I found The Minimalists around January of 2012 when I wanted to go through a major purge of things around my home, and also some stuff on the inside. It seemed a lot of the stuff on the outside, clutter, chaos, was correlating with a mess of things going on on the inside from just graduating from 7 years of college, my father’s passing, and a breakup.
Somehow I came across their site and found it very inspiring. I told my mom about these two 30somethin’ guys who quit their top dollar jobs and purged a lot of stuff and got happier. We began following their blog, and found great meaning in their simply written passages. This weekend we finally got to catch up with one of their book tours and hear them speak in person. One thing people think about The Minimalists…is that they just quit their jobs and started a blog. While those things are true, there was never a set plan to become big through their site. There was a plan to begin working on paying off debt, becoming less attached to things and the need to have those things, and to get happier. Joshua and Ryan did this over a period of time while still working their jobs. Once debt was paid, they were able to then quit their jobs, which no longer went with their values. They now work just as many hours, sometimes 70 or 80 a week, but they are working for their passion.
There is a lot of good stories on their blog. They also give some good advice about ways you can give your life a makeover. At the event at Carmichael’s Bookstore in Louisville, they began by telling about how they found themselves becoming The Minimalists. Their stories are written in their latest book “Everything That Remains” by Joshua Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. With a few readings, they really touched the audience. One story, Joshua tells about how after his divorce he was moving into a new place and figuring out all the new things he needed to fill his new place. Some of his thoughts were, “Do these stainless steel picture frames define my edgy style? What brand of espresso maker defines me as a man?”
The following chapters continues through their story of how they get down to ‘everything that remains’, which is the stuff that really adds value to your life. This stuff is not only physical objects, but our relationships, lifestyle, and even our own thoughts, actions, and emotions. Throughout the book are valuable examples of how you can also get down to ‘everything that remains’. However, The Minimalists are first to explain that everyone has a different flavor of minimalism. It doesn’t mean being deprived, it means living life more fully.