean, minimalist dwelling yet where everything has a place, but I’m on the way.

    • #231756
      liag
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      I would like to be a minimalist, but I do not live alone. It is probably a good thing because I might have–seriously–gotten rid of nearly everything. One blogger called it “minimalish,” and I think that is a satisfactory state for most of us Unclutterers.

    • #231757
      ninakk
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      Well. Not at all, but after having watched the second of the Bourne trilogy, I sure admire the lax attitude about possessions that Jason seems to have. What he needs to survive is not much and while that is a definitive extreme, he must have led a comfortable life in Goa. Only it didn’t matter which sofa or set of bedlinens he had, as long as there were some.You know? I’m still not craving the bare minimum, but honestly could lose some of the “my stuff” attitude that I have. Midimalism still is my aim.

    • #231758
      Swede
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      I find that my goals have moved closer and closer to minimalism. When I started it was more about taming the paper monster… then it moved on to my overly stuffed closet. Somewhere along the uncluttering journey I got really fed up with dealing with stuff and I started thinking more about consumerism and how I want to live my life. Now I don’t really have a lot of “stuff”. My friends call me a minimalist but I still see heaps of things that will move soonish! And I get less and less attached. I “need” less and less. I crave more freedom, more free time and more space. Not sure I would call myself a minimalist or where the “borders” are but I would say I’m somewhere between minimalism and midimalism at the moment. And still getting rid of stuff. 🙂

    • #231761
      Xiro
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      Since I am not currently alone either there will be items that are there because it could be useful and there is no reason for it not to be, I am talking about extra tooks, point cans etc.. items that if were no longer there would matter little yet there is no reason to remove them right now as they could and have come in handy. That is another factor, some may have a garage with a few useful items yet a lot of it could be gone and it would matter little, no personal attachments.

      I got the paper under control, I do as much digital as I can.

      This was never the goal yet it can be rather appealing, I and love that the one thing I collect when I can (Art) is so small that when not framed can fit in one small area, perfect item for someone that wishes to save space.

      I will never want to be one of those extreme minimalists that really are not because they have to use or borrow everything from others, that is kind of cheating when you hardly have anything you need or want. Practicalist is much better.

    • #231763
      sleepykitten
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      I do have minimalism as a goal, I think, but as @Swede says, I don’t really know where the borders are – or what other people think in their heads when I say “minimalist”. It seems it will always be relative – compared to my family, I’m definitely a minimalist. An acquaintance visited my house once and commented it seemed fairly minimalist – totally unprompted – and that felt good. I think many of us probably *are* minimalists already, because whatever the borders are, it certainly isn’t about the actual number of things, but rather a state of mind.

      I am equally annoyed by the “brand” of minimalists who borrow things WHILE AT THE SAME TIME BRAGGING about how little they own. That being said, I would like society to move toward a place where renting rather than owning is more acceptable. In a way, renting is like “borrowing for introverts” – I don’t feel right asking people to borrow things, and I don’t know all that many people, but would love the option to have more types of things short-term. For instance, I needed a hand saw once to cut up a bunch of tree branches that had fallen in a storm. I bought a basic hand saw – I feel like it was maybe $20. Not that expensive. But I have only used it that one time. I’d rather have spent $5 to use a hand saw for the one day I *really* needed it.

      Though I still have quite a bit of stuff, I still feel conflicted by much of it, and feel like eventually I will become even more decisive and do some more purging. I crave space and “lightness” in a big way.

    • #231764
      liag
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      I loved “borrowing for introverts.” I wonder if we are for the most part introverts? Hmmm. Perhaps we need a community (commune?) of Unclutterer/Borrowers. Or sharers. Not communists in the political sense, in case any spies from my home state here are reading and looking for that final item to lock me up with.

    • #231767
      Xiro
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      Sleepykitten – I am not really sure where the borders are either, labels are likely not needed, we each do what we are comfortable with and what works for each of us. Renting can work depending on the item, based on where I live a hand saw can be very useful and I need access to it more often (large yard) however for you I am guessing that was a rare moment and you likely could go years without needing it again.

      I also think size of item can play a part, something are large as a deck of cards may not better as much yet a shovel may be annoying if only used every few years.

      As for renting, being easy to do so would help, likely using the library for entertainment works well.

      I really do not understand the type of minimalists that brag about knowing ten items yet have nothing they need. That is a false minimalist unless they were renting what they needed then it would be okay, yet no reason to brag. I remember reading about that guy who did the 100 item challenge which involved a LOT of cheating, this is one item, that does not count etc… and only for a limited time. Why make things up? Just do what feels right, saying all your clothes are one item, and dishes do not count is kind of goofy.

    • #231768
      sleepykitten
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      @liag – hahahaha! 🙂

      I do think a structure for borrowing/sharing would be great – maybe these things exist and I don’t know about them?

      Another fantasy of mine would be a “library of stuff” where unclutterers donated the MOST USEFUL of the things they no longer wanted for people to check out. So my hand saw could be housed in a building with a bunch of other people’s tools and specialty cookware and sewing machines. Anyone who donated, say, 5 things that were approved as being useful and needed (i.e., not duplicates or triplicates of something the library already had) would have borrowing privileges.

    • #231770
      liag
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      Yes! That is Utopia, Sleepykitten.

    • #231771
      sleepykitten
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      @Xiro – yes, the “100 things” guy had all sorts of weird cheats. I agree that there isn’t a point of getting to a magical number if you are lying. I’m not OPPOSED to counting, but it shouldn’t be a contest. My favorite post from someone who HAS counted all their things is this one:

      http://www.theminimalists.com/288/

    • #231773
      Xiro
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      Going to go read that.

      So if I counted like he did, lets see, movies one item, computer…….wait, all electronics one item (not too many these days) shelf, wait, all the items are on the shelf which makes it all one item…..clothes one item, you know what, everything is in this room which is one thing, yes, so I own one item. *rolls eyes*

      That is kind of how it felt, too many cheats, nothing wrong with having more. It is just what he said was not true to any degree.

      Now the 288 looks like he is counting right, everything, no real cheats.

    • #231776
      djk
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      I have no desire to be minimalist yet I think even when I had the most stuff I’d ever had, I fall to the minimalist side of the spectrum. I was very surprised when I hired movers at my most “cluttered” I’d ever been, they asked on the phone the square footage, number of bedrooms & occupants, how long I’d lived there, and when they arrived my possessions and furniture was only one third of their professional estimate. They commented on how little I had. That was my only way to guess where I “compared” in terms of acquisition of stuff.

      I’m imagining a scale with hoarding at one end and minimalism at the other, and most people in the western world falling somewhere within that continuum without being at either end.

      Since that time, I have gotten rid of a lot. But I still have a problem with calling myself a minimalist.
      When I think of minimalists,I too tend to think of people who are holier-than-thou while mooching off others. I also have an image of young-twenties males who are keen to live their newly-discovered philosophies while bringing their laundry home to mommy once a week. I find it hard to take seriously.

      I know, I know, that’s an unfair stereotype.

      I prefer other expressions, like midimalist:) or unclutterer. Or “someone who likes order and doesn’t like junk/clutter lying around”

    • #231778
      djk
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      Lol sleepykitten! I think those unclutterer libraries already exist. We call them “thrift stores” 🙂

    • #231780
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      @ djk Exactly! Or, as in my childhood we called it “Dad’s garage” or “grandma’s basement” I think my dad shared his snowblower with about 6 families of relatives.

      In coastal Texas, where I moved to escape the snow, we considered hurricanes as “urban renewal” projects. You had to look at your stuff with the question “Would I evacuate with it?” and “Would I replace it if it gets blown away?”

      Now that I live in Arizona, I have MUCH more stuff and can’t wait for retirement so I can get rid of the school-associated stuff, which fills bins, bookshelves and closets-full of bookshelves.

    • #231786
      Mimi
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      some people told me that i live a minimalist life. i kind of believed it but when dh and me rented a studio as a second home (a second home isn´t minimalist, i suppose) i wanted it to be really minimal. but i learned that i need so much to be confident. a good bed, a nonstick frying pan, so many lamps, a can opener, etc.pp…. and not only these things but things that i like. there was a sink but is was ugly, so we bought a new one. i buy more and more spices, and i want them to be in nice containers. it is annoying that my cosmetic stuff is a mess in a box under the sink and i want a shelf or better a cupboard to close a door… so i don´t believe that i am a minimalist. maybe i don´t need a lot of things, but there are some things that are important to me and the quality and design of these things is also important to me. seems to be the in contrast to minimalism.

    • #231797
      Rosa
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      oh Mimi, I wish I could minimize the spices. I’m really trying, but every time I set something aside thinking we don’t really use it much, I have to haul it back out again for some recipe (or my partner does. We cook really different things.)

    • #231802
      Swede
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      Regarding the moving houses bit – a lot of my friends said you should calculate one moving box per square meter of your place. Not sure at all if it’s accurate though. Has anyone else heard that?

      My friend lived in a 28 sq m studio and she had 32 moving boxes. I live in 39 sq m studio and if I had to move tomorrow I am completely sure all my stuff would fit in less than 15 boxes. And I want to add that I do have a fully functioning kitchen with way too many plates and wineglasses and I’ve never had to borrow anything but a drill and a wrench. I have since been given a wrench from my dad. 🙂

    • #231803
      lucy1965
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      They do exist, and in some places are known as “tool libraries”.

      I’m headed in that general direction, but I don’t think it’s where I’m going to end up? We’re all familiar with my desire to move as I imagine they do by the time of ST: TNG, with all but the most precious personal items on a stick drive ready to be reassembled at the other end. (Is this going to happen? *looks around house and laughs, with a note of despair in it*)

      But as personal food replicators don’t exist yet (grrrrr) and I can’t afford to eat out all the time, I need cooking tools. I’ve winnowed it down through the years, and I’ve reached the point where getting rid of anything else would make the task a PITA. Yes, it’s more tools than my mother and grandmothers had, but they didn’t believe in whisks. 😉

    • #231811
      bandicoot
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      i’ve got a minimalist mindset, but i still own a lot of useful/beautiful stuff.
      i am a minimalist in that i am still very much on the lookout for anything superfluous or excess to my needs.
      i am minimalist in that i am extremely selective and deliberate about what stuff comes into my home….and i have clarity about the vast majority of what stays.
      i have had areas where i have been stuck, and lacked clarity…books, travel gear, and more recently, clothes….but i work away at these things, by reading, talking, contemplating, and then taking action.

      i often meditate upon the beautifully serene existence of the buddhist monk….robes, sandals, a bowl. i have been thinking about that since i was very young.
      i don’t think i aspire to that….i have a husband and a lot of gorgeous cats….but i also don’t think it would be the worst thing ever.

    • #231891
      Mimi
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      rosa, if you need and/or use your spices, they are no clutter. maybe you are not a spice-minimalist, but who cares…
      btw, i love these posters…
      http://www.keepcalmandposters.com/posters/58123.png
      http://theduckinnpubandkitchen.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/curry-on.jpg%3Fw%3D200%26h%3D300
      😉

    • #231893
      liag
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      So true. I have about 30 spices, too, and I am definitely a purger. The spices I use, ergo not clutter.

    • #231907
      Rosa
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      they may not be clutter, but they ARE cluttered. They take up a lot of space and I am always searching through them.

      Most of the stuff we have that was cluttered up like that, I made manageable by culling into the space/containers we already had, but I’m starting to think once the kitchen remodel is done I am going to shell out for some inordinate number of same-size jars and racks (we had friends who had a metal wall in their kitchen – it was from the 1920s and was full of then-modern gizmos – that they bought magnetic-lid spice jars for. I can’t do that but I am daydreaming about some all-encompassing system. Someday.)

    • #231911
      liag
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      I have adored those magnetic spice jars in magazines, in stores, and on the internet. I have one small cabinet half devoted to spices, alphabetized, and they are easy to get at.

    • #231912
      ninakk
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      Rosa, would putting all the jars in a box with some kind of handles, and labelling (cut from a larger sheet of label paper, handwritten) the lids work for now?

    • #231914
      luxcat
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      there are lots of hacks online on how to make your own, affordable magnetic spice rack. here is an example:

      http://www.instructables.com/id/Super-Easy-and-Cheap-Magnetic-Spice-Rack/

    • #231921
      bandicoot
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      i once had a heap of IKEA magnetic lidded containers, filled with spices, all over my fridge.
      they weren’t airtight and i lost the lot to humidity.
      i had absolutely no other use for them, so i moved them on.
      then i kept my spices in a masala dabba and that ended up just not suiting me. fiddly and not airtight enough.
      now they reside in the smallest rocco fido jars on a steel tray in the pantry. i can rotate the tray like a lazy susan….so lazy it doesn’t even have a rotating layer…and they are alphabetical, so they are easy to find and pull out.
      primitive, but airtight.

    • #231922
      Rosa
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      they are in labeled jars, but not all the same size/shape (we refill at the coop, we don’t buy new jars all the time). I don’t have a one-spice-jar-deep shelf or cupoard. They are on the shelves of my kitchen island right now, one rotating spice rack and then all the other jars loose.

      Like I said a permanent solution is waiting on the kitchen having a ceiling and flooring – the island itself is currently on the “keep or go?” discussion list.

    • #231927
      chacha1
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      I am nowhere close to minimalist and don’t really intend to go there. I can see the day coming when I have some bookshelves that no longer have books on them … but I may fill that empty space with more art pottery (Roy Kunisaki is a fave … we have five of his!). 🙂

      At 47 I derive a lot of satisfaction from my composed and increasingly well-curated collector’s home.

    • #232000
      lucy1965
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      @chacha: OOOOOOOOOH. (I do not need the Boulder, I do not need the Boulder, I DO NOT NEED THE BOULDER, LUCINDA, GET A GRIP)

      I have two pieces by Kevin Winn, and one was commissioned by me. On the day I went to the studio to pick it up, an order of mugs for the university NPR station’s pledge drive had just come out of the kiln; he told me that mugs and dishes pay the bills, but sometimes he needed to make some art, and he thanked me for giving him the chance to do that. Which made us both a bit teary, as I’d never seen myself as someone who could afford art, you know?

    • #232003
      chacha1
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      LOL Lucy. Just looking at those Google images made me drool all over again. I have a friend living in San Pedro now, where Roy has a studio space, and since I have an “excuse” to go down there … the day may be coming soon when I add another piece to the collection. I adore the ones that look like cave art.

    • #232008
      lucy1965
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      There’s a local documentary filmmaker who does incredible photographs of petroglyphs in the canyons; I may get one of her prints to take with me when I go.

    • #232009
      whit
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      We have a “tool bank” in our neighborhood – I think it is very useful for those who don’t have a mini-Home Depot in the basement (like we do, we do a lot of renovating).

      I am moving away from clutter but am replacing some of it with stuff I use. Not a minimalist, and unlikely to become one anytime soon. Though it is all relative – when it comes to paper, I am an extreme minimalist compared to my mother, for instance. I hate paper clutter!

      I just got a second spice rack and am thrilled with the results – I have two Olde Thompson ferris-wheel type racks that hold 20 jars each. They fit on a shelf in the cabinet and come complete with spices but my sisters emptied them and peeled off the labels for me when they bought them as a present. Then I filled them and used my label maker so they look lovely and orderly (and alphabetized, cause I’m ridiculous)!

    • #232034
      Xiro
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      Klutzgrrl – Reminds me of a degree of what I would like in a sense, I like the idea of being able to put everything I love in my car, of course that does not mean everything useful, at least the stuff I really care about. I am sure a few useful items would fit as well, many items are replaceable.

      Not sure why I feel like this, for some reason I just like the idea of being able to be mobile without a ton of stuff to worry about.

    • #232038
      Rosa
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      Klutzgrrl, I have a cargo bike and you could TOTALLY haul a cello on it. I just haul kid & grocery type stuff but I have a friend who hauls a bass & amps.

      DO IT DO IT.

    • #232111
      chacha1
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      Laetitia, I have three bookcases in my bedroom alone. 🙂

    • #232119
      Rosa
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      oh Laetitia, I should take horrible shaming photos of my house tonight, you would never feel bad about yours again.

      My husband just came in and said “So for Valentine’s day we’re having a sexy evening of putting away all the Christmas decorations, right?”

    • #232130
      Katt
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      Laetitia, I have bookcases in every room of my apartment except the bathroom. I still have two storage tubs piled on top of a dresser, and a bunch of clothes piled on top of another bookcase. The second bedroom has seven bookcases in it. They’re still around 90% full. The floor is piled with 10 more boxes of books.
      But there is hope. I just need to keep going, like we all do. However we choose to declutter, we’ll just keep at it and things will get better.
      I’m not a minimalist, but I have discovered I certainly need a lot less than I thought.
      And I should take a photo of my patio, it looks absolutely trashed. I think I last cleaned it up six years ago. Gulp. Yeah…

    • #232146
      Mimi
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      swede, i like your friend´s calculation. during the process of uncluttering, i often estimated the number of boxes that we need for the next move (i think i am a bit traumatized by 13 moves during my time at university). now we need about 30 boxes for the two of us. about 18 of them for the kitchen gadgets, LOL.

    • #232157
      sleepykitten
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      @Rosa – hahahaha. I love your Valentine’s day plans!

      We have 7 bookcases – some smaller, some larger. I have 1, DH has 6. That is a significant reduction for us (at least 20 boxes of books have been sold or donated). And although this statement might make some scoff, I think we are getting close to our “minimalist amount” given our careers & interests. If you agree that minimalism isn’t about getting to a “magic number”, but rather about having only things that you love and use frequently, then you can be a minimalist and still have books.

    • #232189
      lucy1965
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      If you agree that minimalism isn’t about getting to a “magic number”, but rather about having only things that you love and use frequently, then you can be a minimalist and still have books.

      I just wanted to point and nod at this.

    • #232200
      Meglet
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      I’m too much of a collector to ever become a minimalist. But I have gotten much better a “curating” my collections so they only contain items that are important to me.

      I would consider what I’m doing (and the state I’ll get to) to be “simplifying” rather than minimalist. Getting back more towards the essentials of what I really need, and a smaller amount of the things I don’t “need” but enjoy having around me.

    • #232313
      djk
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      Swede, I have been thinking about this idea about one moving box per square metre. Depends what size of box, though, as moving boxes come in different sizes.

      I walked around our place (45 sq m) mentally chucking stuff into moving boxes and I think with fridge & pantry items, dishes/kitchen equipment, books, clothes, coats, paperwork, hobby supplies, seasonal items, we would probably have at least 40-45 medium boxes (or) 30 of the big ones.

      Not that we are planning to move any time soon, but it will be interesting when we do, to see if this is an accurate guess!

    • #232319
      Swede
      Member

      Has Anyone Become Minimalist Without Intending To?

      @djk – I think it was calculated on medium to large moving boxes. So you’re under the estimate! Woho! 🙂 I’ve been trying to play that game myself but it’s really hard to envision stuff boxed up and how much would fit in a box. By experience I know that things expand and take up more space while packing. 😉

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