Being intentional with my online time has led me to rethink the reading that I have been doing. I enjoy checking into other people’s blogs, and I’m always looking for new ideas. But I’ve too often been disappointed–sometimes someone will have great ideas, then stop writing. Sometimes, a blog gets too big and becomes removed from the community they once were trying to create, or worse, starts merchandising.
The reason I share my ideas, and read the ideas of others, is to be a part of a community. To be a part of a discussion. To be challenged to make positive changes in my life. I found that some of my online activities did not do that, were just “fluff” or even a complete waste of time.
So, to improve the quality of my online time, to make sure that technology is actually enriching my life, I took a good look at my blogroll. I started searching for other people in the community, and followed their blogs for a few weeks. The end result is this list, which I will be presenting to you!
I won’t be referring to these as “Minimalist Blogs,” because I’ve found that many people resist that label. I always thought of it as a positive thing, because I always definted “minimalist” by the first people I met who lived this way. Because of that, my mental picture of a minimalist was NOT of someone trying to live like a monk, or someone living in an empty, sterile house. Really, “voluntary simplicity” might be a better descriptor, or even “intentional living.” But, no, as a special education teacher I’m sick of labels already. So I’m calling it as it is. Henceforth, we are “People Who Don’t Have a Lot of Stuff.” And it doesn’t get abbreviated, or turned into an acronym, because I see enough of those in my day. So there. The issue is settled.
Anyway, when choosing which blogs to follow, I used these criteria:
—The blog is written by the person who maintains it. I don’t follow a lot of big blogs, because they tend to run out of things to say and resort to guest posts exclusively. I want to hear the writer’s voice! My exception to this is Miss Minimalist, because her guest posts enhance her message, and she does write a post herself once a week. I know I also host Fly Lady’s column on Fridays, so I’m a hypocrite there…
—No merchandising! We’re trying to get away from consumerism and Getting More Stuff. So nobody on my list does sponsored posts. A couple of them do the occasional give-away, which I find to be annoying, but I did not include any that make that central to their focus.
—I chose only blogs that facilitate discussion. Everybody either responds to their comments or has a great discussion going on.
—These blogs are all updated at least once a week, unless the writer lets everyone know that they are taking some time off. They’re not likely to run out of things to say anytime soon!
–And, finally, the subject matter is good. These writers will challenge your way of thinking and of doing things.
So, here’s my list!
Gold Stars Double Rainbows
This is written by a couple living in Paraguay, with the Peace Corps. They share their adventures, as well as they ways in which living in that culture has challenged their way of thinking.
This is written by Rachel, a mother and a Person Who Doesn’t Have a Lot of Stuff. She has great practical ideas and did a series called “31 Days to Living Intentionally Simple,” which is a great way to get started at simplifying your life!
Just a Little Less
Dolly has a lot of practical ideas for living simply, and her honesty and sincerity are very refreshing. Be sure to look at the pictures of her house–it’s gorgeous in its simple, calm decor!
If you haven’t read this blog, you really need to! Sandra shares her stories and ideas in a very down-to-earth manner. “Lagom” is a Swedish term meaning “just enough,” and Sandra takes us on her journey to find lagom in every aspect of her life.
Living Simply Free
Lois lives in a 300 square foot apartment and shares her ideas for downsizing, decluttering, and upcycling. The best part of her blog are her projects, for turning junk into treasures.
This is the only big blog that I follow. Francine does a lot of facilitate discussion and community. Her guest posts support her message and bring more people into the community that she helped create. And she writes one post a week as well, chronicling her efforts to be a Person Who Doesn’t Have a Lot of Stuff, with a child.
Plastic is Rubbish
This couple completely boycotts all things plastic! They share tales from their adventures, as they travel the world, and some very practical ideas to avoid using plastic. Even if you don’t avoid plastic, their ideas will help you to live more sustainably.
Simply Super Kim
After having ovarian cancer, Kim began her journey toward a more simple, healthy lifestyle. She has actually been sugar-free for three months now! Kim is honest about her struggles, as she tries to go against the grain.
Slow Your Home
Brooke is on a mission to “slow the hell down.” You will love her sense of humor and her great ideas. She also offers a “boot camp,” to help you get started on your jouney toward simplicity.
The Non-Consumer Advocate
Katy is an expert on thrift-store hunting and repurposing. You will love reading about her finds and be inspired to do some hunting of your own. It’s retail therapy for People Who Don’t Have a Lot of Stuff!
The adventure lifestyle is much easier, when you don’t have a lot of stuff. Gigi will take you across the world and entertain you with her fun and insightful stories.
The Simple Year
Kerry’s family is going a year, buying no new things. She documents her adventures and learnings as she does this. The most interesting posts are about other people’s reactions to her project.
Writing From Afar
When I first read about Tony’s plan to break free from the 9-to-5 workday and adventure full-time, I thought it was a pipe dream! But now, he’s come so close to turning that dream into a reality, that I can’t help but be inspired. In his posts, Tony challenges the script that we’re all expected to follow.
My favorite live-aboard family details life on the Majestic, a cataran docked in Chesapeake Bay. Cindy writes about natural/attachment parenting, simple living, and, of course, sailing.
Dan shares wonderful ideas for finding focus and calm in the middle of a crazy world. You’ll probably want to print off some of his reminders, to help you find a bit of zen in your day.
So, that’s my list! I hope you enjoy reading all of these blogs as much as I do!