Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Extreme Minimalist Living Inspiration

With the splash of color and organic shapes I could live here without going insane. I think. Image Credit: Internetpowerlunch.

Minimalism and thrifting don't go hand in hand. Most of us like the artistic eclectic feel that comes from flanking your home with vintage treasure. Some of us even thrive on what would seem like "clutter" to the Minimalist adherent.

While I'm working ample overtime my home life is chaos, and it puts my soul at peace to look at extreme minimalist living examples. These homes will inspire you to make your home more economical and accessible.

Student Lives in His Van to Afford to Unaffordable: An Education

 Image from The Spartan Student Ken Ilgunas's blog.

Keeping his unique living situation a secret until he published an essay about it on Salon (no longer online) Ken Ilgunas took minimalism to a new level when he chose to live out of his van not just to avoid crippling student debt, but as a social experiment:
Living on the cheap wasn’t merely a way to save money and stave off debt; I wanted to live adventurously. I wanted to test my limits. I wanted to find the line between my wants and my needs. I wanted, as Thoreau put it, “to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life … to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”
Ilgunas continues in his article to describe how he cooks meals over a propane stove, doesn’t clean his dishes, and has no friends at school so that his way of life won’t be discovered. This example is extreme yet inspiring, and hell, he might get a book deal from his van-living experiment.

The 175-Square-Foot "Microstudio"

 You're looking at the entire apartment. Image Credit: Angel Chevrestt New York Post

Once I get over the fact that the tiniest apartment in New York City cost $150,000 I can admire how a success New York couple happy lives in a 175-square-foot apartment with two cats. At 14.9 feet long and 10 feet wide, it's about as narrow as a subway car and as claustrophobic as a jail cell. But for the Prokops, it's a proverbial palace- even if their queen size bed takes up one third of the living space.

How do they make this tiny space work? They don't eat in so they don't need more than a hot plate, they keep their clothes folded up in the kitchen cabinets. The on-the-go working couple even keep clothes strategically stashed at dry cleaners that are on their jogging routes to work. Read more about their living arrangement here.

 There are so many inspiring minimalist living examples to share. Like the one about this man who lived without a refrigerator for 30 years (good read, he shares the shelf life for common items). Stories like this make you re-evaluate what you consider "needs" so you can pare down to water matters in life.

If you want more minimalist living inspiration check out Mnmlist where top blogger Leo Babauta writes about streamlining his life. He only owns 50 possessions which is both inspiring and hard to imagine.

This post is linked to: Welcome Wednesday / Works for Me Wednesdays / Creative Therapy Session / Show and Tell / Penny Pinching Party / We Did it Wednesdays / Make it Yours Day / Whatever Goes Wednesday / Room to Inspire/ Women Who do it All


  1. Wow! This really puts things in perspective! I don't have much, but I certainly can't imagine living in my van (of course, I probably could have before I had my son!) Found you at Life in the Pitts.


  2. Hi, I'm the newest follower from Welcome Wednesday. I look forward to reading your posts.
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  3. Whoa. That last picture is nuts! I don't think I could do it.

    Thank you for participating in the Therapy Session with Life in the Pitts!


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