Minimalism is a lifestyle and never a one time deal. Over time, your values will change and then you realise what you have now no longer bring you joy or give you any value. Then, probably, you will be like me and start to wonder whether you are minimalistic enough.
I have been into minimalism for about a year and a half and reached this point where despite my best effort, I’m find that I am not minimalistic enough. I still got a lot of stuff and get stressed by them. It is especially when I need to pack them up.
Clothes are one of the few things that most people will accumulate a lot over the years if they aren’t careful and especially so these days due to fast fashion. Therefore, it is highly logical for someone who want to adopt a minimalistic lifestyle to target clothes as the first step during the decluttering process.
I got rid of a lot of flannels, t-shirts, pants and polo shirts until I could easily move my hanging clothes left and right of the wardrobe.
And recently, I came to realise I didn’t declutter sufficiently. I had to pack up my clothes into giant bags because of an upcoming renovation and my current fixed wardrobe will be taken down to make way for new one. The packing process actually pissed me off more than it should because of the sheer amount of clothes I still have. More than 20% of my clothes haven’t been worn for months or even years and they had been sitting there collecting dust. It even make my skin itch when I pick them up.
So I pulled out a bunch of clothes that I know for sure I won’t wear them ever again and toss them into the bin. Even after doing that, I still got like maybe 80 clothes (pants, shorts, underwear, etc.) and I’m sure another quarter of those I probably won’t wear ever again.
Technology and Electronics
If you are someone who love technology and electronics, it is inevitable that you have old processors, motherboards, rams, phones, adapters and cables lying around that you no longer use because you have gotten new ones to play with.
During my minimalism journey, I had targeted these items to declutter and got rid a lot of them. Hell, I even got rid of my gaming desktop because I no longer find value in it and prefer to just stick to one computer for my daily needs.
Yet, recently when I was going through those boxes that I have to store these technology items, I found myself extremely frustrated when I tried to repack those items back. It turns out, there were a whole bunch of stuff that I really don’t use anymore but didn’t get rid of. I was cursing and swearing at those items as I put them back into the boxes. It took a while before I could close those lids.
And I don’t have the time to clear these items because I got other more important things to do.
I don’t know about where you live, but in Singapore, chances are you will receive a ton of letters from the government for every little notifications or updates as well as statements for your taxes and CPF account. And if you are Singapore guy and need to serve the military, you will also get a ton of reservist call-up letters and whatever updates the military wants “disturb” you with.
Yeah, I never liked the military. Still hate it. But I digress.
And let’s not forget about receipts. Now, normally you don’t need to keep those if you aren’t running a business where you need to file taxes. However, if you are someone who buys a lot of technology products, you need to keep those receipts for warranty purpose. And I have a ton of those lying around.
You would think that I’m done. No. Because of my interest in writing since secondary school days, I actually have a ton of folders and notebooks containing a bunch of old writings.
And oh, printed lecture notes, tutorials and laboratory instructions from my diploma and degree days. Those are still lying around in my cabinets.
So during my cleaning up process over the past two days, I realised that I hadn’t really put a lot of effort into decluttering paper-based items in my room.
By my estimation, I actually have about 80 over letters and that’s not including the envelopes used to contain those letters, five folders containing my old writings, countless pieces of papers accumulated during my studies.
Now, I managed to reduce the letter collection down to about 30 physical letters by shredding a lot of them and digitalising the important letters.
As for the old writings, I decided they aren’t worth keeping and so I discarded all of them. The school stuff on the other hand, I simply don’t have the time to clear them yet since there are a ton of things to do too.
All the above definitely prove that I’m not minimalistic enough. And it’s a journey of trial and error.
So what’s next?
Going forward, I need to work harder. I still want to meet my goal of having all that I own in just two boxes the size of 1 x 1 x 1 meter. It would make my life easier when I need to move house or something.