4 Confessions Of A Closet Consumerist

I try to keep life pretty simple. I live in a modest home and drive an economical car. My home has less material stuff in it than most people’s homes. Some would even call me a minimalist. But I’ve got some confessions to make.

As we start another year, I’d like to write with more honesty and transparency. I want to dig deeper into my own psyche as I take this simple journey called life. I started Hip Diggs back in October, 2014. My first post, Take The 10 Step Challenge To Simple Living, is still one of the most visited posts on the blog.

I’ve called myself a minimalist. Then I backpedaled and called myself a moderate minimalist. Upon further thought, I’ve questioned the entire concept of minimalism. Now, I have some confessions to make. First, I’m a closet consumerist. This might come as a surprise, but it shouldn’t. Why? Because we’re all consumerists, some more than others.

Consumerism Is An Addiction

Minimalism is nothing more than making a point to live with less stuff so that you can find greater joy in life. I believe in minimalism. I aspire to continue to work toward owning less stuff. I’ve still got a long way to go.

There are days when I still find myself buying a few more items than I really need. I’ll admit that my kitchen cupboards are half empty, but many of my closets are more than half full. Last week, I bought two new pairs of pants. Last summer, I bought a new guitar. Recently, I also bought equipment for my new video studio. And I’m proud to say that I’m not ashamed for any of it. 

  1. I’m addicted to oil: Although I drive a VW Golf TDI, I still drive nearly every day. Not only that, but I own a second vehicle, a small truck for working around the yard. I think back to my 20s when I rode a bicycle as my only mode of transportation. I still have a bike in my garage. I could ride the short two miles to work and back. But I’m addicted to convenience. 
  2. I’m a sucker for fashion: I probably own fewer clothes than the average American, but I still have a love affair with fashion and quality. Although I’ve been working toward a simple wardrobe, I’ll admit that I still own nearly ten pairs of shoes. It’s a weakness. But I’m happy to say I only have a about five pairs of pants and six or seven shirts in my closet.  
  3. I’m an antique collector: Okay, it’s not as bad as it sounds. I don’t go antiquing on a regular basis. In fact, my collection is quite practical. All of the hard wood furniture pieces in my home are antiques. They’re better than cheap pressboard crap. They’re less expensive than high-end furniture. Still, I must admit that I’m a little emotionally attached to the charm and character they bring to my home.
  4. I’m a musical hoarder: I own four guitars, a mandolin, a banjo, and a ukulele…. I still have more than 100 CDs. The good new is that I own less musical stuff than I have in more than ten years.

Do You Have Some Confessions Of Your Own To Make?

Chances are high that I’m not the only one with a few consumerist weaknesses. But here’s the good thing about making confessions. When we admit to our weaknesses, we’re accepting the fact that we still have work to do.

I’ve got something to work toward. Right now, as a single dad to my daughter, Annie, it’s not the ideal time to become a full-blown minimalist. But I have a vision for the future. Here are some things I hope to do a few years up the road:

  • Downsize my home from 1400 square feet to 500-700 square feet.
  • Live downtown in a medium-sized city and walk and bike 90% of the time.
  • Get rid of half of everything I own.
  • Scale my musical instruments down to three or less.
  • Continue to create a capsule wardrobe, including less shoes.

I hope you’ll continue on your own minimalist journey. If you’d like some help along the way, I encourage you to keep coming back to Hip Diggs for inspiration. Read some of Hip Diggs’ classic posts. Just click the link below: 

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James Ewen
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