Minimalism is catching on. People are trying it out. Everyone who does it, loves it.
I’ve been headed in a minimalist direction for a couple years now.
But there is a big question with minimalism that often goes unanswered…
How Minimalist Should I Go?
Of course the answer will vary for different people, but I think I’ve discovered what the right level of minimalism is for me and many others. It is a pretty significant line to cross over.
I want to be about to wrap my mind around my possessions. I want to know every item I own. This means not finding something buried away in my closet 2 months from now. It means knowing I have exactly 8 short sleeve polo shirts right now (all of which I will wear).
The problem with stuff is how useless it is in large numbers. If you have 50,000 useful items, 49,000 of them will still be useless by function of excess. But when you look at item #32,492 individually, you see it as useful and decide to keep it (ignoring the big picture). In reverse, if you have 4 things, you’re probably going to use them a lot and “squeeze” all the value out of them that you can.
Yesterday I began to purge clothing with the goal to define what I needed and I picked the best clothes to meet that general quota. I worked through my shirts and now I have about 40 of them. This is still too many, but I’m really liking my progress! I got rid of about half of them.
Now when I look in my closet, I only see clothes that I’d wear. It’s amazing. I don’t want 500 good shirts – I want five AMAZING shirts.
Does Your Stuff Own You?
As they say, your things CAN own you. I feel like mine do and compared to most people, I don’t have much stuff.
I can fit everything I own into my Honda Civic. But still, I have noticed something very interesting. My productivity is tied to my environment. If my room is messy, it invades my mind. When my room is clean, I’m focused, excited, and motivated.
It’d be easy to keep it spotless if I only had a few things.
I know that if I could account for every item I had, I would thrive. I would feel free. I would gain so much control. Control is often talked about in a negative tone, but it is generally very good to have control in your life.
When you look at your shelves and see stuff on them, do you wonder why it’s there because you never use it? I’ve found it isn’t so much the physical space that junk takes up, but the mental space it occupies.
I’ve read about guys who can fit everything they own into a backpack (by choice). I’m extremely jealous, even though I wouldn’t take my minimalism that far. But seriously…Can you imagine being able to mentally process your possessions in an instant? Can you imagine being able to “pack up” your things in 5 minutes and move or travel to anywhere in the world?
Note: It is wrong to look at minimalism as a rigid dogmatic lifestyle, because that is not the intention. The intention is the opposite – freedom. Only having things you need is freeing.
Today I am going to continue to purge clothing and other things.
(there was a book giveaway, but it has ended!)