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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Why is it difficult to be a minimalist in this day and age?

I had a nice discussion with my husband this morning over tea and it's funny that Becoming Minimalist and Be more with less posted blogs that were in line, in some way, with our discussion on the very same day.  I have showed that linked above to read original posts if you wish.

We were saying how living a simple lifestyle is not THAT easy in the society we live in... and especially not in a big city.  Yes we downsized a lot over the years... and gave/sold loads of stuff.  But yes, we also had back and forth...  before we could actually feel in control of our buying it took 6 years of that process.  Six years of not buying, giving, selling.... giving in and then buying and accumulating...  always to a lesser extent each time but still.  Maybe we were slow to understand...

We were just trying to put a number over the money we wasted by doing so...  All the stuff we bought in our adult life and ended up selling (at great loss) or giving... And again and again...  Then we decided to let it go!  That stuff that we owned, owned us for so long, now that it is gone, there is no point in regretting what we did.  There is no point in going back, in guilt.  It is what it is.  It's time to let go.

Yes it was LOADS of money, but we chose to see it as an experiment...  What else can we do?  We can't change the past.  We've paid enough (money wise and otherwise), time to move on.  Worse comes to worse, instead of seeing it as wasted money, see it as helping others.  I mean, so many people ended up with what was useless to us but helpful to them.

Now back to this post title in a way: why is it so hard to live here and now?  Because society is based on consumption.  On over consumption.  Companies spend billions of dollar each year to make us feel like we need something. By buying it, we pay for someones salary of course... by buying what they tell us we need, we make the world go round... Or do we???  Those people that manufacture what we buy actually go to work to buy what we want too!  What if there was no need for that item? Would they be happier doing something else with heir lives?  Would you be happier doing something else with yours?

I once spend a week in a country SPA...  no television, no radio, no newspaper, no Internet, no advertisement for 7 days!  Only walking outside, enjoying the woods, the water, the birds and the cats (there was a  mommy cat with her 3 babies - one of them actually had 7 fingers!!! ).  We ate the healthy food that was served to us:  we didn't need anything.  Really. We were calm and at peace. Not once did I think about remodelling my home, buying a new dress, getting a new car... Not once!

This goes to show that to our very core, we do not need stuff! Yes we need a roof over our head, clothes and food. 

But do we need such a big roof? A walk-in closet? A huge plate of food every single meal?
Probably not...

Can we afford it?
Definitely not!

As per Becoming Minimalist numbers:

Home size has doubled over the last 50 years.  ( Me to add: Did family really doubled in size?)
10% of household have a storage unit somewhere
25% of homeowner have a double garage but yet park outside because garages are full
76% of Americans live pay check to pay check   (Me to add: not only the poor ones)
Average US household credit card debt is 15 191$

How did we get to that point?  Easy, so much money is spent making us believe that we need stuff to be happy, to be better, to be interesting...  but what if happiness and interesting came from within?  What if better really did not matter?

What if all this was in fact a trick to make the rich, richer?  and the poor, poorer?  and all of us in between poorer and more in debt?  What if the only ones that really benefited from that were the richest people in the world? 

You can choose otherwise.  You can choose to be free from stuff.  You can choose to do work you love.  You can choose to go debt free.  You can choose to retire early.  You can choose to live a simpler more meaningful life.  It's your life.  Do not let anyone chose for you from now on. Be strong.

thanks for reading!  and sharing!



  1. "Yes it was LOADS of money, but we chose to see it as an experiment" - thank you for this! Sometimes I think about all the money I've spent on stuff over the years and I think what the hell was I doing??? Yes, it was an experiment, a needed experiment to realize that I don't need all that stuff!

    1. Exactly Rita! We've already been punish enough,,,, let's move on!

  2. I found your blog through Pinterest and love it! This is a great post & one that I can really relate to. We've talked about how much money we spent in the past on stuff a few times. Looking at it as an experiment is brilliant. :)