• shane@countryexec.com
  • Seguin, Texas
Minimalism, Happiness And More Simplistic Living

Minimalism, Happiness And More Simplistic Living

I crave simplicity. Dream of it. I cannot walk by a cluttered area in my personal or professional existence without wanting to do something about it. For many years I have felt I possessed a sprinkling of OCD. Not to the point where it dominates my actions, but enough to feel slight anxiety when I see something noticeably disorganized. Minimalism, happiness, and more simplistic living is a legitimate motivation for me.

This feeling dominates me more in my personal life. It does irritate me professionally as it relates to responsibilities and actions under my purview, but I do tolerate it to a higher degree due to the nature of my profession. I’m not overly thrilled when I have to ask someone to pick up after themselves. Or throw out their trash because the can is full.

I have been around the block enough times to know and accept that people are who they are. I’m not delighted about it, but I can accept individualism enough for a little bit of leeway. My people know me well enough to understand there’s a timeline for how long stuff can hang around before the questions begin. There are some funny stories out there around my being this way.

Banana Sandwich

Garages are a good example of this general line of thought. I’ve never not had my vehicles inside a garage living in places where I had one available. I became accustomed to the term “California garage” while living on the West Coast. It always struck me as odd if a person possessed so many belongings that they spill outside the internal dwelling. Maybe they own too much stuff.

I drive Mrs. Country Exec banana sandwich with this. I’ll get rid of things that are no longer useful. She has been overtly upset with me several times over the many years we have been together for this reason. My closet is gone through at least once every few months to discard and donate clothes that are no longer part of the “rotation.” Clothes are also “demoted” in my wardrobe to workout gear and/or rags for cleaning vehicles. Yes, those words are actually used. And yes, I realize I am at least partially eccentric.

Minimalism Movement

Mrs. Country Exec and I watched Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things recently and it really struck home for me. The guys that made the documentary run a great website offering tips and motivation to begin decluttering your life. It’s definitely worth checking out.

I’m not a true minimalist as I have no desire to live in a bare bone’s manner. I despise excess, but if an item holds value in a remote capacity then I’m fine with it hanging around. Our home is approximately 2400 sq ft. It’s enough, although with four dogs sometimes it doesn’t feel like it. I admire those folks that are all in on tiny homes, minimalism, and simplistic living.

The documentary did motivate me to take action on some things I’ve been dragging my feet on. CD’s for instance. Why I remember things like this I’ll never know, but I bought my first CD in 1994. Probably not the kind of music you’d think either. It was Usher’s debut album. Still have it. I love music and bought CD’s for years until I finally began downloading songs sometime around 2010. I wised up a couple of years ago and signed up for a Apple Music subscription. It gets used every single day. Even now as I type this very article.

Thirty Years

Getting back to the point, I have about fifteen years and four carrying cases of CD’s that I have been lugging around the world. It’s not just CD’s. I have a few old comic books I bought as a kid. Wolverine became popular when I was young, and I was enamored with the character. I own the first twenty-five or so comic books when they came out in the late 80’s. I have baseball cards from the 80’s as well, not a ton, but enough to fill a Justin’s boot box. Life has taken me to a lot of places since then. Some of these things have been with me for thirty plus years.

The baseball cards hold no value, the comic books do. Not saying emotional value, dollar value. If someone wanted to give me a fair price, I’d gladly off load the comics. Since the baseball cards hold no value, I’d like for them to go to a kid that loves baseball and would enjoy them. There’s not a lot of kids in my orbit, and baseball isn’t as popular as football in my neck of the woods. If you haven’t heard we’re kind of serious about football around here.

Dispersing Of Excess

When I/we have moved from place to place, I generally put the items aside and forget about it. I do not have the time or desire to go through and sell them individually. I began selling items on eBay last year. Every item I listed someone tried to scam me at least once. No joke. Not worth the hassle.

Something about getting rid of items that no longer hold value and take up space cleanses my soul. I don’t believe I have an excessive amount of excess, but I still want whatever is in my life that no longer serves a purpose to be gone. For the comics and baseball cards, they are out of the way and I generally never see them. Knowing they are still around needlessly in my possession irritates me for whatever reason. Carrying the mental baggage is not conducive to minimalism or simplistic living.


Funny how life is. We spend our lives living and working, accumulating objects and experiences. The memories in my mind seem to possess the most value. For instance, I rarely ever go back and look at old photos. My wife and I have traveled the world and experienced truly amazing places. Wherever we have gone we have purchased cheesy, touristy frames identifying that particular trip. We try our best to take a halfway decent picture while we’re visiting the place to go into the frame when we get home.

Our house is littered with these frames. I see them every day. Truth be told they don’t do much for me. The memory of the trip is there and can make me smile, but the physical representation of the time spent doesn’t register. The power of the mind never ceases to amaze.

Minimalism, Happiness, And More Simplistic Living

Watching the documentary reminded me it was time to do something about these legacy items in my life. We’ve been in our current home for three years. These obscure pieces are put aside in places that are physically out of the way. Mentally they are baggage. At least for me. The documentary spoke to the happiness associated with letting physical possessions go. I believe and know that to be true.

I’m going to figure out a way to get these unneeded and unwanted items out of my life. I am more than happy to donate what I can. That alone will put a dent. I will find a kid to give the baseball cards too. It’s just a matter of asking around. The comic books may be a problem due to the value. I did inventory them a few years back, so I know what all is in the collection. I went so far as to contact a comic book shop about selling them but never heard back. I’ll find a home for them, and I’ll be better off as a result.

Taking Action

If you feel consumerism and accumulation weighing you down, I recommend considering doing the same. I’ll never be convinced there isn’t something to simplicity. Minimalism, happiness, and more simplistic living, that’s what I want out of my life. I take pride in dictating the terms of my existence professionally. I believe it’s time for me to do the same for the possessions that seem to loom over me mentally.

By freeing myself of the mental burden, I am confident I will be more content as a result. If my words resonate with you, I’d encourage you to do the same. I’ll report back and let you know how it goes for me. Until next time thank you for reading, and please take care of yourself and the ones you love.

6 thoughts on “Minimalism, Happiness And More Simplistic Living

    • Author gravatar

      Love the ideas you share, I just downsized from a 4 bedroom, 3 bath house to a 2 bedroom 1 bath condo (and sometimes 5 of us are home) so I can relate.

      • Author gravatar

        Thank you reading and the comment Jen! Moving these items out of my life, and subsequently my mind will be a process that takes some time. Little by little sort of thing for me. I did begin asking around to find a home for the baseball cards, I know the right person is out there to hand them off too. Best of luck to you in your newly downsized life! 🙂

    • Author gravatar

      I began my minimalism journey about 2 years ago. I didn’t know that the clutters in my house was what’s causing me anxiety and stress. We lived in a 1600 square feet house, but our place was packed with so much stuff. I felt like I always had to clean in my free time, and I couldn’t do anything fun at all. So I wanted to change that and I did. Now I love being a minimalist! Minimalism has changed the way my husband and I handle our finances too.
      I love your post. Such a great read. It reminds me of why I needed to change my way of life.
      Thank you!

      • Author gravatar

        Thank you so much Colette! I’m curious how minimalism changed your approach to finance, if I don’t find the answer on your site I may reach out on that one. It would make for a great blog post for others perhaps!

    • Author gravatar

      I 100% agree with you about memories vs physical reminders. I, too, find the most sentiment in the memories I possess. Sure pictures are fun to look at, but they don’t give me the same feeling of joy or nostalgia. This is a great post and only reaffirms why I want to live more simply. Thanks!

      • Author gravatar

        Thank you so much for reading and sharing your thoughts Sarah! We’re definitely on the same page, the pictures have value in my life but the memories are what drives that value for me. I believe it’s those experiences and nostalgia that constitutes a life well lived! Like I always say, we only get one shot so you may as well enjoy it!

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