Recently, a good friend facilitated a connection between Lindon and I, and the founder of Becoming Minimalist, Joshua Becker. Turns out we all live in sunny Peoria, AZ, and through email, we agreed it would be interesting to get together and share our stories. And it was!
As I was getting ready for our meeting, I wondered, “What does one wear to meet a minimalist? How ‘much’ of a minimalist is Joshua?” I rationalized that even an extreme minimalist would wear clothes. Right? But what kind of clothes? Will I be judged on my selection? Are my decluttering beliefs going to be critiqued through my attire? Oh the dilemma!
Should I wear my $300 designer jeans? Hmmm… Actually, I don’t own any.
I thought about throwing on a fancy pair of brand name sandals. Wait! I don’t have any of those either!
I reasoned with myself, perhaps it was time to ditch the white purse I wanted to wear. The one that even my husband noticed was exhibiting an abundance of ‘love’ (AKA wear and tear). Nah, a non-designer purse that has seen its better days might make a good impression on a minimalist!
Should I pass on my cute, chunky, costume jewelry watch? NO WAY! A girl has her limits! But the metal around the face is a bit tarnished and the battery doesn’t even work. Check! It would do.
Of course, I jest a bit, but I’ve read about fanatical minimalists who think everyone should wear only clothes they’ve sewn, live in tents, collect their own rainwater for recycling, and accumulate just one bag of garbage a year. Needless to say, I was just a little apprehensive.
That didn’t last long.
After checking out the Becoming Minimalist website, reading Joshua’s most recent book, Clutterfree With Kids, and spending a couple of hours with him, it’s abundantly clear that perhaps ‘minimalists’ and ‘declutter-ers’ may be much more similar than I originally thought. At least the Beckers and Gareises are!
Joshua isn’t radical. The clothes he wore weren’t handmade, he doesn’t live in a tent, and as far as I know, he hasn’t collected any rainwater lately. But he is convinced of the positive, life-changing benefits a minimalistic lifestyle affords and loves sharing his passion, equipping others to enjoy the ‘less is more’ life.
From the ‘About Us’ page on his blog:
“After a conversation with my neighbor on Memorial Day 2008, we decided to become minimalist and intentionally live with fewer possessions. We immediately cleared the clutter from our home and lives. As a result, we found a better way to live centered on more important pursuits. It has been a journey of discovering the abundant life is actually found in owning less. And it still ranks as one the best decisions we’ve ever made.”
Sound familiar? Yeah, it did to us too!
Joshua’s approach is balanced, cumulative, deliberate, and purposeful.
We are definitely on the same team!
But while we share similar objectives in our decluttering message, Joshua has his own style, his own spin on things, and his own tips and advice. His personal story and experiences are unique.
Here are some of my favorite highlights from Clutterfree With Kids:
- “Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts from it.”
- “There is more joy to be found in owning less than can ever be found in organizing more.”
- “We Are All Trading Our Lives. Trade Up.”
- “But our role as parents is not to eliminate the opportunity for envy. Our role is to parent our kids intentionally and train them to think mindfully about envy and learn to overcome it.”
- “Stop Comparing Your Life. Start Living It.”
- “Commercials and advertisements work tirelessly to convince us products manufactured on assembly lines will make us insanely happy. But in reality they make us more insane than happy.”
It would be easy to continue sharing Joshua’s insightful quotes and helpful advice as there are so many I appreciate, but instead, I’ll simply encourage you to check out www.becomingminimalist.com. There you’ll find Joshua’s story, blog posts, and books. I have a sneaky suspicion you’ll enjoy all of the above!
And just for the record, I’m guessing Joshua didn’t even notice what I was or wasn’t wearing. From what I’ve learned, his focus isn’t on material things or fashion impressions, but more so the importance of enriching relationships and quality time spent. I pray he enjoyed his time as much as we did.
Thank you Joshua. It was a pleasure meeting you and we wish you many blessings in all your future endeavors!
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