Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Why 'Minimal List'

Three reasons:

Firstly, Michael loves a good pun, and he seemed to be more persuasive about this name than I was about any of the names I came up with.

Secondly, we don't want to sink, and so staying level seems to be a good idea.

And thirdly; we really have been trying to embrace a more minimalist lifestyle over the past three to four years, and boat life fits in perfectly with this philosophy, as there simply isn't room to be a hoarder.

We both, independently, embarked on year long round the world trips in 2012/2013, which is also how we met. And, during those trips, we each realised how little stuff we actually needed; we both survived for a year with the few possessions we could carry on our backs, and in hindsight we were still carrying too much stuff. Since then, we have moved round the world twice; first to Wellington, New Zealand, and then to Los Angeles before coming back to England, and during both those moves we tried our best not to buy anything we didn't absolutely need.

In our rented homes we had the minimal amount of furniture we could get away with, and we each had a limited number of outfits. When I was working in New Zealand I had five work outfits, one for each day of the week. Before my trip I would be buying new clothes every week, but in New Zealand I found I didn't really care if I wore the same thing every week, or if anyone judged me for doing so.

The benefits were worth it; we spent less money -- so saved more -- and we didn't end up with a huge pile of clothes at the end of the 18 months that we would have to donate, as we weren't going to pay to ship then across the globe. And I realised I didn't miss the shopping, and I didn't miss the overstuffed wardrobe and what to wear dilemmas.

When people move from a house to a boat they have to downsize their possessions, but we have already gone through this process, Michael did it before he travelled, and me before we left for New Zealand. We own very little and it is really liberating.

So now we are going to have our own home, and we are going to have to work hard not to fill it with junk. I want it to feel like home, I want to decorate it and be comfortable, and I don't want it to be sparse and cold.

I read an article last week about a woman who vowed not to buy anything new for 100 days, other than food and toiletries. She could only buy things pre-owned, and I would really like to try to do that wherever possible.