Awesome thread. I am just now seeing it, and reading through the whole thing. I don't think it's foolish at all. I try to live a minimalistic life, and try to have well-made and designed possessions as much as possible. That's where this forum fits in, at least for clothing.
Personally, I'm sincerely happier with the fewer things that I own. All of my music is digital, and DVDs are kept to a minimum- only those that I know I'll like enough to watch over and over again (about a dozen). I recently pared down my closet to just the stuff I really like and wear often, and I won't buy anything else unless I am 100% interested in it. Nothing feels better than getting rid of stuff that I don't use, especially if I can make a few bucks.
Regarding my wardrobe, it's fairly minimal, but I have a real dichotomy between what I own. It's about half cheap-ass J Crew stuff (which I think is actually fairly well made) and the other half is pricey, mostly Japanese-made goods, from labels like Mister Freedom and Nigel Cabourn. I've also gotten into making a lot of my stuff, at least accessories.
Regarding how I grew up, yeah, my Dad has always had a ton of stuff, and it's so disorganized that he can never find anything. That's probably partly what inspired me to only have the minimum, and to be very well organized. I notice that both my Mom and step-mom never seem to be satisfied with what they have, so they are always buying or changing posessions, furniture, etc. My life is so freaking busy that I don't need instability in the crap that I own.
I'd like to get to the point where, when I retire (which is many years away), I have virtually no possessions. Just a couple suitcases of clothes, a box or two of sentimental items, no home, no car. Then, I can go live in Paris for a few months, or Italy for some time, or anywhere. What a life that would be.
At this point, I own:
A small closet of clothes
A small amount of rather nice kitchen ware
A few pieces of furniture that I will keep
A car, motorcycle, and bicycle
A ton of tools from three generations of my family because I do a lot of home renovations.
Oh, well, and a house that I am hopefully going to sell soonOh, and I have recently become friends with a woman who is as much of a minimalist as I am and loves to be organized.
She very relaxed, down-to-earth, and funny, and I think I'm in
! In fact, I just made her a spinach, mushroom, cheese omelet with homemade salsa and bread for breakfast
Interestingly, she's European, which I think has a lot to do with it. Americans are much more materialistic.
With my daughter, she has plenty of toys, games, and stuffed animals, but they all have to reasonably fit in her room. Twice a year, just after Xmas and her birthday, she has to go through her stuff and donate what she doesn't play with anymore. With her clothes, I have to buy her a new wardrobe almost every season because she grows so much.
Phew! Sorry for the long post, but I'm just catching up.