4 ways football season makes me a better minimalist


TwitterFootball season is here! Tonight is the first NFL regular season game of the year, and it ought to be a good one: a Super Bowl rematch of sorts.

To me, football season signifies several turning points in the year. In addition to celebrating my birthday, school is back in session, the last caresses of summer are sweeping gently over the landscape, NHL hockey players are starting to sharpen their skates, and I know that my favorite season is right around the corner. I’ll be interested to see if fall still feels properly autumnal here in Sacramento. Surely it’ll get at least a little cooler, right?

For those who don’t know, fall is also the season I first discovered and embraced minimalism. For lots of people, New Year’s Day is the official time for rebirth, turning over new leaves, making life changes, etc. But for me, fall has often had the same significance. (Maybe because I’ve had so many years of starting school in September?) So it seems appropriate that with the first stirrings of autumn comes a reminder of how minimalism has changed my outlook. I’m grateful for the reminder, and moreover I find it fun to analyze just how my life is affected by the minimalist habits I’ve developed.

So as we cruise into September, here are four ways football season helps me practice minimalism:

  1. Dressing for fall means less laundry.

Cooler weather means warmer clothes—which for me translates into roomy button-down shirts and pullover sweaters. The combination of looser clothing and cooler temperatures means that I can wear my tops multiple times before washing them, hanging them to air out in between wears. Less laundry means less water and electricity used, and less time spent washing and folding clothes.

  1. Wearing a jersey means no-decisions dressing.

After years of thinking about it and careful shopping, I procured a Seahawks jersey a few years ago. That one purchase means that from September to January, I only have to decide what to wear five days a week. On Fridays and Sundays, I automatically put on my jersey and jeans. This effectively removes a decision from my day (which is the rationale behind wearing a uniform), saves me time in the morning, and—since it’s made from an athletic fabric that doesn’t need a ton of washing—reduces laundry further.

  1. Football season forces encourages us to be more social.

Justin and I generally don’t have a social life to speak of. We’re more of the Netflix and cribbage type. But something about football season brings people together, whether it’s tailgating before a college game, joining a fantasy football pool, or high-fiving a stranger who walks past you in your teams’ colors. Since we got rid of cable over a year ago, and we live outside our home states, we often have to go out if we want to catch our games. That leads to building relationships, taking a nice walk to a local sports bar, and generally getting out there in our community—which is a big part of what minimalism seeks to achieve.

  1. Going out more requires mindfulness in other areas.

Going out a few times a month to watch football isn’t the cheapest activity. What can I say? Gotta have my spicy wings and beer. So in order to prioritize that fun activity, we have to be mindful about how we’re spending time and money otherwise. Canceling cable helped, but we also need to plan ahead for things like grocery shopping (to avoid food waste and high expenditure), spending time with Hugo (because he has to sit in his crate when we go out), and exercising (because, well, spicy wings and beer). Paying attention to shifting priorities is a valuable exercise for a minimalist.

What exciting things does fall bring for you? Are you looking forward to football as much as I am? Let’s talk about it on Twitter!


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