The Minimalist and The Materalist

christmas-eve-436138_1280Some times I really feel the pull of both these worlds.

Especially at Christmas time.

I said in an early post about how I feel like getting rid of all our stuff and going camping/travelling with my family. Well since that post, about three weeks ago, we have actually started down sizing and clearing out the things we don’t need. At this point we don’t have any plans in place to do anything, other than making our lives easier.

We have been through the children’s bedroom and removed all things other than beds and books. As well as the play room, removing and down sizing.

The most used words in our house at the moment are “if we don’t love it, it’s going.”  In that sentence we include the idea of “really like what the item does for us“.


If we don’t love it, it’s going.

We are making way in our lives for more of the things that we love and less of just stuff.

Recently there has been has been a video going around Facebook and other social media from SBS called Minimalists: Living with Less.


This particular video speaks so much to me.  I know how much of our life is strained when our possessions own us, and not the other way around. That is what we have been doing, taking control back over our possessions and aiming to live a more meaningful and purposeful life. Choosing to live our lives the way we wish and not live only by the winds of change. Which is great and is really creating freedom with in our house.

With in hours of  removing 2/3rd’s of the toys in the play room and cleaning it all out, the children where playing games together in there. They hadn’t done that in over a month or two. After removing 2/3rd’s of the books in our house, they started reading again, and I even found them reading to each other. So the removal of all the extra actually made room for them the enjoy the things that they really liked.

Now all of this is great. However it’s also Christmas. That time of the year where we force a lot on material things, and giving and receiving gifts. Now this year we don’t have a lot of money and were not sure our children would receive gifts from us. We are taking the children away over the hoilday’s so that is our gift to them, but not so much a physical gift that they could open on the day.

Which leaves me in the two camps, because idealistically I don’t have a problem with not bring more things into our house, but emotionally there is still that connection for me with gift giving and making Christmas special for our children with that.  We have some lovely friends and family that have helped us get gifts for our children this year. To try and balance out the gifts and make it even today I was walking through Target looking for one more gift for our so. As I was walking through I saw all these things that my children would love (for a time at least) and would be things that I would love to give them.  However we of course don’t have the money, and then that starts the thought process that our children are missing out or we aren’t good enough to be able to giving them those gifts.

But is that really true?

Are parents that can give there children everything toy, game and thing under the sun better than parents that can’t?

Are our children really missing out?

And do they even need those things?

For me the answer to all those questions is NO. After removing things that we don’t love from our house I have seen growth in my children, they are nicer to each other, play better together, use there imagination more, and use what they do have more.

In truth they aren’t actually missing out. They are probably having more fun, more enjoyment of the things that they do have because choice anxiety is lowered when you have less to choose from.

I would love to hear your thoughts? are you minimalist or materialistic ? or are you also struggling with both? How do you find that balance?  Is there even a balance? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

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13 Responses

  1. Emma says:

    Christina, this is awesome. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I also think like this and agree with you. I struggle between materialsim and minimalism. I have only recently been craving minimalsim as I am dissapointed how materialistic our society has become. I hate the culture and mindset that has been built in society that we always ‘need’ this and that. We are never satisfied and we are so qucikly over things. We have built fast fashion, for example, at the expense of others. Yet, at christmas I do love that we give gifts as this is a good thing, love that I can teach my children this. But, lets be creative about it and give in many different ways – not just with things specifically. I am so looking forward to moving into our bus in the new year and living with the challenge of less. I am also a bit nervous as I have never done this before. Yet, as we have been clearing stuf out of our lives all year preparing for this move I have found more and more freedom. I am sure I will also have more time to do things I enjoy etc and not have to put so much time into sorting all my stuff! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Christina says:

      Thank you for reading it Emma. I agree, I often find myself questioning the ideas that we “Need” this, and that happiness comes from us having things, when I really want my children and myself to learn to be happy in today and not waiting on the when this happens or when we get that “I’ll be happy idea” idea, and learning that happiness is not tied up with the act of getting. I love looking for creative ways in giving as well. I personally really love gifts that are thoughtful or handmade. I look forward to following you and your family as you take on the adventure of moving into the bus, and loving your life. 🙂

  2. Kerry says:

    What a wonderful blog. It’s a lovely reminder to what’s important in our lives; time for each other. I love how you shared the children played more games. Thank you.

    • Christina says:

      Thank you, it’s sometimes hard to focus on what is important and get caught up in the ideas of what others think we should do.

  3. Christine says:

    Great post. I’m a materialist but wish I was a minimalist. I absolutely agree with what you’ve written but have an ingrained inability to stop buying stuff, particularly for my kid.

    • Christina says:

      I totally know what you mean, I’m 100% sure if I had a budget that would let me, I would struggle even more with it. I have grown up with the materialist mind set, and have to work against it so that I can have what I actually want in my life.

  4. So very true Christina. We try to have a huge clean out every 6 months and I am astounded by how much accumulates in that time. We limit our purchases but still we end up with excess creeping into the house.
    I find our clean outs very cathartic 🙂

    • Christina says:

      They totally are! I agree, we can gain so much stuff in 6 months it isn’t funny. I like the idea of getting rid of one thing for every new thing that you bring into the house is great, but the time to do that never happen in my house.

  5. Anita says:

    Great post. I’m thinking of all the time i spend cleaning and putting away our “stuff” and i want to minimise. Thinking of putting away all the kids clothes and only getting out what they use- i’m sure we could reduce even more.

  6. I love this post. IT speaks out at me and I love having a clean out. We often do this around this time of year too and find it is cleansing in the physical and spiritual sense.

  1. January 1, 2015

    […] 8. The Minimalist and The Materialist. […]

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