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The Happy Minimalist

April 17th, 2009 at 10:03 am

Yesterday's local paper had an article about a 44-year-old man, Peter Lawrence, who retired early from his job as an HP manager... a very good thing. But what is different about this fellow is that he now lives a life of EXTREME minimalism. And I do mean extreme.

His condo is bare, except for a simple folding chair and an ironing board. He sleeps on the floor in a sleeping bag, uses the ironing board as his "desk," and owns very little clothing. His laptop is his photo album, electronic filing cabinet, TV, CD and DVD player. He says he can pack all his worldly possessions in one suitcase.

Lawrence self-published a book called The Happy Minimalist that describes his lifestyle and the philosophy that motivates him to live this way. According to Lawrence, his extreme lifestyle is not at all about frugality, being a cheapskate, or deprivation. It's about making calibrated choices, consuming less, and preserving resources. Lawrence says he lives "well below his means."

I don't know... this would be a very difficult lifestyle for most people, and certainly for me, but to each his own. However, I'd rather see someone living like this extreme (albeit eccentric) minimalist over someone living a life of extreme excess, well above their means. And I certainly know my share of people that fit into the latter category.

6 Responses to “The Happy Minimalist”

  1. Broken Arrow Says:

    That would be pretty extreme for me too, if I had to live like that. But yeah, so long as he's happy....

  2. ceejay74 Says:

    Interesting! It would be freeing, in some ways, not to have so much stuff around. NT is the sort who, when a need or want arises, big or small, buys something to satisfy that need. It's great to have medicines and gadgets for all the things that may come up in life, but it's also hard to keep the clutter from creeping onto open surfaces.

  3. Ima saver Says:

    very interesting!!

  4. Blue Eyes Says:

    That IS very interesting!

  5. Jules @ Lovely Las Vegas Says:

    I have lived similarly to that... although, not to that exact extreme. Especially as a student I lived very starkly and frugally but saved up as much money as I could, after school expenses, to travel. Getting a little older now, though, so I would like a little more luxury, hehe. At least in some aspects of life, but I'm still more savings to go before I can get to that point.

  6. L Saver Says:

    I have to admit, sometimes I think it would be wonderful to be able to pack all of my possessions in a suitcase. But then reality sets in, and I realize how hard it would be to actually do that. Kudos to him, if he's doing it and is happy!

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