Minimalism for BeginnersAugust 15th, 2011
I helped a friend move out of his apartment this weekend. Like everyone who has ever moved, he realized just how much stuff he owned, and what a pain it was to move it all. He knew I was interested in the minimalist lifestyle and he started asking questions about minimalism. The only thing I could tell him was that it was something he had to decide for himself. Minimalism is about finding what’s necessary for you, and eliminating all the rest.
“Do you think I should get rid of my blender?”
“Blenders a great, but how often do you use it?”
“I’ve never used it, actually…”
“Then toss it!”
If you have possessions in your life that aren’t useful or bringing you joy, why keep them around?
The best way to go about decluttering is to start with a blank slate. Clear everything out of the area (room, closet, desk, shelf, etc), then clean and dust the area. Now, one by one, go through each item before putting it back. Ask yourself questions like “Why do I own this in the first place?”, “What purpose is this serving?”, “Could I easily replace this?”, “When was the last time I used this?”, “Does anyone I know need this more than I do?”.
When I’m judging whether or not to get rid of something, I ask myself when was the last time I used/thought about the item. If it’s been more than a 6 months to a year, you probably don’t need it and won’t even miss it. Keep the deliberation quick; don’t give any item more than 30 seconds of your time or you’ll end up waffling and changing your mind. The goal is less. As Thoreau said, “Simplify! Simplify! Simplify!”
And if that means holding onto a blender for your weekly margaritas and guacamole movie nights, it’s totally cool to keep the blender.