minimalist living

The Secret Rules About Minimalist Living

I’ve seen a few things being posted on other minimalist living blogs or Facebook groups of how one goes about minimalist living. What constitutes  “minimalist living” or being a “minimalist” — How many items you own? How (un)cluttered your house is? What size of home you live in? How you spend your days?

Now I’m going to blow the lid off something. I hope you’re ready. It may change your life forever. It’s not really a secret, and some “minimalists” may disagree with what I say, but I don’t care. Here it comes.

There are no rules for minimalist living!

Oops. I said it. Cats out of the bag now! But should there be rules or regulations to be considered a minimalist? How does this sound for some minimalist rules to live by:

  • You must live in a house with less than 1000 sq feet of living space (including a basement).
  • You cannot drive further than 30km to work (one way).
  • You must be able to see your floor at all times and your home must be clutter free.
  • You AND your entire family must adhere to the rules and regulations of minimalist living.
  • You must perform the secret minimalist handshake. If you have to ask what it is, sorry, no minimalist living for you!

Yep. Pretty silly when you break down “rules for minimalist living”.  Rules and regulations are great for things like:

  • Traffic
  • Avoiding/minimizing crime
  • Banks, so we the people don’t lose our money…

Okay, two out of three examples ain’t bad, right?

When it comes to “labels” for people, do we really need a hard set criteria for one to be included (or excluded) from that group? If you want to consider yourself a minimalist, go ahead. The idea, in my opinion (that’s as humble as my stick-man drawings), is that if you’re doing more stuff with less stuff, you’re doing some form of minimalist living.

And that’s not all (wow, that sounds just as good as an infomercial). I look at minimalist living as a way of having less impact too. Like having less impact on the environment for example. And on the flip side, stuff can end up having less of an impact on you.

There was a profound side-effect that came with selling all our stuff for our new-found minimalist lifestyle. I’m amazed at how I’m able to brush stuff off nowadays. I used to dwell on things. A LOT. Now I try not to dwell on things at all. I pull back and re-assess the situation. I look at things from a different perspective. It’s like I have a non-stick Teflon coating and I’m able to let so many things slide off me now.

[bctt tweet=”This is your life to live. Spend money on doing stuff you enjoy!”]

Sure, you could stop buying stuff and save for retirement (that may never come). You could eat raw/vegan/vegetarian from your home-grown hydroponic garden, rarely leaving the confines of your humble suburban or rural home. But that’s not minimalist living to me.

Bad-ass tattoo
Bad-ass tattoo

Want to visit your relatives in Europe? Go for it. Want to attempt to eat at every In and Out Burger in the USA? Hey, not my thing, but don’t let my (or anyone’s) opinion stop you. Want a bad-ass tattoo? Go nuts, who doesn’t like tattoo’s of donkeys (Eeyore is my favorite). Want to build a tiny home so you can smell your partner’s Mexican food farts? Enjoy!

So what’s “Minimalist Living” then?

Do stuff. Eat stuff. Experience stuff. Just don’t buy a bunch of material stuff. That’s minimalist living to me.

Now go sell all your stuff!

 

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