If you would like to know more about this increasingly popular, positively simple lifestyle, please check out some of the links for inspirations I have found along my journey.
Where it all began…
Back in university a few years ago, one of my classes played the YouTube clip The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard at the Story of Stuff Project. This 20 minute film was probably the most influential thing that set the ball rolling because it made sense of this larger society we are trapped in: consumerism. I have since watched many of their subsequent clips and follow their Facebook page. They encompass so much of what this movement is about.
Wandering through Kikki K one day, a popular stationery and organisational shop in Australia, I came across a book called Paper Flow by MaryAnne Bennie and Brigitte Hinneberg. As I slowly got my stuff together, this idea of reducing paper got me inspired. Following their tips, within months I had organised my important papers into a system and began sorting and tossing loads more. I gave my copy to a friend recently and it helped her too. Highly recommended book.
Most people have heard of tiny houses by now, they are so commonly mentioned in the media and social media. Tiny Houses are small homes that are purpose built usually by hand by their owners, or increasingly, specialist builders, in a deliberate attempt to build a small, liveable and cheap home (often on wheels) with the aim to either save/eradicate rent money for a while, or reduce or eradicate debt and costs like mortgages and utility bills to cut themselves ‘off the grid’. They wish to be more connected with their community, environment, their truest passions and remove themselves from the pressure of the rat race. Many Tiny House dreamers or owners are students, young people, divorcees, retirees, and the occasional family.
I first tapped into the Tiny Houses Australia Facebook group/page in 2012 and I have completely absorbed into this world over the years. I learned about decluttering as a real concept, minimalism, living small and with less, and so many related possibilities through engagement with this group. We often talk of the feeling of ‘finding our tribe’, and by attending various events, this interest has transcended from a bunch of Facebook likes into a real life group of people who not only share my interests, but have become a source of support, information, and experience to learn from as mentors, and likewise, I hope I am passing on my wisdom to others for their benefit too.
From THA I learned about the Minimalists (Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus), and went to meet them for their 2014 Australian book tour for Everything that Remains. Joshua downsized after a series of losses made him reflect on life, and he did it quite quickly, over a few months. Ryan put everything in boxes and unpacked only what he needed. After a few weeks he got rid of everything still in boxes.
A polished duo with information packaged across multiple platforms, they have a documentary called Minimalism: A Documentary about the Important Things; multiple books, a successful blog and #1 podcast, and their page has a link to Minimalist meet up groups in Australia, UK, Ireland, Canada and the US.
From the Minimalists I learned about Joshua Becker, a family guy who runs the blog Becoming Minimalist.
This Joshua is downsizing as a family, and enjoying the benefits. He is quite well published and well known with years of posts to go through, and on his homepage, a very easy navigational guide to his most popular posts.
This guy is the expert. He is the self help guru who can tell you how to do it. I love his Facebook page for the quotes that reminded me of what I was striving for while living in the Middle East.
A few years into the journey, I came across Brooke McAlary of the Slow Home podcast. She was everything I was looking for – a woman, an Australian, someone who had gotten past all the decluttering to embody the values that go with minimalism and intentionalism. It’s called Slow Living, and I love her values on striving for tilting and rhythms rather than balance. Her idea is that life is overloaded and that you need rhythms that flow rather than strict time-focussed routines, while tilting toward things that are your priority for a time, whether it’s family or work or a project. Ultimately trying to fit it all in is unhealthy and unrealistic. I love tilting and tell everyone about it.
Brooke and her husband Ben are hosts of the successful Slow Home podcast while Brooke is author of the beautiful book Slow. I love Brooke and Ben’s honesty and maturity about the process that got them to where they are today; they are real and seem approachable and down to earth. I may secretly harbour a dream to meet them because I’m sure we would be great friends lol.
Brooke’s Slow Home podcast got me on to The Art of Decluttering‘s Kirsty Farrugia by interviewing her in a podcast once. Along with Amy Revell, professional organisers Kirsty and Amy are long-time besties who release weekly podcasts about featured topics revolving around decluttering. Short 20-30 minute episodes full of fun and laughter make this a really easy podcast to digest and I often put them on during long road trips to keep me company and give me food for thought. What I love about them is their straightforward advice is such common sense and give me brilliant takeaways, yet unlike other podcasts, I’m not feeling like I need to stop to take notes every five minutes. I feel like I’d be besties with these girls too. I love their Facebook page for added inspiration.