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Minimalist Living vs. Your Stuff

I have a weird fascination with minimalist living.

I don’t want to be a minimalist, but I do want to keep my life simplified to the point where I’m not spending hours every month trying to find stuff I already that’s buried in the bowels of a storage room somewhere.

A friend of mine had a trick to keep his belongings pared down to just the essentials. Whenever he got something, like a book for example, he got rid of something.

This was a practical solution for him since he was a long-term traveler and carried all his belongings in a backpack. There was literally no room or strength left to lug extra stuff around. To my knowledge he continued to hold this philosophy even after settling down again.

With the holidays coming up, chances are that whether you want to or not you will end up getting more stuff. Either you will succumb to the slew of limited-time-only deals or you will have presents to deal with.

Go ahead and enjoy the new stuff, but consider getting rid of an equal quantity of things to make room for it. Re-gift, donate or sell. Keeping stuff around has a cost, even if it came to you for free.

2 comments

  1. samniccolls says:

    Ravi – 1st comment, but have enjoyed your blog & refreshingly positive attitude on life for several years.

    A good friend & international travel companion many times over, Danny Dover, who’s a Seattle-based TED Talk giver, rails developer, blogger & bucket list obliterating minimalist, is ruthless about only having 150 things — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFieLnWZDJ8.

    Danny’s approach is a bit extreme, and wouldn’t quite work for me personally, but … I’ve definitely taken, er-um … ripped out more than a few pages from his book over the years as far as stuff is concerned. Freeing up the clutter in one’s life is a powerful thing!!!

    • Ravi Raman says:

      Very cool. I haven’t seen this video before and will check it out. I’ve heard of several folks who try to live with “100 things”…as the “100 thing challenge” was all the rage a few years ago amongst the minimalist crowd. I don’t subscribe to the belief in keeping possessions artificially to a specifically low number. Instead, I just try to live with less, and create situations (e.g. like moving into a smaller place, traveling or giving away something when I get something) that force me to pare down my stuff.

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