So I would estimate that I have been a self-proclaimed minimalist for about 9 months now, and I just wanted to give a small update on my perspective on the topic thus far. If you read my first few articles on the topic, you would know that in the beginning, I was heavily removing items, and pairing down everything I could possibly think of to reduce the clutter from my life. This in itself was a transformational experience for me. With every item I donated, sold or threw away, I felt lighter and more in control of my life. It enhanced my feeling of being purposeful and conscious of all the choices one can make with their things. I drastically reduced the amount of stuff I owned at the time and felt amazing because of it.
But What About Now?
Well its fairly obvious that after you clean out a bulk of stuff from your life, you will eventually start hitting a threshold. You get to a point where you feel there is nothing else to get rid of. To address this, I make a point of challenging the remaining items I own on a regular basis. Once per month or more. What is amazing is that I have consistently found more things to remove from my life. I have found more things to sell and donate, whilst freeing more space for clarity of mind and purposeful consumption. Sure, the amount of stuff each time is now only minimal, but I have always found something that can be removed.
What I discovered is that after you rid yourself of the bulk of the most obvious things, you begin uncovering items that you completely forgot you had, or had maybe never even considered removing from your life before. I have removed some great items that although serve a real purpose, have not been consistently used to be of any real value to me. This begins challenging your attachment to stuff. For me, I recently sold off my slow compress juicer and my armada snow skis. Both of these items came with some real attachment, hence why it took me 9 months to make the call.
The juicer was bought with obvious intentions that actually sit well within my value system. Achieving a high degree of health. But when I honestly reviewed the value it was adding to my life, my only evidence of value was the 10 times it had been used in about 1.5 years. Now I could have vowed to begin using the juicer on a more regular basis, however I had tried to make this commitment in the past to no avail. So I decided that it had to go. Besides, I use a Nutri-Bullet every single morning of the year, and it adds more than enough value to my life.
The Armada skis were the hardest to part with to date. These bad boys have given me some real joy for about a total of 10 days in a 3 year timespan. But the emotional attachment to these was great. I have a huge passion for the snow, which led me to their purchase a few years back. It was such a delight to own my own skis. But on careful and deliberate reflection, I could only conclude that they were not supplying enough value for what they cost, or the space they took up. I sadly said goodbye to them, yet juxtaposed was a feeling of happiness and intention that dwarfed any feelings of regret. I still own a pair of ski boots and can’t see myself pawning those off, as they will always provide a personal comfort when I jump back on the slopes with some rentals. For the moment, they still serve their purpose.
Other Odds and Ends Along The Way
Along the way since the initial clean out, I have said goodbye to more clothing, beloved books (that I know I won’t read again), a ski helmet, a stereo player, shoes, technology (A laptop and an iPad) and thrown out numerous odds and ends that provided no value or benefit.
But What About Purchases?
Well you might be wondering what things I have purchased during this time, as I am not a yogi who no longer wishes to purchase any material items ever again. Although it would be a hairy challenge 😉
Over the last 9 months I have purchased (for myself) 2 T-Shirts, A pair of Reebok Runners, A pair of going out shoes and a new laptop. I have no plans to purchase anything else for the rest of the year, but things always change.
Have you attacked your stuff yet and tried to minimalise? Do you get attached emotionally to things? Let me know and leave a comment below 🙂