An Exercise in Minimalism and Decreasing our Material World
I am one of those people who gets stressed over having too many possessions. Having tons of things makes me get all kinds of crazy. How am I supposed to adventure properly and wander without care if my physical and mental world is bogged down in my growing inventory of possessions?? The key for me is to simplify life.
I firmly believe that every item a person owns should have a purpose that is unique and clear. There is no need for a cupboard full of plates and cups when the only purpose they serve is to fill up the sink and increase laziness. I’ve gotten rid of (recycled, sold, garbaged) countless pieces of clothing this month but still have a full closet. Seeing this is motivation to continue on and also direct validation for the minimalist movement. I had no need for those old, candy cane print boxers or the permanently stretched out (but obnoxiously awesome) wolf t-shirt anymore!
More possessions means more stress. There is a direct correlation, I believe. A cluttered space is a complicated space and a complicated space creates a jumbled mind.
I always want to be able to have a rough image in my head of everything I own. In the future, I never want to suddenly find something that I forgot I owned. At that point, a person is just being irresponsible with his material world. The end goal is to not be held back by my possessions. I must be able to hypothetically move across the country at a moment’s notice because, as we all know, great adventure waits for no man!
With all that said, let’s simplify life using this 3 step exercise in minimalism:
Become aware of a space:
Look around your bedroom, apartment or home and choose a place to start minimizing. Find it and become dedicated to it.
Inventory all your possessions:
Within your chosen space, count every single item you own. Yes, that means every paperclip on the desk , every sock in the draw, each receipt in the folder, etc. The purpose of this is too gain an understanding of just how many random, unnecessary things we hold onto.
You are now gaining a sense of space and awareness for your material world.
Get rid of 5 possessions every day for 30 days:
A possession can be a worthless penny that’s been sitting on your computer desk for as long as you can remember or an old, holey pair of underwear or a random dish or even a car/bike/television. The actual item does not matter. What matters is the fact that there is now structure in the space. With structure comes routine and with routine comes unconscious habit.
Getting rid of all these things creates a more negative trend in your inventory count. More items are going out than coming in. Soon, your material world will start to take shape and each item will begin to have a clear purpose. You’ll be able to think, “I now only have 2 pens and 2 pencils, of which I can image in my head. No longer is there an overflowing container of writing utensils that never get used.” To me, that’s a super comforting thought. There is awareness and simplicity in that moment. It’s a kind of Zen Minimalism, which will begin to permeate every aspect of your life…
Maybe my coworkers were right and my ramblings about minimalism, inventorying my space and selling all my possessions are crazy after all…Only time will tell!