In Discussions, Minimalism

The more you have, the less you use.

I was thinking the other day about the impracticalities of minimalism.

I mean, who wants to live with one mat on the floor and a single tea cup?

What if you wanted a second cup of tea? Or a third? You’d have to wash that cup each time and dry it, which, at the core of it all, is exactly what ‘minimalism’ is based on.

Rather than keeping a whole bunch of things around, multiple plates, forks, knives and so on, you only have one, maybe two sets. Each time you need it, you wash it.

The only tiny problem with all of this is…

WHAT IF YOU DON’T WANT TO AT THAT VERY MOMENT?

As regular readers of my Week of Money posts can attest to, I will let the plates, cups and cutlery pile up for two, three days max.

I don’t wash every single utensil, cup, plate and bowl each time I use it.

I have another adult and a child who more than use their fair share of dishware themselves and I’d have to clean up after them each time.

In theory, and on paper, minimalism is great.


In reality? You need a more balanced set of rules, which is why I am not an Extreme Minimalist, I’m a Practical Minimalist*

*Applicable only to certain things, obviously.

I don’t need 50 plates, but I do need at least 10 – 15 of them to last through the 2-3 days I let lapse in between dishwashing.

…and because for some reason, my partner can’t seem to boil water without dirtying 5 plates, 2 pans, 1 pot and 8 sets of cutlery in the process.

But when I am at home alone, I have all of the bowls, plates and things to use, but the more choice I have, the less I want to use.

I only pick out one plate, or one bowl and wash it after I use it.

A LOT OF STUFF MEANS I USE VERY LITTLE OF IT

However when I look at my clothes, the paradox of choice comes in and it is overwhelming.

I just sort of pick out the same favourite skirt, same tops, and same necklace or watch to wear each day.

I have so much choice, it makes me want to use even less of it.

I need to pare down, to be able to use more of my stuff if that makes any sense.

So….. at the crux of it, it all boils down to this:

If you actually use it, it is useful.

If you love it and want it, it is necessary.

But the more that you own, the less you will use.

Practical minimalism for me, is getting to that right balance and that sweet spot:

Having just enough.


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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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4 Comments

  1. Yet Another PF Blog

    I like the idea of “just enough.” Just enough dishes to fill the dishwasher, just enough clothes to do a load of laundry every two weeks. Some variety but enough routine that everything is in frequent use.

    Reply
    1. SarahN

      I do find you wisdom to be true – til I get to socks and knickers, in which case, they never FILL a load, and I allow myself excesses of these 😉 Hate either to be my ‘limiting’ factor in dressing.

      Reply
      1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

        Agreed on the knickers & socks.. I change my socks at least twice a day.

        Reply
    2. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      If only I had that balance…

      Reply

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