I’ve been thinking lately about minimalism as a form of a simple life versus minimalism in regards to downsizing (and still having a busy, hectic life). We definitely like having less stuff, and we like living in a smaller space, but we have also been buying things to make our lives better. Living in a small space (for us at least) means making sure that every piece of furniture fits exactly where we want it to fit, and has multiple functions. If it sticks out three inches too far or only serves as that one thing we use once a week and otherwise sits in the way, then it doesn’t fit in our home. This has meant making most things. We can’t just go to Goodwill and buy a bed frame, because we need the bed to fold up into the wall to reveal a couch underneath, and we need storage for clothes beneath the couch. Yep, I made a wall bed that turns into a couch. Ok, it isn’t completely, completely finished; I’ll post a picture when it is.
The good news is that we don’t have a lot of space to work with, so once we get everything situated as we like it, we should be done. Unlike our house that we constantly worked on because it was so big. So ideally, we’ll get everything set up before the baby is born and Sunny starts graduate school, so that we can have a simpler life. Right? Parents, are you with me? Yeah, because we’re actually going to be taking care of a kid going through the terrible twos, an infant who wakes up multiple times during the night, me working 50 hours a week and Sunny going to graduate school. So, it won’t be simple. But we won’t be spending money on objects, and we won’t be building things every weekend.
While we want to have fewer things, and we want to have a smaller footprint, we’ve found that we’re still spending a good deal of money. Far less than when we owned a house, but still more than expected. I guess we’ll see what happens when we get the place set up as we like it and we can stop working on it. If that ever happens. I’m afraid this kaizen thing, this constant obsession to improve, might be too much a part of my life to stop and ever just be satisfied. I don’t know if that’s a bad thing. I’m not sure it’s a good thing either. Joshua Fields Millburn of The Minimalists seems to think being complacent is equal to being content. My feelings are currently mixed on this. Do I want to feel content? I’m not sure I would ever want to get rid of my goals, but maybe I’d like to change my goals some day.