For years, I have been asked, why do you rent? Why don't you get a home? The answer is simple. My apartment is my home.
I can't tell you how many times I have listened to complaints like:
When I have a landlord, I have the convenience of traveling worry free and since utilities and maintenance is included in the rent, I don't get stuck with those unexpected bills. I volunteer with clients who are homeless and don't want to end up in a similar situation. For me, I can do that by renting. I enjoy the stress free lifestyle it has allowed me.
There is a lot more work to this than I originally imagined. It has now been a full year and I still feel like I have months of work to do.
I started at my work desk, then book shelf. Then a friend was looking for donations so I went through my closet and kitchen. I kept finding things I never used or didn't even know I had. I also discovered piles of wish lists of things I wanted to do or books that I wanted to read. It has been 10 years and I am still making wish lists.
I am taking concrete action steps to make time to review my wish lists and prioritize what I would still like to do 10 years later. Once I narrow this down, I will be able to take steps to accomplish them.
My friends are getting tired of me saying this, but I can't wait for tax season this year. I have been fortunate enough to be able to donate hundreds of items over the past year that I can use as a donation write off on my taxes. I expect the amount that I get back to allow me to pay off most of my remaining car loan. It will be so nice to pay that off next year. It will be so liberating and I will be able to focus on additional life goals.
I have a friend who has been bullied at work for the past 4 years. The situation has been reported to the HR and the person's supervisor many times. It has improved very minimally.
The drama has been taking so much time of their life working on addressing this. We got on the subject of minimalism since we are both huge advocates. They have 5 bags of documentation of the poor treatment they have been receiving. As a result of de-cluttering other areas of their life, they were able to re-direct some focus on next steps and how best to address this and what some new tactics were.
By able to de-clutter and re-focus, they were able to re-pack their bags in terms of their career and re-evaluate their future aspirations. Did they want to stay with the company? Did they want to try a new place? Did they want to try their hand at freelance roles? By getting past this bullying milestone and focusing on the next adventure, they found they had more time on their hands to pursue job interviews and personal hobbies and interests. It was a great relief and inspired a career adventure.
I had an amazing day with family - a house full of almost 40 people. I live by one of the largest malls in the state and when I arrived home last night, I drove by the mall and was appalled to see EVERY parking spot was filled, buses were shuttling people in and there were lines two blocks long outside the entrance of some of the stores. I just shook my head and thought, this is happening the exact same week I just dropped off bars of soap at a homeless shelter because many people don't even have access to basic needs items. The clients in the front lobby had been so excited!
It's unfortunate that people can't even wait a full 24 hours to go on a huge shopping spree. Please rethink priorities and spend more time on relationships and supporting one another instead of accumulating stuff.
To help me stay focused and on track, I created a Pinterest board of Minimalist quotes. The one below helps me prioritize what I want to really be spending my time on. To view other quotes I have collected, please visit my board at Becoming Minimalist
I work 80 hour weeks and only survive this by the amount of sugar and caffeine that I consume. I am too tired to focus on anything else because I am just trying to pay bills. I want to go to the gym but don't have the energy. I got a PT job at a gym thinking I could work out afterwards, but when you start at 5 in the morning and put in an 8 hour shift, that is not as possible as I thought it was.
Minimalism allowed me to drop one of my jobs so I could use those couple hours a week to focus on my personal and professional goals and be able to redirect my energy from just surviving to actually thriving.
One of the most overwhelming things is that I continue to have multiple to-do lists going. I have a spend a good hour looking at them to figure out what is my priority - a true sign that I have too much going on!
After I spent a couple weekends de-cluttering and reviewing all the items from the past 10 years of things I don't actually use, I found I had more free time and focus. Instead of always feeling like I was behind, now I was able to push forward and start accomplishing the items on my bucket list.
I have been helping a dear friend with a research project and as a thank you, she let me stay at her family cabin for free. I brought my family to Northern Minnesota for a week with pure outdoor adventure and no reception. No emails. No phone. Completely unplugged.
In 7 days, one realizes how little they actually need to make it as well as the necessities. Below is my short list:
I got home and did another round of downsizing. It is so rewarding.
... is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it. It is about re-evaluating our pursuits, our habits, and our motivations.