On Minimalism

Why are people afraid of minimalism?

  • Is there a reason you’re hanging onto old clothes that you haven’t wore in over three years? Do you think a scenario will arise in the near-future where wearing that outfit will be suitable?
  • What’s with all the 100+ bookmarks that you keep in your browser? Do you use them all, or are you spending 90% of your time on about ten websites and the rest are not necessary?
  • Why are you still holding onto *INSERT OBJECT HERE*? Does it have sentimental value? Are you afraid if you throw it out, that you’re going to need it again?

Why are we so afraid to accept minimalism and get rid of the things that we don’t need?

The most common answer seems to be “Well, I’m gong to need that in the future! What if I throw it out and I am going to need it again!”

REALLY? HOW OFTEN HAS THAT HAPPENED?

How often have you been in a situation where you haven’t used something for weeks, month, years, threw it out, and then realized you needed it for something? I’m going to guess never, or maybe a one-off time. Is it the end of the world? Did your world crumble down around you as a result? If you’re reading this, I’m going to assume that you survived.

Ever seen the show Hoarders?

Why are people keeping collectible McDonalds cups that lost their value years ago? Do they think they’re going to have a resurgence and will be valuable one day? What’s the point of keeping a newspaper from July 3rd, 1996? Are you really going to read it again? What kind of value could something like that have for you? Are your university papers from three years ago going to help you one day? Do you want to open your old textbooks again?

Embrace minimalism, despite how difficult it may seem at first.

Get a big garbage bag. Start collecting your things. Don’t give it too much thought. Donate them, or sell them. Unless they’re worth something, it’s better to just donate them, to get them out of sight and out of mind. You’ll feel like a great value has been lifted off your shoulders. Enjoy that feeling!

Every once in awhile, do a minimalism clean up.

Has your phone become clogged with apps that you rarely use? Clear them out. Are there items in your closet that you haven’t worn in awhile? Donate them. Are there books on your shelf that you’ve read (and don’t plan on reading again) or don’t plan on reading at all? Lend them to a friend, or donate them to a library. Let someone else enjoy them if you’re not going to use them.

Even if you embrace minimalism, you don’t have to rid yourself of everything.

You don’t need to just keep a few changes of clothes and a laptop. At my parent’s house, I still have my hockey card collection intact from my elementary school days, even though they’ve likely lost their value now. If you’re still attached to your stamp collection, or postcards that you’ve collected from around the world, by all means keep them. That said, don’t let it control your life. Be in control of your possessions, instead of the other way around.