The Minimalist Home

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Minimalist?

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“.

 

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DadsDollarsDebts

I am a Dad and Doctor trying to make sure I am living life in the best way possible. Whether it is having my finances together, being a great parent, or balancing my home life with work, I am here to kick a$$ and help you do the same.

9 thoughts on “The Minimalist Home

  • December 24, 2018 at 5:25 pm
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    I did the DDD method into minimalism by burning down my house on Dec 24 1989. I woke up at 3:50 this morning by coincidence, 29 years to the minute. I marked the memory, rolled over and went back to sleep. I’m a parsimonist. I try to buy the most for the least. Not necessarily the cheapest, not the most expensive unless necessary. After the fire my “bedroom suite” turned into a 5 drawer vertical chest 3 for my wife 2 for me. It’s finely built, not cheap, entirely adequate, classically designed, and 28 years old. My 2 drawers are not stuffed, enough to cover 10 days of living, before washing needs to be completed. This is my perspective, to not only possess the possession but understand precisely the utility of the possession and how it melds into living a life and it’s longevity. If something is maximally useful and lasts, it’s cost is largely not relevant. Over time it amortizes to near zero. My home started as 2400 ft^2 but I enclosed a porch and added AC and modified my garage slightly when I bought it plus I added a spa house. The modification cost $5000 and added 800 sq ft under air. The porch became our workout room, is glass on 3 sides and is panoramic to my back property. Great place to work out, no gym membership required. Imagine the cost of 25 years of gym membership and the hassle. Much can be done if you don’t make price the set point but make utility the set point. Congrats on your recovery DDD and good luck in TN. I think you’re doing great!

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  • December 22, 2018 at 11:10 pm
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    I’ve only recently adopted the minimalist approach and I must say that it has actually been quite satisfying reducing the amount of clutter in my life. I’ve heard some proponents talking about a 60 day rule – If you haven’t used it in the last 60 days then get rid of it / sell it. It’s amazing the stuff I was hanging on to; i had a 5 year old archery bow & arrows I had initially used about five times and then just stored away in my closet.

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    • December 23, 2018 at 6:49 am
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      Its amazing when you start looking. I give myself longer periods for some stuff. Say 6 months for camping gear, etc
      The biggest change is becoming mindful of what you buy going forward.

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  • December 21, 2018 at 7:57 am
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    Sounds good to me. I live more like you but my wife has not quite made the leap yet. Hopefully year by year we get better at it. But yes, not sure how the other side does it.

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  • December 21, 2018 at 7:54 am
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    I’ve always prescribed to minimalism, simplicity and efficiency, even as a kid. Whether it’s stuff, ideas, thoughts, finances, etc. My inbox is nearly empty, I use one bank, 2 investment companies, a couple index funds, 1 suitcase worth of clothes, essential kitchen items (that can have multiple uses or not be done by hand), a couple hobbies, a few good friends, few commitments, zero drama. I’m not sure what life is like on the other side, but when things get too much it bogs me down and I cut back. It works for me and slowly my spouse has seen the light.

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  • December 20, 2018 at 12:12 pm
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    I might have to check out Josha Becker’s book. Him, Marie Kondo, Josh and Ryan of The Minimalists, and Colin Wright have definitely changed my life for the better.

    I also like your brand of moderatism. I refer to myself as a sensible minimalist and essentialist. It is definitely possible to take minimalism to the extreme where it sucks the joy out of life. That’s definitely not for me :).

    Best of luck finding a great home for your family!

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    • December 20, 2018 at 12:47 pm
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      Thanks for checking in and for the kind words. I think we had 80 boxes for the move. It sounds like a lot but they were not particularly that big. I like sensibility in all aspects of life. Take anything to far and you are set for a unhealthy path!

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  • December 19, 2018 at 7:31 am
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    Our home could use a heavy dose of minimalism, particularly the parts that are primarily mine. We’ll be moving in the next year, too, and I’m going to use that as an opportunity to part with the many collections I’ve built up over the years, many of them unintentionally.

    Happy house hunting!
    -PoF

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    • December 19, 2018 at 7:32 am
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      Moving is a great time to declutter. We are pretty minimalized. I think we had 80 boxes which is not terrible when the movers took our stuff last week. Now off to Tennessee.

      Reply

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