zenhabits : breathe

10 Odd Little Minimalist Things I Do

Photo by Sarah Jane

Note: this will be another short, sorta-fun post that’s not on the weekly schedule. It’s not supremely useful, so feel free to skip this post. :)

As I noted last week, I consider myself a minimalist. Does that mean everything I do is minimalist? No, but there are some odd little things I do that you might consider minimalist.

Today I felt like taking a minute to share them with you.

  1. No watch. My watch broke a couple of years ago, and I decided I’d go without it. It saves me from having to put on a watch every day, and I feel much lighter. Plus, it has the advantage of making me less conscious of time, and more conscious of what I’m doing and who I’m with.
  2. No wallet. This isn’t an original idea, of course, but about a year ago I put my wallet in my car’s glove compartment. Now I only carry a few bills in cash, my driver’s license and my debit card, bound with a clip. My membership cards, discount cards, etc. are stored in my wallet in my glove compartment, and you know what? I never need them. I think I’ve only gone in the wallet once to get out a card in the last year.
  3. No keys. I began to simplify my key ring until it just has a few keys: office, home, car and post office box. Then I decided I didn’t need to carry them around with me. Now I just leave them in my glove compartment, and only carry around my car’s remote key (that little clicker thing that locks and unlocks the car). My pockets are so much emptier.
  4. No cell. Well, actually, I do own a cell phone. And it’s usually in my car. But I just have it for emergencies, mostly because I have kids and want to be available for them. However, I rarely make phone calls and if my kids are with me, I turn the cell off and leave it in the glove compartment. Man, I love that glove compartment.
  5. No bed. Actually, I have a bed. But it’s just a king-sized mattress that sleeps myself, Eva, and our two youngest babies. As our babies sleep with us, we decided it would be safer if the bed was low. Plus, I love the minimalist look of having only a mattress.
  6. No desktop icons. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but my computer desktop is completely free of icons. They are just visual clutter, they slow the computer down (it takes extra cpu cycles to draw icons), and they are an inefficient way of organizing or accessing your programs and documents. I use keyboard shortcuts for everything.
  7. No desktop storage. I don’t store my info on my computer’s hard drive. First, because I got tired of emailing myself my work files, so I could access them from home, or putting them on a flash drive or uploading them to web storage, or syncing my files. I decided to put everything online, and use online apps so that I could access info from anywhere. And it has made my life so much easier and simpler. I sometimes use desktop apps, but I then transfer it online and delete the file from the hard drive. I still have stuff on my hard drive, of course, but that’s just because I haven’t bothered to delete my old files — I don’t actually use them.
  8. No mobile Internet. I know iPhones and Blackberries and laptops with WiFi and other such mobile computing is all the rage these days, and I’ve been sorely tempted myself, but I’ve opted not to get such a device. The cell phone I mentioned only makes and receives phone calls. Actually, it can send text messages, but I’ve never done it. I like the freedom of being away from the Internet when I’m out doing something, either alone or with my family. It’s liberating to be disconnected.
  9. No cable TV. I’ve mentioned this before too, but a few years ago we made the decision to cut out cable TV from our lives. It was partly out of frugality, but also because cable TV tends to run your life. There is so much junk … er, I mean entertainment … on cable that you never do anything else. For a few months, we used rabbit-ear antennas to get the few free channels they have here on Guam, but we soon scrapped that too. Now, we watch DVDs, but not even every night. In fact, we haven’t watched a DVD for a few days now. Instead, we do miraculous things like read, and talk, and go outside.
  10. No ipod. My teen-aged daughter has an ipod. It’s almost always hooked into her ear. It makes conversation difficult. I have a cheap mp3 player that I bought for running, but it made running less enjoyable for me. Now, I run with only my thoughts and nature in my head, and I go places without the distraction of constant music. It’s nice.

Bonus link: Minimalist bread. No kneading, simple recipe, delicious and perfect. Also see: followup, blogged, blogged again.

How about you? Any odd minimalist quirks? Share in the comments.



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