I give The Minimalists credit as the catalysts for us coming to the conclusion I hope we would have eventually come to on our own. Minimalism is freedom. But the difference between Joshua & Ryan and The Wonder Family is that they are single dudes, and we’re a family. It’s a whole different ball game when you have a ten-month-old. I don’t think that affects a lot in the kitchen, or in Sunny and my closet (although living in Minnesota sure means we need different clothes for summer, winter and the short seasons that struggle so hard to squeeze in between those two drama queens). But Coraline needs a lot of clothing. She goes through a few outfits a day now that she’s learned how to drag her belly all over the perpetually-dirty-even-when-swept-hourly floor. Did I mention we also have two dogs? That’s another difference between us and The Minimalists.
Everything I’ve read from these guys is extremely supportive of everyone adopting minimalism on their own terms. We just need to figure out what they means for us. We do want to free our lives of as much stuff as we possibly can. I just took our second carload of stuff to Goodwill, and we have roughly a carload worth waiting to be picked up by The Disabled American Veterans Dept of MN. We also want to keep the things that make our lives easier, and things we’ll use again. Things like:
- Clothes that Coraline has outgrown but we want to save for baby number two
- Clothes that were given to us that Coraline hasn’t grown into yet
- Toys from my childhood that Coraline hasn’t grown into yet
And what about buying new things? We don’t want to deprive our daughter of toys that help with development. Sure she enjoys hitting the top of an empty coffee canister with a wooden spoon, but does she need more? Not right now. She’s only ten months old. But these are questions we’ll have to ask ourselves soon.
While we’re on this note. It’s confession time. Way back in the day, two years ago, when we had no intention of having children, it was easy to make a decision and execute that decision without looking back. I remember texting Sunny, “Wanna be vegan next year?” And she responded, “OK.” Then we talked a little more when we got home and we were straight up, strict vegan for a year. But with a baby, all bets are off. So immediately after we made the decision to not buy anything for two months, the weather drops and Coraline gets cold at night in her bedroom. We bought her a space heater. Back me up here parents. We can’t let our daughter shiver all through the night. We could have just turned the heat up in the entire house, but a space heater seemed more cost effective, and Sunny and I like it to be a little cooler in the rest of the house.
That’s my two cents worth on single dude minimalism versus family minimalism. I know it can be done. We just need to find the balance. That’s our current adventure. Check out my friends who live in an Airstream with two kids.