Minimalism: It’s Not About Owning the Least Stuff

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How much I’ve packed so far for a house move in 1 week..there will be lots more

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.

 

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Confronting holiday clutter. I got rid of some, but kept most.

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.

 

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Fresh new space to make home..

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.

 

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