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Yup, I am officially a minimalist. I was starting to dabble with it pre-Tubb’s Fire, but after we lost all of our possessions overnight, I had a decision to make. Do we continue to live the life we were living, or take this opportunity to improve? To grow. To live the life we want, not the one we were told to have.
For me, that meant approaching my life thoughtfully. Particularly when it came to possessions. I bought less when it was time to rebuild our lives. Then I went on a buy nothing challenge for 2018. It is almost done and you can see the other posts at the end of each month. So yes, this was forced minimalism, but minimalism none the less.
Is life better?
I can honestly say my life is better. Being unburdened by a desire to buy much, I don’t spend time browsing the web or a store. Instead, I am at home with my son and wife. Enjoying my time and the leisurely pace of life. I am not maintaining or cleaning things I never use.
This has also translated in the next steps of our lives. We are soon moving to Tennessee. We can easily afford a 4000 or 5000 square foot home, but my wife and I are going to look for a 1,800 to 2,200 square foot home. Likely with just 3 bedrooms. We have decided that we do not need the McMansion to be happy. In fact, owning a big home was a burden for us.
We are also going to try living with 1 car. We will still own the 2 cars, but I am going to bike to work and use Lyft when I need a further ride. It is going to be an experiment and we will see how it goes.
So why am I telling you all this? Because Minimalism is useful. It is life changing and I would argue for the better. You do not have to be a full minimalist and in fact, I prefer moderatism, but some degree of decluttering will help everyone. So on to today’s post. A review of Joshua Becker’s new book “The Minimalist Home“. Full disclosure, I received a free copy to review.
The Minimalist Home
I was forced into decluttering overnight. A wildfire will do that. For the rest of you out there, I do not recommend or hope that is what will happen to you. Instead, you will have to be deliberate about decluttering. You will have to go room by room and item by item to choose how you will minimize.
For those needing a how-to guide to declutter, The Minimalist Home is for you. This book goes room by room and provides insight into how to tackle your items. Josh has done this himself, starting in his garage and knows the difficulties in decluttering.
Each chapter provides not only a step by step approach but also why decluttering that room is important, the challenges you may face, and how to deal with sentimental items. The chapters are full of personal stories from others who have pursued minimalism, and to me, these stories are motivating. So many people have gained benefits from leaving the consumer-minded, possession accumulating world for minimalism.
Highest Yield Chapters
Honestly, all of the chapters are high yield for individuals who are first pursuing minimalism. For us, however, the people already well into the minimalist lifestyle, most of the book was unnecessary. This may not be the case for you.
Still, I found high value in 3 chapters.
The chapter on unburdening yourself of the past, “Decluttering storage and hobby areas and the toy room” were motivational. Our son, who is only 3, has more items then my wife and I combined. We are good about donating 1 or 2 of his new gifts at Christmas and his birthday, but toys and books still accumulate.
I am not eager yet to minimize his toys. We store many of them away and pull them out every few months so that they are exciting to him. Still, Josh’s book gave me pause. Maybe we should get rid of some more things. This will be an area where I will need to think more and discuss with my wife her thoughts and wishes.
The other 2 chapters I found high yield were “A small suggestion” and “This changes everything” These chapters provide so much motivation to continue minimalism. The need to be thoughtful about the home you purchase. How minimalism can lead to financial well being, and thus lead to pursuing your dreams instead of the 9 to 5.
In fact, for many people out there pursuing financial independence at a young age, minimalism must be part of that plan. Decreasing spending will lead to increases in savings. Which in turn leads to a higher net worth and before you know it, financial independence.
So if I have one suggestion, it is to at least consider minimalism. Start with Josh’s first book, “The More of Less” then read “The Minimalist Home“.