There is nothing that makes you take stock of everything you own so much as moving house. I have been moving every couple of years, and it does help immensely reduce the amount of clutter I own. I remember during my last move, I made the rookie mistake of leaving the kitchen for absolute last. I figure it would only take a few trips up and down the 3.5 flights of stairs to get everything out. WRONG. Already exhausted by moving everything else, I just didn’t have it in me to make that many trips. A fair amount of baking tins, dishes and more were left behind, and I wonder if they are still in use today by the proceeding tenants..
There are minimalist social media ‘celebrities’ out there, because of course there are. There is a trend among them of doing a show-and-tell style video showcasing the absurdly few amount of possessions they have (“Everything I Own – 30 Things”). As someone who considers herself a minimalist, I find this ridiculous on several levels.
Firstly, these people are clearly renting fully furnished accommodation, where they are getting their bedding, pillows, towels etc supplied for them. Everyone would own a lot a lot less stuff if we were Airbnb or hotel-hopping. Also, I live in a place with four distinct seasons and work a 9-to-5 office job, so owning just 5 tank tops and a couple yoga pants wouldn’t exactly work.
Secondly, I have a handful of storage containers with meaningful mementos dating back to elementary school. I have a hunch these 30-things-only people have similar boxes of stuff stored with family. I would hate to think someone literally scourged themselves of all mementos just to humble-brag about owning next to nothing.
Do I need the stuffed snowman decoration currently sitting next to my desk? Nope, and I wouldn’t hesitate to get rid of it if I moved to a smaller space, or replace it with something more meaningful (Update: I wrote this a few weeks ago, and Snowman didn’t make the cut..especially after a certain somebunny partly chewed its face off). I don’t need the handful of home-décor items I have, but owning them doesn’t make me less of minimalist. Do I get rid of the clutter that isn’t serving me in any way and make myself consciously think about the things I bring into my space? Yup, and maybe that means I have closer to 300 things. (Honestly I have no clue how many things I own and hell no I won’t be counting them. Also do the 30-things-only people not have pens?? I just looked in my desk drawer and I’ve got at least 7 pens & highlighters in here.)
Maybe this post inspires you to declutter a drawer, or think twice about an impulse purchase, and that’s great. To me, less stuff = more meaning out of the things I do have, and who doesn’t want that.