As someone who is interested in minimalism, I sometimes ask myself what possessions I can cut out of my life. I don’t do this to spite myself, I do it because I am constantly looking for ways to make my life as simple, humble, and happy as possible.
Time after time I realize that I don’t need my possessions. After a point it kind of became natural that I stop buying so much needless stuff, and without new stuff accumulating, it was increasingly easy to examine what I really wanted to keep in my life.
Possessions are worthless unless they hold some sort of real value. I don’t mean a financial value necessarily; I mean they must add value to your life in a real and direct way. Each individual must decide the extent of their minimalism, and let the process unfold gently and naturally. Each individual must also come to make a choice, or several choices, about what it is that they treasure enough to keep. What will survive the austerity of your minimalism? For me, it will also be my writing equipment. When I traveled this was a pen and some paper, and when I am at home, it is a laptop.
The idea of minimalism is not to completely cut all possessions, but to free yourself of the need to possess, and of the need to accumulate what is not beneficial for your happiness
Here are some personal pet hates of mine; some of the possessions that I am very glad to be rid of, and that I would advice you to try out. You might not agree with some of them, and that is fine. Minimalism is about priorities. I believe my lack of all of them to have helped me to live a simpler, happier life.
I don’t own a television, and I make a pretty big point of not going anywhere near them. I think the first thing a minimalist should consider getting rid of, is the idiot box in the corner. All it does is spout useless information in irritating voices. Live a week without it and your mind will feel cleansed, and your to-do list will be… done. Get rid and your life will be richer.
- Excessive Amounts Of Clothes
There are people alive today, who are actually idolized too, who have entire rooms for their clothes; rooms bigger than some minimalist and city-dwellers homes. Everyone needs clothes, at the very least to adhere to the standards of their society, and usually to keep warm too, but at some point clothes have become something of a statement. People buy them for fun, for fashion, and to look different every time they are seen in public. A minimalist has what they need; a few pairs of clothes.
- Beauty Products
Personally, I despise the beauty industry. They are among the prime culprits for trying to create securities in men and women across the globe. They tell us we are ugly, shove images of photoshopped people in our face, and then tell us to relieve our pain with their product. Don’t fall for it! You are beautiful as you are, and no company can take that away from one. Beauty products are one load of possessions you could live without.
- Too Many Memories
I like to look back over old photos sometimes, and I do keep a small amount of sentimental letters, gifts, and photos. It’s like a little memory box. I don’t really make a habit of collecting them so much anymore. Too much of it becomes clutter, and loses its meaning in quantity. If you keep everything you end up with boxes full of junk. If you make sure you are super selective about the memories that you keep, then you end up with a compact amount of meaning.
- Storage Junk
Anything that has been kept in storage for longer than a year is most likely junk. Regularly going through your storage can help you to keep your home, and your mind, clutter free. Sell and give away all of your tat, and relieve yourself of your attachment to accumulating objects.
In a minimalist home, every piece of furniture serves a function, and has a purpose; and sometimes more than one purpose. Tables, sofas, shelves, and other pieces of furniture that are unused, only serve to take up space. Why sell them for some extra cash and treat yourself to a holiday?
- Other People
Now that you have learned to let go of some of our material possessions, it is time to take a look at a different kind of possessiveness, and one that a true minimalist must be aware of. In the same way that attachment to objects is an obstacle to happiness, over-attachment to people can cause the same misery. You should let go of the people in your life that cause you harm. The people you love you should keep close to you. In the same way that letting go of unnecessary material possessions helps you to know what objects are truly important to you, letting go of old relationships can also help you to focus on who you really love.