Since 2011, when I published my book and began blogging, I have also been a regular reader of other blogs. My favorite, Becoming Minimalist, has countless useful posts to help you have a simpler, better life. Reading Becoming Minimalist, and other minimalism blogs, led to several changes in my life.
The first was changing my clothing buying habit from buying what I wanted to what I needed. That change came about as a result of a year-long “clothing fast” I documented in an article I posted as a guest on Becoming Minimalist.
Another change was a huge increase in the number of things we donated from our home. For as far back as I can remember, my wife and I gave away articles of clothing as our kids grew out of them, toys the kids had outgrown, and our clothing we had stopped wearing. Then, over the last two years, a reminder I set for myself every weekend helped me to donate tons of stuff. Recently, for example, I gave away my hockey equipment to an organization called Play it Forward. I hadn’t used the equipment in 20 years, but had been holding onto it “just in case I needed it someday.” It feels good to have that unneeded equipment out of the house. It feels even better to help a kid who otherwise would not have been able to afford hockey gear.
Becoming Minimalist is written by Joshua Becker, who recently published a super book, The More of Less (cleverly, and poignantly subtitled, Finding the Life You Want, Under Everything You Own.) The thing that most amazed me about the book is how much I got from it, despite already being a long-time reader of Becoming Minimalist and countless articles Becker has recommended in his “Inspiring Simplicity. Weekend Reads.” newsletter.
Becker starts by talking about the challenges to minimalism (and our happiness) from consumerism and the thousands of ads we are all exposed to every day. He illustrates with this Will Rogers quote: “Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people they don’t like.”
Becker goes on to provide a list of “The Universal Benefits of Minimalism,” including: More time and energy, more money, more generosity, more freedom, less stress, less distraction, less environmental impact, higher-quality belongings, a better example for our kids, less comparison, and more contentment.
Early on, he defines minimalism as the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from them. He returns to that definition throughout the book while urging us to “find a style of minimalism that works for you, one that is not cumbersome but freeing.”
Joshua Becker is great writer. His book, like his blog, is an easy read, filled with practical, useful ideas. I strongly recommend The More of Less to everyone.
What is your experience with minimalism? Please join the conversation with your comments…