Last week, I watched this documentary on Netflix called: "The Minimalists: Less Is Now" ^^^^.
Here are 3 definitions of minimalism:
What is the concept of minimalism?
"Minimalism is about avoiding the unnecessary , it's about simplicity, utility and elegance. It's all about "LESS IS MORE" in terms of embracing the most of fewer things. The most common misconception is that minimalists "suffer" and "sacrifice" while having less things and less interesting experiences."
What is the minimalist lifestyle?
Minimalism is all about living with less. This includes less financial burdens such as debt and unnecessary expenses. ... For many minimalists, the philosophy is about getting rid of excess stuff and living life based on experiences rather than worldly possessions.
Minimalism: An Elevator Pitch
Minimalism is a lifestyle that helps people question what things add value to their lives. By clearing the clutter from life’s path, we can all make room for the most important aspects of life: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution.
TL;DR People focus more on experiences than material/objects with simpler life.
This trailer/documentary reminds me of memories about how I became a sort of minimalist a couple of years ago. Well, I was a slow minimalist. It took me years to declustered stuff over the years that I didn’t use anymore (e.g. movies, books, clothes, furniture, …) Or simply apply the mindset of this concept.
The main reason why it took so long? It was not in high priority and I like to work incrementally rather than a big change quickly which is usually just to follow the current trend.
The next parts will be the ways I did to declutter and some links/ideas after that.
I subscribe to only one streaming platform by month like Netflix, Amazon prime, HBO and I will rotate them every 1-2-3 months. I hate to scroll non-stop to find a movie or tv-series. It’s a losing time. I will also fallback on Amazon Prime (rent it) if I want to see a specific movie.
3 Months Cycle
I added a reminder inside Google Calendar for every 3 months where it’s a reminder to clean-up/declutter any kind of objects to avoid to stack up:
- Papers / Mails
- Web Browsers Bookmarks
- Wishlist (e.g. Steam/Amazon)
- Computer Hard drives (space)
- Old electronic devices
For this part, I tried 2 ways. The first one was to try all the clothes I have in one day and discard some. The second way was in slow mode where I wear clothes normally everyday and discard after or before if I don’t like it and switch to a new one. It took more time to clean-up but it was really easy to do.
I had a bunch of pictures/photos and I found on the internet a company that will scan all your photos that you send and export into their cloud, usb or cd and send you back the original photo with the solution that you choose. I choose the usb version. After I uploaded it into my backup repository (Amazon Web Service: Glacier), I kept the usb keys and discarded almost 95% of the original photos.
Wallet / Phone / Everyday Carry Items
I combined almost all in one (result: 2 items). I have a keychain with a poutine "never forget where you're from :P". I also merged my wallet with my phone where I bought a protection cover that could contain 3 cards and more. I discarded my credit card because I never use it and I’m in the old fashion way for that. If I don’t have enough money to buy that, I will not buy...
I moved (Quebec->Montreal) from a 2 bedroom apartment into a studio and it was now my default setup. It was nice. I discarded a lot of stuff: home gym, 2 books shelves into 1, monitor shelf/unit into a simple shelf with 3 racks only. After I moved to New York and San Francisco but I still keep the minimal requirement (studio setup).
Set Your Limitation
Based on my setup, I usually set a limitation so if I buy a new book, I will need to discard an old. I like paper books more than kindle. I apply the same pattern for movies. Now, I use more streaming platforms but I kept my 20 best "DVDs".
I have one box full of paper (e.g. diploma, death/birth certificate) and if this one is over the stack, I will clean in the process of my 3 months recycle. It could be old invoices, emails or old applications that I didn’t use anymore.
Basically, if I don’t use any items from the last 3 years, there is a strong possibility that I will not use these items soon so I discard it.
For travel, I use the same backpack I bought from 15 years ago. It’s less colorful but it still works. And this is the part I disagree with the minimalism guys where the guy sorts his sockets and underwear based on a marker. Like the red underwear will split between dirty cloth and clean coth. Personally, I like to use a bag and put my dirty cloth inside instead of using a marker. You can find the original video there at ~3:28:
This part is about the benefits of minimalism
The concept of minimalism also applies with your Personal Finance. There is a good video about that. It’s the same guy who directed the minimalism documentaries: Matt D'Avella. He does some videos about random stuff and minimalism ideas. Here is one about Personal Finance:
A Minimalist Approach to Personal Finance
Minimalism is kind of the opposite of consumerism ideology. My understanding of minimalism is people will spend more on durable items/objects instead of getting the latest popular items which is far from the Planned obsolescence. This ideology is green, less pollution.
One big advantage with minimalism is since you don’t have a lot of stuff, it’s pretty easy to clean your apartment / house / room. Or you can move anywhere around the world since you are not tied with your material stuff.
If you never try minimalism and you would like to try, here are 3 links about that:
Thanks for reading,