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Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus help over 20 million people live meaningful lives with less through their website, books, podcast, and documentary. The Minimalists have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Forbes, TIME, ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, CBC, and NPR.

Podcast 073 | Vermont

In this episode of The Minimalists Podcast, Joshua & Ryan visit Vermont for the first time, and they answer the following questions:

  • Once you decluttered your home, how did you fill the empty space appropriately without falling back into old habits?
  • If you could give minimalism a more appropriate name, what would you call it?
  • How do you deal with all the paperwork in life that seems so important and necessary?
  • What do your daily lives look like now that you’ve wholly adopted minimalism into every facet?
  • What baby steps can someone take if they’re having trouble integrating minimalism into their life?
  • Can minimalism be applied to other areas of life besides our living and working spaces?
  • When you tell people you’re minimalists, what’s the difference in their reactions between now and when you started six years ago?
  • Is there anything you simply had to have, something you couldn’t let go?
  • Did you have to teach yourself to say ‘no’ to things?
  • How can the poor and destitute benefit from minimalism?
  • How do you deal with unwanted and unneeded gifts you receive from loved ones?
  • As a minimalist, how do you reconcile minimalist practices with all the non-minimalist things that come with having children?

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Minimal Maxims

Joshua & Ryan’s pithy, sharable, less-than-140-character answers to the lightning-round questions:

  • Joshua on applying minimalist principles to all aspects of life: “Intentionality is contagious.”
  • Ryan on applying minimalist principles to all aspects of life: “Minimalism is not just a well-curated home: minimalism is a well-curated life.”
  • Joshua on people’s reactions to discussing minimalism in the past and in the present: “I don’t care what people think about me; I care what I think about me.”
  • Ryan on people’s reactions to discussing minimalism in the past and in the present: “I don’t care what people think about me.”
  • Joshua on insidious items: “The best parts of me are made up of some of my worst failures.”
  • Ryan on insidious items: “If I die with no regrets, I’ll really regret that.”
  • Joshua on saying ‘no’ to daily demands: “I can’t beat Ryan’s answer.”
  • Ryan on saying ‘no’ to daily demands: “I say ‘no’ to as many things as I can so I can say ‘yes’ to the important things.”
  • Joshua on adopting minimalism when someone’s living paycheck to paycheck: “Money doesn’t buy happiness. But neither does poverty.”
  • Ryan on adopting minimalism when someone’s living paycheck to paycheck: “It doesn’t matter how much money you have—if you make shitty decisions, you’re probably going to have a shitty life.”
  • Joshua on unwanted and unneeded gifts: “Presence is the best present.”
  • Ryan on unwanted and unneeded gifts: “People buy gifts because they want you to be happy. If your life will be happier without those gifts, you will be doing them a disservice if you don’t get rid of them.”
  • Joshua on minimalism and children: “We must lead by example.”
  • Ryan on minimalism and children: “Having children makes minimalism even more important.”

Mentioned in This Episode

This episode was produced by Shawn Harding. Our theme music was written and performed by Peter Doran. Our podcast is completely free, so if you find value in these episodes, please consider donating a dollar. Your donations help keep this podcast advertisement-free (because advertisements suck).

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Questions? Leave a voicemail at 406-219-7839, or send a voice memo to [email protected]. We’ll also answer lightning-round questions from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter if you use #AskTheMinimalists.