Our apartment is getting smaller! Or it seems that way anyway. The more emergency supplies we acquire, the less free space we have. So I started paring down on items again. This past weekend I donated a box of stuff to Goodwill: outgrown children’s clothing, kitchen gadgets I rarely use, books and CDs that I did not get a chance to sell on Ebay.
I’ve been reading a few sites on minimalism. Some of them seem very drastic: living on 100 things or even 50 things or less is a bit tough when you have a family with kids. But I do admire the intent to reduce reliance on material possessions. When I first started thinking about it, being a prepper and acquiring emergency supplies seemed contradictory to being a minimalist. Especially if you go by “Two is one and one is none.” But if you think about it, preparedness and minimalism can actually go hand in hand.
The key is to examine the differences in “needs.”
Cutting down on so much material possessions and focusing on the minimum items that are truly necessary to live is the first step to being a minimalist. Emergency items, to a prepper, falls under the “needs” category. How many TVs does one family need? Do the kids really need a Wii AND an Xbox 360? One the other hand, if you are stocking up on canned goods, you will need at least 2-3 can openers. Even with preparedness items, you can be selective with what kinds of gadgets do you really need.
I will start the room by room sweep of the apartment and make the hard decisions on what stuff goes and what stuff to keep. In the back of my mind, a little niggly voice will say, what if you need it later and you got rid of it? To which I would remind myself of the old saying “… Make it do or do without!”
The rewarding part will come, as we find newly freed space for the stored food and water, which we do need.