No Couch, One car: How These Minnesotans Are Living With Less

By Allie Shah
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Minneapolis blogger Anthony Ongaro not only practices the less-is-more lifestyle, but he preaches it online through his newsletter and blog, “Break the Twitch.”

MINNEAPOLIS

Before Minneapolis blogger Anthony Ongaro became an evangelist for the minimalist lifestyle, he was an Amazon addict.

Boxes would routinely show up on his doorstep, full of assorted goodies that he’d impulsively ordered: paper towels, electronic gadgets, cables and more.

He kept clicking and buying until one day, he reviewed his four-year spending history and was stunned by how much he’d amassed.

Time to get radical, he decided. He quit Amazon cold turkey.

At first, he said, it was agonizing. He’d grown accustomed to pacifying moments of discomfort throughout the day with mindless clicks. But after a few days, he felt more peaceful.

Then he went a step beyond limiting his buying: He purged hundreds of belongings and embraced minimalism.

Today, Ongaro, 31, not only practices the less-is-more lifestyle, but he preaches it online through his newsletter and blog, “Break the Twitch.”

His videos have attracted thousands of viewers, tapping into the vast minimalism movement that includes everything from tiny houses, to digital detoxification, to Marie Kondo and no-makeup selfies. At the heart of this live-simply revolution is the belief that by making deliberate choices about what we spend our time, money and energy on, we will be less stressed and ultimately happier.

“It’s made me more aware and intentional,” said Amy Ongaro, who shares her husband’s minimalist philosophy. “When you are too cluttered in your physical and mental environment, you just don’t have the clarity to notice what can be changed or improved or cleared out.”

AN UPTICK IN DOWNSIZING
Some say it’s millennials who value experiences more than things who are driving the trend. Others point to environmentalism with its reduce/recycle virtue or the shared economy. The spartan life also appeals to many baby boomers now looking to downsize their homes.

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