May 10, 2012

Becoming Minimalist: Start Here.

Welcome to Becoming Minimalist. If you are new to this site, know that you are not alone. In fact, while Becoming Minimalist is honored to have tens of thousands of regular readers, there are thousands of readers each day that stumble on to this site for the first time. And to you, a special welcome. I’d love to make your experience here as comfortable as possible.

More than anything else, this is a site designed to inspire you to pursue your greatest passions in life by owning fewer possessions. It is based on the realization that there are far more important things in life to accomplish.

Our story begins on a beautiful three-day weekend at our home in suburban Vermont. The sun was shining, the flowers were blooming, the grass was beginning to green, and the trees were budding. I was cleaning my garage, my wife was cleaning the bathrooms, and my 5-year old son was in the backyard asking us to come play with him. At that very moment, I struck up an entirely coincidental, life-changing conversation with my neighbor who commented, “Maybe you don’t need to own all this stuff.” The juxtaposition was striking. My possessions piled up in the driveway… my son in the backyard… my day slipping away… I immediately recognized something needed to change. My belongings were not adding value to my life. Instead, they were subtracting from it.

We began donating, recycling, and removing as many of our possessions as possible. We embarked on a minimalist journey to own less stuff. As a result, we discovered more money, more time, more energy, more freedom, less stress, and more opportunity to pursue our greatest passions: faith, family, friends.

And we decided to write about it.

At first, Becoming Minimalist served as an online journal for our decluttering progress. But it quickly became a place to encourage others, the word “becoming” representing an open invitation to all. It does not boldly require anyone to “be” minimalist overnight – nor does it specifically define the word for you. Instead, it encourages you to consider the journey and the far-reaching benefits that come from owning less. This is a blog dedicated to rational minimalism and discovering what that uniquely means for each of us. And the more who are introduced to this life-changing message, the better! Because we’re all just trying to make the most of this journey called life.

To be introduced to our simple message, start with one of our most popular posts:

Or to be further convinced of the importance of owning less, try one of these posts:

We learned quickly that our journey to live with less on the outside would also force our attention inward:

And would be entirely unique because of our life’s values. After all, we have children, live in the suburbs, and work full-time.

Our story has been seen on the CBS Evening News, National Public Radio, The Guardian, and various interviews/reviews you can find all over the Internet. Here are just a few:

Over the course of the last four years, we’ve written three books. And while much of the content in the books can be found on this site (except for the new one), it has been organized and formatted in a far-friendlier format in the books. They tend to sell pretty well.

And if you really can’t get enough, feel free to browse our archives. But be warned, there’s a bunch of information there.

We add one or two new posts each week. If you’d like to receive them over e-mail, you can sign up here. Or you can receive them in a web reader format. We’re also connected to our community through various social networks. Here’s where you can find us:

  • Facebook: Daily inspiration quotes.
  • Twitter: Quotes, thoughts, links.
  • Tumblr: Interesting stuff found on-line during research.
  • Pinterest: Promoting simplicity in home and life.
If you’ve heard enough and are convinced to try it out yourself, you’ll find some good suggestions here: 7 Ways to Sample Living With Less.

from Becoming Minimalist

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