Call it an extreme step, but hey, I just became a minimalist (at least for 2012). What is a minimalist you ask. In simple words, a minimalist is a person who lives happily without accumulating useless material goods (aka clutter).
There are extreme theories of minimalism. Some people go gaga and try to live with less than x number of possessions (100 or 50 or 200 or whatever). But I am not planning on going crazy like that. My approach to minimalism is more practical. Basically just removing things that are not needed and giving a ‘home’ to things that I need.
Look at the two pictures below. Which one makes you feel calmer and more peaceful? The minimalist one of course. Do I need to explain more?
- I suck at cleaning and organizing. My roommate can vouch for this one. I just don’t know how to organize things efficiently. May be I’m just bad, or may be I get overwhelmed. But if I have too much stuff, I just don’t know what to do with it. So I figured, if I get rid of things that I don’t need, there is no need for me to organize storage every now and then. And I can use that time to do something I like instead. This sounds great to me.
- I use a set of few things over and over again. There are just a few of my favorite things that I use, the rest just sit in storage waiting to see a day when they can serve me. Why not just donate them and let them serve someone else?
- Kills the urge of therapy shopping. I love love and absolutely love to shop. And the purchases that sit in the boxes make me look like a hoarder. It’s like there is going to be a war and they are going to blow up all the malls and stores and I would never be able to buy anything. So I just want to buy things, right now! Sometimes when I am low, I go shopping and get some stuff that I really don’t need. It works like therapy. But now when I shop, I look at the ‘thing’ as responsibility. Chain of thoughts – If I buy this I will have to clean it, organize it, take care of it and waste time on it. Result – I don’t buy it unless I need it or really really like it.
- No compromise on quality. This is probably the top reason. When you buy multiple things, you cut down on price and hence on quality. But now, since I know I can only buy a small number of things that are absolutely necessary, I can buy something that I really like, irrespective of the price. Which is great! 🙂
- Realization. There is more to life than possessions. I read somewhere ‘The more stuff you own, the more your stuff owns you’. So true! I can hoard like a collector but what am I going to get out of it? I would end up spending my money on things I somewhat want, and will not care about two days from today and it will end up in storage. Not having a load of clutter makes me feel free, mobile and gives me more time and money to do things I like (like travel, going out, hobbies, just being lazy). Like I once mentioned on The Labyrinth ‘I want to collect experiences, not material’.
No I am not going to sell my car. Or get rid of all my clothes and shoes and bags. I plan on continuing to live a normal lifestyle; without being wasteful. It just means that I am going to buy things in small numbers, but better quality. Also, I will not buy things that I don’t need or will not use. I am still keeping my handbags and shoes and most of my clothes. But I did donate four boxes full of possessions aka clutter from my closet this weekend. And you know what, I feel great!