I'd say we joined the minimalist movement (without the label) some time in 2014. We went hardcore February 2015 when we got rid of 80% of what we owned and moved into a pop-up camper. A few months later, we increased our living space to a whopping 250 square feet and got rid of 10% more.
So you might say I was already a convert before I started reading The More of Less by Joshua Becker. Even so, not far into the book, I was still a bit surprised at some of the stats he threw at me:
In America, we consume twice as many material goods as we did fifty years ago. Over the same period, the size of the average American home has nearly tripled, and today that average home contains about three hundred thousand items. On average, our homes contain more televisions than people. And the US Department of Energy reports that, due to clutter, 25 percent of people with two-car garages don't have room to park cars inside and another 32 percent have room for only one vehicle. Home organization, the service that's trying to find places for all our clutter, is now an $8 billion industry, growing at a rate of 10 percent each year. And still one out of every ten American households rents off-site storage – the fastest growing segment of the commercial real-estate industry over the past four decades.
And the more I read, the more I realized I was not a minimalist. I say that because -- even though we got rid of so. much. stuff. – it was fairly easy. I wanted to downsize, get my bills lowered as much as possible, and move to the mountains. So I did. (Thank-you, God, for making my dream come true.)
But after living this way for more than a year, I realize there are still things I held on to that haven't been touched in months. I still own clothes I haven't worn. Originally, my end goal was to make a move, not intentionally live with less. Does that make sense?
"If we want to recalibrate to a lower level of accumulation and stay there,
we need to replace our culturally inspired greed with self-cultivated gratitude
about what we have." – Joshua Becker
This book has given me a renewed sense of purpose in getting rid of the unnecessary extras. Mr. Becker, who also created the Becoming Minimalist blog, does not simply share his experiences in living the minimalist lifestyle. He also shares why minimalism might be right for you, and how to go about your journey toward your version. He doesn't shy away from sharing how his faith plays a role, and he even offers troubleshooting and maintenance tips to help power through the process.
If you're looking for clarity in deciding if the minimalist life is for you, or if you just need some help getting rid of those last ten items, I recommend reading The More of Less. Even if you come out the other end thinking minimalism is a bit extreme and not for you, I'll bet you'll also have a greater sense of intention when deciding on what things to bring into your home. And consciousness is a good thing.
Psst…It's available on Kindle, if you'd rather not lug about another physical book. ;-)
More about The More of Less from the publisher.
More about the author Joshua Becker.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. The words and opinions here are all my own.
Shared at Making a Home and Tuesdays with a Twist.