Her story is actually interesting, but the conclusion of the post (and the title's question) is "I gave up extreme minimalism so I could keep things and go back to them from time to time."
I mean this isn't exactly profound.
Paraphrasing: "I bought a book to study German. Normally I'd throw it away when I'd get bored of it. Instead I'm going to keep the book, so if I have the desire to study German again later I can just pick it back up rather than buy a new one."
Similarly I have a lot of books which I sometimes blaze through, or abandon for some time. However the desire never completely dies out. I simply doesn't have the time or energy at that time. Should I give away the books I had no time to read, but still desirable for me?
I also have a lot of small projects which I re-visit and work for short time regularly. They may be very far from completion, but they reward with very high experience since I look them from a very different perspectives and as a very different developer every time.
If that's working for her, and she's happy, let her be.
Instead of wasting time trying to actively make this decisions and drain your mental energy, why not try semi-passive observation? I found that putting everything away and getting things that I regularly use from that pile, and getting rid of the least used part regularly (weekly, monthly, semi annually, etc.) works best.
This way also decluttering doesn't feel like swimming upstream, at least for me.
The method I mentioned is a way to set things in motion, and your brain unconsciously decides what to keep by getting it from that pile. Then you can give the rest (or some of it) away.
Hope it helps.
The hobbies often change as reaction to changes in environment - you like puzzles when work is underchallenging, but when work is mentally challenging you switch to different past time. You craft because you seen something inspiring, then you make music and some time later return to crafting when something inspiring comes around. You are tired so you do nothing, work was slow and boring so you are in mood to create on weekend.
No reason to ditch tools in the meantime, large benefit of having them is that you can switch impulsively without planning.
Only the author of the article is making her case over the hobby items or tools, however minimalism doesn't dictate the type of item to be reduced.
For a general rule for me, if you are planning to use it, you should keep it. At least in my case this rule works very well and prevents additional purchases effectively.
A good compromise is renting lenses a few times before buying, a sensible means to avoid "lens lust" leading to buying lenses that rarely get used.
When people walk into my home office and see the number of guitars, amps and pedals lying around, they are often taken aback. I do have a lot of music gear, but they are integral to me winding down and de-stressing from my developer life and exploring another creative side of my life.
When people ask me why I need about 10 guitars lying around and to downsize to just a couple, I say "No can do... each instrument is so different, and intended for a different purpose so I can't simply achieve all that with just one or two".
Contrary to popular belief, 2 screwdrivers is not enough for any situation.
A size 10 spanner will not fit every nut, and who only has a single sharp knife in their kitchen?
I have 4 bicycles, and I use all 4 of them. When I don't use one anymore, it will have to go. Things are to be used and enjoyed. I have no interest in keeping a museum.
If I had to guess I’d say it is about the feeling of control. If we don’t have any control over the outside world which has become quite unpredictable, and we have a hard time to control our own emtions and thoughts, it can be a soothing feeling to know exactly what you have where. It can also help with a nomadic life.
I’d argue to keep things strategically. Don’t just keep everything, but don’t just throw out everything either. Keep organized, label your drawers, sort stuff.
You should view your space as an external hard drive for your brain:
- it helps you to keep things in focus
- it helps you to revisit topics (hobbies, thoughts, emotions) now and then
- it might contain tools for creating things
If your only reason for not using that space is to avoid the mental work it needs to maintain it, that mainly means you don’t trust yourself with the decision how to organize your space in a way that serves you.
for me, that's the most alluring part. i find (good) coding or design work leads to decision fatigue. more stuff means more decisions. less stuff means less decisions (even if the initial purchase requires a bit more effort).
if i could manage to keep things organised after a long day, i'd probably do that. but some people need a strict set of rules, some people need the opposite (most people just cope/get by and never think about it - is that better or worse?).
For me, minimalism is not a starting point, but a destination that I've arrived by a long, sometimes hard inner journey.
I wanted to reduce my choice anxiety and the overhead of switching from something to another thing. I'm not a hoarder, but items that I use started to take a lot of space and mental energy (I like to organize things and keep notes about different subjects in different notebooks for example) to manage. I started to combine stuff and digitize old writings whenever possible, then combined old backups to denser mediums, stopped buying paper books and moved to eBooks, etc.
At the end of the process, I've found that I'm sizing down and my target is in the realms of minimalism. I'm not an extreme minimalist, and I cannot give some stuff like my stationary stock, since there's no place I can donate them, and throwing them away is simply wasteful. For these kind of items, I cut the influx, and using whatever I have to reduce items. It's working reasonably well for me.
For some of us, minimalism is not a fad or something to inspire to, but a way to live a less stressful and more comfortable life at the end.
Despite it not seeming like a just reason, for me it’s because of impermanence (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impermanence).
This is actually pretty good point. Many things we are passionate about requires us to have things. Extreme minimalism could in many ways conflict with pursuit of our interests.
> “scanners“, “multipotentialites”, “polymaths”, and “renaissance people”.
There must be a difference between having things to pursue some passion and pathologically having the passion of purchasing to pursue things.
There are some hobbies that fit the minimal lifestyle. Say digital music production, or reading, or listing to music, but some like modeling, physical painting, machining, or sewing that just take up a lot of space.
I'm constantly battling between having stuff and not having stuff, but I think the solution is to get as much stuff you can enjoy that fits into a 2m^2 storage unit, and lasts a lifetime.
I'm not sure I agree about needing 10 guitars like someone mentioned. I have 3 basses, 2 guitars and 1 acoustic and that feels like too many already.
Having a kid that's kindergarten age, I can see being a kindergarten teacher as fulfilling for a generalist. Every day can touch on a new concept, a new skill. At the same time, it can allow for a deeper specialization in pedagogy. For me, it's been app development – through it I can incorporate a wide variety of interests, while going deeper and deeper on the core skillset.
Personally, I've gravitated towards 'tidiness' over 'minimalism'. When Marie Kondo's book first came out, we decluttered our lives and it was liberating. I haven't seen the Netflix show but it sounds like her philosophy has gained a new level of fame recently. As a generalist, it's been particularly 'life changing' because I'm someone who can end up collecting a lot of things for 'some day'. By decluttering, I'm actually more inspired because it's easier to see the various projects and things I'm interested in. I.e., it's easy, as a generalist, to fall into the trap of thinking that everything is important and worth holding onto for some future endeavor.
I love living light and spending time all over the world, but it seems super inefficient for me to need to lug all my crap everywhere every time I move, when the same exact crap is available in every locale.
Typical example is a drill/toolkit, if I’m only going to use it occasionally, wouldn’t it be great if I could just borrow one one off for a day here or there? I don’t need to own it, I just want to use it. Multiply across all the sufficiently generic things I make use of in life, make it convenient and cheap enough I can depend on those things often, and you can live only truly owning the things you actually care about.
There is a song by Mes Aieux that I feel explains very well the feelings of young people with regards to this:
(Video is Yellow Vests themed but it has English subtitles).
Yes, I could go digital with some of my collecting hobbies (books, comics, movies), but we all know how DRM and digital services are nowadays.
My Criterion Collection Robocop DVD can't just magically disappear from my shelf one night because of some legal issues. Same with my books and comics, barring a large scale house fire, they're not going anywhere.
These days, I can't even read DVD, no reader in the house.
Editing metadata of files last not an easy task. Also not all files come with correct or meaningful metadata. You also want to strip some of useless metadata to clean your search results.
Another problem is size. When the data you have is bigger than a disk, separation problems come into play.
Last but not the least, having a lot of old files with no discernible organization or metadata compounds the problem, since you will want to organize them at some point.
However, disk sizes haven't really been a problem for about 5 years. I still am struggling to fill the few TB disk I bought back then.
High quality media takes a lot of space. A modern, mirrorless camera easily creates 1GB/minute movies in 1080p/50fps. A photo walk consisting of ~150 photos yield 5GB of images to sort and process. Ripping the Audio CD collection to FLAC also adds pretty fast.
Backing them up adds another dimension.
My storage needs doesn't warrant a storage array, but I need at least 10TB of storage now, incl. backups and future headroom.
That's a pity that the blogger didn't say how it was easier/different in old days.
But finding a job that challenges you completely is unlikely to work, and can be a bit unhealthy because e.g. lack of boundaries. Consider working an okay job and using your free time as much as possible. And not every job has to be 40h per week. If you're living comfortably, sometimes less hours/pay is better.
At the end of the day (no pun intended), the benefit of free time is ultimate flexibility. Bored of a project? Do something else for two weeks. Hard to do that at work.
Dream jobs are super rare and usually require a lot more hard work than you think. Media is really bad at portraying this, and they only really portray the people who made it, not the ones who burned out.
If you want to stay longer than 6-12 months then you usually need a student, work, marriage, retirement, or investor visa.
Some countries have special visas for freelancers or startups. Thailand has a "Thailand Elite" visa where you can pay $15k to stay for 5 years, or $63k to stay for 20 years . But Thailand and Vietnam are also quite relaxed, so you can usually stay for a few years on a series of tourist visas. (Especially multi-entry tourist visas if you apply in your home country.)
If you're a NZ citizen then you can live and work in Australia without a visa (and vice versa.)
How about "white middle class millennial nomad minimalist hipster"?
Instead of lecturing people on the internet, you might actually want to ponder than someone can "do something interesting with their life" _and_ have fun at living cliches at the same time.
Do you think that bile commentators like Joan Rivers, Ambrose Bierce, Bill Hicks, Hunter S. Thompson, Mark Twain, Bernard Shaw, and so on, haven't done anything interesting with their life, or is it only me? (Sure, I'm no Bierce or Rivers, but that wasn't my point. We do share the "derision" part which you seem to deem so crucial).
Plus, ever thought that I could pinpoint her that easily because I perhaps share some of her attributes? So my "derision" could also be self-deprecating? No, you only think about you!
And for what it's worth. I'm a home owning millennial with a car and a child but I love that people are willing to experiment outside of this norm.
Sorry, but I've preempted that already.
Cliches are not just "things many people have/do in common". They are things "people have/do in common mindlessly and in bad taste".
Tons of people travel for example, but traveling is not a cliche in itself. There are however, several types of cliche tourists.