Last week our church had a speaker come in for a Tuesday night special on “Doubling your impact.” I got word from one of our friends that the speaker was Joshua Becker (from becomingminimalist.com). He was speaking on the topic of minimalism. I thought it sounded interesting, and I’ve written about this topic before on TTG. So I lined up an interview with Mr. Becker, because I wanted to know more and I thought our readers could get a lot out of it too. Here is the first part of my interview with him.
Tell us some interesting facts about Joshua Becker?
“I am Midwest guy born and raised who now lives in New England. I have a twin brother. My son is 8 and daughter is 4. I’m a big sports fan. I’m a Minnesota twins fan and I hate the Yankees. I cheer for the Red Sox only because I hate the Yankees.”
What was the main thing your neighbor said that moved you to become a minimalist?
“Two sentences she said, ‘Ah the joys of home ownership.’ To which I replied, ‘The more stuff you own the more your stuff owns you.’ She responded and said, ‘that is why my daughter just became a minimalist.’
Why did you say to her, “The more stuff you own the more your stuff owns you”?
It was a phrase I used growing up, but I never realized the full truth of that quote. It wasn’t until I started getting rid of stuff that I realized how much it owns me.
Was becoming a minimalist hard for you?
“Ya and I would even say I’m still becoming a minimalist and I’m still in the process. We got rid of 60-70% of our stuff, but I feel there is still more to get rid of. I think its a long process and more emotional than people think.”
Are there any books that really influenced you in becoming a minimalist?
“I read two blog posts and one book. Book – “Clear your clutter with feng shui” by Karen Kingston – got it at Barnes and Noble. She got into the causes and reasons people collect clutter. Emotional attachment or insecurity. They know how much it costs, so they can’t get rid of it.”
What is one area where you think most Americans can do without or less of?
“Everything. Clothes, toys, decorations, kitchen gadgets, linens. I would say if people went with less television, then they’d struggle less with other things. It wouldn’t create this world…it’s a control part of our lies. They’re selling you the lie that: More is better.”
I recently read your post on, “Having a smaller home (12 Reasons Why You’ll Be Happier in a Smaller Home)” and wondered – since becoming a minimalist have you changed your housing lifestyle?
“No. There is two things…I want to go down to one car and smaller home. It’s the stress of having to do it that stops me. I don’t want to sell ours and go find a new one. Logistically I can’t see how it would work.”
Do you think technology can help or hurt us in becoming a minimalist?
“Both. I think we are in a great period of time where technology can limit the amount of stuff we own. I think there comes a point where technology becomes burdensome. If you are collecting to have the newest thing. I think it is more beneficial.”
I’ll be posting the second part of my interview with Joshua Becker later on this week.