Throw it Away: My Path to Simple Living

Originally published July 2, 2013

For as long as I can recall, I’ve been a simple guy. I believe this minimalist energy has always been a part of me, but in the last couple years, I’ve seen it drastically influence my way of living in very positive ways.

Life is more enjoyable with less. There’s less to worry about, less to clean, less to move, less to fix, less to think about… and there’s more time, space and energy to enjoy life. It’s not that I can’t afford these things — it’s that I don’t want these things. Here are some things I’ve given up in the last several years:

Drinking Soda

I stopped drinking drinking soda in 2005. It wasn’t hard, I felt better from doing it, and found a deep love for high quality H20.

Checking Baggage

I don’t fly as much as many people, really only a handful of times a year, but I haven’t checked a bag in 3 years. In fact, I spent 17 days traveling Europe recently with only a carry-on backpack. It was liberating and much more efficient for getting around.


I left Facebook in October 2012 and haven’t looked back. Communication with friends and family has reverted to the old fashioned telephone call (imagine that), and emails. My relationships seem less artificial and more real, and there’s much less social noise and distraction in my life.

My Car

I sold my car a year and a half ago and replaced it with a single speed 1970’s Schwinn bicycle. As a drummer, this was a bit nerve racking, but I’ve gotten by just fine. Commuting by bike is exhilarating — especially in downtown Chicago — and my bike allows me freedom and convenience.


TV I haven’t had a paid TV service since 2010. I grew up without cable and will likely grow old without it as well. TV is not necessary for me — I find myself filling my time with much more useful things like creating music, biking, reading, and exploring the areas around me.

Having a lot of Stuff

I moved to Chicago on January 1 of 2012 and immediately drove to a storage unit and unloaded the contents of the last 4 years of my life. It was painful — I hated every step I took in that place. Not needing or having room for many of these items, they sat in the storage unit for a year. In December of 2012, I donated 75% of the contents and closed out my account. Storage units are like cancer to a minimalist. Never. Again.

Thanks for reading,