Hello everyone, I hope you have started the 2011 with a bang! I read a great post today by Joshua Becker at Becoming Minimalist, and I wanted to share a little of my story also. His post is 18 Reasons to Get the TV Out of Your Bedroom.
One of the first things we did in our Big Purge was to identify big ticket items that we could easily sell on eBay or Craigslist. We wanted to get some momentum going and to get a quick reward in the form of cash for starting the journey towards minimalism. One of the items we identified was our 52 inch Sony 1080i LCD rear projection TV. (It was s a rear projection, not one of those skinny ones that hangs on the wall.) Part of this decision involved moving our smaller but better quality TV from the bedroom to the living room. This TV is a 42 inch Sony 1080p LCD TV (one of the skinny wall hanging types.)
We had two reasons for doing this. One is that we had our Playstation 3 / Bluray player in the living room and we wanted to have a full 1080p HDTV to watch movies on. Reason number two is that it was just time for a change, and since we were downsizing it seemed like a good idea.
The TV in the bedroom wasn’t unused, but we figured we could give it up and just use one in the living room instead. And if we wanted to we could always buy another TV later down the road.
We spent little time considering this decision and in just a few minutes I had the old 52 inch TV set aside and the newer 42 inch TV in its place. We watched a Bluray movive that night and oohed and aahed at the improved picture quality. We ended up selling the old 52 inch TV on craigslist for $200.
The Results of Removing the TV from the Bedroom
It has now been four months since we gave up the TV in the bedroom, and here are some things I have noticed.
First is that we read more. Dream isn’t a big reader, so I typically read aloud to her, and we both get to enjoy some quality time sharing a good book.
I also read to my daughter more instead of zoning out with TV before bed. This is extremely satisfying. I think it’s important to read to kids, and not having a TV in the bedroom has removed that distraction for us. Almost every night now we’ll read a book in our bed before scooping her up and carrying her to her own bed.
It is easier to go to be early (or on time.) With a TV in the bedroom it seems like we always stayed up later. Even if we didn’t turn on the TV in the bedroom, we seemed to stay up later in the living room watching TV. The nights when we did watch TV in the bedroom, we definitely stayed up past my self imposed bed time.
We watch less TV. I’m not sure why it is, but since we moved the TV from the bedroom to the living room we watch less TV. Maybe we broke the hold TV had on us by reducing our household TV count. I mean we didn’t watch a lot before, since we gave up cable TV long ago, but now we watch even less.
There is one downside that we noticed. Every couple of months I pick up a new game for my Playstation 3. When I play video games, I typically spend a lot of time over a couple of weeks to beat it. Before the TV purge, Dream would go in the bedroom and watch TV while I played games. Now we have to be better about sharing our TV time. Maybe this is actually a benefit being that I spend less time gaming and more time sharing with Dream, but it seems like a negative to me since I don’t get to game as much.
Overall it has been a good experience. I don’t miss the TV in the bedroom at all, and I really enjoy the extra reading time that has resulted. Like Joshua mentions at the end of his post, life is better with no TV in the bedroom. If you have a TV in the bedroom, you might give it a shot. Unplug it and move it to another room to see if your life changes in any meaningful way. I know mine did.