living a small life

there’s a movement going on old bean!

and it’s exciting!

living small







but first.  some thoughts about why we needed this movement.

in the 80’s there was a catch phrase from a popular movie that described the era.





our country bought into that mindset by leaps and bounds.

we had for years actually.

but it really caught steam in that era.

and it has only strengthened ever since.

then along with the internet and the technological age we happily helped almost

every other civilized society on this planet to buy into it too.

every kid in the world with a cell phone taking selfies suddenly wanted to be a


or to at least live like one.





marketing is ancient and good.  people have to live after all.  it’s part of our life.

and the world’s economy.  nobody’s arguing that.


THIS marketing was to be different.    the marketing of the westernized world


it has an agenda.

its whole nature and soul purpose


 to make you discontented with your own life.


it tries to make you think you need THIS   or   THAT   and   MORE  of everything

and that somehow .  .  .

unless you have ALL that you’re ENTITLED TO

that you are somehow  .  .  .  DIMINISHED as a person

and your poor children .  .  .  well.

they will be handicapped on the world’s stage.

GUILT sells very well these days.


the world is not run by wise and learned people anymore.

if it ever was!     LOLOL!!!    even I’M not that naïve !

but now it’s run by worse than fools really.


the world is run now by a HUGE many headed monster called



it has no soul.  it cares not about you or your life.

its only care is how much STUFF you will buy with your hard earned money.


it’s agenda is greed.

and it wants you to think that your life is constantly incomplete.

  it feeds on your discontent.



when what you really need is only that which fills the requirements of living.


who truthfully needs 80 or 120 or 200 or more pairs of shoes?

who even needs 10?  or 5?  how many pairs did you have growing up?

when i was little i had two.

one for school.  one for “good!”  oh… forgot.  usually one pair of rubber boots.


even as a teenager i don’t remember anyone owning shoes remotely near the

amount that these girls buy today.

some of them have entire closets just for their shoes!

because most of them have their own room of course with their own private

bathroom and  walk in closets!  apparently that’s a prerequisite to owning a

home these days too!  LOLOL!  oh my gosh.  but i digress.


there are children walking to school barefoot in some parts of our own

country still.

they would look at a closet like that and not even understand the meaning of it.


we all eat

we all sleep

we all bathe   .  .  .   well  .  .  .   i hope we do!

and we work or DID work for many years to accommodate those needs.



when all is said and done

all the extra STUFF you accumulate along the way  .  .  .  the duplicates

and triplicates  .  .  .  all the myriads of stuff  .  .  .   thrown in and under

and often forgotten at the back of the closet  .  .  .


in boxes and cupboards  and drawers and bags



and attics and garages and storage bins



even rented storage rooms like this one below

because of  those famous words


”  in case we might need it  “




paid storage


can you imagine actually PAYING to keep this every month

year in and year out?




money down the drain


your stuff is actually making somebody else



it is now a MULTI ~ BILLION dollar industry in this country.




however NEATLY it might be stored  .  .  .   it’s just all so unnecessary.



it’s so unnecessary to the real happiness in life.



the smile on your child’s or your grandchild’s face

the wag of your dog  .  .  .  or ANY dog!  .  .  .  ALL dogs!  LOLOL!

the purr of your cat  .  .  .  and just watching the magical little creature it is

the feel of fresh air cooled by the rain

bright sunshine across a clean floor

a walk in the park

or the forest

or on a shore with water lapping at your toes

the sound of the sea

the sound of  your favorite music

the taste of a perfectly ripe strawberry

the sparkle of ice in a glass of pure water

the feel of bare feet on a smooth surface

laughter with friends as you share a meal

a stimulating conversation

watching people just being people

the delight of an old movie

losing yourself in a very good book


the pull of creativity  .  .  .  the delight in so many ways . . . only a few here . . .

painting or drawing or sculpting

sewing  or crocheting or knitting




writing a journal  . . . a novel . . . your memoirs

moodling   .  .  . you’ll have to look it up! i only just learned of it myself!  LOL


writing a REAL letter to a dear friend and mailing it

taking a delicious nap in the middle of the day

lingering just a bit in the shower after the last rinse of soap

the softness of a fresh towel


children laughing as they play

your teenager’s rare smile  . . . like a ray of sunshine     LOLOL!


all of these things  .  .  .   add to the incredible joy of being alive

and none of it comes or can be stored in a box.


life is full to the brim of all we need old bean!




for true joy .  .  .  get rid of the STUFF  .  .  .  and the debt.


so many wonderful people are drowning in it all and are exhausted by it.

and for what?

to open a drawer or a garage door or an attic and to just be overwhelmed.


it’s time.

breathe again

find the true joy

find the true contentment of living a small life


we talk a lot about the simple life here at the peanut.

it’s a subject we all love.  and those who don’t . . .  well.  they’re very kind!

but truly.  most peanut readers already KNOW the joy!

they already live the simple life with less stuff.

or they’re are on their way to living it now!


and about that movement that started this post.

it dawned on me there’s something i’ve been noticing all over the web.

i had noticed it in the past few years .  .  .

but NOW!

it’s gaining in a real momentum!

and it’s NOT a fad.


it’s a total change in the way of life for people.

a new mindset of what’s important.


thanks to ALL of us who love the simple life and have shared about it

for so long  .  .  .  as once oddballs and misfits from the ‘norm’

it seems that now it has taken on a life of its own!

whether it’s labeled  .  .  .  and i have never liked labels  .  .  .




simple living




people are awakening in great numbers to the fact that we’ve all been sold a

sad bill of goods.  for FAR TOO LONG.


and that bill of goods comes with a high price.

sometimes broken homes because of heavy debt.

sometimes just the feeling people have that they’re drowning in STUFF!


it’s not just the money.  but the harm in our very spirit for living old bean!


but now

we are turning away from GREED. 



thousands of young people today are opting for LESS.

young professionals.  young parents.

and they’re blogging about it and instagraming and making videos!

they’re TALKING ABOUT IT!  with each other!  and with us!

and with anyone who will listen.


they are teaching each other.  and they’re happy!


they don’t want all their parents’ housefuls of stuff.

they don’t want the mac mansions.

they don’t need material stuff to make or keep memories.

they don’t own closets full of clothes.  or shoes.

they love to travel and explore new cultures.


they take selfies instead of buying knick knacks and souvenirs!



they want to experience

LIFE !!!


they are finding joy in natural and wonderful non material ways.

they’re raising children to not expect a windfall of gifts at christmastime.

they’re travelling without a ton of luggage.

they’re keeping house with only what is needed.

they are inspiring to say the least!


and in its own way . . .  i hope

this post might also inspire anyone NEW to the peanut and new to the idea


and to encourage you to clear and unclutter and donate and BREATHE in your

new space!  for it really WILL feel NEW!

it will feel spacious.  and elegant.  and beautiful.


and to inspire you to join us here

in the contented life of wanting and needing very few material possessions.


to still have beauty around us but to find it in the few rather than the many.


it’s a lighter footprint we leave old bean.

it’s better for us and for our children  .  .  .  and our grandchildren

  and the future of our planet.


it’s just altogether a lovely way to live.

  you will love it too!

catch the wave!


this breathtaking wave courtesy of surf photographer clark little


til soon old bean

til soon!






  1. perfect!
    such a great post!!
    I caught the wave 10 years ago, first by force then happily ride the wave,
    I started reading minimalist blogs,, I devoured them, although I was always a bit of a minimalist and didn’t know it I learned to how to live with less, or as I like to say, just enough .
    I like clean bare surfaces with just a few beautiful touches, I like to not have to dig through multiples of things to find what I need in drawers and closets. Losing my sight does make my journey easy, less belongings makes life much easier for me, its easy to keep things organized.
    I never stop learning, thank you for this post, I enjoyed every word,
    I just hope that people who decide to go this route do not just put all their surplice in the trash, instead recycle so things can be reused and donate what can be donated , please everyone.. Lets not fill the landfills with our mistakes of excess.

    • tammy j

      laurie! your enthusiasm is so contagious!
      and that’s what I find in like minds about this way of life… don’t you…
      it’s just so wonderful you can’t help but be exuberant about it!
      and thank you for honing in on one very important thing…
      ‘ GIVING your excess to those who might have a use for it! ‘
      you’re SO RIGHT about the landfills!
      XOXO♥ and giving ALWAYS makes us feel better.
      and i’ve known people who feel they must always SELL the excess… because of all the money invested in it.
      and then they never get around to it.
      i had a neighbor in my other neighborhood whose garage is still full for that very reason. LOLOL!!!
      maybe someday our land fills will be tiny!

  2. Linda Sand

    My favorite story about this is the day Joshua Becker discovered he had spent the whole day cleaning out the garage instead of playing ball in the backyard with his son. Minimalism changes your priorities to those that count.

    • tammy j

      funny. i just re~read that the other day myself. it’s a wonderful example of what it’s all about.
      josh is one of the forerunners that shows it’s possible to live this way with a family.
      also… joshua and ryan …
      the boys’ film on minimalism sold out in okc. i would have loved to go. but with the marine in georgia
      and the film 20 miles away … highway driving at night now into the city not my thing anymore …
      i’ll hope to see it another way. hopefully they’ll have it online eventually.
      it’s supposed to be fantastic! already having great reviews.
      i’m SO glad i got to meet them when they were here before.

  3. I agree.
    I agree that greed and the desire to keep up with the Joneses or Kardashians has a big part in creating this monster.
    I agree that corporations and their marketing love it.
    But I think there are other reasons too.
    I think some people could care less about keeping up with anyone but something else motivates them.
    They see a treasure. They see what it could be. They can’t bear the thought of something going in the trash while it still has a use. Or they see an opportunity to fix it up and sell it or it brings back a memory and they think by holding on to it, they can hold that memory.
    Or they are indecisive and don’t want to get rid of it in case they change their minds. Or it belonged to a loved one or was given by a loved one and they feel like they will dishonor that person by not keeping it.
    But eventually, hopefully, it will be clear that these are just THINGS and they don’t matter.

    About the movement. YES! It’s wonderful.
    I love the thought of people zeroing in on experiences and nature and beauty and just that precious moment in time.

    Although I see a flip side to it, hate to be so cynical, but young people living in tiny houses on wheels and parking them in someone elses backyard and plugging into their electricity?
    That just bugs me.
    Or young people living on the fly, carefree and traveling…. and where do they land? In someones home and living on their dime.
    Sigh. (too close to home)
    Anyway. I striving to live a simple life myself and get rid of the extra’s.
    Just a small happy life filled with lots of animals and no one in my backyard. LOL!

    • tammy j

      I couldn’t agree with you more!!!
      you bring up some excellent points.
      also about the motivation of acquiring. that’s true for sure.
      and as to the tiny house movement… I agree there also.
      but I think THAT is an extreme part of the movement. actually a movement all its own.
      and oddly enough… a lot of people who buy those then FILL IT with STUFF!!! so what’s the point! LOLOL.
      I wasn’t talking of those young people who quit jobs and go floating around the world with a backpack.
      I believe in a work ethic. otherwise you wind up homeless somewhere with no money. except that somehow
      so many of them are making a living on their computers in some business or other. that’s admirable!
      so perhaps it all works out for them in the end. who am I to judge? I was a cubicle rat.
      i’m just so glad to be FREE!!! XOXOXO♥ and your small happy life sounds perfect to me.

    • tammy j

      you’re a wonderful artist. I doubt you could ever be TOTALLY happily there!
      art brings its own beautiful bit of clutter that is unavoidable … and so necessary! XO♥

  4. Great post Tammy and since you know what I feel about minimalism, I shall simply compliment you on a grand post and leave.

  5. Linda Sand

    Maybe I’m more accepting of different than most people but I think those living in backyards are helping the homeowner pay off a mortgage or providing elder care for ones who want to stay home. And those traveling the world with a backpack are working online and/or teaching us how the rest of the world lives with less or helping that world improve. I may be an optimist about this but I think everyone is finding a way to contribute to the world or they would not sound so happy.

    • Linda,
      I totally agree with you!
      I think that it’s wonderful that people are building living quarters on their property so that their parents can be close and not in a nursing home.
      Or friends, helping each other.
      Or free spirits, traveling and sharing wonderful stories.
      When I wrote my comment I actually had someone specific in mind. Someone who just HAD to go to an expensive college, the local one wasn’t good enough, so she took out huge student loans to go, with her parents co-signing. Then she dropped out and is now hit and miss on the payments so her parents either make the payment or take a hit to their credit score. She says she’s a free-spirit and no longer believes in conventional education.
      She drives a car that her parents bought her and has moved to another state and lives with a friend of her’s mother. If she has car problems, her father drives up and fixes the car for her.
      She’s now taken a very part-time job and uses the money not for rent but to travel. She apparently has several friends living the same life-style at the generosity of their parents.
      So… I just had a discussion about this situation a few hours before reading Tammy’s post.
      I had that heavy on my mind and was cranky.
      But no, you are right. I think they are a lot of people out there contributing and not taking.
      I’m trying to stay focused on being optimist and positive but some days I really drop the ball.

      • Linda Sand

        I understand. When someone is heavy on your mind it can color you whole world. It’s a shame the parents of that girl never taught her to be responsible for herself. She’s going to be in for a rude awakening someday. I hope you don’t get any blowback when that happens.

  6. I am on a downsizing period – right now, I’ve had to slow it down, as I’m still on the sick list – but bit by bit, there is a clearance to happen…

    I just gave away to historic spinning wheels, one not collected yet – along with selling off some other craft equipment for a song…

    In my foyer, I have one garbage bag completely full of things of the worthless nature; a box and bag of good to a craft group and somethings for the local church/hospice shop…

    This “now” because in the Spring I’m on the move, and I want to have as much done asap so I can understand the processes

    • tammy j

      we could be twins. i’m also downsizing. and that means i’m moving at the end of next month.
      right now I don’t have the strength to life a spoon much less a box. but i’m moving. xo♥

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