Getting Minimal in Middle America

America is changing. The blogosphere and the Internet in general are full of examples of people embracing the idea of minimalism and leaving behind the traditional ideas about material possessions.

Some of my favorite bloggers are leading the way for living the minimalist life–and they’re getting noticed for it. Blogger Tammy Strobel and her husband Logan, of her blog RowdyKittens, were featured in the New York Times and the Today Show for their car-free lifestyle and ability to live in a minimal space, with minimal things. Read the NYT article here.
Blogger, writer and location independence expert Everett Bogue, of his blog Far Beyond the Stars was recently featured on CBS news for his location independent lifestyle and living with less than 100 personal items. Watch the news segment here.
All this interest in minimalism and alternative ways of living tells me that minimalism is starting to go mainstream, a few baby steps at a time. The movement is catching on.
Along with the mainstream news taking notice of minimalists, I have found, particularly on big sites like Yahoo!, there is an article about how to save money and/or get out of debt nearly every other day. The latest article I read on Yahoo! Finance follows several individuals and their strategies for paying down debt, saving more and consuming less. The first person highlighted in the story decided that for all of 2010, she would go on a spending fast. According to the article, she has not went out to eat, bought any clothing or non-necessity items this year. Putting a halt to unnecessary spending has saved this smart lady over $5,000 and 2010 isn’t even over yet!
Read the Yahoo! article here .
While some of these stories may seem too extreme for some, I think each of us needs to find our own version of minimalism, to find our own way to buy less, use less, and collect less stuff.

I am still on my downsizing journey. My husband and I have downsized over the last three years from two cars and a three bedroom house with a basement, to our current 700 square foot one bedroom apartment and one car.
We’re very happy where we are right now, possibly the happiest we have ever been, and we have less stuff than we’ve ever had since my husband and I have been married. There’s something very powerful about that.
And to me, that’s what minimalism is.

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