I was planning to post about my big tool purge in the garage, but then I read another post that I wanted to comment on and share. Annie over at Annienygma wrote a post about The Slavery of Extreme Minimalism, and portions of it really ring true to me.
Extreme minimalism usually involves living with very few posessions, often less than 100 items. I’ve often wondered what these folks do when they want a home cooked meal, or need a can of wd40 to fix a squeeky hinge. From what I’ve read, they typically borrow items they don’t have, they share living space permanently or temporarily with others, and generally don’t have elaborate home cooked meals unless they are visiting friends or family.
I’m sure this would work okay for a single twenty something, but I think it’s tougher for a family to practice extreme minimalism. Even the likes of Leo Babauta claims to have less than 100 items himself, but he doesn’t count all the communal family items or really any of the items belonging to family members.
I’m not going to bash they ways of the extreme minimalist too much. I think Annie makes some valid points in her post and covers some of the downsides to extreme minimalism.
We are planning a more realistic approach to minimalism, more along the likes of Joshua Becker, Adam Tervort, and probably many of you reading this blog. I aim for a realistic minimalism where I get rid of items that are of little or no use and I keep items that I find useful in my day to day life. I like to think of this as balanced minimalism, where we balance ourselves between the extremes of consumerism and extreme minimalism.