Monday, February 24, 2014

Minimalism and Dogs

Lately, I have become fascinated by the minimalist movement. I have been reading through archives of The Minimalists, Becoming Minimalist, and Zen Habits. I gave away a bunch of clothes, threw out unneeded stuff, and have been paring down my books as a result and I am already feeling lighter and happier with less stuff weighing me down.

As I was going through our closet in the office, I came upon the dogs' possessions and had to stop for a moment. I thought to myself, "How much do our dogs REALLY need?"

We have somewhere around 7 collars and maybe 8 or 9 leashes for two dogs. This is partly because we were figuring out what worked best for us but why keep old leashes around that we don't use when we could donate them to a local shelter?
"I like going 'naked' anyway! Less to get in the way of cuddling."
"You're not going to throw away my antlers though, right!?!?"
"I am still skeptical of this minimalism thing but just keep my blankies. I love those."
I settled on a minimalist dog possession list: a crate or bed out front, 1 bed each in our bedroom, 2 leashes each, 2 collars each (one for daycare because they get smelly), some medications and treats, shampoo and a brush, bowls for food and water, a few toys, and some extra things for when we take them camping (like their snoods, hoodies, bug lotion, travel water bowl for the car, etc.) and of course, poop bags. They don't need any more than that and yet I have a full drawer packed with stuff that I keep for them "just in case" I may need it.

Don't get me wrong...hoodies, jackets, rain boots, those are ALL necessary when your dogs are walking around Chicago in nasty snow storms (hey Miss M and Mr. B!) but our California dogs don't need extras right now.  I love that some of you out there have room to make a full closet of doggie goodies but we just don't have that space in our current home,

Do you keep a wardrobe for your pups or do you tend to lean towards minimalism?


  1. We definitely have a lot of "stuff" for our pooches. Much of our stuff is also from "figuring out what works," but we definitely have more than we need. We live through some pretty crappy weather, so our pooches have a lot they actually do need for our walks. We've recently gone through and donated old collars that we've upgraded from and leashes that we don't really like. We also made an emergency kit for the pooches and put a few items in there as well.

  2. Good question. I think we're right on the border of not too many posessions and full on crazy. I've been giving away any clothes, coats and things that don't fit or don't work for the boys and all of their collars fit nicely on a hanger, so they aren't taking up too much space. They have one outside toy for the yard right now and share three antlers inside at the moment. They do have several mats/beds but even those are getting pared down. Leashes. Hmmm, they each have one that came with their Freedom harness, and my handy dandy favorite leather leash that they share and my not favorite leash that I use as a back-up. I feel like that not too bad...

  3. I like to keep our house from looking "dogified" too:) We have 2 memory foam beds in the living room, a couple bones or cheese chews lying around, a stainless water dish in the kitchen and sun room. Outside they have a few toys, 3 memory foam dog beds and a water dish. Kaya & Norman have one collar and leash each that I usually leave in the car along with lots of tennis balls and the chuck-it and treats so I'd say we're pretty minimalist. But I cannot vouch for my behind closed door supplies, I have a stupid amount of treats, chews, medical supplies, fancy collars we never use, some coats and hoodies we never use, shampoo we rarely use, toys I've been saving for that rainy day that never comes, etc.

  4. I periodically go through our things and weed out what we aren't using anymore, it's a great feeling!

  5. So funny! E and I lean towards minimalism...until it comes to the dogs. Partly all the weather issues, partly that we take so many photos and we're always trying to one-up ourselves. Though I wish we could really have less.