This blog post about how Maine is ideally suited to a minimalist in search of a setting to practice this approach to living well.
Where you decide to set up shop for minimalist living is huge. Maine is already ideally suited for simple living. But for this blog post on minimalist living in Maine, we need a foundation to build on. For starters you and I need to make sure we are on the same page on the term “minimalist”. I looked it up for the two of us and here what I found.
1) a person who advocated or practices minimalism in art of music
2) a person advocating minor or moderate reform in politics.
1) relating to minimalism in art or music.
2) advocating moderate political policies.
That sure helps doesn’t it? Not.
I never thought of minimalism as mostly applied to music, politics.
Instead I thought of it as being highly efficient. Frugal, wasting little and running a tight ship with little slack. Living below your means, keeping your perspective always “keep it simple” without the stupid tacked on. De-cluttering and not juggling too many irons in the fire that creates stress and robs joy. That’s part of the reduce, reuse, repeat practically life template to build on daily. And mentally to avoid “stinking thinking”. Teaching those around you that positive is the only way to sail your ship.
This is a blog post on minimalist living in Maine, should it be shorter than most too to show conservation?
De-cluttered and not long and windy or showy? Short and sweet and complete. All the electrons used to craft this Maine blog post were recycled and no trees harmed to create it.
Living with only what you need is one definition of a minimalist lifestyle.
Like going on a diet if you are used to adding more and more that interferes with the what is really important to your quality of life. “Easy does it” advice for someone used to no limits and binge drinking. A suggestion to rein it in and think long and hard about everything you do, buy, how you live.
Living simply the life decision.
Not adding something new without pulling back in some other area to make room for it. Buying more is not the go to approach to a true minimalist. Accumulate more is not the pathway to the relationship happiness experience. You don’t buy it, you build it. The contrast like fast food wolfed down vs slow cooked and savored. Keep it simple. Making it minimal, limited is going throw a wrench into things for the person with the galloping gimmees. Seeking anything new that is guaranteed to improve your happiness (for a short time). Is the piling it on and adding more and more to fill a hole? Is it like applying a band aid to a gunshot wound? Self medication to compensate for something missing like so much we do in desperation?
Like most things in life style approaches, it’s a buffet style choice.
Little of this, a lot of that and no thank you helpings of many other samplings. As you push the tray along the bar to create what’s up next for the meal ahead. Eating the wrong stuff, not even hungry or the food so so satisfying. But something to do to fill the time. All the modern conveniences have freed us up in some ways only to add more idle time activities to seek fulfillment using the wrong methods.
Minimalist living, when it is a healthy decision and not a sentence.
It helps when someone overwhelmed with no end in sight develops a plan for their own survival and health. When something has to give. The search for improved quality of life starts with what is important and should it be in the short and long run. Your kids are watching and learning from you so why living with more than you need is the goal? To impress someone? To show everyone the fruits of your labor and acting as a measurement? If you were poor as a church mouse growing up and many rubbed your nose in it, climbing out of poverty becomes life and death important. But sometimes for the wrong reasons and to enjoy dishing it out to blanket the pain from receiving the ridicule or shame.
Rich is not bought with money. Gratitude is riches that is mined in your thoughts.
Being happy with what you have that is more than enough. Right thinking and being frugal, practical and in balance. Taking care of things so they don’t need constant replacement. Respecting others and their opinions to maintain healthy relationships. To learn something from the exchange of new ideas that keep you and I from being outdated or stagnant. That will help build a joyful savings account to draw from and for peaceful inner contentment. Happy starts and ends with removal of fear and worry. High anxiety levels do not improve the quality of the air in your surroundings. It robs and distracts and keeps you from your passionate best performance. Watching others and being a copy cat is not writing your own sheet music and performing your own tunes.
Minimalist living, getting centered to apply a simple template to how you begin and end your day.
Experiences more than world possessions is the biggest shift. Replacing hap hazard spending and living seat of the pants with no plan for a systematic approach to squeeze out more rich experiences. Frugal travel, vacationing instate and camping. The less you spend, the more you get from the experience thinking. Because you can take more trips if done on a careful budget. Not worried about how much this five star accommodations set you back that you could not really afford.
It’s easier to budget when you have less expenses. But minimalist living is not a fad.
Not going to work if you feel deprived like a diet without dessert or second helpings of what you love to eat. Minimalist living is more than economizing and reducing the stuff you pack up and move around in your travels. It is clearing the deck to create time and space for something you never tried or thought could enrich your life. If you had no money or very little, practicing minimalist living would be easier. Not many other options to side track you.
Funding over spending means more work than play hours for most.
Reaching for the credit card constantly and watching the monthly balances spike skyward. Hiring out things you could do yourself if you had the time and putting in a little study is highly rewarding. Makes you independent, more skilled, less tied to others to perform tasks you could do yourself if you just had the time. Too little time. The only way to make more time is to manage what you have better. To take an eagle eye at how you spend your time now and what could be different with some rearranging.
McMansions, the place with more bathrooms than bedrooms.
Why would you need six bathrooms for a three bedroom home? Are there double bunk beds and several pull down murphy beds in those bedrooms to increase the capacity? Did the home owners all grow up in houses without running water and trotted in any weather or season to an outhouse out back? And now more bathrooms is a back lash recoil to make up for lack of plumbing earlier in life? Is it because of highly effective marketing by Kohler and other makers of all those toilets, vanities, showers and tubs manufacturers? Is it look at me, I am a success based on my home’s bathroom count? One more example of I have more than you and don’t you forget it?
The corporate ladder climb and stripes earned as you head north in your career. That focus makes what you should be investing time in a little blurry.
The price of career success in your upward advancement and what it robs. Is this life pursuit healthy in the present day or long run?
What does it do to a person, their family, relationships with kids and your partner and the bottom line sum of life experiences? Have we been taught as a society that money fixes everything? Throw enough green stuff or swipe that credit card magnetic strip more times and everything will be just fine. A video on minimalist.
All the right junk in all the right places.
From a song about being well proportioned and pleasant on the eyes. Like the Brick House song from the Commodores. But a three car or more garage, needed to warehouse the junk. Really? A true minimalist says if you have not used a possession in 90 days, you don’t need it. Non-essential and needs to be deep sixed. Because it’s dragging you down man. But what about Christmas decorations? Leave them up to enjoy and don’t take them down? If you live in a tiny home, you limit the space and it’s like packing for the trip to the moon. Only so much will fit and priority of what is needed to stay alive not just entertained becomes important in the family tin can space capsule.
Maine is ideal for minimalist living.
We already practice minimalist living and know what “green” meant for a lifestyle before people started hash tagging it. Being good stewards, protecting Mother Earth and carry in, carry out to leave a small or better yet no footprint. Mainers are all over that approach to protecting this neat vast, sparsely populated state. Natural resource rich Maine, where we had less of a time adjusting to “social distancing” than most during the COVID19 pandemic. With all this drop dead gorgeous pure and natural beauty around us, how can you not help but feel very fortunate? Less concerned about what material objects you don’t own or need. More grateful to be in a place like Maine that is the way life should be with fresh air, clean water and not a gazillion people to share or deal with that get in the way.
Living in a small cabin off grid is not the same as owning a 1000 square foot ranch or living in a farmstead with power and all the creature comforts.
But Mainers are happy with what they have. Industrious too in improving their lot in life without waiting for someone else to make the changes for them. We don’t point fingers or blame and instead make the most with what we have that is always more than enough. Make it work, adjusting our attitudes and patience all taught early on as life survival skills. When it’s a lot cheaper to live here, that helps too. You worry less about being up against it or making ends meet when the dollar bill stretches further.
Less income but no debt.
The rural way of living in small town Maine communities prepares you with a ceiling, a boundary, financial limits. Free and clear the goal. When fun is no or low cost and we are already in Vacationland, that does not hurt minimalist living experience. Clutter, debt, no plan is not the norm in rural Maine. Way more resourceful than that to stay clear of what can pull your under or steal your joy in Maine.
Is fast food part of the consumption problem?
For just one more buck you can have score pies. You and I can super size and heft an even larger large soft drink we don’t need and can barely carry. To guzzle and wash down the happy meal. Who needs a refill and more waste thrown in the trash of unused food or drink and colorful packaging. In third world countries, give a kid a happy meal toy and they carefully open the plastic wrapper. Play longer, slide it back into the original container and put it up on a shelf for safe keeping. Learned that observation from an adoption agency that works worldwide. When you have less you appreciate more what you do have. I get it, can cherry pick lots of the platform plank talking points on why lean toward a minimalist approach to simple living.
If you have what you need and that is more than enough.
You spend less time on the prowl, hunting for more. I’m good, all set happens. That is living life in moderation. But when life is upside down and out of control like someone shoved you out of a plane and no parachute strapped to your back. Something has to give and will with or without your help. It is way harder to rein in how you live and add discipline when bloated happens. The young grasshopper without pockets of money to fuel the excess. Those folks are better off because ramping up the gotta have everything going is just not going to happen with the financial cards you hold that won’t support it. But are they left with discontent because they can’t shop til you drop and not just at Christmas but year round? And see lots of others around them spending like drunken sailors that leads to lamenting on why can’t I do the same? Dare to be different. Try something 180 degree and glean what you can to shake up your life.
You can not get enough of what you don’t really want.
The mad dash to have it all and then some of life’s goodies. You are not happy for long but on the hunt for something always missing. Good enough never is. What is content? The kind not temporary or contingent upon having more to maintain that peaceful easy feeling. Not sure why all this stuff is so important but keep shoveling it in, bring it all your way please. Don’t stop, can’t stop. Not just bigger is better but more is the goal. Of EVERYTHING and let’s rent enough storage units to tuck it away for years. The kids can sort through it and might find some of the gadgets useful or decide to slide it into a garage sale.
Doing more with less living space, could you be happy with 420 S/F and one space saver bathroom, a galley kitchen and no wasted hall space?
Move the walls, no halls. Live with one open living area that has lots of sunshine. Deciding to dress accordingly for the season, to head outside for most of your living space. Out in your close knit rural Maine community volunteering. pitching in for the greater good. Not hiding out in home. Have lots of cheap Maine land to build a minimalist house to fit your budget and provide the perfect container to practice the less is more.
Don’t you lose family members in McMansions?
Is GPS needed to find one of the many paths to the kitchen for breakfast? When was the last time you used a formal dining room or exercise area? Places for purposes that never get occupied like lots of bathrooms to clean but never use. In Maine, we don’t feel like one of the biggest purposes in life is to burn cash. We are fulfilled by how we live and where we spend our life even keel and considerately simpler. Putting family, community and nature experiences on the top of the list, not shelf item stuff.
Minimalist living goes against mass consumption and highly effective marketing planting the seed you need this NOW.
It does not play well with a big part of your day put into achieving and maintaining status. The recipe for happiness should be you are healthy, you enjoy the little things like a sunrise or sunset. Everything in between too because you have an attitude of gratitude. Full of joy and not needing anything else that is missing in large supply.
I had a lake cottage owned by a hoarder who wanted to know what the value was. I could size up the outside and the waterfront lot.
But no space to tour the inside. Wall to wall and floor to ceiling stuffed to the gills. His red Buick station wagon almost eye level with paper of all kinds. The car slowly groaned and moaned as it inched around my small Maine town. Under a heavy strain and overloaded. Like a four wheel rolling paper dumpster with lots of ballast. Too much paper is not thrifty or frugal or minimalist living in Maine. It’s another subject for a future Maine blog post.
They say depression children raised during a time when there was not much to eat or for work were forged into survival mode.
Throw nothing away, not because you wanted to impress anyone with all you possess. But because you might need this and that down the road and had no money to go out and pick it off the shelf.
Wearing blinders and so caught up in the American culture that you forget what life should look like.
Replacing it with an imagined life, how things would be if you could just own one or more of something. Like a security blanket that eases a fear. Worried about running out, what if you could not have anything you suddenly thought you needed. The shift is to building more meaningful relationship, to strengthen the connection to other humans, our belongings, the housing space we call home.
Useful, solid, simple things that work and are timeless are opted for over trending cheaply mass produced disposable junk.
Functional, solid and not just pretty to the eye is what filters our purchasing choices. There is impulse control in whatever we do buy and plenty of thought put into what we research and then decide on as best for us.
Minimalist living in Maine.
Getting rid of the antsy feeling waiting for stuff living pay check to pay check. On the hunt and looking, needing for better. Never happy with what you do have and wanting something different. The endless search for what ever is missing or not giving you comfort. How can you be so happy as a minimalist is you are alone with so little many would wonder. Why would you deprive yourself of the temporary joy of something new just delivered by the Fed Ex or UPS delivery carrier? Minimalist living in Maine, it’s not restrictive but viewed as disciplined and common sense when money does not grow on trees. And when what’s important is the beautiful surroundings you share with your family, friends, small well connected communities in Maine.
In Maine, we use our open porches.
Go up to camp for some simple living and friendly conversation or alone time. We commune with nature. The great outdoors and wildlife teach us much and provide valuable perspective on what is important and why. We don’t need more options, more stuff, a better way of life funded by product makers or service providers. What is missing is what the marketing seed planted makes us think is lacking and highly needed. Minimalist living, less is more is what helps reset everything to the original factory settings to begin again. To establish an equilibrium and balance. We don’t build in rooms or features we won’t use. Functional is highly sought after to simply and improve our daily tasks and the toil of living. The work life balance living in Maine, the natives learn how to handle the two best.
Our boredom, anticipation, rumination and worry is too much free time to spend in expensive ways that benefit others, not us.
We are sheep told what we need. How we should feel. Is that part of how this all happens? Keep it simple, back to basics. Somehow considered square and old school out dated Daddio? Too little void to fill with calm is what happens when you are shopping online into the early morning hours and scanning catalogs for something you don’t have but know you really need. That you can post on Facebook and other social media channels to gloat or seeking approval from the “look what I have that you don’t”. Minimalist living in Maine. There are lots of perks relocating, moving to a small town in Maine.
Has technology advancing leaps and bounds caused the try to keep up collecting the latest greatest?
Chasing new models that promise to out perform the last one you purchased. That hurry scurry spending may help the economy but not the minimalist way of living simple without constant change. Look around your junk drawers and attic storage or closets and what do you see? An electronic graveyard of cords, devices, outdated and antique E waste.
Much of what we buy was because the previous purchase was cheap and wore out.
Or could not keep up and replaced in a throw away society. Minimalist living in Maine or anywhere. Often the older radio. televisions and appliances were made to last and did but technology not a break down caused it shut down and parked. Get out of the way for something new designed to make our life easier and to free up time. Time to think about what else we need to carve our a quality of life.
Minimalist living, do you do it and why?
How come you do not and what have you learned from previous attempts? Thank you for following our Me In Maine blog posts. This one about minimalist living in Maine, one fine state to keep it simple and enjoy what is really important.