Should you give up your hobbies to become a minimalist?

READER SCOTT ASKED:

What are your thoughts about minimalist with hobbies or extracurricular activities?

Your blogs are a hobby to you, but what about craftsmen, musicians, collectors (not hoarders), travelers?

  • Would a craftsmen need just a regular screw driver or a power tool? (have what you need vs. wants)
  • Should a musician be told to give up on being a musician? (Stop doing it)
  • Does a collector need to pare down? (get rid of most of it)

What would be a limiting factor?

  • Money?
  • Time?
  • Volume of stuff? (how many additional suitcases is enough?)

ANSWER:

What a great question 🙂

The two don’t have to fight against each other. It only depends on your priorities and what you’ve decided to do with your life.

My long answer is as follows 😉

No one needs to get rid of anything they don’t want to get rid of as long as they love, use and/or display them regularly

Remember, it’s your life and your choice.

If you CHOOSE not to get rid of things, you are living your life and you are keeping those items because presumably, you are actually using them.

My blogs are my hobby for sure, and without a doubt it’s a great minimalist activity although it’s a real time suck (at least 30 hours a week).

However, I am also a musician who plays the piano and violin.

I am about to purchase a piano with realistic grand piano sound & piano-like keys and all its accessories for about $3500 so I can continue to play the piano and still be mobile. (The Roland NX700 in case anyone is interested in knowing).

I have chosen to live my life as a mobile person who can pick up and move at any time. This means while I love to play the piano, I cannot really travel with a full-sized grand piano or even a smaller standing piano, and my only option is a digital piano.

Note: You’re probably wondering why I haven’t purchased a digital piano in the past 5 years I’ve been a slowly evolving minimalist; it’s because I was under the impression that digital pianos had no realistic grand piano sound and felt like cheap plastic keys when you played.

Technology has come leaps and bounds from what I’ve known which is why I will buy the piano once I get a job 😉

Just because you collect things or are a crafts person it doesn’t mean you should get rid of all your tools and go back to Luddite ways by not using power tools.

I’d heartily suggest keeping everything you need for work, leisure and life, as long as you use them regularly.

This goes even for collections. Keep everything you want and love in your collection as long as you display them and/or use them regularly.

There are no contradictions between being a minimalist and needing or wanting things to enrich your life as long as you love and use them regularly.

Personally, I don’t really want to live with too little either 😉

What are the limiting factors?

Again, this depends on what you’ve chosen to do with your life and your priorities in life.

I (and anyone else) can’t tell you what your limiting factors are, just as much as you can’t tell me what mine are 🙂

Let me walk you through my factors and my logic of why I do what I do:

  • I love my job, it’s challenging, interesting, and it pays well to boot
  • ..seeing as I am not independently wealthy and I do need to work, this is a dream for me
  • Unfortunately, the nature of my job means it comes with a 100% travel tag attached
  • This 100% travel tag means I need to know how to pack and move easily
  • Therefore, I am willing to go through the pain of having to pack up my life each time, because I really love what I do and I am not willing to find another more stable, perhaps less interesting job

That’s in a nutshell.

I’ve decided that my job is worth the annoyance of moving so many times, and to mitigate the annoyance factor, I’ve been paring down and trying to streamline my life for years (still trying to do it) while refusing to give up creature comforts such as having a varied wardrobe and my new soon-to-be-purchased digital piano.

It is a balancing act for me, and it’s the reason why I’m doing what I do.

So my factors and rules as to how I keep this in check are as follows:

  • Be ruthless & get rid of anything I don’t use regularly (this is painful by the way)
  • Minimize my belongings so they can fit into 1-2 cars
  • ..which works out to about 3 suitcases and 2 carry-ons
  • Take a lot of time to consider the purchase before buying it, namely: Will it fit in my suitcases and what can I remove in its stead?
  • *NEW* Only buy things to replace what I have because I already have everything I need

Now what about you?

Ask yourself why this intrigues you — living with less, being mobile and so on.

So what drives your decisions behind why you want to do what you do?

This is the base decision and the crux behind almost anything in your life, including the question above: should minimalists give up their hobbies?

About the Author

I'm a 20-something year old girl who lived out of a single suitcase in 2007, and now I'm living with less, but only with the best. You don't have to get rid of everything to become a minimalist! Minimalism can help simplify and organize your life, career, & physical surroundings. You can read more about me as a minimalist. Or come and visit my other blog Fabulously Broke in the City where I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months, earning $65,000 gross/year.