A Kinder, Gentler Minimalism


I’m not new to minimalism. On the contrary, roughly fifteen years ago, I spent a year of my life practicing what would be considered by most people to be extreme minimalism. I’m glad that I had the experience, but it isn’t one that I care to repeat.

I love simplicity. I love clean lines and clutter-free environments. I like to leave lots of wide open spaces in my life for new thoughts, ideas, and yes, even stuff. The less I own, the more I tend to enjoy what I have. That being said, I’m not 22 anymore, and I really have no desire to pare down to the point of feeling like owning more than one pair of shoes is a sign of moral shortcoming. My relationship with minimalism has evolved, and I would hope, matured.

While my love of minimalism has evolved, it has never left me, although it did seem to go into hiding for a period of time. After living alone with my three teenage daughters for several years, on October 27th, 2013, I moved across the country to live with the love of my life. I brought very little with me in the way of personal belongings, but since it was being merged into an already very full home, it was too much. That was a year and a half ago, and in that time we’ve moved a lot of things out of our home and acquired more.

We have too much stuff. And what’s worse, we don’t even particularly like a great deal of that stuff! Thankfully, my wife and I are in agreement about this, so there won’t be any conflict about revamping our home to create a sweeter, simpler, and less cluttered space. It’s time for less stuff and more living in our living space.

I’ve started this blog to document the process as we set about getting rid of what no longer serves us, acquiring only carefully selected items that we find beautiful, useful, or both of the highest quality we can afford, and simplifying our schedules and obligations so we have more time for each other and our hobbies. I’d also love to connect with other people who are embracing a moderately minimalist lifestyle, however you define that for yourself.

Because I love challenges, I’ve decided to set up a series of them for myself, and if you’d like to play along, I’d love to have you join me. My next post will be the first challenge in the series, and it’s going to focus on wardrobe since this is currently one of the areas I’m struggling with the most. If you have ideas for future challenges you’d like me to feature, leave a comment and tell me about it, and if it isn’t one I’ve already thought of, I’ll be happy to consider adding it to the list.