Today’s minimalist post is by my awesome staff writer Jordann.
I love being a minimalist. I love the freedom it gives me, and the financial power.
Over the years I’ve extended my minimalism lifestyle to most areas of my life. From my wardrobe, to my furniture, to my book collection, I’ve been slowly and surely trimming away unnecessary items in my life for years now.
The result is that I can live comfortably with my spouse in a 400 sq. ft. house (if you’re interested in something even crazier, I recommend you read I Live in a 175 Square Foot Tiny Home – Sailboat Living), which helps us save all kinds of money.
There are some parts of my life, however, that minimalism hasn’t touched. In fact, there are some things I still love to have a large collection of and it makes my minimalist lifestyle almost non-existent. I know that, in these areas of my life, minimalism has failed spectacularly, but I’m ok with that.
Here are my minimalism fails:
Workout gear is a minimalist living fail for me.
I wouldn’t say I have a huge collection of work out gear, but I definitely have more than I need. I love to work out but I’m not naturally athletic, so being active can be a challenge for me.
To help combat this, I’ve collected a large selection of high quality work out gear. I definitely don’t need as much as I have, but I love adding to this collection, filling gaps here and there and keeping an eye out for the perfect piece that will make my runs that much more comfortable.
There are lots of women out there who have several times the clothing I do, so I don’t think I’m hoarding clothing by any stretch of the imagination.
Camping gear is not an area where I am a minimalist.
Camping, in itself, is extremely anti-minimalism. Having a large collection of camping gear that I get to use, at most three or four times a year (it’s usually closer to two) is such a waste of space and resources. The space needed to store this gear could be put towards something I’d get a lot more use out of, as could the funds required to maintain the gear!
Then there’s the sheer superfluous nature of camping. I have chairs that are just for camping, along with plates, forks, knives, a small BBQ, a cooler, tons of stuff that I already own, but have separate specific stuff just for camping.
I don’t mind though. I love camping and having this large bunch of equipment taking up space in my garage is totally worth it.
DVDs and Records
Ok, this isn’t my collection, and if I had my way it wouldn’t exist, but my fiance loves to collect DVDs of his favourite movies and vinyl records for our record player. He’s a film major, and some of his favourite movies he’ll literally watch over and over. So, for those particular movies (or TV shows) he’ll buy the actual DVD instead of just watching it on Netflix.
His collection is a reasonable size, and he doesn’t spend much money on it every year, so I don’t complain too much.
While minimalism has helped me so much to get where I am today, it hasn’t completely permeated my life. I still like to have a few small collections, that I get a lot of joy and use out of. I don’t feel guilty about these collections, because they don’t take up too much space, and they aren’t hindering my lifestyle. I’m not one of those hard-core minimalists who try to live on 100 items or less. I like my stuff, I just don’t need much of it to be happy.
Do you have any collections or hobbies that require a lot of stuff?
Are you a minimalist?
Pauline @ Reach Financial Independence says
I have quite a lot of cooking gear but try to limit it to what is there and not buying new stuff. Like your running, it is tempting because it would make cooking easier!
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Workout gear is probably one of my weaknesses as well. I have a whole drawer full of workout shorts and shirts accumulated over the years, and ever since I stockpiled shoes, I have 5 pair of running shoes in waiting too!
Do you guys really live in a 400 s.f. house? That is hardcore!!! I am mostly minimalist but my kids certainly aren't. I look forward to the days when their toys are smaller =)
Isn't Jordann awesome!? Our house is around 2400 square feet (if you include the finished basement). I couldn't imagine less just because we have so much stuff!
DC@Young Adult Money says
Honestly the biggest "anti-minimalist" thing I run into is owning a house. We bought ours in October and I already thought we had a lot of stuff. The problem was, we had no tools and equpiment needed to maintain our house or do the projects we had planned. If you start getting into the various tools for electrical work, plumbing, etc. it gets completely ridiculous how easy it would be to have a garage full of this stuff! We don't even have that many tools, but probably a bit more than most new homeowners simply because we have somewhat of a fixer-upper. So I'd say tools and equipment for sure. One other thing is we do have a lot of books and DVDs, though we stopped purchasing both of these for the most part. I'm hoping to rid ourselves of a bunch of these at our garage sale in a couple weeks.
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My thing is books! Although I've pared down my collection quite a bit, I still have a lot of books. I love, love, love to read 🙂
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Budget & the Beach says
I have a weakness for workout gear too since I spend so much time doing it. I ended up having to go to the laundromat twice per week which costs money and is a pain because I have no more workout clothes left, so I somehow justify it. I can't think of anything I really do now, but volleyball used to be something I'd spend too much money on (tournaments, classes, the social aspect).
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I love books! There is something amazing about the smell of the pages or something. I could totally own all my books digitally, and I do own a few, but I just love the physical feeling of holding a book and turning the pages!
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Ok after the shock of reading that you live in a 400 sq foot house, I gave it some thought. I'm on a path toward a more minimalistic lifestyle and am slowly weeding through the "stuff" that I've accumulated. We, as a household, definitely have too much kids' stuff. That is temporary, because as they get older, they won't have as many toys. One second while I sob….
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Books. I have several thousand. I homeschool, and often the book is much cheaper than the Kindle version, so every year, I get more. I do cull, but even after a pretty sever culling…yeah, several thousand.
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I agree with you on the DVD's Jordann. With things like Netflix and Hulu though you can get all of your favorite movies streamed over the net which can make things a lot easier to manage. One thing I've found that I wasn't so good at being a minimalist with was CD's. Back in the day I use to buy lots of CD's and now that I have them I hardly ever listen to them.
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You should definitely take some pictures Jordann 🙂
I don't think having purpose-driven workout clothes is a bad thing at all. As long as you don't toss still-useable equipment to keep up with the latest fashions, using court shoes on the court, running shoes while running, etc; all of the different kinds of gear are going to last longer and thus, save money.
Great post 🙂
I try to be a minimalist. I know with my wardrobe, I'm not very successful, but with everything else I am. I probably need to do some spring cleaning and determine what we need or don't need. There's 4 boxes in my closet that are just packed with clothes, shoes, and books. Need to look at it and determine what I don't need anymore. You don't want to see my closet!
I make jewellery and believe me that requires a lot of stuff and a lot of storage for that stuff. I'm planning on having a garage sale to get rid of items I don't need because I finished a project or because I don't feel like doing the project I had planned.
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Not me – but my hubby does. He loves collecting CDs!
We love to cook so we like to have a vast amount of cook utensils and items in our kitchen. We don't tend to collect anything either so I would say we live a pretty minimalist life to a certain extent. I used to collect CD rare box sets but I haven't bought one for years. The wife used to buy DVD's but she no longer does. I'm happy we are this way, less to clean, less to get rid of. Funny you wrote this post I linked to both you and Michelle in my post today about this very topic! Cheers
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The Norwegian Girl says
DVDs and books.. I´m such a nerd! :-p
I am into cycling! Besides all the stuff to maintain my bike, I have clothes and a helmet.
I have a horse and horses require a lot of expensive gear. Most of the stuff I have, I accumulated over several years when I was growing up. When I went off to college, I downsized and gave away or sold quite a lot of my tack. I still have a significant amount of riding related stuff, but I don't let myself purchase anything new that is not absolutely essential. Thankfully, I also invested in high quality gear that has lasted me many years and will continue to hold up for years to come.
I like to 'pretend' I'm minimalist, but my recent wardrobe inventory post proved to contradict that! Scarves are definitely numerous! That being said, i still want to 'add' to it sometimes – like a proper running top so I don't get cold and wet in winter – I currently just use 'old' cotton clothing which doesn't wick etc.
I used to collect ornamental birdcages – got to SEVEN! I'm down to 4, 3 of which are displayed in my apartment, the other is still at my parents (and I would have decluttered when I got rid of the others if it wasn't a 'wrong place, wrong time' thing).
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I also have a lot of workout gear. I play ultimate frisbee. I have lots of jerseys for teams that I've played on, and I also have 30+ discs. I don't need that many, but after using them for a while they get scratched up and beat up so it is nice to have a fresh new disc every once in a while.