Real Life Minimalists: Geoff

Every Monday I post Real Life Minimalists, a profile of one of my readers in their own words. If you’d like to participate, click here for details.

Today, Geoff, a university student, shares his story with us. I think it’s wonderful that he’s starting his minimalist journey so early in life! If you’d like to read more of his thoughts, please visit his blog, Happiness & The Fish.

Geoff writes:

I’m a student living 4 hours from home, and that means not many trips home. When I relocate I have to move everything at once. Since I’ve found a place for the next 3 years at school, I decided to move all my stuff with me (not just stuff I need for school, but everything I own: I didn’t want my extra stuff cluttering up my parents’ house). I’ll spare the details, but when we moved all my stuff to the new place, the (fairly large) van was literally packed to the top, with room left for only 3 of 4 family members. This is when I realized that I had far too much junk.

Once I’d settled in (about a month ago), I began to read a lot of minimalist blogs like Miss Minimalist, Far Beyond The Stars, and mnmlst. I started sorting through everything, using the ‘one month’ and ‘one year’ rules. I am donating or selling a lot of things like PC games and gadgets that I haven’t used in years. The more crap I let go of, the easier it gets to part with more and more stuff.

I’m also viewing a lot of the things around me differently: without so much junk I don’t need such a big room (Or I can enjoy more space in a large room). Without a cluttered desk, I can focus on my work much better. Without so much clothes, I don’t need to do as much laundry. The list goes on.

As I’m currently unemployed, I’ve been spending time scanning important papers/books and photographing momentos, so that I can let go of the physical objects. I’ll admit, I’m not quite ready to part with a lot of my stuff just yet, but the next time I move will be a big motivator to crack down on things that I don’t actually need. I’m just starting my minimalist journey, and I know I have a long way to go. But I’m glad I’ve learned early in my life to reject the consumer society that we’ve been immersed in for over 50 years. The 21st century is not going to be easy on us, but I hope that by adopting and spreading the minimalist philosophy, we can greatly reduce our footprint and make the transition easier.

Thanks for providing such an inspiring resource, miss minimalist! It’s helped motivate me to simplify my life, and I will be recommending it to friends and family!


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11 comments to Real Life Minimalists: Geoff

  • Rehan

    Just to be pointlessly pedantic, having less clothes doesn’t mean doing less laundry. You do laundry at the rate that you wear clothes.

  • anna28

    Kudos on becoming a minimalist at such a young age — I sure wish I had. It would have saved me twenty years of pointless accumulation!

  • JimT

    Thanks for sharing this, Geoff. I’m a college student too. All of my stuff fits in my car right now, and I want to keep it that way. I also feel strongly about rejecting consumer society and don’t want to damage the planet by buying lots of unnecessary stuff.

  • Kudos to you for learning all this so early in life. You have years ahead of you and now they won’t be full of physical and emotional clutter to cart from place to place.
    You can truly concentrate on the art of living. Thanks for sharing your story and remember ‘stay the course’.

  • Gil

    Thanks for sharing, Geoff. I wish I had your wisdom when I was that age, lol.

  • Congratulations!!!!
    You have come full circle now, from clutter-bug, to clutter-free to having your own ‘manual’ to teach others. Way to go girl!

    I do have to present an argument with Rehan, I believe wholeheartedly in ‘owning less clothes means less laundry’. And here is my reasoning: ever since I eliminated 80% of my closet (and hubby’s too) we have found that we are caring for what we still own more, you become more conscious of each individual item and you treat them with ‘kid gloves’ (hanging them up for 2nd wearings,changing sooner into our ‘comfy’s’, saving your nicer things for special occasions so they are always ‘newer looking’, hanging the clothes to dry so the dryer does not wear them down as fast). We definitely do less laundry around here these days.

  • Tina

    Empty space in a closet is wonderful. I look at it as a possibility. Friends have their own closets filled and then have filled closets in other rooms of their homes. I go on this site to find other people with the same world view.

  • Tina

    Another big pile for Goodwill is waiting by the door. I took another cubic foot down to be recycled. I watch TV shows about hoarders and realize that’s where we’d be if I didn’t clear the place out every few days..I haven’t sorted through the linen closet in a few weeks. There may be a few sheets I can get rId of.

  • Tina

    I just donated more books to the library and took a bunch to the nursing home where my mom lives. I take more craft supplies to the children’s room at the library and the park district each week. I still have enough that if I made one collage or one necklace each week I could go for a year without needing new supplies. I have some beautiful beads someone gave me which I really want to display.

  • Tina

    I enjoy sorting through papers and cabinets. A relative has allowed me to go through big boxes of stuff and sort and shred papers. I also did the linen closet and a stuffed kitchen cabinet. I like watching shows about people who live in tiny houses and have to pare down their possessions. One woman had maybe 90 pairs of shoes and had to decide what to keep. I have 6 pairs counting my flip flops and snow boots.

  • We were given a gift card for Macy’s. We seldom buy anything new. Last time we had a gift card for Macy’s, my husband bought some ties and I got some costume jewelry.

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