Minimalists will speak at The Ivy Bookshop on May 28
Ryan Nicodemus, left, and Joshua Fields Millburn (Handout photo / May 27, 2014)
In 2010, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus left their six-figure corporate jobs. As they approached their 30th birthdays, they had everything anyone could ever ask for: big houses, luxury cars, all the new gadgets. But they weren’t happy, and decided to make a change.
The best friends in high school in Dayton, Ohio, moved to a cabin in Montana. On the way, they discovered the minimalist lifestyle — the purposeful reduction of useless stuff that can clog up our lives.
Now out of the rat race, they are spreading the minimalist message. They have written several books and countless essays, they offer an online writing class and personal mentoring sessions. Additionally, they have more than 2 million readers on their blog, theminimalists.com.
Millburn and Nicodemus’ new lifestyle isn’t entirely extreme. They both still have their iPhones, dress shoes and social lives. For them, the most important part of minimalism is focus. They talk about making fewer promises but making sure that they are 100 percent present for each of those commitments. If something is not adding value to their lives or the lives of people they care about, they drop it.
In January, they began their 100-city tour across the United States, Ireland, Australia and the United Kingdom. At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 28th, they will appear at The Ivy Bookshop (6080 Falls Road Baltimore) to talk about their journey, read an excerpt from their book "Everything that Remains" and sign copies. They took some time recently to answer a few questions:
A lot of the time people will talk about simplifying their lives but never actually take action. How would you encourage people to take the first step?
JFM: Getting started is as simple as asking yourself one question: How might your life be better if you owned fewer material possessions?
And because decluttering can be boring, we found a way to make it more fun with a little friendly competition. We can it the Minimalism Game, and it is how thousands of our readers have started removing the excess from their lives. Here's how it works:
Find a friend or family member. Someone who’s willing to get rid of some of their excess stuff. Starting at the beginning of the month, each of you must get rid of one thing on the first day of the month. On the second, two things. Three items on the third. So forth, and so on. Anything can go! Clothes, furniture, electronics, tools, decorations, etc. Donate, sell, or trash. Whatever you do, each material possession must be out of your house — and out of your life — by midnight each day.