exciting news!

October 5, 2008

becoming minimalist has moved.  please visit us at our new address: http://www.becomingminimalist.com/

also, don’t forget to update your bookmarks as all new posts will be entered on the new site.  we hope you’ll like the new look even more as we don’t change any of our content or stated goals.

receiving gifts from others

September 29, 2008

an interesting conversation occurred with my wife last night when she informed that a good family friend of ours had offered to give our 2-year old daughter a large box of hand-me-down toys that her daughter had outgrown. included in the collection is a large-wooden dollhouse. my wife was interested to see how i would respond based on our decision to become minimalist.

as i began to think through what it would mean to bring in a large number of toys, i had a number of questions for my wife.

  1. are the toys something that our daughter will enjoy playing? easy answer – yes. she absolutely loves dolls! that’s her thing – playing with dolls. i can picture the joy on her face already of having a dollhouse to put them in. shame on me if my quest to become minimalist would rob her of that joy.
  2. are the toys something that the other family wants to use to bless our family or just get out of their own house? we all know the family that graciously offers to give you their old treadmill or foosball table – not for the sake of blessing, but for the sake of removing the clutter from their own house. my wife assured me that they were genuinely hoping to bless our family – even to the point that the daughter ran up to her excitedly to tell about the toys that she had picked out for us.
  3. do we have toys that we can remove from our daughter’s current collection to make room for the new ones? absolutely! there are many toys in the toy room that my little girl has outgrown or no longer has an interest in. we will sort out some of those toys and remove them to make room for the new ones.

i can’t wait to see the joy on my daughter’s face when the new dollhouse appears in our toyroom! and i am very grateful for the wonderful family whose generosity will bring her that joy. thank you.

related posts:

idle time = money spent

September 2, 2008

the first time i noticed it i was 21 years old.  i had a good paying job and had just broken up with my girlfriend.  and for the first time in my life i had money and nothing to do.  i didn’t notice it right away.  actually, i didn’t notice it until a friend came over and asked to borrow a shirt.  i took him to my closet and  i began pulling new shirt after new shirt out of the closet and remarking how i really didn’t like them that much.  that’s when my friend said, “too much free time?”  and it dawned on me… because i had nothing to do, i was going shopping to fill my time and spending money on things that i really didn’t need.  idle time was leading to money spent.

now that i am older, in a career, and have a family, i find myself with less free time and less disposable income.  i don’t go shopping to fill my idle time all that often.  but the subtly of free time still remains.

many of the things that we use to fill our free time (whether it be a holiday, vacation, or weekend) cost money.  we go shopping, see a movie, improve our home, eat out, or continue a hobby.  

now, i’m not saying that we should never enjoy some downtime and i know many hard-working, successful individuals who subscribe to the “work hard, play hard” mentality.  but as i journey to become minimalist, i have learned to pay closer attention to where my money goes… and idle time seems to have a habit of taking it from me.

since my move to vermont, i have learned to enjoy more outdoor activities (hiking, the beach, etc.) that don’t require money.  what are some of the things that you use to fill your idle time that don’t cost any money?  i’d love to know…

cliff’s comment yesterday got me thinking, “what is a minimalist failure in my life that must be overcome?” counting salad dressings, we have 51 bottles of condiments in our fridge. does that count as a failure?

related posts: poll- pairs of jeans; i could survive for 56 days

still so far to go

July 5, 2008

this afternoon, we went to the beach.  while soaking in the sun, i realized how far i still have to go to become minimalist.  i looked around at our belongings strewn all over the sand and counted over 50 items:

  • 3 large inflatable devices
  • 19 small plastic toys
  • 2 chairs
  • 6 towels
  • 2 coolers
  • 1 pop-up tent
  • 3 cell phones/camera
  • shirts/sandals/shorts
  • soda cans/bags of chips/fruit snacks
  • 3 bags to carry everything

the goal was to have 3.5 hours of relaxation – and we needed 50 man-made things to make that happen.  we’ve got so far to go.

does our decision to become minimalist disqualify me from ever owning this?

minimalist income

June 27, 2008

less than one month from our first ebay sale, we surpassed $125 in income yesterday.  add in our garage sale income and our decision to become minimalist has grossed roughly $250 in the past month.  we’re not quitting our jobs or anything, but it is fun to turn your household clutter into cash.

and it hasn’t been that hard or time consuming – we have yet to ship anything that doesn’t fit in an envelope or small shoebox (clothes, shoes, books, and cds).   as you minimalize your own possessions, create a pile for items to sell and use ebay or craigslist to turn them into cash (just be sure to throw them away if they don’t sell).

anyway, we have been debating what to do with our new minimalist income and would like your help.  friend or visitor, help us with a click of your mouse.