Keys to Simplicity

It is funny what inspires you sometimes. I was sitting here at my favorite café minding my own business when a fellow with a giant ring of jangling keys walked by and inspiration hit me. When I heard all those keys I couldn’t help but think of my own keychain and how little noise it makes.

All my “keychain” consists of is a key fob to our push-button car and a single key to our apartment. That is it. Gone are the days when I carried multiple keys to the multiple doors of our house and the multiple vehicles we owned. One home, one vehicle and one key…I love it. And the truth is, we could probably leave our door unlocked but we don’t.

It got me thinking about how else my wife and I have streamlined our stuff. As minimalists we strive to pare our possessions down to what we consider for us at the time to be “an irreducible minimum.” That is often a moving target but it is a target nonetheless. And it has become a pastime for us to see how little we can live with.

While we presently live with a total of less than 500 things between us, there is no magic number to which we feel we must whittle our things down. It is more a matter of what fits our current situation. Since signing a one-year lease for our present place we’ve picked up a few extra things we left with our parents and that is okay.

But if the situation called for it, we’d simply shave stuff off our list by asking ourselves what we wouldn’t want to live without. There is nothing like the need to fit all your stuff in a mid-sized sedan on moving day to motivate you to live with less. Ultimately, the keys to simplicity come down to what fits your lifestyle and what you love to live with.