"Get off the consumption treadmill" says growing minimalist movement

Proponents quit jobs and give away possessions

TAMPA - If one day you decided to sell or give away half of all your worldly possessions, would you be happier?

Members of the so-called minimalist movement say yes. Two leading writers on this philosophy are preaching that when it comes to fulfillment, less is more.

On WMNF's  'Radioactivity' program Friday, two young men in their 30's explained to host Rob Lorei why they walked away from six figure jobs and all the goodies that kind of money can buy.

"My life was filled with stress anxiety and discontent and I really didn't know what was important," said 32-year-old Ryan Nicodemus.

Nicodemus and his longtime friend Joshua Fields Millburn quit their jobs, unloaded 80 percent of their possessions and wrote a book.  

They're on a 100 city book tour that began in Tampa. They also have a blog called 'The Minimalists' that claims two million readers looking for ways to simplify their lives and focus on what's important.
    
"They're not looking towards a big paycheck or big house or fancy car, or the latest gadgets. They're really trying to search somewhere else for it," said Nicodemus.
 
America's complicated relationship with stuff is on display through reality series like Storage Wars, made possible because so many people abandon or lose track of stuff they didn't have room for in the first place.

On the extreme end, there are hoarders who get buried under a mountain of possessions.  But the Minimalists say everybody could benefit from taking stock of all the objects that take up space in our lives.

"Look at what you have and ask, have I received value from this item in the last year? It's O.K. to get rid of it. What's cool is I've never gotten rid of anything I really wished I'd gotten back," said Fields Millburn.

Today, it's easier than ever to be a minimalist.  Even the biggest book and music collections that once lined the walls can be stored in a phone. And clever space-saving furniture allows people to live large in small spaces.

The minimalists don't' claim to know the secret to happiness, but they think their message might make it easier to find yourself.

"We're so caught up in the accumulation of things that the path towards something more meaningful gets a bit cluttered," said Fields Millburn.
 

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