I would say I am a minimalist. And during the 2020 crisis I became more so than ever before.
Sitting at home all day I started to feel a bit claustrophobic. And all these items that I will never use started to put me off. Just to give examples: I had a 12 year old tower computer, that I kept as a spare machine. I had really old shoes that I would never wear, because they were close to broken. I had still had ceiling lamps from my previous apartment lying around in the basement, that I would not need anymore. Or a brick of shower soap that looked like storm trooper, that someone gifted to me. The list was huge. And working from home gave me enough time to get upset about all these things that I would see on a daily basis and would not want around anymore.
So I started selling the things that others could still use. I gave the old computer to a teenager who would play around with it. I sold furniture, lamps, picture frames, old speakers and other stuff that still had some value on the internet. Everything else flew to the trash.
There were a few items that were difficult to get rid off, most of the times because I received them as a present. But I knew that after not wearing a jacket for 15 years, I would not suddenly start wearing it now in my 30s. The process was liberating. I felt like the more I got rid off, the lighter my mind felt.
There’s also practical reasons:
- When I move, I want to move as little weight as possible. I hate furniture, that requires more than 2 people to move, or even an elevator.
- I like the clean look of my apartment now, since every item lying around has a purpose or a story that I like. There is nothing, that I keep because I feel obligated to.
- My girlfriend moved in, and she initially also had shitloads of stuff. It would not have been possible to have everything under one roof, if we both had not disposed of a lot of items before. On a side note: we live in a 3 room apartment. And I would find it ridiculous to have so much stuff that would require us to have 4 rooms. It would also limit our options when we would want to move to a more expensive area.
Minimalism for me means focusing on what you really want and like having around. And it also means not chasing materialistic goals such as having the latest iPhone for no other reason than it being the newest and flashiest of all iPhones. At the same time it means that I question new purchases, also from an environmental perspective. Do I really need this new thing, that was produced overseas? Do I really need another thing with a battery, that has a limited lifetime of a few years only?
Oh and I “read” the book by Marie Kondo and I found it terrible. I don’t understand, how this can be a bestseller. It’s completely void of any content, and it’s just a childish story of a woman helping others declutter their homes by pushing them over their own boundaries. It has almost no practical tips.