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  • Writer's pictureAnita Chastain

Simple Living: Interview with the Creators at MostlyMindful.com

Excerpts from the interview on October 1, 2022.


Screenshot of the Mostly Mindful website
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Ang and Sporty are the creators behind the Mostly Mindful website. Their site offers tips on simple living, sustainable living, and well-being. I found the site while researching Simple Living blogs for my best simple living blogs article - and I'm so glad I did.


It was a pleasure to meet them and to learn about their journey to simple living and minimalism and how they've changed along the way.


The Simple Living Interview: Ang and Sporty | MostlyMindful.com


Below you'll find excerpts from our interview on October 1st.


Question 1: What inspired your interest in minimalism and simple living?


Sporty: That’s such a good question.


Ang: Basically, the story is that we moved a lot. She’s always working. And she’s always been like the career-driven, high-powered whatever. I don’t get that. I sort of meander around and do stuff.


We’re selling everything. And that’s basically what happened. So, we sold, I think it was like 80 or 90% of our stuff.

So, it always ended up that I’m the one that had to pack us up and move us. And one day I got fed up, and I said to her like I can’t do this again. I can’t do another move on my own managing stuff. We’re selling everything. And that’s basically what happened.


So, we sold, I think it was like 80 or 90% of our stuff.


I remember that first move after we sold everything, we had one small truck come and help us to move to our next place. And we moved into a furnished apartment.


So basically, [that’s] what inspired [us]. We had never heard of minimalism. All we knew was that I had thrown a temper tantrum, and we needed to sell everything because I wasn’t going to pack and unpack again like that.


Sporty: We still don’t know the reason why but, for whatever reason, we move every six months to a year.


Ang: Yeah. The longest we’ve ever lived in one place is about 18 months in one apartment.


Sporty: Even when we say now we’re settling down…


Ang: Something happens…


Sporty: A few months later, we’re gone.


Ang: So, it makes sense for people like us to not have stuff. Anyway, that’s what precipitated the whole thing. And then we started learning, like, actually this is a whole movement. We’re not the first people to do this. Weird. Yeah, we’re not trendsetters after all.


So, that’s the basic story. It wasn’t like some profound thing, like, oh we must save the environment.


Sporty: It was the tantrum that got us going.


Question 2: How has minimalism changed your day-to-day life?


Sporty: We’ve kind of gone from being what we call ‘stuff people’ - we were very interested in labels and beautiful décor - to very, very practical. We don’t really, you know, put up pictures in our homes or anything like that. It’s become very…


Ang: Very pared down.


Sporty: Yeah, functional. You know the things that we get [are] things that we can use. So, for instance, let me show you something very quickly.


Ang: Oh god, are you showing the green chair?


Sporty: When we moved into our last place, we had to put up curtain rails which we had never had to do before, and we were thinking about getting a stepladder. But then we thought… if we move, are we going to use that stepladder again and how can we have two uses for it while we’re in the flat?


So, we went and bought a kid’s chair. And then it also became a stepladder, but it’s also our bedside table now.


Ang: The nice thing about it is that you can donate it afterwards. Because, if like we don’t want it anymore, someone with a kid is going to want that.


I think a lot of what’s changed is how we think now.


We don’t think in terms of I want that because it looks nice. It’s like: Does it serve a purpose, and, more importantly, what happens when I don’t need it anymore?

We don’t think in terms of I want that because it looks nice. It’s like: Does it serve a purpose, and, more importantly, what happens when I don’t need it anymore? Like, how will I get rid of it? That’s like the really, really tricky thing that weighs on our minds all the time.


Every time we buy something, I’m like, Ok, are we going to get rid of it sustainably and… in a good way so it doesn’t end up in a landfill. Will somebody want it, etc? So, I think it’s basically made us think more.


Sporty: Yeah. There’s more detail and thought involved when we buy stuff.


Ang: You can get by with so little, you really can.


Question 3: Was there anything that surprised you along the way or along this journey?


Sporty: I think for me, I was really surprised at how little I could get away with in terms of clothing. I always had a lot of clothes, and then there was one instance where I went to visit my family overseas and I decided to use it as an experiment, and I only took three of each thing with me to see if I could survive.


And it was so easy. In fact, it took the whole decision-making process out of the equation and completely changed the way I think about clothing.


So, yes, it’s not as elegant, or you know, the variety isn’t there anymore, but I literally can survive on three of each thing after being such a label queen. So that was very, very surprising.


Ang: I think my surprise was actually in retrospect because you go along in stages and then you don’t realize that you’re changing. But, now, if I think of who I am now, and who my 30-year-old self [was]… I was very obsessed with looks and labels, they had to be the Ray-Bans, the diesel jeans, and the Levi sneakers, and toys - tchotchkes – all over the house…


I’m surprised in retrospect. Like, oh that’s the person that I was. That’s so weird.


I’m so much happier now… Our lifestyle and the way we are now, I’m so happy. We have so much less stuff. I have less debt. I had so much debt back then.

I’m so much happier now… Our lifestyle and the way we are now, I’m so happy. We have so much less stuff. I have less debt. I had so much debt back then.


It’s amazing to see how much you can change… and still be happy - or happier, actually.


Question 4: What would you say to someone who is thinking about choosing or working toward a minimalist lifestyle or a simpler lifestyle?


Ang: I always encourage people. You feel lighter…and if you tell people you’re going to feel lighter, they’re going to look at you like, oh my God, there’s the woo-woo person.


You can see that somebody is weighed down by their stuff. You can literally see it, and to try and find a way to encourage them and say, looks there’s so many positives when you own less stuff.


You worry less about your stuff. All those things I said in the TEDx talk about having more time and more money and less stress.


I think that’s something that we constantly try and tell people because those are tangible. To tell someone you’re going to feel lighter, they’re going to think you’re a bit whacked. But if you say to them, look, you’ll have more money, you’ll be less stressed, you’ll be much happier. That’s why we still carry on with the blog. We do want to encourage people.


Sporty: Yeah, there’s been a little bit of engagement along the way.


Ang: So yeah, that’s basically what I’d say. It’s just to remind them that those are the benefits you get once you start downsizing.


Sporty: I think also in terms of getting started, it’s like everything else, it’s baby steps.


Do you really need it? And then… how will this impact the environment? Can I get rid of it sustainably and consciously and do that with each purchase?

So, for me, I think the first thing to do is to start with being considerate when you buy things. Do you really need it? And then… how will this impact the environment? Can I get rid of it sustainably and consciously and do that with each purchase?


[Do this] and I guarantee you’ll buy a lot less stuff.


Final Thoughts


It was such a pleasure to talk with Ang and Sporty. The hour we spent talking felt like a chat with old friends. A big thank you to them for their graciousness and generosity.



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