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post #16 of 126
I think you want to have just enough clothing so that a lack of clothing never becomes an obstacle in your life. The key is choosing your items well, i.e. well fitted, flattering colors, etc. A lot of people buy random shit not really knowing what looks good and they just buy more and more. Most people only have a few colors that really compliment them. A well conceived wardrobe should make dressing effortless. It should give you less choices not more.

I think getting in shape would probably make most feel better than just buying new things, particularly if they are overweight or obese or super skinny. New clothes aren't going to do shit.

Collecting things is terrible waste of time and money unless you do it as an investor. Even then its still clutter. DVD's and books can be had from netflix or the library. Stuff takes time to organize and clean. It gets in the way.
post #17 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by APK View Post
Not having much so-called disposable bank is certainly a factor, but that isn't what's caused this shift in perspective.

I grew up in a family where we had a lot of things. We weren't rich or even well off, but a lot of my mom's income went toward things for me and my brother and herself. They were fun times, but it left her with no real nest egg. She gets enough from her retirement to pay her bills and live a comfortable, apartment lifestyle. But if something catastrophic were to happen, she'd be in trouble.

Personally speaking, I echo the sentiments of above posters in that I generally just feel better when I'm not surrounded by things. Living in an apartment, you feel claustrophobic quickly if you have too many things.

My changing feelings are further enforced by seeing others around me constantly buying and feeling no real sustainable happiness because of it. My best friend and his wife (both my age) bring in close to $100,000 annually. That's quite a bit in this state, especially for people their age. He's somewhat frugal, but they're always working on some home improvement project or adding something to the home that isn't really necessary. This doesn't seem to bring any sustainable happiness to them. There's the satisfaction during and right after the project. But then it's on to the next money-gobbling project.

I'm still a materialistic person at heart, but I finally realized I get more out of creating something than I do buying most things.

I think this is the key to why materialism doesn't work...you can buy the most amazing, fabulous, luxurious " " yet no matter how good it is, you always looks for something better or compare what you have to other people.

I used to be hardcore into watches, and I was never happier than the day I sold them all. I had more money, more time, and less stress and concern over whether or not I was wearing the 'right' watch.

That being said, I bought two watches last week. Why? That damn irrational part of the brain that says we're supposed to. I KNOW I'll be happier without them, yet watches are such a common way to display taste and fashion sense (ok maybe not, but to a watch addict, we think so ; ). I don't need the time commitment and concern that watches warrant, yet I just can't get rid of them...They're both going up for sale. Tomorrow....


That article's great, I really feel like they're right when they say materialistic people are less enjoyable to be around and less happy, where people who have a long list of great experiences are more fun to be around and happier.
post #18 of 126
My rule is that everything must have a purpose and must be used within one year. If it goes one year without being used or worn. It gets tossed. Tools are the only thing that I allow to collect because I really have needed something 5 years later that I've thrown out.
post #19 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by longskate88 View Post
I think this is the key to why materialism doesn't work...you can buy the most amazing, fabulous, luxurious " " yet no matter how good it is, you always looks for something better or compare what you have to other people.
That flaw is not necessarily exclusive to materialism, but, to Western thinking as a whole. Good point though. Insatiability is bad, but a part of our society. Merchants exploit our weakness, and that is why we have a new iPod with a "1/4 bigger screen come out every six months. Perhaps some people here are confusing selfishness with material contentment (having nice stuff and being happy with the stuff)?
post #20 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by clotheshorse69 View Post
That flaw is not necessarily exclusive to materialism, but, to Western thinking as a whole. Good point though. Insatiability is bad, but a part of our society. Merchants bank on this, and that is why we have a new iPod with a "1/4 bigger screen come out every six months.

Perhaps some people here are confusing selfishness with material contentment (having nice stuff and being happy with the stuff)?

Does this occur? With everyone I know, seems like "enough" is never enough.
post #21 of 126
Yes. You just have to stop thinking (this is not necessarily bad).
post #22 of 126
In mindset I'm a minimalist, in practice I'm a collector.

I suspect I'm not alone here.
post #23 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Girardian View Post
In mindset I'm a minimalist

I'm a minimalist in mindset too-- I really don't have too many thoughts knocking around in my head.
post #24 of 126
Thanks for the thread, I just put up both watches for sale and now might have the $$ to visit my friend when she moves to DC over summer = )
post #25 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by APK View Post
I'm still a materialistic person at heart, but I finally realized I get more out of creating something than I do buying most things.

Well whether your buy, make, find, or experience things, it's all strictly-speaking materialism. True anti-materialist minimalism in a Zen sense is to void not only your personal possessions but also your mind of all thoughts. ...that is dangerous territory and you better be seriously devoted to the cause before you get into that.

I have never come upon a true anti-materialist: if they don't like personal possessions then they just like travel or some other hobby, which also costs a shitload of money. No one is really willing to sit in some empty shack in the woods for the rest of their life. I personally think personal property is the most vulgar of materialism, but experiences and traveling are obviously more noble. The Hindus say you must experience them both before you're ready to move on to the life of an austere monk to attain moksha, or mental liberation.
post #26 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.loverman View Post
I think you want to have just enough clothing so that a lack of clothing never becomes an obstacle in your life. The key is choosing your items well, i.e. well fitted, flattering colors, etc. A lot of people buy random shit not really knowing what looks good and they just buy more and more. Most people only have a few colors that really compliment them. A well conceived wardrobe should make dressing effortless. It should give you less choices not more.

Collecting things is terrible waste of time and money unless you do it as an investor. Even then its still clutter. DVD's and books can be had from netflix or the library. Stuff takes time to organize and clean. It gets in the way.

Amen, brother. My mom used to refer to "the dead weight of ownership," the feeling that everything you own is hanging around your neck. It all has to be organized, cleaned and maintained, and it takes time and mental energy that you could use to better ends.

There's a good series of books from the early '90s called "Chic:Simple" that maintains that you have your favorite clothing, the 20% of your wardrobe that you wear 80% of the time, so buy fewer pieces, each of higher quality, and end up looking better day-to-day.

This is an interesting time for me to read this thread, as I have recently started touring with a show, and am carrying all my possessions in the trunk of my car, an Audi TT (which has a rather small trunk). Rather than carry DVDs, I look for things on YouTube or Hulu. It's a nice feeling to travel light, and I find that I worry less in general. I've only been out a short time, though - ask me again in a year...
post #27 of 126
Svenn, you bring up a good point. Real minimalism is foreign to Western thought, but I wouldn't call it dangerous; everything simply is a reminder of oneself, what is there to fear, except the self? The self is continually getting realized/returning to the world, and it is hard to stay in the dharma, even if "one" wants to (remain). Hinduism (especially without a guru), on the other hand can be dangerous. From my experience being reminded of the way can be costly (in fact, I'm going on a Buddhist retreat soon), and I expect a guru is similarly costly. Just some food for thought! In all honesty, this (thread) sounds new age to me.
post #28 of 126
I'm a minimalist. I don't even own a fridge because I have no need for one. Not gonna fill my one bedroom apartment with anything I don't use. The only reason I own a TV is because friends really enjoy watching that crap.

Unless you have a family... it's better to own as little as possible if you're single.
post #29 of 126
in the spectrum , I am closer to a minimalist than a hoarder ( using that as the arbitrary extreme on the other end). Ideally, I could fit everything I need into my car if need be, and leave the rest behind. On my most recent move, I was able to do this while moving the rest of the non essentials in a moving truck. I like having that freedom of not having as much stuff. Stuff doesn't add to life, especially if its just storage. A few of my friends have a ton of crap they don't use, and its a constant chore to basically move/hide the shit so we can make more room. I have been advocating for them to throw out crap they don't need, but they always seem to think they 'need' it. Suppose this is what forces hoarders to keep all their stuff around...

Things will probably change as soon as I get my own apartment or condo, and have to outfit it with the basics. It should be comfortable for guests, but not be another receptacle for crap.
post #30 of 126
I can remember when everything I owned literally fit into my car. I had my clothes, a plate, mug, fork and knife, a pan, a blanket and towel, all my climbing gear, and that was about it. I didn't have a bed or any real form of furniture. I slept on the floor in my apartments/houses that I lived in unless I was lucky enough to find one that was furnished.

I've lived abroad in a similar manner and it was nice. I had what I needed to keep me happy. I drank a lot of rum and wine out of my coffee mug since that was all I had. Same with my friends that I made. No one cared that I had no dishes, they didn't either. It was always more important to just spend time with the people you cared about.

Now, I have tons of shit. I need a big ass moving truck to move. Boxes of clothes, books, dvds, cds, furniture, kitchen stuff, etc. I have to sit there and painstakingly wrap the crystal stemware so it doesn't get smashed, wrap the kitchen knife blades with cardboard so they don't stab through, or get dinged and damaged when moving. I spend a lot of time each week washing clothes, dishes, ironing, polishing shoes, etc.

I don't think I'm any happier for it.
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