I’m a big fan of owning less, but my reasoning is pretty selfish. It is true I think that we waste too much in the US and I think the “throw away” culture is a kind of spiritual bankruptcy, but my pursuit of minimalism isn’t influenced heavily by these issues. I like being minimalist because it allows me to do more with my life.
The clothing I own is a great example. I never spend mental energy deciding what to wear and the financial costs to maintain my wardrobe are incredibly low. This frees up energy daily to create, work, love, and have fun. Keeping my clothing costs low allows me to work less and spend more money on beer and experiences. So, here is the entirety of my wardrobe:
- 10 plain t-shirts (mostly black but a few colored)
- 10 pairs of white socks
- 1 pair of jeans
- 1 pair of tennis shoes
- 1 tie-dye hoodie
- 1 pairs of shorts
- 1 waterproof jacket
I also own the following functional life-style clothes because I am biking most days:
- 5 pairs of athletic socks
- 2 pairs of bike shorts
- 1 pair of bike shoes
That’s all I own, I can fit all my clothes into one bike pannier or one regular sized drawer. When I get dressed in the morning I don’t think about what I’m going to wear, I just grab a t-shirt and put on my jeans. I know that my chosen job and lifestyle allows for more flexibility than most, but even when I worked in a suit-and-tie office in Washington DC I could have been more minimal. In fact, it seems lots of successful people are limiting their clothing options. In fact, I’d love to not own clothing but the weather usually requires something and, sadly, society still hates seeing the human body in the US.
Beyond clothing, I don’t own much. I have a laptop computer and a couple of books that I get rid of as I finish. Books are probably the area I could improve the most on, I need to only purchase one book at a time (preferably a digital book) and finish it before moving on to the next book. I have a bad habit of buying a lot of books and then can’t decide what to read next when I finish one.
Now, if I were to live in an apartment or house I may need to own more, but hopefully not much. When my partner and I lived in Missoula we only owned cookware and dishes, home brewing equipment, a dining room table and chairs that we borrowed from a friend, an inflatable futon that we bought cheap, and a mattress that we got for free. Other than usable items like cleaning supplies that is all we had. There just wasn’t a need for anything else. We didn’t use mental energy or financial resources on maintaining a living space beyond our needs. Simplicity works for me because it allows me to live the life I want.
Love this! I hope to achieve similar success with a minimal lifestyle.