For years, I had a framed piece of art sitting on my laundry room floor. It’s a long list of all the reasons to love New England, with illustrations of Sturbridge-Americana designs like hearts and quilt patterns. It’s the opposite of everything I like, but it reminded me of home, so I left it there, gathering dust.
Last week, I put it in a box marked “Donate.”
It’s part of a challenge I took after reading “Everything That Remains,” a memoir by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, two friends known as The Minimalists.
They’ll visit Indianapolis on Tuesday, the 37th stop on their 100-city tour, for a presentation and long-form Q&A session on how to live more deliberately.
It all began after the death of Millburn’s mother, when he was faced with what to do with her belongings. Ultimately, his conclusion was this: “Memories aren’t in things, they’re not in boxes, they’re in us.” And so his journey toward living as a minimalist began. Shortly after, Nicodemus joined him. At age 30, they left their six-figure corporate careers, got rid of most of their material possessions and eventually began a blog, www.theminimalists.com. They now have 2 million readers.
Millburn spoke by phone about his journey and why this lifestyle will always be a struggle.
8 things I learned from The Minimalists
Take it one room, one closet, one drawer, one item at a time.
Pulling every item of clothing you own out of your closet all at once is (relatively) easy. But sorting through it, deciding what to purge and putting the stuff back takes far more time and energy. If you aren’t careful, you could wind up asleep face down on a pile of clothes that were once clean and are now covered in cat hair … hypothetically.
Memories aren’t in things.
Memories of my childhood aren’t in a frame on my laundry room floor, just as Millburn’s memories of his mother weren’t stored in cardboard boxes. The sooner you realize this, the better.
Let us know what you think of becoming a minimalist!