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A Minimalist at Heart

I like to believe I’m a minimalist at heart. I watched Extreme Couponing on TLC and was shocked at the amount of ‘stuff’ these people had stored in their homes. One woman had thousands of packages of diapers, (enough to diaper a child for a year and a half), yet she doesn’t have a kid. We have small piles of personal hygiene products that I’ve attained for free, but none of them sit on the shelves for years at a time. They sit on a small shelf in the hall closet and I wait until the pile shrinks before heading back out to the store.

There are still aspects of my house that could use a thorough walk through. We have a hodgepodge of electronics scattered about the house. We also have those items that we should probably get rid of, like the bread machine we’ve used once in five years or the ice buckets that seem appropriate for an outdoor party we have yet to throw, but for the most part I’m pretty proud of the lack of junk around my house.

A painter stopped by to give me a price estimate and immediately remarked on the lack of ‘stuff’ in our home. He said, “this is the type of house we love. We can pile up all of your belongings into the middle of the floor.” He went on to tell me that in most homes it simply isn’t that easy. He said a lot of times they have to pile furniture on furniture in order to make space to get to the walls.

He said his crew can spend half of the day just moving items from one place to another so that they can inch their way up against the ceiling and walls. Sometimes an owner has so much stuff laying about that he has to ask them to move it themselves. It simply wouldn’t be practical for a crew to spend all day moving items around.

I’m glad our house isn’t way. While I like to think of myself as a minimalist it’s nice to hear a complete stranger say I qualify as one!

Donna Freedman

Saturday 23rd of April 2011

At least a couple of the folks portrayed on the show DO donate to emergency pantries et al. The director doesn't make as big a deal out of that part, though. Wonder why? Never mind, I know the answer.If it's kosher to post URLs, here's the link to the piece I did on the show. Incidentally, I know one of the women on the show (met her at a "how to save money" conference) and the article mentions the huge donation she and a couple of friends made to survivors of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami:http://www.donnafreedman.com/2011/04/13/weighing-in-on-extreme-couponing/

Jerry

Friday 22nd of April 2011

I've never seen that show but it sounds insane. That's taking hoarding to a whole new level. I think the best way is to do what you are doing. Keep stashes of things that you ACTUALLY USE! That is when it will be insurance for your finances. This couponing thing will lead to keeping items that you have no use for but you got a good deal on them. It doesn't make any sense.