This week the husband and I watched a pretty thought-provoking documentary on Netflix, which I wanted to share with you.
Left to my own devices I will happily binge-watch old episodes of Grey’s Anatomy (sorry, not sorry) but he prefers something a little more educational – so it’s off to the documentary section we go! We finally – after careful consideration of the different sci-fi options and gritty prison stories – settled on ‘Minimalism‘
Minimalism follows ‘The Minimalists’, Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus as they embark on a book tour around the US spreading their message and collecting more and more followers en route. Previously wealthy (one was a successful retail manager and the other in finance) both have eschewed the consumerist lifestyle in favour of minimalism and drastically scaled back.
While I’m sure that their message is worthwhile (I haven’t read the book yet) it was the interviews with psychologists and experts on the issues of consumerism and why we are buying the way we are, that I found to be particularly powerful.
As someone with a larger than average wardrobe and handbag collection this obviously resonated with me – but as a fledgling blogger even more so.
Every day we are surrounded by thousands of adverts and images driving our desire to purchase more and more. Social media is undoubtedly one of the biggest culprits. Beautifully curated Instagram accounts depicting luxe unobtainable lifestyles, glossy blog posts with designer handbags and inspirational style, adverts popping up in our newsfeed with everything from start-up tech gadgets to the latest beauty find. Consumerism is reaching stratospheric, unprecedented levels.
It would be easy to assume, since I live on a tiny island with zero physical access to department stores, high street stores, malls, designer stores (or many clothing stores at all) that I could keep a handle on my shopping addiction, but sadly that isn’t the case and I am a prodigious (read: rabid) online shopper.
I’m not going to stop sharing these pretty purchases with you – I do so in much the same way that I would a good friend ‘look what I found – isn’t it beautiful?’ There may also be a new (second-hand) handbag winging it’s way to me as I type (just wait, I’ll show you, she’s a beauty!) but it is a concern to me since the majority of successful lifestyle blogs are monetized by your purchases and that’s part of the ‘brand’ we’re supposed to be building.
I’m not. I’m not even remotely there yet – but I’m sure it’s a path that I’ll explore at some point and I know that if, or when, I do it is something that I would do genuinely and hopefully judiciously.
The documentary covered the tiny housing movement – something we’ve long been interested in as, like many others in our generation, we struggle to get a foothold on even the bottom rung of the housing ladder. We’re not too daunted by tiny housing – our apartment is already pretty small (what we sacrificed in square footage we made up for by living on the beach.) We had briefly considered living on a boat – but with two dogs (one of whom is fairly elderly) it just wouldn’t be practical.
It would definitely involve some scaling back – the husband currently has 5 bikes (it’s just best we don’t ask) so it’s not just my shoe collection that would require culling! But container housing and the many other tiny house options still excites us as a possibility.
Project 333 was also featured – started by Courtney Carver – the basic concept is that you live for 3 months wearing only 33 items – this includes clothing, outerwear, jewelry, accessories and shoes – an extreme capsule wardrobe, I guess. It got me thinking about whether I could do it (I may have already started compiling a list…) you may well hear more about this later.
The Minimalists does not always make for comfortable watching – since we know deep down that we are buying far more than we need (I can’t be the only one!) but it does get you thinking, examining your behaviour and I really feel that it’s worth talking about.
If you watch it please tell me what you think. Have any of you considered Project 333 or would you be interested in hearing about it if I tried to tackle it?