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:

sane minimalism

September 23, 2008

sane minimalism is not a term i would have picked, but i appreciate the thought.

celebrating 10,000

September 20, 2008

it wasn’t too long ago so i still remember the conversation vividly. i told my mom that we had decided to become minimalist. she called me back a few minutes later to report that she had talked to my uncle who was intrigued with the notion. he had gone straight to his computerto google “minimalism,” but was dissapointed in the results. he wanted more information. i said to myself, “i’ll give him more information. i’ll start a blog about we’re doing.”

i saw several benefits to starting a blog about our journey to become minimalist:

  1. it would keep us accountable. even if i didn’t know who the readers were, i’d still feel accountable to follow through with the decision to become minimalist because “people are reading.”
  2. it would encourage others. reading about our journey towards this better life would surely encourage other to do the same.
  3. it would serve as an on-line journal. a fun way to look back and see where we’ve come.

as this blog goes over 10,000 hits today. i’m reminded of the many unforseen benefits that have come along with its creation.

  1. i’ve gotten to meet new people – albeit, only digitally. nevertheless, i’ve gotten to meet many like-minded people through the comment sections of the blog. people i never would have met without it.
  2. i’ve been forced to think through minimalism on a deeper level. creating a blog post takes effort. it takes thought to write down what you did, how you did it, and why you did it.
  3. i’ve been encouraged myself. what began as a desire to encourage others has become an encouragement to me. thanks for everyone who has visited and posted comments. they have helped in our journey to become minimalist.

thanks again for stopping by.

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i’m digging out my desk after a busy weekend of work (40 hours just on friday-sunday). when i get rushed, papers and files just pile up on my desk until i can catch my breath and sort them out. that’s what i’m doing today.

i just cleared 2 stacks of papers from my desk and found an important note scratched on a sheet of paper. it’s a letter of sorts. it was such an important letter that i put it on my desk right in front of my computer so that i would be reminded all day long. but alas, it got pushed aside and buried under piles and piles of papers. and when it “became out of sight,” it became “out of mind” as well.

i found it this morning and was reminded of its importance, weight, and promise. oh, how i wish it had not been crowded out by the accumulation of “stuff.”

too often this metaphor defines me – not just in pieces of paper, but in life’s joy and value. this “find” has become my encouragment and challenge for the day – don’t let “stuff” push aside the important things in your life.

now that my desk has been sorted and cleared, this note and its message has again returned to prominence in my life and attitude. thank god.

related post:

harder work than i imagined

September 14, 2008

this evening i was talking to a friend.  during the convesation, he asked how the “minimalism” was going.  i replied, “i feel bad. it’s been so hectic at work the past couple weeks, i haven’t been able to do much around the house.” 

something hit me as i finished the sentence – for the first i recognized fully that becoming minimalist is not an easy thing to do.  it is hard work!  it takes time and energy to sort possessions.  it takes effort to decide what we truly value.  it takes time to determine if an item is necessary to keep or can be removed.  it takes time to sort, sell, recycle, or discard.  it takes time to reorganize and find “homes” for every belonging. 

stuff… takes your time when you own it and takes your time when you try to get rid of it.  i think the best solution is to not buy it in the first place.  and that’s something i wish i knew 10 years ago.

visit becoming minimalist’s new site.

a slave to the clock dial

September 9, 2008

for three months, i have been set free from the bounds of time… or at least a clock on my wall. when i minimalized my office, i removed my clock from the wall and had not returned it – partly on purpose and partly because i hadn’t found the right one to put up.

what began as just a search for the right new clock, became an interesting study in western culture lifestyle. every time my head jerked to the upper right corner of my office to check the time, i was reminded of how our culture is held captive by the passing seconds. and because my wall was vacant, i was able to take special notice of my longing to know the time. it was just an empty wall with no answers. (if you would like to try it yourself, tape a piece of paper over the clock on your wall – you will also take special notice of how often you check the time during a typical day). and that didn’t even count the number of times i checked my watch or computer clock. to further the experiment, i even stopped wearing my watch for a few weeks.

after the first 30 days, i looked to the wall less and less often. i rarely do anymore. unfortunately, it is not because i have been set free from the tyranny of the clock dial. it is only because i became accustomed to using the clock on my computer.

and thus, today, i returned a clock to my office wall (pictured above). my enslavement to the passing time is far greater than the removal of the hands from my wall.

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