Starting My Path to Minimalism
It wasn’t a New Year’s Resolution, but it did happen in January. I sat in my home office, struggling to find the floor when a thought hit me – if I had to move tomorrow, how would I pack all this stuff?
Just in one room, I owed, no stored so much obsolete technology. There were five broken laptops left over from repairs I had finished years ago, a huge 19” CRT monitor and six spare keyboards!
The worse realisation was the amount of stuff I was hoarding in case I ever needed it wasn’t worth anything.
There was only one thing to do – declutter
I didn’t even know it was called “Minimalism”
Anything electrical went to WEEE recycling. Anything that could go to the charity shop was placed in a bin liner. Old notes and documents were scanned, shredded then added to the recycling bin. Anything I thought someone else could get further use from was donated.
I knew I was achieving something when my wife entered the home office and commented that see could “see the floor”.
My workspace had improved and was more pleasant, I wanted to spend time being more creative.
Then I stumbled upon a name for my new found vision
For some reason, it appears that we human’s like labels, and one night when watching Netflix’s I identified the word to my new found outlook – Minimalism.
A documentary called “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things” appeared within my recommendations. The preview text said the show would explore how to do more with less. I certainly could do with doing more, and I was already trying to own less stuff, so I watched.
What Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, The Minimalists were offering was a mindset where owning less and being more focused meant more time for creativity and a more mindful life.
I started to minimalise
Spurned on by the film, I attacked the next biggest area – the wardrobe. The charity shop had a great donation week from me as three black bin liner of donationable clothes were sent their way.
I knew this also had to be more than just a spring clean. To reduce my stuff down to a level I felt I could relocate with ease, I had to change my western world consumer outlook. It’s not that consumption is bad, but cheap, wasteful purchases that bring limited value had to end. Sizeable purchases needed time to be assessed to ensure they would bring some type of improvement or benefit to my life or could something I already owned provide that function.
What is my goal?
Minimalism seems to mean many things to different people. For me, it means doing more with less. Not being bogged down with so many things I can’t evolve into what I want to be.
It doesn’t mean being frugal. I gain great pleasure and value from having coffee with friends, trips to the cinema, holidays and restaurants.
It does mean making sure I maximise the value out of every purchase, and not wasting time, money and resources on lots of gadgets and gizmos that are either doubling up what I already own or with a small piece of thought I can predict they will become discarded quickly.
My end goal is to get everything I own, that I would need if I ever had to move, down to a checked airline bag and a carry on – 30Kg.
I’m a long way from that now, the journey has started