Real Life Minimalists: Ashley

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, Ashley shares her perspective on minimalism—explaining that it’s not about the number of possessions you own, but how they suit your lifestyle.

Ashley writes:

Photo by Ashley

I’ve heard a lot of crazy things regarding minimalism lately: counting your items, owning a set number of things (usually 100), being vegan, doing yoga, etc.

Well, I feel like the time has come to finally speak up.

I have always been a minimalistic person by nature. I’ve come to realize that no object will give me as much satisfaction as accomplishing the goals I have set for myself.

I’ve always been like that.

Growing up, I never got swept away by fads, must haves, etc. I just did the things that interested me. It is true that I never buy books, I just read them at the library, and it is also true that I pretty much never buy things anymore, except for food and necessities, but I’ve come to realize that minimalism truly isn’t about the possessions you own, its about simplifying your life in order to do the things that you truly want to do.

Minimize your possessions to fit your actual lifestyle.

Not your past lifestyle, not your future lifestyle, and not as Ms. Francine says, your fantasy lifestyle, but your actual lifestyle.

I remember that my cello professor, the principle cellist of the CSO, told me he owned two cellos, each worth over $100,000, each more than the price of some houses, so that he could keep one at the symphony hall and one at home for teaching to eliminate his constant travelling and potential accidents between the two places. Was two cellos excessive? Yes, probably for most people. But for him, it was not. You see, that was his lifestyle and those were the things he decided he needed for his lifestyle at that moment.

That’s what true minimalism is about, only having the things that are truly useful and fitting for your lifestyle at the moment.

If you are a traveling nomad, yes, owning less than a hundred things is extremely fitting. In fact, I honestly hate carrying more than that for extended travel.

But, whether you’re a banker, a baker, a musician, an artist, a homemaker, or a business owner, it doesn’t matter. Everyone has their particular tools that they need to achieve the things they need to do.

That said, excessiveness only comes into play when your trying to keep up with the latest trends and fashions. Hoarding arises when you have too many things that you will never truly use in your life.

Purge your life of anything that doesn’t suit your life at this very moment. That to me is what true minimalism is all about.

{If you’d like to learn more about minimalist living, please consider reading my book, The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide, or subscribing to my RSS feed.}

57 comments to Real Life Minimalists: Ashley

  • Tina

    Here in Cook County, there is a tax on pop and other sweetened beverages. We have pop in the house that is probably a year old. But then, we could just drink iced tea. With all the complaining about the tax, you would think it was a necessity. There is no extra tax on Crystal Lite, Kool Aid or any drink mixes, by the way.

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