In the past month, I started on a minimalistic mission. I have always been concerned about owning stuff and holding on to it. Yet, I have been mindlessly accumulating loads of stuff. In my case, it’s mostly clothes, shoes and bags. While I have been wanting to remove stuff from my life, I haven’t been successful at it. At least not until recently. There was always something coming in the way, always something more important. And this is stuff that just lives in my suitcase, I haven’t been able to use it for past four years since I moved back from the US. I wonder now, why did I even brought so much stuff with myself. But that is a story for later.
So last month, when I found time I decided to embark on my project of removing stuff. The question that I was facing was, how should I go about it. What is the best way to decide what to keep and what to throw. Believe me, it’s a real challenge. Having so much stuff was not only embarrassing but also distracting. I was feeling stressed all the time, which meant I was buying more.
My first discovery in this process was Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up“. How ironic it sounds, such a simple act but we are unable to follow through, I thought. While it was interesting to read the book, and it brought alive the madness of buying stuff which we don’t need, I was still finding it difficult to get rid of. I even watched a host of YouTube videos dedicated to the KonMari method, as it is called. It was interesting to watch how people are inspired by the act of removing stuff.
As I started the process, I didn’t entirely use KonMari’s method, but I found it helpful in my quest to remove stuff. But one thing I did follow was to not listen to music while reducing stuff. Not listening to music, made me actually focus on the stuff I had. And it’s a lot. Off course, I can justify that I needed it when I bought it, at the same time, I could actually see the futility of it.
It took me at least 10 days to really get rid of the excess stuff. I have donated most of it. Although I still have a long way to go, I feel relaxed after removing excess stuff. So I am just going to continue with this process as much as I can. At least, now I can find stuff I need rather than buying more.
While this post recounts my experience of removing stuff, it has been inspired by a host of blogs on minimalism, I have come across in my journey. All these blogs helped me in my brief journey so I thought of linking to them here. Perhaps you may find it interesting. Here is the list:
- Rowdykittens.com by Tammy Strobel – Her blog recounts her interesting journey of downsizing of living in a Tiny House while pursuing her dream life of a writer
- Becomingminimalist.com by Joshua Becker – His blog has interesting tips on how to practice minimalism
- theminimalists.com by Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus – Their blog too talks about their journey of becoming minimalists and how it helped them rid of stuff
I also watched the recently released documentary http://minimalismfilm.com/, it really brings to light the madness that is fueling mindless consumption.
I don’t know if I am really going to be a minimalist in the long run, but it does feel good to remove clutter and be organized. So I am going to continue with it as much as I can and continue with my quest of removing clutter especially as it is allowing me to be more focused on what I want to do and what I can achieve if I stop focusing on stuff and instead focus on life itself.