My path in minimalism has been like working with wood. I chopped away at the bigger stuff at first. But eventually I had to start sanding, with a fine grit and patience.

Instead of making time consuming purges, I just performed small but frequent passes. Eventually a result started taking shape. The feeling of having something to aim for is incredibly fulfilling and empowering. Eventually I started living that potential result, and then the rest fell away.

So don’t feel like you have to be down to a very specific place right now. It took me years and I’m still sanding away, even finer, slowly finding the right contours to fit my life. Maybe my block of wood is still far too big, or maybe I sanded off too much somewhere. But I’ll get there, and so will you.

How strong would you like your minimalism, sir?

Minimalism is like coffee. You can make it any way you want.

You can make it strong, and remove everything in your life except for only the essential. You can pare down to a few boxes or remove your bed or get rid of everything entirely. You can clear your mind of all thoughts unrelated to your focus.

You can make it weak, and remove only a little bit, just tweaking your life into different shapes and positive arrangements. You can consider a few items, move slowly, and try to find some peace in your mind. Tiny changes for a theoretically huge benefit.

Both of these approaches are valid. Just like there is middle ground, there is the highest and lowest setting. They are equal and perfectly acceptable. They all coexist.

At the core, minimalism is about less. How much less is up to you.

Might migrate to Tumblr

I'm considering curbing my average word count and simply aggregating all of my minimalism links, photos, quotes and ideas into a single feed on Tumblr.

Is there any comments on this?

EDIT: So the blogspot side of things seems pretty dead overall, so I'm using my tumblr now. Amongst the quotes and pictures, you will find blogs - smaller, more condensed trains of thought that I planned for here but decided to pare down and post there instead.

Here and now, boys.

In Aldous Huxley's masterpiece philosophical novel Island, the birds have been trained to say things to the villagers constantly. The two that we hear in the book on a regular basis is "Here and now boys," and even more often, "Attention."

We get caught up in our minds and forget to be in the present moment. When we're focused on the "here and now," that's when we truly appreciate the world.

Many mediators will say that as you practice, everything you do can be meditation. Just focus on what you are doing. Be patient and look at yourself, feel yourself, hear yourself. Be mindful of your body and your mind.

Attention; here and now, boys.

9 More Treatises on Minimalism

11. Minimalism is distilling life.

12. Minimalism is an enhancer, not a finder.

13. Focus creates beauty or abhorrence. You decide which.

14. Upkeep is all of the battle.

15. You can't eliminate mistakes.

16. Minimalism is respected.

17. Portability.

18. Necessity is fluid.

19. Memento mori.

What Minimalism is Compatible With But Doesn't Imply

This blog veers into other territory sometimes and I want to establish what is and what can be minimalism.


It's easy to become jaded with the system after you've started to unhook yourself from having so much stuff. However, that's not necessarily a direct connection. You can be minimalist without being anti-consumerist. The latter is more of a political, social way of looking at ownership minimalism. If getting more stuff is so empty, then why do we do it? It makes sense. However, what personally works for you doesn't have to be reflected on what you think the world could use.

Simple living

Simple living is becoming harder to define. Like "hipster," it's become a cultural mirage which we attempt to grasp onto but never quite nab, due to the many voices talking at once. So I'll do my best here.

Simple living takes minimalism and skews it even harder into old fashioned, vaguely Walden territory. Live in a small house if possible. Live with as few pieces of technology as possible. Consider the environment. Be self-sustaining. Live frugally and forgo work if you can. Repair your stuff and avoid new purchases at all costs.

I see simple living as encompassing minimalism, but expanding it to a much greater definition. It defines the difference between what can be perceived as a more modern minimalism (aesthetically very blank, lifestyle very open) with a aged, nature-focused minimalism from the past.

This blog is occasionally simple living themed.


I see two sides to this coin.

Common ground: I should spend as little as possible on stuff, avoiding it as much as possible and only buying what little I need.

Option one: I should spend a lot of my stuff that I do buy so that it lasts me a long time.

Option two: I should penny pinch so I can not have to deal with buying stuff, save up money and possibly avoid working entirely.

This just illustrates that there can be different tactics, and all of them are common.

Aesthetic minimalism

The artistic method. A suitable end-goal for anyone, certainly, but not necessarily useful or utilitarian in a lot of cases.

Digital Minimalism

Computers are fantastic tools. We have these five pound slabs that can entertain us with almost any form of media, communicate over long distances, and assist us in creating our own works of art. It's no wonder our digital lives can become more complex than our own. Here's my methods on keeping the digital space clean.

1) Dump it all and start over again.

Back up everything on your computer. Put it all onto an external hard drive. Then grab your operating system disc, wipe the whole thing, and start from square one. If you don't know how to do this, it's not a difficult task, but it is a very useful one so you might as well learn now.

Now here's the key: don't immediately dump everything from your external hard drive onto your new installation. Instead, copy things over as you require them. Only transfer music you're actively listening to, or try not transferring any at all. Only move over wallpaper you want to apply to your desktop. Keep out documents until you need them for reference or want to add to them. You'll be surprised how little you actually need to transfer over, especially if you do this a few times.

2) Avoid new programs.

Programs are complicated. Keep them at bay by installing as few as your habits dictate.

On my Mac, I only install a dozen new programs on top of the default, and sometimes even less. This lowers the amount of updates I have to juggle (especially if I can get them through the app store, or through the package manager on Linux) and keeps the system's internals running smoothly without cruft and temp files.

3) Block everything and learn to say no.

My Internet presence is fueled by a Firefox install with three add-ons: Adblock Plus, Ghostery, and HTTPS everywhere. With a few exceptions for sites I want to support, these add-ons are blocking at full capacity. In addition, I rarely install Flash or Silverlight.

The trick is knowing that you can say "no" when this shuts you out of something. Ghostery stops an article for loading? I'll read a different website. Of course, this doesn't work for necessary applications, which is why I usually keep Safari available so I have a browser to use for my online banking needs. However, I distrust advertisers and as such if your website breaks when I remove them, I will usually refuse to stay any longer.

4) Reduce the streams.

Lower your Facebook friend count. Delete your Twitter feeds. Stop following Tumblr blogs. Don't check so many blogs every day. Delete RSS feeds that you always skip. Don't download podcasts you never listen to.

Instead, try to focus on things that are a positive influence. Things that you create yourself, like a blog, or writing that you know inspires or interests you. Too much of the Internet is a null transaction - you insert time but nothing actually happens. Aim for the few things you visit each day to be the most positive, powerful sites to your mind.

5) Beware of the cloud (for now).

No service will ever have 100% uptime except your own files, stored on your own computer. Cloud services are new and budding, and largely filled with doublespeak and tech industry hype. Wait until it is more stable before throwing your files into the hands of an unknown server provider.


It's okay.

It's okay if you're not as minimalist as me, or another blogger, or some person in your life.

It's okay if you're not sure what your passions are.

It's okay if you feel like you don't have a clue.

It's okay if you feel like you're not being minimalist all the time.

It's okay if you're using minimalism in a different way, or even if you decide it's just not for you.

It's okay if you disagree with me.

It's okay if you agree with me but can't apply it to your life.

It's okay if you're young and you don't know what's going on.

It's okay if you're in a position in your life where minimalism doesn't work like you think it should.

It's okay if you live with someone who makes minimalism hard or impossible.

It's okay to make exceptions.

It's okay to change ideas.

It's okay to reject, reform, recycle, reuse, and restate.

Take a deep breath. Exhale.

Close your eyes. Open your eyes.

Peaceful mind. Relax.

It's okay if life isn't exactly like you want it right now. Don't get complacent and just relax. Let life wash against you.

In your own time, in your own way, you will arrive.