- What is your current living situation?
I currently live in a house. Having lived in a dorm, three apartments, a townhouse, and two houses during my adult life, the house is by far my favorite residence. It is bigger than the rest (always helpful for those nights you have friends over for game/movie night or want to be home but not around your roommate and their significant other during their date night); you can enjoy the pleasure of having your own yard; and you do not have to use the cable and utility providers that are forced upon you in a more communal setting. However, a house is also the worst for a minimalist. There are more spaces (basement, garage, extra closets, cabinets, possibly sheds) to hide your stuff and mask the fact that you are a maximumist.
- What do you think of when you think of "minimalism"?
Before a couple of years ago, the first thing that I would think of when I heard minimalist was someone who was either a nomad or had nomad-like tendencies. They didn't have a lot because they 1) didn't have a lot of money and 2) were constantly moving for one reason or another. However, I have altered my definition in recent years. Now, I consider a minimalist someone who is not materialistic. They are disciplined enough to only purchase what they need and nothing else.
- What are some of your hobbies? Do you collect anything?
One of the primary ways I display my maximumist ways is my DVD and book collections. I love a good story and because of this accumulated a nice bunch of each over the years. Instead of going to the library to borrow a book I desired to read, I bought it from the store. Instead of renting from the video store, I purchased the movie from a retail store. Even after several trips to Hastings to sell some books and DVD's, I still have an above average collection of both mediums in my possession.
- What are one or two things about life you'd like to "minimize"?
I would like to minimize two things in my life: the amount of stuff I own and the amount of time I spend on things that are not value-added. I come from two parents who I love but skew towards the "packrat" end of the spectrum. It is no surprise, then, that I have a similar habit myself. It always amazes me, and will amaze me in a few months once more, that whenever I move, I have a lot of stuff? I don't recall getting all of it, but yet there it is in front of me. What's worse, I don't recall using over half of it in the past month or two! If I don't need it, then what's the point of having it? I also desire to cut out the time I spend on things that are frankly, time wasters. There is nothing wrong with sitting down and watching a TV show or reading a book. But if I am watching 2-4 hours of TV a night, or spending all evening reading only fiction novels, that is taking away from things that could help me grow as a person: exercising, reading my Bible, getting tasks done around the house, developing relationships with friends and family, etc. This is not always the case with me, but let's say it occurs more frequently than I would like.
- Any other thoughts?
One last thought on maximumism. In my opinion there is a direct correlation between being a maximumist and debt. As I look around and take an inventory of my stuff, all I see are dollar signs. I have wasted so much money buying things that I wanted but didn't need. Now, those things just sit around gathering dust and even if I sell them, will make back only a small percentage of what I paid for it. I have learned my lesson and am in the midst of paying off the debt currently on my books but what really irks me is that it did not have to be that way. I have a couple of friends who would most certainly qualify as minimialists and guess what? They are both debt free. There is no greater motivation to working towards becoming a minimalist than to be in the same position they are right now.
Monday, April 23, 2012
Mini Minimalist Interview: Britt
Today's Mini Minimalist Interview features Britt from Lawrence, Kansas. I met Britt through Cassy (April 2nd's interviewee). Britt blogs over at Snapurly: