The Happy Minimalist

Yesterday I read a book by Peter Lawrence titled “The Happy Minimalist.”

Sixty minimal pages of distilled knowledge. I questioned the price of the download but curiosity won out. 
It was worth every single penny.

Peter lives a drastically Spartan life, with a lawn chair for seating, a sleeping bag for a bed, minimal tools and cookware but a full life living as he pleases. His electric usage? A measly 2 kWh per day.

After devouring his missive I hit my closets and thinned down a bag full of items I have not worn in ages.  These will be passed on to my sister.

I mastered cooking rice on the stovetop using the absorption method, so my rice cooker is going to her as well. Also included in that will be a heavy stainless steel skillet that I do not use in favor of the two cast-iron skillets I use for everything.

Last night I even flipped the switch to turn off my dsl modem before going to bed. Flipped the power strip for the cordless phone as well. Seriously, my phone is a MagicJack, turned off at night when the computer is shut down, so why keep the phone powered on? If it were not for mobility I would eschew the cordless phone in favor of a lower-energy corded one but we all must make decisions on what we will actually use.

Last winter I used a sleeping bag instead of my full sized futon because of the extra warmth that comes from being snuggled into one.  I pondered his choice to use one full time when it occurred to me that sleeping bags are the Western World’s version of the Japanese futon.

Instead of unfolding that heavy futon I snuggled down in my sleeping bag last night. The puppies were confused but still faithfully curled up next to me. To my surprise I didn’t toss and turn the way I normally do at night. Perhaps a sleeping bag is a valid option for full-time sleeping.  If this is the case the full size futon can either be put away for when guests arrive or discarded entirely.

I want to read his book again in a few days, but his missive really struck a chord with me. While I do not know if I would want to go as extreme as Peter he has definitely given this aspiring minimalist some things to consider.

If you buy one book this year, make that book “The Happy Minimalist.” It will definitely give you food for thought.