What furniture would you have in a very minimalist home? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 29 Old 02-24-2013, 02:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We are starting back at scratch in regards to furniture and I love the feeling that we can only bring in the essentials this time and nothing else! I love having lots of space and very little furniture. I was just curious what furniture and appliances others think is essential.

 

If you are a very minimalist person what do you have now?

If you're just and aspiring minimalist, what would be in your ideal dream home if it was completely minimalist?

 

So far we have:

 

-Queen bed

-Single bed each for the kids

-Day bed (for a couch)

-Giant floor cushions as I am down a lot playing with kids

-Fridge

-Washing Machine

-Dryer (not essential but will be cloth diapering triplets soon and already do family cloth etc so do a LOT of washing winky.gif So got this for convenience when the babies come as things will be chaos and not time to hang dry every little cloth wipe!)

 

Apart from those the only thing I am thinking about getting is 

- wire mesh drawers to put the baby things, diapers and clothes in

- desk for laptop as I have nowhere to set it down- really not sure I need a whole desk though as I don't have anything else to store in it, but nicer than sitting computer on my lap

- bedside table for me as I take water to bed. Doubles as storage for all my jewelry, things, and books- I don't have much. 

 

Though for now I am seeing what we can make do without and what else we could use that we already have for these things.  

 

Would love to hear other ideas of furniture for the perfect uncluttered home treehugger.gif....

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#2 of 29 Old 02-24-2013, 06:19 PM
 
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No time to really post now... But looking at creating good storage space in closets would be a big help.
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#3 of 29 Old 02-25-2013, 04:41 PM
 
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For me a good, sturdy dining table is essential... and some plants - unless your kids are diggers like mine...

 

Do you have any outdoor space?  Even something like a bistro table would work for me by a front door.  I like to sit and drink my morning coffee/tea outside when the weather is cooperative.

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#4 of 29 Old 02-25-2013, 06:06 PM
 
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Oh- fun thread! (I think I killed a furniture thread once w my minimalist ideas, oops)

 

We are working on moving to a tiny cabin (dh, me, ds14yo, dd12yo, & one on the way).

 

We plan to keep/ build:

 

1 long built-in u-shape sofa bench w same-height coffee table (converts to queen bed in one corner when coffee table is slid in & cushions are rearranged; nearby edge of bench functions as night stand, changing table, etc)

 

1 heirloom rocking chair 

 

2 small antique wooden chairs

 

1 old steamer trunk to be sewing/ craft storage & sewing table

 

1 twin platform bed & 1 free standing shelf unit/ child (children's rooms will be in loft space)

 

1 large folding utility table- it will be "counter space" and kitchen work space 'til the counters are built, then it goes to an outbuilding or to the farmer's market booth

 

stove

 

icebox

 

a LOT of built in shelving (some replacing kitchen cabinets, linen closets, pantry, clothes closets, etc)

 

built in desk & shelves in dh's "office alcove"

 

laundry equipment (low tech-- no "machines"), bath tub, composting toilet

 

...not sure re dining/ kitchen table-- *very* little room; we'll have counter space & shelves, but it really bothers dd that we "never" meaning very rarely, eat at the table, even now & previously w nice table area & more floor space. I'd like to respect her sensitivity to what she sees as bad manners, but there are only so many square feet in the new cabin! I like the idea of a small patio table outside-- that'll appeal to her.

 

if I had **3** on the way, there would be washing/ drying machines! HAHA & congrats

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#5 of 29 Old 02-26-2013, 12:43 AM
 
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It will vary a little, depending on the floorplan of a home. In an open floorplan with the living room/dining room/kitchen spaces flowing together, some furniture can multi-task and you can avoid duplication. Our dining room opens onto the living room. We use upholstered chairs at the dining table and they are useful for extra seating in the living room, if needed. In the living room, we have a sofa and upholstered ottoman. We have a cabinet for storage (china and table linens) and a side table. That's it - 4 pieces of furniture in the room. If we were true minimalists, we'd probably get rid of the side table since it holds a few pieces of art and is only decorative. I'd like to get a couple of armchairs but the dining room chairs work fine.

 

We don't need a kitchen table and a dining table. If you have separate kitchen and dining rooms, you'll probably need 2 tables. 

 

I find proper storage units and shelving are useful. We have several bookshelves for books, games, toys, craft materials. Minimalists probably don't have much of that stuff, but I find children aren't minimalist by nature and it all collects. Underbed boxes are useful in children's rooms for extra storage. 

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#6 of 29 Old 03-02-2013, 10:20 AM
 
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I've had several family members live in homes without a kitchen table. They had a nice counter with seating.

mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
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#7 of 29 Old 03-03-2013, 02:10 PM
 
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Kitchen table:

 

One the one hand, we've been eating at a kitchen counter with bar stools for 7 years.  It was just fine, very convenient.  We also had a dining room table (kitchen table in the dining room), but mostly it served as a giant catch-all, which was just a source of stress.  Not minimalist. 

 

On the other hand, a few weeks ago we moved to a smaller home, with no seating at the kitchen counter.  The kitchen table is set up in the kitchen again.  I can't tell you how happy I am that the 4 of us are sitting at a table again, facing each other, passing the peas to each other.  I got the place mats and cloth napkins out of storage.  The coffee pot, and the butter dish we haven't used in 7 years, sit on the table during breakfast, and we have room to spread out and read the news paper.  Somewhere in the maze of boxes in the garage there are some candles.  Eventually I'll dig those out and put a candle on the table.  I don't know if that's simplifying, but it's very satisfying for sure!  I've missed our family kitchen table routine/ritual.  

 

The move forced us to organize, toss, shred, recycle and pack up the stacks and stacks (and stacks) of paper work on the table.  We've minimized the papers down to 3 plastic file boxes, all which can probably go into the file cabinet that sits under the desk. 

 

We haven't had a coffee table or sofa side tables in about 10 years.  I do miss them when I want to set down a cup of coffee, lol!  But otherwise I don't miss them.  When we had a coffee table it was too easy to cover it with stuff that simply got ignored (like bills).


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#8 of 29 Old 03-03-2013, 02:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mum4vr View Post

...not sure re dining/ kitchen table-- *very* little room; we'll have counter space & shelves, but it really bothers dd that we "never" meaning very rarely, eat at the table, even now & previously w nice table area & more floor space. I'd like to respect her sensitivity to what she sees as bad manners, but there are only so many square feet in the new cabin! I like the idea of a small patio table outside-- that'll appeal to her.

 

That's really interesting about your dd!  Is this the 14 year old?  She sounds like a girl after my own heart. orngbiggrin.gif  However, this is your home and you've got to make it work best for you. 

 

Definitely set up that patio table.  When the weather's good she can set the table and you can gather together for family dinner.


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#9 of 29 Old 03-03-2013, 03:52 PM
 
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I use a wooden TV tray for my laptop "desk". When I'm not using the laptop I hide it behind a couch cushion so DS1 won't mess with it. wink1.gif When I'm not using the tray it folds for easy storage in a closet. Very simple!

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#10 of 29 Old 03-03-2013, 04:15 PM
 
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Ty, actually, she is 12yo. We've already discussed the patio/ bistro table & she's charming her brother into setting pavers for it between the cabin & the "eventual" cob house site. (Poor ds! He's never set pavers before & has no idea how much work he's agreeing to! But I think the agreement is... he'll make the paver patio area & she'll make him from-scratch biscuits for breakfast every saturday while in progress, so I guess it works out, hahaha! Plus, imo, at 14, boys seem to have something to "prove" & completing a physical challenge gives them so much confidence, but I digress.)

 

I do feel her pain... I like the informal grab a seat w your plate anywhere feel, but I also miss the sitting 'round the table as well. It's fun to keep it simple, but idk about not even having the *option* of sitting around a holiday meal table, possibly for years (bc now w baby on the way, the cob house plans are certainly delayed!). I guess, that makes me an aspiring, wavering minimalist C:

 

Now DH -is- a minimalist! Wow, he can be perfectly happy with exactly nothing if he could occasionally eat or something, hehe.

 

(I wonder if there could be a spin off thread re: whether minimalists, as a generalization, like to live in their heads... as in, in my head as opposed to undue focus on physical surroundings. I know my DH does, and I do more than most, but maybe not as much as him. The hardest part of our minimizing move, we've realized will be limited electricity via a wind turbine & battery bank... like he can't even plug his laptop in if it's dying in the middle of something --the horror! for me, too!-- or he'll compromise the power available to work on "work" stuff tomorrow... Since you mentioned actually adding a piece of furniture for a laptop, OP, I wonder if this applies to you at all, like it does to us-- that the hard things to do without involve intellectual "things" more than physical? Although they do have physical manifestations) OK-- ramble over C:

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#11 of 29 Old 03-03-2013, 07:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mum4vr View Post

It's fun to keep it simple, but idk about not even having the *option* of sitting around a holiday meal table, possibly for years (bc now w baby on the way, the cob house plans are certainly delayed!). I guess, that makes me an aspiring, wavering minimalist C:

How about indoor picnics, rolling out a tablecloth (more for ceremony than for need) and sitting on floor pillows every night for dinner, and then tucking them all away when you're done? 

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#12 of 29 Old 03-04-2013, 01:31 AM
 
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I don't think we're necessarily minimalists with our furniture, BUT we have a very, very little house so we don't have a lot of room for furniture :P

Sectional couch
small coffee table/storage area for blankets/pillows
dining room table w/ 6 chairs
king size bed w/ frame
bassinet
bunk beds


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#13 of 29 Old 03-04-2013, 07:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chel View Post

I've had several family members live in homes without a kitchen table. They had a nice counter with seating.

 

A large work island with seating would be my ideal, I think.

 

We lived in one house with an open floor plan "Great Room". The kitchen opened onto the family room and dining area. A work island acted to define the kitchen space. The dining area was adjacent and the rest of the space was a beautiful open area. We had our dining table and chairs, a large comfortable sofa, the t.v. and stand, and not much else in that space. I can't recall if we had a coffee table, but I don't think so. We had some large potted plants but I am a killer of all indoor green things so they didn't last too long. 

 

I suppose we could have lived without the dining table but I like sitting around a table for family meals. It also worked for all sorts of purposes such as homework, crafting, work etc. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymom View Post

We haven't had a coffee table or sofa side tables in about 10 years.  I do miss them when I want to set down a cup of coffee, lol!  But otherwise I don't miss them.  When we had a coffee table it was too easy to cover it with stuff that simply got ignored (like bills).

 

I find that the best way to avoid surface clutter is to deal with the stuff as soon as possible and as regularly as possible. It helps if everything has a proper place eg. files for unpaid and paid bills and other correspondence, the kids' school work, etc. 

 

 

I can and do live without a coffee table. I couldn't do without a filing cabinet or some other file management system. 

 

Many mornings, as I wait for my coffee to be ready, I'll do a quick sweep of the kitchen, dining area and living room to deal with that kind of surface clutter that has built up over the past day or two. Newspapers get tossed, papers get filed, the kids' junk gets piled up and I'll dump it in their bedrooms. I figure the problem isn't so much the fact that we have kitchen counters or tables that get covered in junk, it's that people aren't dealing with the junk itself. 

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#14 of 29 Old 03-04-2013, 11:41 AM
 
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Some ideas we've used & loved re no kitchen/ dining table:

 

as a PP mentioned, "picnic" on a floor cloth,

 

gather 'round a large-enough (storage) coffee table on floor cushions/ couch/ futon cushions moved to floor,

 

*adding a table cloth always enhances the dinner-time feel

 

*these options seem natural & intuitive to us bc we have Arabic family members, and eating at or near floor level is standard at their homes

 

*the thing that bothers me most about each person holding his plate in his lap & sitting wherever around the living room is the disconnect-- we seem to be each doing our own things & in our own worlds more & connecting less, as if we're eating in front of a blaring tv, but w/o the tv, LOL. That and the inevitable spills on upholstery...

 

I absolutely agree that minimalist *habits* are at least as important as minimalist furniture/ arrangements! I love love love FLYlady for helping to train those of us who never learned "the routines" growing up!

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#15 of 29 Old 03-09-2013, 08:48 AM
 
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I'd say our home is minimal and low key in terms of furniture and appliances.

 

We have a king sized bed for two parents and an infant, one twin extra long for 3 young kids (although we're going to have 2 twin extra longs soon cause it's getting squishy in there), one sectional sofa in the lounge room, one washer and dryer, one oven, one fridge, one cheap ass TV that does the job and one coffee table that also doubles up as a kid's table.

 

We don't have a dining table - We pull some chairs up to the island and eat there. Or sometimes we're just lazy and eat on the sofa 2whistle.gif while watching tv.. duck.gif
 

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#16 of 29 Old 03-09-2013, 01:45 PM
 
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Here is what I have. I live in a 1 bedroom with my DS(7)

1. Bedroom- double size platform bed with just the top mattress. http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S69874773/

 

3 drawer dresser. I have the bottom drawer, son has top 2.

Beanbag for DS so he can sit and read his books quietly.

1 lamp

Closet- set of 9 cubicle shelves. 3 baskets for 3 of the shelves. Some plastic containers for son's Legos.  I add an extra rod in the closet, so it doubled the space. I did this in the front hall closet too.

 

2. Living room- loveseat with sleeper. 2 armless high back chairs, square table- We utilize this as dining room and work area.

I have a large tufted bench with storage in it for blanket, pillows, etc.

Side table with large lamp

 

My son sleep either with me or on the sleeper sofa. He loves it!!!

 

3. Chaise lounge where a normal dining room table/chairs would be. 2 bar stools. We utilize the breakfast bar for the laptop and my son to do his homework.Large glass candle holder, white candle and some pretty glass rocks on the bar.

 

4. Washer/dryer and 1 large drying rack.

 

 

That is all I own or want for now. Perhaps, when I find a small-ish house, I will add a few more things. I love IKEA. : )

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#17 of 29 Old 03-10-2013, 01:23 AM
 
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Not super minimalist, but here are our furniture & major appliances. We live in a 3-bedroom flat 2/ two teenagers.

 

Kitchen

 - washing machine

- a stove-top with 3 gas burners & an electric oven

- refrigerator

- a folding step-stool (to reach high shelves)

It's not what I grew up calling an "eat-in kitchen" - no table or room for a table.

 

Store-room

 - an old wardrobe that we use as the pantry

- some free-standing wire shelves to hold food and other supplies

- some shelves on the wall

 

Living Room/Dining room

 - dining table + 6 chairs

 - couch

- coffee table

-side board

2 shoe cabinets

2 book cases

2 area rugs

2 stools

a CD shelf

some built in shelves w/ lots of books and DVDs

 

Daughter's bedroom

- a single bed

- a desk

 - a chair

- a filing cabinet

- a wardobe

- some shelves on the wall

 

 

Son's bedroom

 - a single bed

- a wardobe

- a desk

 - a chair

- 2 book cases

 

Our bedroom

- a double bed

 - a wardrobe

- a bedside table

- a small table

- a chair

- some shelves on the wall

- a small rug

 

Hallway

 - a small rug
 

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#18 of 29 Old 03-18-2013, 04:51 PM
 
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What are the reasons and convictions behind being minimalist? 

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#19 of 29 Old 03-18-2013, 08:23 PM
 
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Mommy, thank you for asking. :)

 

I have several.

 

1. I hate to clean and organize. I rather spend my time with my son and our animals and working on my health. Just lot less to worry about. We can pack up on a Thursday night, go to work/school next day and be on the road by 5 Friday, off to any adventure. It doesn't take long to pack and we don't worry about coming home to a dirty, unorganized space. I love it!!1

2. Trying to live lighter. I think we, as in the world, are using our resources at an alarming rate. I want to teach my son to care for the Earth.

3. I am OCD and have PTSD. Simple and minimal helps me stay focused and centered, calm.

4. More money in the bank to do experience more. I won't die rich but I will die having fun. No regrets!!!

5. I really never aspired to have a home that was decorated and spend my time picking out just the right paint color (((YAWNNNN))) for me nor did I ever care about obtaining xyz clothing, shoes, gadgets, gizmos and gear. :)

 

I think life is an adventure and I have to feed my gypsy soul. I want to get to know people for who they really are and not for the materials things they own. We only get to do this once so why not have some fun!!!

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#20 of 29 Old 03-19-2013, 02:46 PM
 
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Great question, Mommynorthend & thanks for posting!

 

I haven't sorted my reasons methodically, but here is my rambling answer:

 

When I look at my priorities in life (which I really have spent time defining), "having lots of things-n-stuff" is simply not one of them. A couple of my priorities are definitely supported by more minimalist living (I've only defined 5 ideas/ goals important enough to me to be called a "Priority in my life"), such as "simplicity" and "loveliness." It would be difficult for me to keep a simple, lovely life or home with too many material possessions that I do not really use (not simple) or do not really love a LOT (not lovely). Plus all my useful or beloved items get lost in the clutter & become less useful& a source of frustration rather than joy!

 

To be honest, I'll stick my neck out & risk a bit of flack here, by saying that my religious convictions are supported by minimalist living: ("Let all things be done decently and in order." 1 cor 14.40) I am not saying that all believers need to be minimalists, by any stretch of the imagination, only that having too much stuff around really makes it difficult for me to do things decently or in order. I do know some believers who are surrounded by a LOT of possessions who seem to keep up with it all; for me, it's distracting & can be overwhelming.

 

Plus, we're moving to a -very- small space, & living there, it will not be a matter of choice-- it simply will not all fit!

 

I can't wait to hear from everyone on this!

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"To be honest, I'll stick my neck out & risk a bit of flack here, by saying that my religious convictions are supported by minimalist living: ("Let all things be done decently and in order." 1 cor 14.40)."

 

Well we have a lot more in common than I thought. ;)

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#22 of 29 Old 03-20-2013, 01:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I hesitated to post a reply, because for me it is more a frame of mind, a way of being, than any set convictions or reasons. So it is something that is difficult for me to completely explain, even to myself  lol.gif It's more who I AM, rather than what I DO and why I do it. BUT, if I had to give tangible reasons:

 

- I love having less. I love having only what I can use, see, have out, wear out. This past year I have had one pair of shoes. One. I chose a nice pair that suited all scenarios and that matched every outfit I would possibly wear (easy when you know exactly what outfits you own and wear them all winky.gif). Because I walk A LOT, they literally had holes in the soles after about 6 months :) Signs of a life well lived. So they were ready for the bin and well and truly worn. I replaced them with one pair again. I used to have so many shoes, and really only wore one or two pairs. Even when I started moving towards minimalism, I still had quite a few different types. Made the change when we went traveling and I don't think I could ever go back now. I'm not saying everyone should have one pair of shoes. Just that for me, I really love using something so much that it actually *needs* to be replaced. Rather than having so much excess that all they really do is collect dust in a cupboard. Reminding me of wasted money and a thoughtless purchase. 

 

- It saves money. If you are not trying to keep up with the jones', live in excess, have everything you could ever 'want'. You only buy what you truly need and will use. Not that you never get something just for the joy of it that is more want than need. Just that when you do, it is something you will love and treasure the rest of your life. Not just something you must have because your eyes are big on adrenalin from a shopping spree. Or it's the 'cool' thing to get. Or you have become so wrapped up in want want want, buy buy buy, that you have lost who you really are. I try to only buy things we genuinely need. I love learning to do without the things we don't.  

 

- Freedom! This is a huge one for me. I hate feeling weighed down. I love the notion of packing up everything you own into one bag and hitting the road (if you want to). Or on a smaller scale, being able to move to a new house, or city, or country with only a few boxes of truly important stuff. With so much ease, and no stress. I like knowing if there were an emergency and if I had to grab everything most precious to me (apart from my family winky.gif) that I know where everything special is, what to grab exactly, and that nothing else matters. May seem obvious, but I don't think it really is to most people. I used to have a huge sentimental attachment to stuff, just random stuff, everything I owned basically. Because I thought that was important. And I think the natural progression of realizing it isn't, is to become more minimalist. Since you see how meaningless it truly is in your life and that it is just getting in the way of more important things.  

 

- I like a lot of space in my home. My kids are my life and are homeschooled, so the living areas of our home are dedicated to life and play. I want them to have room to run around and just enjoy themselves. I like wall space. There was a time when I was a packrat. It was all well organized and neat/packed away. But because I had so much, I had a fair bit of furniture to store things in. At one point, literally every part of wall space was taken up by things. As in, one wall had a bookcase, and a set of drawers, and a hamper. And no free space along the wall. I hate that, I like open space and room to move. I hate things feeling crowded or jammed in.

 

- Simplicity makes me warm and fuzzy :). I enjoy having only what we wear and everything staying fresh and clean because you are washing it regularly. I like when everything fits in the cupboard with ample room to spare. I like washing the sheets on the bed, and bringing them back all clean at the end of the day to put on the bed. Not having umpteen million sets and then needing a linen closet to store them all, attracting moths and pests. I like being able to see everything in a cupboard when I am searching for it. I like not needing extra pieces of furniture in order to store extra items I really don't need. I love looking at things on a shelf and seeing things that are so loved and useful, because we really do use them all the time. I like how simple it is to clean up when there is not much to be messed in the first place.

 

- It's better for the environment. How many bags of donations do people end up taking to the thrift store each year. Things that are sometimes never worn, or hardly. Things they had to have that don't really fit into their life. Or the constant upgrades of gadgets, and phones just tossed in the bin. When really that old phone, or tv, or computer, worked perfectly fine. Or all the toiletries or food that has to be thrown out, because it's been sitting in the cupboard so long because really it's not something you use, or you had too many. There is just so much wastage. When it's really not necessary. 

 

- It's easier to keep clean. I am loving our house where we are now. The only thing in the kids room at the moment is their beds. I can vacuum the whole room so easily. There is really nothing to have to move, or go in and out or around. There is nothing to dust or maintain. No surfaces to wipe over. Nothing to pick up before being able to vacuum. Think how much more likely you are to wipe over that bathroom counter, if there is nothing (or almost nothing) sitting on it making the job more of a pain.

 

- It's good for the soul treehugger.gif. There is just something nicer about a space filled with only what you LOVE. With carefully chosen beautiful or useful items. With flowing plentiful space. With people who can just relax and not have to focus on anything material. Only playing together and enjoying each others company. Including guests who walk into a space like that. Where people are relaxed, because there is nothing that is deemed more precious than human relationships. There are not white couches that can't be sat on for fear of spoiling. Or breakable nic-nacs all over the place to be careful of. Not that you can't have white couches or breakable things and be a minimalist winky.gif Just that things are much easier to take care of when they aren't overwhelming an entire room. And I dare say valuing a precious couch more than your grubby toddler would not fit in with a minimalist mindset. At least for me, it does not fit into my idea of what minimalism is to me. For me, I would rather lose all attachment to meaningless belongings which can be replaced. Move out anything non essential from my life to make space for the things I truly value. And focus on those beautiful moments spent with my family, the only thing truly irreplaceable to me. If I made my home minimalist, but had to yell at my kids to protect the belongings I had kept in my life, then I may have an empty house, but I wouldn't have replaced it with a fuller life. In short, I would have missed the point. 

 

I am not sure I have remembered every important reason that led me here. As I said it is really hard for me to come up with a list of tangible reasons. Most of that may not even be tangible biggrinbounce.gif. For me, minimalism is not something that I woke up one day and chose to do and then took a list of instructions and did it. It was more a slow change of being and who I am. My views and values changed slowly over time and minimalism was just the result of that. Consumerism and excessive materialism just became something I was no longer interested in pursuing. And a life of simplicity became what most appealed to me. There are obviously benefits to living this way, but they are more the result than the motivation. I live this way because it is what makes me happy. It's something that brings me more joy in life and makes things more fun and exciting for me. And it's something that you don't 'get' until you do, if that makes sense. You can understand some of the reasons or ideals behind it, but it's not until it truly clicks or resonates with you personally that it will become part of who you are and your life.

 

But hope that explains it a little anyway smile.gif  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mum4vr View Post

 

To be honest, I'll stick my neck out & risk a bit of flack here, by saying that my religious convictions are supported by minimalist living: ("Let all things be done decently and in order." 1 cor 14.40) 

 

Mum4vr- there are quotes upon quotes from the bible that support a minimalist non-consumerist way of life. I once searched bible verses that deal with a similar issue - what the bible says about the value of money/wealth. And I found millions of awesome ones that you would probably love that were minimalist-focused. The general message is that things have no importance, helping and loving others is all that really matters. Giving is so much more important than acquiring! One of my favorites:

 

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:19-21

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#23 of 29 Old 03-20-2013, 02:40 PM
 
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We are not minimalist yet, but are working our way towards being minimalist. This is the furniture that we have in our 1,600 sq.ft. house.
 
Entryway:
*A wooden bench (this matches our kitchen table and makes for extra seating when needed)
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Kitchen/Dining:
*Table and three chairs (the table is beside a built in window seat, so we get extra seating when needed and we do have an extension for the table in the hall closet that makes the table bigger when we have company and need it)
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Living room:
*Matching couch and love seat (simple and inexpensive, but functional)
*IKEA Expedit 8-cube bookshelf set up with two rows of four across used as our entertainment center (holds dvd's, vintage records, a photo album, our board games that are packaged like wooden books, and a small cassette tape/cd/radio music system). The TV is mounted above and we have the BlueRay, Xbox 360, and Kinect on top of it.
-----------
*Small wine cabinet (holds 21 bottles and has a door above that to hold the glasses...and we also keep our Xbox controllers and handful of games in there). I would love to get rid of this by the end of the year, but DH is the only wine drinker and only goes through 3-4 bottles a year. 
*A second IKEA Expedit 8-cube bookshelf that sits mostly empty except for a handful of things in some plastic cubes. This we do plan on getting rid of by this summer. 
*A new addition of a neutral baby swing in cream colored plastic and wood. This will only be around until our baby (due next month) no longer needs/fits in it. 
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Office:
*A Frankenstein office desk that DH hacked from three IKEA cabinets and an IKEA tabletop (holds the PC, all our regular board games, printer, household files, DSLR camera in its big bag, my planner/couponing files, just all the office stuff in general behind closed doors, etc. etc).
*A Bjursta table from IKEA (http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/70116846/) used as my desk (this gives us an extra table should we need it when we have people over)
*A Lack side table from IKEA for Bug's "desk"...he uses his stepstool as his chair
*Two swivel/rolling office chairs (one is really old and definitely shows it, the other is about as cheap of a chair as you can get and is several years old already itself)
*An armless pleather futon couch that functions as a guest bed if needed
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Bug's room:
*A massive twin size bed with trundle and three drawers (this works as a bed for Bug and overnight guests, as well as storage for his clothing)
*A train table bought off Craigslist for $20 (gives him a play surface for all his toys and has two drawers for toy storage as well)
*A small toy workbench
*A plastic three drawer container in the closet (not really furniture, but it contains the rest of his toys)
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Sweetpea's room:
*Crib
*Simple changing table
*A Lack side table from IKEA (to hold a lamp, my water, and a few books beside my comfy nursing chair)
*A plastic three drawer container in the closet (not really furniture, but it contains all her non hanging baby clothes and swaddle/sleep blankets)
-------------------
*A comfortable plush rocker/recliner (still need to get this...want something for nursing/rocking baby that will also accommodate a clingy preschooler beside me)
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Master bedroom:
*An IKEA Malm queen sized bed with the storage headboard (we don't even use the pullout sides for storing anything...we just like the headboard to hold a couple small lamps, our charging station, and our current reading books and Kindles)
*An IKEA Malm four drawer dresser (shared between DH and myself)
*Two IKEA Billy bookcases (for all our books and cd's we are keeping, as well as a few decorative things...they are not stuffed full at all)
-----------------
*Three IKEA Billy bookcases (one of them is half sized...these are going away as soon as we find new homes for the books and dvd's that we are getting rid of that are currently on them) 
*A glider w/ottoman (getting rid of this as soon as we can find a buyer...did not end up using this really for Bug when he was small) 
*A mini crib converted to a sidecar for Sweetpea for those first few months till there is not so much night nursing (then it will go as well)
 
I think that is it as far as furniture goes, except for a couple small shoe shelves in the master closet and Bug's stepstool that ends up wandering the house!!

Married to my computer geek since 11.04.06. Mama to our little dude Bug (born 7.14.09, peanut allergy, asthma) and our rainbow baby girl Sweetpea (born 4.14.13). Forever missing my angel babies--Riley, Paisley, and Waverley!!

Decluttering my life...

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#24 of 29 Old 03-20-2013, 06:14 PM
 
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I hesitated to post a reply, because for me it is more a frame of mind, a way of being, than any set convictions or reasons. So it is something that is difficult for me to completely explain, even to myself  lol.gif It's more who I AM, rather than what I DO and why I do it. BUT, if I had to give tangible reasons:

 

- I love having less. I love having only what I can use, see, have out, wear out. This past year I have had one pair of shoes. One. I chose a nice pair that suited all scenarios and that matched every outfit I would possibly wear (easy when you know exactly what outfits you own and wear them all winky.gif). Because I walk A LOT, they literally had holes in the soles after about 6 months :) Signs of a life well lived. So they were ready for the bin and well and truly worn. I replaced them with one pair again. I used to have so many shoes, and really only wore one or two pairs. Even when I started moving towards minimalism, I still had quite a few different types. Made the change when we went traveling and I don't think I could ever go back now. I'm not saying everyone should have one pair of shoes. Just that for me, I really love using something so much that it actually *needs* to be replaced. Rather than having so much excess that all they really do is collect dust in a cupboard. Reminding me of wasted money and a thoughtless purchase. 

 

This sounds heavenly!!! I do have less also but I work full time, so I needa few pairs of shoes so mine can air out and not wear out so quick. :)

 

- It saves money. If you are not trying to keep up with the jones', live in excess, have everything you could ever 'want'. You only buy what you truly need and will use. Not that you never get something just for the joy of it that is more want than need. Just that when you do, it is something you will love and treasure the rest of your life. Not just something you must have because your eyes are big on adrenalin from a shopping spree. Or it's the 'cool' thing to get. Or you have become so wrapped up in want want want, buy buy buy, that you have lost who you really are. I try to only buy things we genuinely need. I love learning to do without the things we don't.  

 

I completlely agree!!!

 

- Freedom! This is a huge one for me. I hate feeling weighed down. I love the notion of packing up everything you own into one bag and hitting the road (if you want to). Or on a smaller scale, being able to move to a new house, or city, or country with only a few boxes of truly important stuff. With so much ease, and no stress. I like knowing if there were an emergency and if I had to grab everything most precious to me (apart from my family winky.gif) that I know where everything special is, what to grab exactly, and that nothing else matters. May seem obvious, but I don't think it really is to most people. I used to have a huge sentimental attachment to stuff, just random stuff, everything I owned basically. Because I thought that was important. And I think the natural progression of realizing it isn't, is to become more minimalist. Since you see how meaningless it truly is in your life and that it is just getting in the way of more important things.  

 

I used to be sentimental too, until all my stuff was ruined. I could only salvage a tote bag of items. Since then, I take pics and hold the memories in my heart.

 

- I like a lot of space in my home. My kids are my life and are homeschooled, so the living areas of our home are dedicated to life and play. I want them to have room to run around and just enjoy themselves. I like wall space. There was a time when I was a packrat. It was all well organized and neat/packed away. But because I had so much, I had a fair bit of furniture to store things in. At one point, literally every part of wall space was taken up by things. As in, one wall had a bookcase, and a set of drawers, and a hamper. And no free space along the wall. I hate that, I like open space and room to move. I hate things feeling crowded or jammed in.

 

AMEN!!! So do I. My son can jump, tumble and spread out his Legos with no issue. I am also really able to showcase the pictures/artwork I truly love.

 

- Simplicity makes me warm and fuzzy :). I enjoy having only what we wear and everything staying fresh and clean because you are washing it regularly. I like when everything fits in the cupboard with ample room to spare. I like washing the sheets on the bed, and bringing them back all clean at the end of the day to put on the bed. Not having umpteen million sets and then needing a linen closet to store them all, attracting moths and pests. I like being able to see everything in a cupboard when I am searching for it. I like not needing extra pieces of furniture in order to store extra items I really don't need. I love looking at things on a shelf and seeing things that are so loved and useful, because we really do use them all the time. I like how simple it is to clean up when there is not much to be messed in the first place.

 

I love CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN too. No more pulling something out and finding it wrinkled, stained, warped, moth eaten or otherwise.

 

- It's better for the environment. How many bags of donations do people end up taking to the thrift store each year. Things that are sometimes never worn, or hardly. Things they had to have that don't really fit into their life. Or the constant upgrades of gadgets, and phones just tossed in the bin. When really that old phone, or tv, or computer, worked perfectly fine. Or all the toiletries or food that has to be thrown out, because it's been sitting in the cupboard so long because really it's not something you use, or you had too many. There is just so much wastage. When it's really not necessary. 

 

Agree. :)

 

- It's easier to keep clean. I am loving our house where we are now. The only thing in the kids room at the moment is their beds. I can vacuum the whole room so easily. There is really nothing to have to move, or go in and out or around. There is nothing to dust or maintain. No surfaces to wipe over. Nothing to pick up before being able to vacuum. Think how much more likely you are to wipe over that bathroom counter, if there is nothing (or almost nothing) sitting on it making the job more of a pain.

 

Used to take me 2-3 days a week to clean. Now, 2 full hours on the weekend and we could deep clean the place. I take literally minutes a day to keep the place neat and clean. AND I like being able to hit places like the kitchen/bathroom up more, where the messes tend to happen.

 

 

- It's good for the soul treehugger.gif. There is just something nicer about a space filled with only what you LOVE. With carefully chosen beautiful or useful items. With flowing plentiful space. With people who can just relax and not have to focus on anything material. Only playing together and enjoying each others company. Including guests who walk into a space like that. Where people are relaxed, because there is nothing that is deemed more precious than human relationships. There are not white couches that can't be sat on for fear of spoiling. Or breakable nic-nacs all over the place to be careful of. Not that you can't have white couches or breakable things and be a minimalist winky.gif Just that things are much easier to take care of when they aren't overwhelming an entire room. And I dare say valuing a precious couch more than your grubby toddler would not fit in with a minimalist mindset. At least for me, it does not fit into my idea of what minimalism is to me. For me, I would rather lose all attachment to meaningless belongings which can be replaced. Move out anything non essential from my life to make space for the things I truly value. And focus on those beautiful moments spent with my family, the only thing truly irreplaceable to me. If I made my home minimalist, but had to yell at my kids to protect the belongings I had kept in my life, then I may have an empty house, but I wouldn't have replaced it with a fuller life. In short, I would have missed the point. 

 

I no longer worry about my stuff being ruined or having to maintain it for a showcase "home". I don't believe in deliberately ruining something but a quick fluff and puff and occasionaly wipe down keeps things spiffy and I do value my child over any "thing" anyday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#25 of 29 Old 03-21-2013, 05:25 AM
 
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What are the reasons and convictions behind being minimalist? 

 

I don't identify as a "minimalist" - rather as a practical, frugal, person who tries to live in a way that is comfortable and  (if possible) ethical.

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#26 of 29 Old 03-21-2013, 05:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I came up with the term 'Essentialism' for what I do- having in my life only what I feel is essential. I was excited it was a real word, but unfortunately didn't mean what I wanted it to mean lol.gif

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#27 of 29 Old 03-24-2013, 09:28 AM
 
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Logan, I've read your 'reasons for minimalism' post four times now because I simply love it that much! I could have written those exact words myself :)

 

Did you find easy as you were slowly shifting towards minimalism? I always like to read other's experiences on their journey. Personally, I found it a little difficult, mostly due to the aversion from family and friends. While I'd be happy freeing up space, they'd question us with 'Having less? Isn't that like going backwards?'

 

shake.gif

 

The only time we could validly (in their eyes) defend our stance on the issue was once we purchased our tiny home. Can't have a lot of stuff hanging around if there is no where to put it.
 


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#28 of 29 Old 03-24-2013, 06:15 PM
 
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Logan, I've read your 'reasons for minimalism' post four times now because I simply love it that much! I could have written those exact words myself :)

 

Did you find easy as you were slowly shifting towards minimalism? I always like to read other's experiences on their journey. Personally, I found it a little difficult, mostly due to the aversion from family and friends. While I'd be happy freeing up space, they'd question us with 'Having less? Isn't that like going backwards?'

 

shake.gif

 

The only time we could validly (in their eyes) defend our stance on the issue was once we purchased our tiny home. Can't have a lot of stuff hanging around if there is no where to put it.
 

yeahthat.gif

 

My extended family could care less (I think bc they are a bit accustomed to me being the family kook). My friends & church members fall somewhere between my family &  bit supportive, even if they may roll their eyes; they know it's just me being me.

 

DH's family otoh, *flips* regularly re many of our decisions. (I see their perspective-- they both grew up poor & worked very hard to rise financially-- dfil is a self-made millionaire now.) They like to give us **gifts** if they think we'd like something nicer but can't afford it. They FLIPPED for months when we decided to buy our cabin (bc it's small & simple), tried to talk us out of it, sent pix of houses for sale in our area (um, yeah, we already owned the land!), offered to finance nice big pretty houses for us... and finally appealed "on behalf of" our dc (who love the cabin, btw).

 

What bothers me is that we often don't tell them what's going on in our lives bc we don't want all of our or our dc's challenges in life wisked away by an unrequested "gift". It short-circuits problem solving and delayed gratification & makes us less likely to tt them regularly. That's sad.

 

My next big challenge re family will be when dmil & fil arrive to visit new baby & see that we neither have nor intend to have (nor have/ want SPACE for) a crib. I foresee tears...

 

LOB, I am glad to hear your smaller digs nipped the issue in the bud-- hopefully pointing out the "no place to put it" fact will help more than I think! (I'm dreading/ envisioning DH & I trying to tactfully decline an offer to fund an addition to the cabin for "baby's room" or even a "children's wing," LOL!)

 

Makes me wonder how they could have raised DH! I guess he's a rebel, LOL & so I hope our DC don't rebel & swing the pendulum back toward materialism...

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#29 of 29 Old 03-25-2013, 12:01 PM
 
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I hesitated to post a reply, because for me it is more a frame of mind, a way of being, than any set convictions or reasons. So it is something that is difficult for me to completely explain, even to myself  lol.gif It's more who I AM, rather than what I DO and why I do it. BUT, if I had to give tangible reasons:

 

- I love having less. I love having only what I can use, see, have out, wear out. This past year I have had one pair of shoes. One. I chose a nice pair that suited all scenarios and that matched every outfit I would possibly wear (easy when you know exactly what outfits you own and wear them all winky.gif). Because I walk A LOT, they literally had holes in the soles after about 6 months :) Signs of a life well lived. So they were ready for the bin and well and truly worn. I replaced them with one pair again. I used to have so many shoes, and really only wore one or two pairs. Even when I started moving towards minimalism, I still had quite a few different types. Made the change when we went traveling and I don't think I could ever go back now. I'm not saying everyone should have one pair of shoes. Just that for me, I really love using something so much that it actually *needs* to be replaced. Rather than having so much excess that all they really do is collect dust in a cupboard. Reminding me of wasted money and a thoughtless purchase. 

 

- It saves money. If you are not trying to keep up with the jones', live in excess, have everything you could ever 'want'. You only buy what you truly need and will use. Not that you never get something just for the joy of it that is more want than need. Just that when you do, it is something you will love and treasure the rest of your life. Not just something you must have because your eyes are big on adrenalin from a shopping spree. Or it's the 'cool' thing to get. Or you have become so wrapped up in want want want, buy buy buy, that you have lost who you really are. I try to only buy things we genuinely need. I love learning to do without the things we don't.  

 

- Freedom! This is a huge one for me. I hate feeling weighed down. I love the notion of packing up everything you own into one bag and hitting the road (if you want to). Or on a smaller scale, being able to move to a new house, or city, or country with only a few boxes of truly important stuff. With so much ease, and no stress. I like knowing if there were an emergency and if I had to grab everything most precious to me (apart from my family winky.gif) that I know where everything special is, what to grab exactly, and that nothing else matters. May seem obvious, but I don't think it really is to most people. I used to have a huge sentimental attachment to stuff, just random stuff, everything I owned basically. Because I thought that was important. And I think the natural progression of realizing it isn't, is to become more minimalist. Since you see how meaningless it truly is in your life and that it is just getting in the way of more important things.  

 

- I like a lot of space in my home. My kids are my life and are homeschooled, so the living areas of our home are dedicated to life and play. I want them to have room to run around and just enjoy themselves. I like wall space. There was a time when I was a packrat. It was all well organized and neat/packed away. But because I had so much, I had a fair bit of furniture to store things in. At one point, literally every part of wall space was taken up by things. As in, one wall had a bookcase, and a set of drawers, and a hamper. And no free space along the wall. I hate that, I like open space and room to move. I hate things feeling crowded or jammed in.

 

- Simplicity makes me warm and fuzzy :). I enjoy having only what we wear and everything staying fresh and clean because you are washing it regularly. I like when everything fits in the cupboard with ample room to spare. I like washing the sheets on the bed, and bringing them back all clean at the end of the day to put on the bed. Not having umpteen million sets and then needing a linen closet to store them all, attracting moths and pests. I like being able to see everything in a cupboard when I am searching for it. I like not needing extra pieces of furniture in order to store extra items I really don't need. I love looking at things on a shelf and seeing things that are so loved and useful, because we really do use them all the time. I like how simple it is to clean up when there is not much to be messed in the first place.

 

- It's better for the environment. How many bags of donations do people end up taking to the thrift store each year. Things that are sometimes never worn, or hardly. Things they had to have that don't really fit into their life. Or the constant upgrades of gadgets, and phones just tossed in the bin. When really that old phone, or tv, or computer, worked perfectly fine. Or all the toiletries or food that has to be thrown out, because it's been sitting in the cupboard so long because really it's not something you use, or you had too many. There is just so much wastage. When it's really not necessary. 

 

- It's easier to keep clean. I am loving our house where we are now. The only thing in the kids room at the moment is their beds. I can vacuum the whole room so easily. There is really nothing to have to move, or go in and out or around. There is nothing to dust or maintain. No surfaces to wipe over. Nothing to pick up before being able to vacuum. Think how much more likely you are to wipe over that bathroom counter, if there is nothing (or almost nothing) sitting on it making the job more of a pain.

 

- It's good for the soul treehugger.gif. There is just something nicer about a space filled with only what you LOVE. With carefully chosen beautiful or useful items. With flowing plentiful space. With people who can just relax and not have to focus on anything material. Only playing together and enjoying each others company. Including guests who walk into a space like that. Where people are relaxed, because there is nothing that is deemed more precious than human relationships. There are not white couches that can't be sat on for fear of spoiling. Or breakable nic-nacs all over the place to be careful of. Not that you can't have white couches or breakable things and be a minimalist winky.gif Just that things are much easier to take care of when they aren't overwhelming an entire room. And I dare say valuing a precious couch more than your grubby toddler would not fit in with a minimalist mindset. At least for me, it does not fit into my idea of what minimalism is to me. For me, I would rather lose all attachment to meaningless belongings which can be replaced. Move out anything non essential from my life to make space for the things I truly value. And focus on those beautiful moments spent with my family, the only thing truly irreplaceable to me. If I made my home minimalist, but had to yell at my kids to protect the belongings I had kept in my life, then I may have an empty house, but I wouldn't have replaced it with a fuller life. In short, I would have missed the point. 

 

I am not sure I have remembered every important reason that led me here. As I said it is really hard for me to come up with a list of tangible reasons. Most of that may not even be tangible biggrinbounce.gif. For me, minimalism is not something that I woke up one day and chose to do and then took a list of instructions and did it. It was more a slow change of being and who I am. My views and values changed slowly over time and minimalism was just the result of that. Consumerism and excessive materialism just became something I was no longer interested in pursuing. And a life of simplicity became what most appealed to me. There are obviously benefits to living this way, but they are more the result than the motivation. I live this way because it is what makes me happy. It's something that brings me more joy in life and makes things more fun and exciting for me. And it's something that you don't 'get' until you do, if that makes sense. You can understand some of the reasons or ideals behind it, but it's not until it truly clicks or resonates with you personally that it will become part of who you are and your life.

 

But hope that explains it a little anyway smile.gif  

 

 

Mum4vr- there are quotes upon quotes from the bible that support a minimalist non-consumerist way of life. I once searched bible verses that deal with a similar issue - what the bible says about the value of money/wealth. And I found millions of awesome ones that you would probably love that were minimalist-focused. The general message is that things have no importance, helping and loving others is all that really matters. Giving is so much more important than acquiring! One of my favorites:

 

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:19

 

Best post evah.

 

Describes me perfectly. Thanks!


Grace-based wife & mama to 2 unschoolers! One & . We live simply & mindfully. Expecting another blessing Feb 2015 Praying for another
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