I’m really interested in minimalism or simple living as a lifestyle.
Partly it’s aspirational – I love the idea of travelling around the world armed only with a computer and a job I can do from a deckchair on the beach and I hate the idea of spending any time at all cleaning tchotchkes. (That’s why all the souvenirs I own are either useful or dusty.)
Another part is the enviromental impact, both personal and global.
On a global level, it’s clear that the Western rate of consumption is unsustainable – if you’ve ever worked in a shop or factory you’ll have some idea of how much stuff winds up in landfill before the carefully made and advertised knicknacks even make into the home. So I’m trying to buy less, consume less, throw away less.
Owning less also has a big impact on my personal landscape. In a purely physical sense, it helps me stay organised, spend less time cleaning and display the things I love.
As a kid, I was a packrat and I still have a bunch of stuff at my parents house. When I moved countries for university, it gave me a clean slate – which I promptly filled with stuff. Combining my stuff with K’s stuff helped me realise that other people’s stuff is annoying and an over-stuffed house is a pain to live in. Plus, renting a larger place so there’s somewhere to put all the stuff is expensive.
It’s a work in progress, but culling my stuff over the last couple years has already made it easier to move house, which we do quite often, and has also allowed K & I to move into a shared house with some of our favourite people.
In turn, sharing a home with other adults means less stuff: we share chores and bills and tools as well as movies and games. Which means more good things for everyone.
I got interested in minimalism through blogs, but minimalist blogs often seem quite homogenous, and the same advice is repeated over and over without much critical thought. Ironically, I’ve found I tend to keep reading blogs with a wider focus. Here are five of my current favourites.
Combining minimalist, travel and family life. This Canadian family have just moved to the UK, which I find particularly interesting.
Minimalism and knitting don’t usually go together as crafting both requires stuff (raw materials, tool) and produces stuff (lovely stuff, of course) so it’s an interesting ebb and flow. Robyn is also documenting a minimalist pregnancy.
The Variegated Life
Thoughtful posts about work/life balance, choices and parenting. The blogger is a writer, and writes about writing too.
Jerri’s Organizing and Decluttering News
Great tips from a professional organizer as well as in-depth articles.
This is one of the few pure-minimalism blogs in my reader. It’s well written and I like the weekly ‘real life minimalists’ feature which showcases a range of stories.