I enjoy looking at any aspect of life I can with a minimalist’s mindset. Because I so often share ideas on how to organize or cut back, I want to be sure to admit that I’m capable of taking things to the extreme. In 2003 I learned first hand that keeping a close watch on spending money is necessary when paying off debt, and by 2010 (after our debts were paid) I discovered that living a lifestyle of scrimping can eventually put a choke-hold on everyone.
When our family moved back to America in 2009, it was a good opportunity for me to monitor which items I truly needed before adding anything to our home. I experienced culture shock by returning to “bigger is better” mindset in the US, and it conflicted with the minimalist ideals we developed living a mobile lifestyle in Europe. We had few belongings and I made it my personal mission to not over-stock pantry shelves or bedroom closets. And it became legalistic. Some might have considered me a miser (of sorts).
For some time I operated our kitchen without basic essentials then finally yielded to buying a hand mixer so I could bake some gluten free bread. It was a measly $5.99 to purchase. The hand mixer worked for a few months but sparked and smoked while being put to use on a bread mix one day. Had I been willing to spend a little more money (which was not in short supply), I’d have saved the ruined bread recipe, time, and money.
My point? There was no secret panel of people applauding me for having done without a hand mixer as long as I could manage.
While living out your minimalist lifestyle, take care not to turn your home into a museum. Buy what’s necessary, and purchase items that will serve you well.