10 Things a Man can Remove with Minimalism
Since January, I’ve been slowly changing my view on material things and clutter. I have removed many possession from my life that no longer brought joy or value. Some of the items were sold, some donated, others gifted to friends. Some purchases have been made, to allow for an overall reduction in items. Each purchase is considered and not an impulse buy.
So below is my list of the 10 Things a Man can remove with Minimalism
1. Removing Physical Books - Less Storage
It has taken me a long time to come to terms with moving from traditional books to eBooks. I enjoyed the feel and sometimes even the smell of a printed book. Over time the benefits of eBooks became too strong to ignore. The reduced weight, portability and the accessibility across multiple devices brought great benefits.
As I start my Minimalist journey, removing the storage of books has brought more space and less clutter to my life. So far the shelf space I have gained has helped to store other items more tidily. I'm hopeful as I minimise more, some of the storage shelf can be removed
2. Replace Recipe Books with Websites and saved PDF Files
Similar to removing printed novels and technical books, reducing recipe books from the kitchen removed the need to store books which in many cases I had brought and added little value due to very limited use.
I now save any recipe I find on the Internet as a PDF file and store this file in a cloud file storage service so it is available from any device, wherever I am. There is no point having a great recipe at home when you are on holiday or a friends house and want to show off your culinary skills.
Unless you have a particular fashionable timepiece that you like to wear as an accessory, your phone will tell the time just as well as a watch!
I’ve experimented with a smartwatch and various fitness trackers and struggled to see if there are any benefits - In most cases, the additional functions of the watch brought a higher amount of digital clutter to my life.
4. Wallet Trash
Having a bulging wallet is something I’ve struggled with for ages. I’m sure people think I am wealthier than I am as I struggle to extract a thick wallet from my pocket.
The honest truth is it was stuffed with receipts, stamps, loyalty cards I might use but never did, membership cards for places I no longer visit and foreign currency and travel passes. My actual day to day requirements are very small.
Having a large wallet bulge in your jeans is also very unattractive!
Open up your wallet, and be brutal about slimming down what you don’t need on a day basis.
5. Radio / Stereo
With the growth of online radio and music subscription services, the need for buying music to own is reduced for many people.
Hence traditional radios and stereos are overkill in an age of SmartTv’s and Bluetooth Speakers.
My traditional radios and stereo were gathering dust as I streamed more content from either my laptop or my SmartPhone. So as friends needed replacements for their music devices, or as the device needed recycling, I phased them out.
If you have a requirement for generating a loud sound, many of the Bluetooth speaker manufactures have large units capable of replacing your stereo speakers. Or add a streaming receiving device to your existing stereo to pick-up the stream music service to breath more life and value from the stereo unit.
6. DVD Player and DVD’s
Another physical product suffering from the rise of the Internet. Services such as Amazon Prime Video and Netflix along with cable and satellite catch-up services have removed the need for purchasing DVDs.
Remove the storage clutter of all the DVD’s you won't watch again. There is not a huge resale value in DVDs, however, a decent size collection might be transferable to a Bluetooth speaker or a streaming device to give life to your old stereo system.
If your young children have outgrown the cartoon DVDs, donate the cartoon DVDs to a school, toddler group or other young person groups.
7. Extra Computers
Consumerisation in the technology market has fuelled the purchase of too many devices. Owning a desktop and a laptop is pointless. Owning more than one mobile phone or tablet for many is hard to justify. What usually happens is a new electronic device is purchased for a specific purchase without thinking about the need or if an existing device could perform the function (albeit sometimes with a minor inconvenience).
By reducing our technology footprint, the items we own get more use, a better return on the investments we make and reduces the number of interruptions from notifications and stress trying to find charging cables etc.
If you have a laptop, and need a larger screen or bigger keyboard, there are docking solutions or even individual adaptors that can be plugged into the laptop when your hope to increase the functionality of the device
It’s amazing the number of pens that can be collected over time. From free pens given at events to forgetting to return a borrowed pen, before we know it we have pots full of pens.
Then we add some nice pens, ones that write well. Then a current favourite pen is identified, maybe a pen that is nothing more special than a standard Bic Biro, but we like it because it seems to write nicely.
With pen wealth becomes a laziness to look after the pens. They are never left in one place, discarded because ownership of many pens means a replacement is available at a moments notice, increasing the clutter in our houses. When found again, we place back in the pen pot, and the cycle continues.
Break the cycle by owning only one pen. Since I embraced this concept six months ago, I have never lost my choosen single pen, and I know where it is at all times.
Check above your front door, I’m sure there is not sign proclaiming you have a liquor licence.
It amazes me how many people appear to have a fully stocked bar in their house. This generates clutter and storage issues, along with all the associated glasses.
I’ve found by having some beer and wine in the fridge, along with a spirit (my poison of choice is whisky) I can enjoy a drink when I wish, without the clutter.
Of course, if you having a home party, you may need to buy more. Just take into consideration if you give your guest a choice from four or five drinks, they will find one they like, instead of offering them from twenty and having lots of open bottles to store or waste post party.
10. Digital Clutter
Life has become a receptor for digital noise. Bombarded by text, email, social media signals and the desire to have what other people have.
Take some time out to look at your email, phone and computer, and work out how to make these devices quieter. Turn off unneccessary notifications, unsubscribe from mailing lists that provide no benefit and uninstall programs and applications that waste time, space or impact on your creativity.