Thursday, September 17, 2009


My Sister starting practicing what she calls voluntary simplicity about a year ago. Basically it is about taking honest inventory of the material clutter that is in out life. It is also about reducing our environmental footprint by avoiding unnecessary purchases and buying used wherever possible. You can read more about her exploits on her blog.
The reason why I bring this up is because it seems the longer I am in one place the more material clutter and "stuff" I accumulate in my life. When I moved to Santa Barbara I had two book bags, one full of clothes and the other full of books. It seems almost surrealistic that I was able to survive with two packs worth of stuff but I did.
The last two times I have moved I have used the move as an opportunity to rid my life of excess. This last time I did a pretty awesome job if I do say so myself. I cut trimmed my wardrobe by %70 keeping only about 5 T shirts, 4 long sleeve button ups, 1 pair of jeans, 1 pair of dress slacks, 4 pairs of shorts, misc underwear and socks ( not going to simplify there- hygiene trumps simplicity for the time being) and then all of my active wear (including a thermal or two, a few pairs of running shorts and shorts and all of my cycling kits).
My experience is always the same when I start to realize and reduce material abundance. At first it is very difficult to get rid of "stuff" because all the stuff is linked to memories so when I start to think about donating something it brings up all those old memories associated with that stuff. But at some point a decision has to be made in or out. Do I really need that? When is the last time I used that? The answer is almost always no I do not need that. Once the process of simplifying has begun it is like a whirlwind.
I must say it starts to feel so good that I want to just give everything I have away.

I think that I am going to soon make an attempt at something like what this guy did. The timing could not better and I have always been of the mentality that all politics are local/ If you want to change the world, change your life mentality.

Veganism coupled with local eating (where ever possible) has definitely been a great start and I think this may be the next step.

Sorry if this cycling blog is growing off topic, but it is the off season after all right?

Things should be made as simple as possible, but not
any simpler.

-Albert Einstein


Pit Boss said...

KISS...Keep It Simple Stupid. It's always good to take inventory. It sounds like smart healthy choices...inspirational. Gotta love 'off-season'.

VoluntarySimplicity said...

Great post! And very timely... I'm about to launch a new blog. It's been in the works for a little while and I think I have enough material written to get it going. I think it will be moving me in a new and exciting direction. Check it out when you get a chance. Love you and can't wait to see you.