Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

What Are Your Favorite Things?

Love people, use things. The opposite never works. –The Minimalists

A few months ago I was asked by the MIJLO Blog to name the favorite thing I owned. I told them it was my Gillette Atra razor handle. I bought it when I was 13 and it is the only razor apparatus I’ve ever owned. Its shaft is made of heavyweight, machined stainless steel and looks like something my grandfather would have owned. Its prongs have worked now for 20+ years. It uses Atra blades, which seem to no longer be patented, thus you can pick up a year’s worth of generic cartridges for $5 (I know I could use a straight razor, but at this point, it seems more hassle than it’s worth). Maybe the new vibrating, pivoting, six-blade, wünder-razor shaves a micron closer than my old thing, but their blades get clogged easier and cartridges cost $5 each, and that micron grows back about an hour after I shave (don’t get me started on what a scam most razors are).

To be clear, this is a favorite thing. I don’t love it or anything I own–certainly not the way I love my wife, son, family, friends or even a good movie. But it works for me on a functional, aesthetic and philosophical level. I thought about other things I’d put on that list:

  • My Macbook Pro (though it hurts to give a free plug for one of the world’s largest corporations). It just works so well in so many ways. My iPhone 5 deserves an honorable mention because of its amazing capabilities and intuitive interface, but unlike the MBP, battery life stinks.
  • My EMS Fader soft shell jacket is durable as hell, water-repellent and has the amazing ability to feel comfortable in temperatures ranging from 20-65 degrees.
  • Outlier pants and shorts. I have four pair of their pants and two pair of their shorts. They’re elegant, versatile as hell, technical, durable and made with integrity.
  • My bike. Took me a while to put it together, but pretty worth the wait.
  • My Ortleib backpack. Super rugged and waterproof.
  • Baggus.

As the holidays with its attendant material excesses quickly approaches, we thought we’d celebrate the stuff we have and appreciate, the stuff that we want to keep around for a good long time.

We’d love to hear from you. What are your favorite things? Please let us know in our comments section. Feel free to post pics.

 

  • Gulliver

    My Gerber razor knife. My Fisher space pen. My macbook pro. My Russian medical device (Hadoscan). Jeans, Patagonia capilene 2 T-shirts and Merrell running shoes. My Solar backpack.
    With these and a passport and a little money I can go anywhere.

    • al

      Where did you get the Hadoscan?

  • Chris

    A Charcoal drawing of myself when I was 5, a sampler my sister created for me, Levi jeans, Rockport water resistant shoes, my tablet, 4-5 T-shirts, my Gohonzon.

  • Marrena

    My newest favorite thing is an Expedition-weight plus-size Merino wool black base layer top from Minus33. Lowered thermostat, here I come. I’m going to live in it this winter. I think I might get another so I can wear one while the other is in the wash.

  • Benjamin S

    My heavy memory foam pillow, cheap versatile Northwest Trail pocket knife, ottlite lamp and Mountain Smith hiking backpack

  • My iPod,because it has all my music and ebooks and gives me access to my email, maps, instagram and twitter (I have an iPhone for work but would rather be phone free). My jeans, which I wear every day. My Samsonite luggage set that I live out of. My glasses + sunglasses. A bracelet which I had made and stamped with my favorite quote. My non-leather jacket – it took me years to find a high quality vegan jacket at a reasonable price. Good boots, although these change every 4 – 5 months because I walk A LOT!

    • cinthesooner

      What is the quote on your bracelet?

  • Marrena

    I think the zeitgeist is changing to both minimalism and appreciation of quality things and we here at lifeedited (and treehugger) are early adopters. Another one of my new favorite things is a bone china mug of the Rosetta Stone writing from the British Museum that I bought used off ebay. I see most of my coworkers every day drinking their keurig cup coffee out of disposable paper cups, and I drink my whole leaf organic oolong tea strained with a stainless steel strainer out of my nice mug. Taking care of those things takes a couple minutes out of my workday, but all in all I can’t help but feel a little sorry for my coworkers.

    • David Friedlander

      sometimes it’s the little things.

    • Lori

      Can you share your stainless steel strainer brand?

  • Yvonne L

    Sounds silly, but it’s this electric fake fireplace my hubby built into a beautiful handmade wood mantle last year. It’s actually very pretty and it warms the tiny livingroom with vaulted ceiling. When I’m here in my favorite chair, life is good. Bonus, the bedroom stays “sleeping cool” on chilly nights.

  • John Kiniston

    My Genuine Stella Scooter, It takes me where I want to go and gets close to 100MPG. Riding it is very physical with the manual transmission. I feel a connection to that collection of metal and plastic from the miles we have traveled together and the hours I’ve spent repairing and upgrading it.

  • Tor

    I’m still using the Gillette Trac II razor handle I was given for my 16th birthday. It is now 42 years old. It is not necessarily my favorite thing, but it works. My car is 30 years old. I just keep stuff.

    • HairyGuy

      your car also isn’t as safe or fuel efficient as today’s modern cars. it’s also not as comfy. technology changes for the better over time especially a full generation.

  • Rob Eisner

    My huge Pelikan fountain pen and smaller Lamy Safari, along with Noodler’s bulletproof black ink and Rhodia notebooks (much better paper than Moleskines). My MacBook. My Patagonia messenger bag–brilliantly designed. A couple of pocketknives in D2 carbon steel, one by US Benchmade, the other by Finnish Enzo. A CZ side-by-side shotgun in 20 gauge. Mephisto boat shoes. A shirt and chinos from Gustin. A Lyle and Scott cashmere sweater bought off eBay for $13. Vintage pure linen dish towels bought off eBay. My falling-apart edition of the “Odyssey” in Greek. Everything from Icebreaker. Not to mention my Llewellin setter.

    Note: with a well demarcated beard, and electric shaver works better than a blades–no suds among the bristles.

    • Marrena

      I second the Patagonia messenger bag. I have a mini one, and it is brilliant. Indispensable for my daily commute.

  • rachel goodkind

    Lots of things! sports equipment including my kayak, eskimo paddle, bicycle, three backpacks, nice camping knives, tent, blendtec blender, slowstar juicer, merrell shoes,
    wonderful beeswax candles, everything as practical as possible….namaste’, rachel

  • RoseJB

    I think my most cherished things are actually my toddler son’s handful of favourite toys. I so love watching him play with them that, if we could only keep a few items, they are the things I would grab. My stuff could be replaced.

    • HairyGuy

      well said! 😀

  • Chris Gonyeau

    David, I am right there with you. I have the same exact razor, Gillette Atra, stainless and black handle, had it since I was a teenager also. only razor I ever used. But I have a sad note, I dropped it in the sink just like many times over the years, but this time it will not grab and hold the blades anymore. Do you know where I could purchase another one. I been looking for a week online and can not find any.
    Thanks Chris G.

  • HairyGuy

    my favorite possession is my bed. it was pretty cheap but oh so comfy. sleep is the most valuable thing to me. when i don’t sleep well, my entire body hurts, i can’t think right, and nothing else matters.

  • ruth behr

    I’d say my stuffed kitty, whom I named “Precious” when I was little :3 Stuffed animals seem like a thing for little kids, but I find her comforting and like reading to her at night. Speaking of which, my other favorite things are my books (can’t live without them) a painting of mine with a splatterpaint head, and a big tree near my house. I swear if someone cut that down, I would cut THEM.