Minimalism was always appealing to me. The philosophy of not having more than one would need is close to my heart. Over the past few years, I’ve been “trimming the fat” off various parts of my life.
I can’t recall when I started being drawn to a minimalistic lifestyle. I think my passion for minimalism originates in my desire for organization and order. It’s comforting to know that a world around me has a certain structure.
I remember the time when I started living on my own. I just moved to United States, away from my family. All my life fit in a half-empty suitcase at that time. Few sets of clothes, a blanket, a pillow, some hygiene products, a small laptop. Moving to a new place was as easy as throwing few things in that suitcase.
After some time, I started accumulating more things. A guitar. More variations of clothing. Cheap coffee table and a shoe rack from a dollar store. At that time I rented a room in one of the shady areas of the city. Adding a few pieces of furniture made a place feel like home.
Time has passed, and I moved again. Left the furniture behind, took the rest. Still light, but I did have to make a few trips to move everything I needed. I got even more comfortable. A gaming PC. Significantly more junk here and there.
That’s when I did my first big cleanup. I went through every item I owned, and tossed it a trash bag if I didn’t use it in the past 6 month. Old clothes, some action figures, other useless junk I accumulated. As a result, I tossed two big bags of stuff I didn’t need. I still remember the liberating feeling. Knowing that everything I own serves a purpose.
It felt like I could breathe again.
Years pass. I don’t rent rooms anymore, but apartments, houses. This comes with having to own more things. Real furniture. A TV. More musical instruments. Having to accommodate guests. Cooking supplies. A bike. Outdoor furniture.
But I’ve kept the minimalistic mindset, and I still do periodical clean outs. Tossing almost everything I haven’t used in a past six months. Reducing what I own only to things that I need to have comfortable and enjoyable living.
Today, I don’t think I can fit everything I own in that single suitcase. Hell, I most certainly will need to hire a truck for my next move. But that’s not important. Minimalism isn’t about the absence of things. If you feel like you don’t have enough - you’re probably doing something wrong. Minimalism is about not being excessive.
For me, knowing that my belongings serve a purpose makes me feel content, clear-headed. It’s comforting. It feels right.
Sometimes, I forget and start accumulating stuff. And that’s when I go back to reducing again. It’s not an obsession, but a healthy periodical maintenance. Often it takes months, or even years to get rid of certain things.
Replace a queen sized bed with a Japanese futon mat. Digitalize the growing paper trail I keep. Travel the world for with a single suitcase.