Minimilism is not for mePosted: May 23, 2012
Honestly, I once considered being a minimalist. Much like I once considered being a vegetarian. Both lasted about a day. Okay maybe less. I know that vegetarianism is better for the animals but I can’t help it if they taste good! (Please don’t hate me for that) Now as for minimalism, I just can’t do it. At least not as of yet.
Why? Well, I know I could do it if needed—I’ve done it before. I lived out of what amounted to a suitcase and a half. Everything else was in storage and it was in storage for over two years. But I’m a pack rat by nature and I have certain things that I love to have on hand. (Read: books and movies) I’m nowhere near the hoarder stage so I don’t consider it to be a problem.
But even though I know that I could get by without these things, I’m happy with them. I have limited myself from buying every single book that looks good. Instead it must pass my test: am I going to read it once? If so, I’ll get it from a library. Is it something that I will read over and over again? Will I want to read it in the middle of the night? I’m more likely to buy it at those points. (I suffer from insomnia from time to time so that’s the reason I have that in the middle of the night question) I typically don’t buy hard covers but will make rare exceptions. This means I currently have what amounts to 2 6’ book shelves in my house and they are full or just about full. I’m going to need a third book shelf soon.
I also have a ton of movies. Okay, not a ton—but it seems that way to me. With Netflix being so readily available, I have the same test for movies that I do for books. And movies being more expensive than books, I can honestly say I haven’t bought one in a few months.
I love my stuff. I know I don’t need it but it makes me happy and I’m no longer going in debt to obtain these items so I don’t see a problem with having them. But I do make adjustments where needed. I have those tests and I now won’t buy a book unless it’s on my list until I get through that stack of unread books I own. Most of which will probably be donated.
I am also working on the pack rat thing. Honestly, I found receipts from about 3 years ago in a folder I had. Did I need them? Not at all. I don’t even know why I kept them. Maybe it was so I could look on them in shame when I read the total. (And if I knew what I would do in the future, why did I buy that stuff anyways???)
But I’m finding that I’m okay with having stuff (and eating meat). It doesn’t bother me because I’m not going into debt to get it. In fact, I tend to appreciate the stuff I do have because I save up for it and it takes me a while to get it. (Seriously it took me 4 months to get a toaster because I didn’t want to part with the money just for a toaster. Then I realized that I love toast and bagels! Just as I was about to buy one, I happened to win an Amazon gift card from Crystal at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff—talk about luck!)