I Love Living as a Minimalist


THERE, I said it!  I love all things simple.  I love the feeling of not being tied down, I love not worrying about possessions, and I love the freedom it gives me.  This kind of thinking started when I relocated for my career after college.  I made a goal for myself.  This goal was to get rid of junk I accumulated over 22 years and only keep possessions that would fit in my four door sedan.

I haven’t looked back.  Since then, if I haven’t used something in a month, I get rid of it.  Sometimes I throw it in the garbage, sometimes I give it to charity, and sometimes I try and sell it.  I am going to continue doing this the rest of my life.  Go ahead, call me a bad American.  I’ll admit, this type of thinking does go against everything Hollywood and the general media throws at you growing up.

This is a work in progress though.  I’m new to the minimalist lifestyle and I’m sure I’ll be updating you guys in coming articles.  I wanted to share four rules I recommend to anyone thinking about adopting this type of lifestyle.

1-Clear out the closet. I used to struggle with this one.  I used to worry about whether or not I would need a certain shirt in the future.  But then I realized something.  I hadn’t worn it in years!  So why am I keeping it!  Do a solid cleaning out of your closet and stop by your local Goodwill or Salvation Army.  Instead of keeping clothes and shoes you haven’t used in a long time, why not give it away to someone less fortunate than yourself?  It’s a win-win baby!

2-Sell the toys. This rule is all about getting back to basics.  For me this meant selling toys that I rarely used anymore.  For me, this was getting rid of my street bike, excess electronics, video games, and other “fun stuff” that was in storage.  My two toys now consist of my car and my computer.  That’s it!  I cannot tell you how many complaints I hear from people who regret buying boats, ATVs, the latest gadgets, or expensive electronics that are rarely used.  Sometimes, toys just aren’t worth the hassle.  This  goes along the lines  with  my motto, “why buy a boat when you know someone who has one?”

3-Focus on items you really care about. This ties in well with selling your toys.  When I say sell your toys, I don’t mean sell all your toys.  Really enjoy a few items instead of never getting to use a thousand items.  Cut your belongings down to  a minimum and focus on those things.  This will look different for everyone.  If you like the guitar, focus on that.  If you like fitness, focus on that.  If you like hot-rods, focus on that.

4-Consolidate bank accounts. I see this one a lot with people around me.  What’s the point of having multiple accounts!  Why not have it all in one place!  I will never understand people who have multiple bank accounts and/or brokerage accounts.  I keep it simple.  I have a single brokerage account with Vanguard where I keep everything from my Roth-Ira to my individual stock purchases.  Then I have a checking and savings account with a local credit union.  That’s it!  Why make things more complicated than they have to be, right?