On this episode of the Minimal Resistance: I apologize for everything under the sun, including last week’s rainstorm, and we talk about how to start your adventure into minimalism back after my deafening hiatus.
WARNING: This is a transcription of a podcast, not an article or a blog post. it will contain grammatical, spelling and punctual errors.
On this episode of the Minimal Resistance: I apologize for everything under the sun, including last week’s rainstorm, and we talk about how to start your adventure into minimalism back after my deafening hiatus. I’m Gus the Greek. This is the minimal resistance.
I’ve been a bad bad boy. Shame on me. I owe apologies to the world! First I owe an apology to you, and everybody who listens to the Resistance I missed a week. I feel bad and this is something that we’re just getting off the ground. I wasn’t expecting this to get as big as it has. I wasn’t ready for it and that’s my fault and I apologize. I will do my best, to make sure that I do not miss a week again. I wasn’t expecting the responses. I had people messaging me wondering if I was OK. I had people contact me asking me when the next episode was coming. I didn’t even know these people were listening to the podcast. I apologize and I’m sorry I will do my best to make sure this does not happen again.
Second, I owe an apology to my buddy Seth. Those who listen to the show, or have listened to previous episodes, have heard the Minimal Motor episode. I called Seth crazy for these ruckus scooters that he rides because they’re low to the ground and they look dangerous. it’s just, it looks scary and now I actually own a ruckus like Scooter. It’s called a Maddog. It’s a Chinese scooter and runs a GY6 engine which you probably have no idea what that means, but it’s a super simple engine. It has cheap parts and It does everything I need. It gets like 90 miles to the gallon! So we’re going to give this a go.
Now the jury is still out on this because there are things that I never knew about when it comes to motorcycles, scooters. There is stuff that totally caught me off guard. I understood that you needed to get gear but I didn’t understand how expensive it is. Even on the cheap end, it can cost quite a bit of money. Then there’s the infamous DMV which is horrifying on so many different levels, especially here in Oregon. The craziest thing, so in other states you go into the DMV, you take your driving test on a little course, whatever it is that your state does, then you’re done, no no! Not here. You have to spend $200 to go to this course. There’s one group of people that does the course and they charge you an arm and a leg to learn what you need to to safely ride a motorcycle, which I understand, but I really feel like there should be an option at the DMV and I shouldn’t have to spend all of this money.
The idea is to NOT break the bank for transportation and this little project of mine and my wife’s has gotten quite costly, to the extent where we probably could have repaired the car by now. It is what it is, I understand and in the long run I will save money with it. She has a 250CC V star motorcycle that gets 80 miles to the gallon. She’s passed her test and gotten all that stuff done, so needless to say, the point is that I I skipped out, I’m not even going to make excuses and say I’m busy, I skipped it and I shouldn’t have, we’re not going anywhere, I’m not quitting, this isn’t the end of things, we are just getting started and Seth, maybe I’m sorry, we’ll see. We’ll see what happens.
I didn’t start out as a minimalist, I didn’t even come close to being a minimalist. I mean, even now, at this point I don’t know if I can even necessarily consider myself a minimalist. Before I started on this adventure, I was a car salesman. I made a considerable amount of money. I had a huge house. I could probably fit my current house inside the garage of the house that I had at that time, and it wasn’t once, even after I went through a divorce, Long story… Even after the divorce, with my current wife, we had this great big blue house and fireplace and decor. I mean the girls room was massive, our two youngest daughters.
This is not how I started out. I didn’t try to become a minimalist. As a matter of fact, when we started this, I didn’t even have any intention, it was random, we started out doing farm stuff, growing vegetables, raising our own food. We slowly progressed into what we do now. This is a development, It’s a process. You don’t just go jumping in and selling all your belongings and call yourself a minimalist. It’s just. It’s not how it works. So in this episode we are going to talk about how to start and where to begin. We cover two different methods that are a phenomenal way to start into minimalism. It’s very interesting and you’d be disgusted how easy it is. Before you get started, before you start into minimalism, you have to have your mind in check. You have to have the minimalist mindset first. It’s more important and here’s why. If you go and you start purging your house or reorganizing it. If you’re not ready you’re gonna end up at Walmart. That’s all you’re going to do. You’re just getting rid of old stuff and you’re going to replace it with new stuff or different stuff. You have to have the minimal mind before you start on any method. And there’s tons of am out there. Heck, do a Google search, there’s options out there. You don’t have to hear this stuff for me. These are just the two best options that I found but you gotta kill the want first.
Before we get into how to start with minimalism, let’s talk about what not to do. Do not sell everything you own and move into a tiny house van, apartment or tent that is not how you start. Next thing you know you’re going to be miserable and that’s not how things get going. Start low and slow. Let things simmer for a while. Don’t just jump into it. Take one piece at a time.
Don’t sell every high ticket item in your house. It’s not time to sell your television or Craigslist your microwave.
This is a big one! Don’t decide for others. If it’s more than you in the house, then it’s up to them to make the decision to live the life of a minimalist. You can’t do it for them, don’t force your husband, wife or kids into getting rid of things that may be important to them because it could create resentment. Start with conversations, start with talking to everybody, have a family meeting. Just don’t go forcing people into this type of lifestyle. Have them make the decision with you. Get the spouse/kids and everybody on board. Have them do this with you. Make it a game. Make it fun! make it interesting. Make it something that people want to do. Don’t just jump, it’s gotta be a team effort and it can’t just be you. You can’t make the decision for other people, you have to work together on something like this. And I have ways to do exactly that.
Alright, so we’ve talked about what not to do, how not to start on this path. Now let’s go over a couple of ideas. A couple of options that will actually set you up for success with this, and it’s important to start right because if you go about this the wrong way, it’s just going to piss you off. Method onne, the first option, the best option to start with the lost and found box. What you’re going to need is a large box, two pieces of paper and a pen, maybe some tape and some string to keep everything together, but that’s the basics of it. That is the equipment necessary. This is how it works, once a day, each person in your house puts the three items inside that box. It’s mandatory, three items. When they put those three items in that box, they list it. They write it down. They write down the date, and what they put in the box. Now the trick is that if someone needs to take something back out of that box, they have to write it down on the other sheet of paper and the date that they took it out. That item is now excluded from the box. What the paper does is it creates accountability, so you can see what items were put in when they were taken out. It also tells you what’s important and what’s not. Make it a game. Have some fun with it. Reward the person with the most stuff in the box, go out to dinner or treat yourselves. After 30 days, take inventory of everything inside that box. Cross reference it with the stuff that should be in there. See if everything is there. We don’t want anybody cheating on this. If everything is there you finished the box. Nobody needed the junk in there so seal the box, set it aside and start again. Keep going until nobody can keep anything in the box.
You just started the path to minimalism and it’s fun, it’s creative. It makes it so people can actually enjoy it. It’s challenging but gives a goal to accomplish. Once you’re done with it, once you have all those boxes full of junk. Sell it to the good little consumers out there who like all of that sort of stuff. Take that money and go do something fun. Go to the beach, not everybody has the beach. Go out, go camping, build some experiences with the money that you make from selling the junk you don’t need. That’s the basis of minimalism, right? That’s the way it should work.
Now this is the low and slow method. This is lengthy and it takes time. It’s not a go go go fast moving type of thing, but it works and there’s definitely room to maneuver with it. That’s how you begin with Minimalism. All you need is a box, a pen and some paper and maybe some tape and some string to be able to keep it all together. Yeah, you get the idea, you get what I’m saying. It’s a very simple method that gives a good introduction to Minimalism. Going back to what I said earlier, none of this means anything if your mind is not in the right place. You have to be ready and I think that’s a good portion of where people fail. They have a tendency to jump head first and just go in and start purging their house of every little thing that they can find. Next thing you know, they’re back in Walmart, you know, like you have to actually have the mindset before anything else, it is super important.
Method number 2 the box party. This one requires some… different materials. It requires a bunch of boxes. It requires a load of time and a shit ton of beer. It’s pretty simple how it works, but It’s harder to implement. In method one we created the inventory, we took the list of everything that went into the box and that everything goes out. Now take that and make it grandiose, larger than life. Take an entire room and pack that room up in boxes and catalog every item that you put in those boxes. Like I said, lots of beer, tons of time and you should make a party out of it. Have your friends over to help you and then they might get interested in Minimalism. Create a box party, have horderves or whatever it is that you do when you have people over, it’s a great way to get started, the problem with it is that it’s a bit much. It’s really difficult to commit to, but if you do all the more power to you. If you feel like your ready for this, Go for it! Do it! Balls to the wall as they say but definitely catalog everything. You have to know what’s where. Organizing in groups of the same type of item. Are you doing the bathroom? Put all your bath supplies that you have, or extras, or whatever it is that you’re going to put in those boxes. The key is everything in that room has to go in those boxes. Then after you’ve catalogued those items, and you’ve boxed them. Each box gets a second piece of paper again, just like method number one. Anytime an item is removed from the box. It gets written down. None of this stuff is set in stone. Make it your own. These are just a couple of suggestions to get started.
They have to put down the reason why it was removed from the box. Again, accountability is everything here. You want to make sure that everybody’s on the up and up and they’re not just taking out their favorite toy or their favorite pair of shoes. There has to be a purpose for it. Now after the 30 days is up, you’re done with that room and I definitely recommend making it one room at a time. Don’t go packing your whole house up, or do, it’s your choice. It usually ends badly. Take all that stuff from that room and take it to the dump, make a dump run, or better yet, create a bonfire. Either way, the objective is the same. The first method I prefer. I think it’s better because it’s more obtainable, less cumbersome. It’s not so clunky, and it doesn’t require a bunch of people to help you. It’s something that you and the fam can do together and make a thing of it. Maybe you have some other ideas, but the point being this is never jump into something like this. Take your time with it, start here, make a decision and stand by it. Do something.
It’s easy for someone like me to sit here and talk about this stuff. It’s so much harder to take action, especially if you’re not used to this kind of life, but it’s a good starting point. This is where you jump off at. From here, the Sky’s the limit. Take it away! Make the miracle happen! Whatever it is you need to do, but these are some good, solid, grounded options that will not create divorces and psychiatry bills for your kids, because you threw away their favorite Dolly, seriously.
Like I said, none of this is set in stone. There is no tablet of commandments of minimalism. It’s up to you. It’s your choice on how to do this. Make it your own. Have fun with it! Get creative. Don’t turn this into a task, a chore or a job. This should be relieving, it should be entertaining and It should feel good. If you find any of this helpful or just like the sound of my voice, please, take a moment to share this podcast with other people, friends, family, neighbors, dog, any of it. Share us. We are looking to grow. We’ve got a solid start going here, way more than I could ever have dreamed. But we’re just getting started. This is just the beginning. From here, I need your help to grow. Get more people, create a community. That’s what we’re looking to accomplish with this. If you have a moment, you can see all the content related to this episode, including social Media transcripts and random thoughts by visiting minimalresistance.com/ep05.
This time I promise I will see you next week and remember, a free gift is never free, or a gift. PEACE!