images via Katrine Martensen-Larsen

I’ve been thinking a lot about minimalism lately. I love the idea of paring down, of not being burdened by too many possessions. It’s amazing how much stuff I’ve accumulated in the 5 years I’ve lived here in Moscow. We’ve switched apartments 3 times, and every time the pile of stuff has grown. How much of it do I really need? Wouldn’t I be better off without most of it? I’m itching to get rid of a lot of it.

In the future, when economist husband and I purchase real estate somewhere, I’d like to have a small house or apartment – a place that keeps us from accumulating too much (and is easier to clean!)

Benefits of minimalism (according to a few pro’s):

  1. Stuff is just stuff. It can be replaced. You cannot.
  2. Stuff is not important. There are plenty of things that are important in life. Stuff is not on that list.
  3. Important things in life include health, relationships, pursuing passions, growing as an individual, and contributing to other people in meaningful ways.
  4. You can not purchase a meaningful life. You can only live it, one day at a time.

Check out this desk by someone who’s a minimalist:

Isn’t that crazy?? Especially compared to my desk which is stuffed with scraps of paper, pens, postcards, a calendar, staplers, markers, etc. etc. I bet the minimalist gets more done at his desk though. (Hint: actually, he does own staplers and paper clips – he just keeps them in a box in a nearby closet so they’re not all crowding his desk)

One problem with paring down in Russia is that there are no ‘Goodwill’ or ‘Salvation Army’ stores where you can easily bring donations. A friend of mine recently shared a tip though – just put your extra stuff out by the dumpster in your courtyard – someone will come take it. It’s true! I see people rooting through the garbage dump all the time. I’ve even seen neighbors hang old clothes on hangers from the side of the garbage bin, and line up old shoes in a row for people to take. Within a few hours it always disappears.

What do you think?? Do you like the idea of minimalism? Is it practical? Is it possible?

P.S. A few minimalist guides/sites:, zenhabits, theminimalistmom, and my personal favorite the mnmlist (why waste space on vowels?) 🙂

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One Response to Minimalism

  1. Pingback: Happy Friday! | Breakfast in Moscow

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