Why I’m Buying a Lot of Stuff for Our Apartment

So I’m not really buying a lot of stuff. But for a minimalist, I’m buying too much stuff. It’s actually making me a little uncomfortable. But there’s one big reason why I’m buying this much stuff.

It’s for My Daughter, Annie

I just sold my house and 80% of the furniture that was in it. Now I’m buying new stuff. I’m doing it for my kid. Who knows how long I have on this Earth. Hopefully, I’ll live another 20 or 30 years. But nothing is certain. So in the meantime, I want to make things comfortable for my 14-year-old daughter.

Annie doesn’t understand minimalism. After all, she’s a teenager. Most anything and everything I do is uncool in her eyes. And although she has started becoming a little bit of an aesthetic minimalist, she doesn’t get the greater concept of minimalism. And so I’m moving into Phase II of my own minimalist journey.

What Is Phase II?

The first phase of my journey was getting a firm grasp on the minimalist mindset. I did this while I was buying a home. I was also $50,000 in credit-card debt. I erased all that. So here’s what I’m doing in Phase II:

  1. Eliminating all debt: Last week, I said I was debt free. Actually, I lied. I’d forgotten about our cell phones. They were on contract. Not anymore. Now they’re paid off, too. Eliminating debt also includes simplifying expenses. If we’re not careful about spending, debt will creep back into our lives. I’m not going to let that happen.
  2. Renting, not buying: I’m currently renting an apartment. And I’ll likely continue renting throughout my daughter’s high-school years. When she goes off to college, (or grad school), I’ll be ready for Phase III. That’s when I’ll go super simple. But while my daughter is still at home, I’ll be splurging a little.
  3. Living simply, yet comfortably: In the past week, I’ve spent more than $5000. Why? Because I want my daughter to have a comfortable place to live. It might seem like a lot, but here’s a list of the furnishings, electronics, and other stuff we’ve bought for the new place.

Buying Lots of Stuff for a Minimalist

  • Two queen beds and mattresses
  • Two nightstands (no dressers)
  • Two-piece living room sectional
  • Reclining chair
  • Entertainment center (no coffee tables)
  • Five-piece dining set
  • 55-inch TV with sound system
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Security cameras
  • Fire-escape ladder

That’s the brunt of the recent purchases. But I’ve also rented an oboe for my daughter and I’ve started her up with private oboe lessons. And there may be an electronic piano in the cards as well.

I know. That feels like a lot of stuff. But it’s still living pretty simply overall. I just want a safe and comfortable place for my daughter to spend her high-school years.

Truth Be Told, I’m Kind of Digging This

There’s a part of me that’s cringing at my own purchases. Deep down, I know what I want. I’d like to live in a 500-700 square-foot condo on the Northern California Coast. That might just be Phase III of my minimalist journey. But in the meantime, I’m having fun building a simple, yet comfortable environment for my daughter’s high-school years. And what’s really cool is that we’re only a few blocks away from her school. That will simplify our transportation needs.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Minimalism isn’t an all-or-nothing lifestyle. There’s a happy medium. That’s where I’m at now, and it’s where I’ll be for a few years to come. However, I can still look down the road to a more simple existence.

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James Ewen
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