Minimalism with Joshua Becker – part 2

CharlieEarlier this week I posted part one of my interview with Joshua Becker on minimalism. Here is the second part of that interview.

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. In addition, I think there comes a point where technology becomes burdensome. Overall though I think it is more beneficial than hurtful.”

What has been the hardest possession you had to get rid of?
“The hardest one had to be the sentimental stuff. Particularly it was my childhood stuff that has a lot of memories tied to those things.” Did you get rid of everything? “I didn’t get rid of all of it, but hung onto 7 or so things that really mean a lot to you.”

Do you think being a minimalist is biblical? Why or why not?
“Ya I think it totally is. I think Jesus taught we should live a minimalist lifestyle. Sell your possessions and give to the poor he said. He lived a minimalist lifestyle and taught it. I totally see his teachings now as a better way to live.”

Do you think you can ever be “completed” or done as being a minimalist?
“My guess is no. I think its always an ongoing process. We are always evaluating if we need it.”

I’ve noticed a lot of folks from the great depression are “hoarders”. Why do you think that is?
“I think that they have “just in case thinking.” A lot of people hold on to things with an insecurity. There is more of a tendency from this generation to hoard because of the possibility that it could happen again.”

If we go through another great depression or severe recession do you think it will be good to be a minimalist? Why or why not?
“I think so, it's a much easier transition to go from more to less by your own decision. I think it's when people are forced to live with less then it can be tougher.”

Is being a minimalist hard with kids?
“Ya. It requires you to be more intentional and more strategic. Children make it tougher to be a minimalist, but it makes it more important.”

What do your kids think of your lifestyle – has it been hard for them?
“It depends on their temperament. It goes easier for my son than my daughter. She has a personality that she wants as many barbies and dress up clothes.”

How do you do birthdays and Christmas now that you’ve become a minimalist?
“We still give gifts to our kids, however, we have started buying things that we know that they need. Also we stopped buying 6 or 7 toys and only started buying one or two. We have not told the grandparents to not get us toys. They are slowly catching on. We make extra effort after birthdays and Christmas to clear out the old toys.”

If I want to start becoming a minimalist how do I get started?
“First I think that you need to be convinced on why it's better. Then start small. Pick one drawer. Pick one room.  Then go room by room. Just get started and you'll see how freeing it is.”

I publicly wanted to thank Joshua for meeting with me for this interview and the impact this interview and his speech had on me and my family. My wife and I have already started on minimalising our home, and like Joshua says…it's freeing. I particularly like his last answer on how to get started. “start small. Pick one drawer.” We often think change in our lives has to come as a large sweeping change. However, when we break it down to just one drawer then it feels more managable, and something that anyone can accomplish. Once you complete just one drawer you realize that it is freeing. It's hard to explain, but just try it. Start with a drawer today!

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1 Comment

  1. Charlie,

    Thank you for sharing your interview with Joshua Becker. Our own family has been going through this process recently of attempted minimizing. It has been hard for us as we tend to attach sentiment to a lot of things in an excuse to “keep it.” We recently cleared out our basement (first step – needs about 10 more iterations!). Our basement was home to dozens of boxes that we moved here with that have sat down there since we moved in 2 years ago. When we actually gathered round one of stuff for a garage sale, it was actually embarrassing how much stuff we had! We were literally giving the stuff away and hardly made anything, but our #1 goal in our garage sale was to get it out and not let it back in, even if it meant selling things for nickles! Step #1 worked, now purging a few more times!

    Thank you again. We really learned a lot! It is amazing how the Lord convicts you regarding a certain area and provides the resources just at the right time :)

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