I had a heated conversation with someone over what it is to be a “minimalist”. I realized that there are probably a few readers of my site that don’t fully understand what I am trying to do in my life, and what I am striving for.
“This one goes out to the one[s] I love.”– R.E.M.
Okay, let’s start with facts.
- What is the “minimalism lifestyle”? Minimalism, at its core, is the art of valuing what we deem most important in life and removing what is thought of as distraction or clutter so that we may live a more healthier and happier life.
- Is minimalism for everybody? There is a movement that has started in Japan years ago and has made its way to the States with people like Marie Kondo and Fumio Sasaki writing books and creating websites promoting the lifestyle. It is not intended for everyone, and no one is forcing anyone into it, but some people will swear to it that it made a change in their life.
- Why are you doing this now? It is no surprise that I have struggled with my mental health for quite some time. Also, I have put off things in my life that I have wanted to do for years, such as publishing some form of writing or artistic creation. After twenty years of amassing a lot of valuables and what I feel are distractions in my life, and I need to get back to what is essential in life and extinguish that which is cluttering my mind
. Howare you going about doing this? Look here for the start of my minimalistic journey. That will give you an idea of where I started and where I am going.
Now that I have answered some of the questions that may have come up, what is next in my journey? Towards the end of 2018, I asked my family if we could limit the number of dishes that we use. In other words, only have access to three large plates, three small plates, three bowls, three glasses, and three mugs: the plates and bowls to eat off of (naturally), the glass drinkware for cold drinks, and the ceramic mugs for hot beverages. I could not find a way to limit the amount of silverware as we use the silver for most meals throughout the day. My family saw the stress it was causing me, and agreed to minimize the dishes and drinkware to help to keep the clutter in the sink to a minimum. Also, I have asked that they rinse their dishes, drinkware, and silverware and promptly place them in the dishwasher to run as soon as we finish using them.
This action has decreased the clutter and dirtiness of the kitchen. If I had before and after pictures to show you, you would have seen both sides of the sink and counter space overflowing with items, partially because everyone was lazy and no one wanted to take responsibility, including myself, to clean up after each other. Now, we all work together to clean up our
So, I guess the last question in this post would be, “What’s next on the list?”
Good question. I think the next step is looking at all the toys that I am holding onto and looking at selling them online, possibly through a site such as Amazon.com. I have set a seller site up with the help of a friend, and I am going to sell things for the cost of what I feel they should be worth. I’m sure some of you are asking yourself, “Why aren’t you using a site like Etsy or eBay?”
Again, good question. I don’t like eBay because of the bidding factor. I want to have control of the price of my items, and I expect them to sell for what they are worth. Etsy I want to use for my daughter when she starts her business venture that she is working towards, which is handmade jewelry, and for my wife to sell her artwork online, as I think my wife is a fabulous artist, and I think she would do well on that platform. Amazon is a marketplace where I can sell my things as is, but have total control of cost. They also take a lot less than eBay and Etsy when it comes to their share of listing costs, and I have trusted Amazon for years, so I feel comfortable with their backing.
If you are interested in decluttering your life, Marie Kondo has a series coming to Netflix soon that shows her proven techniques of minimizing the things in your life. The show is called “Tidying up with Marie Kondo.” And, for a person like you and me that decided to go completely minimalistic in his life, I recommend Fumio Sasaki’s book “Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism” which I have mentioned in different places on not only this site, but I also reviewed it on YouTube, which you can watch by clicking here. He also has some interviews on YouTube where he talks about his lifestyle and his book, and even some interviews with different outlets, which I found interesting.
Finally, Rob Greenfield, another extreme minimalist, has a website which you can visit here, and has plenty of resources that he has found in his life. He has also written a book on his journey, “Dude Making a Difference: Bamboo Bikes, Dumpster Dives, and Other Extreme Adventures Across America.” What I like about Greenfield is that unlike many mainstream minimalist lifestyle fanatics out there, spouting their rules and manifestos and ways of living, he does not ask for any money in the resources he makes available to the world. Everyone else I have come across wants you to sign up for exclusivity in their information, or their books or other paraphernalia that they are profiting on. Rob Greenfield gives you the information for free, only asking that if you feel like donating, donate to one of the charities listed on his site, bettering the world.
I hope that this article has helped to answer some questions that fans of my site have had, and also I think it is a nice break from drolling on about how my life is complicated with mental illness and discussions about suicide awareness in the world. I want 2019 to be the year that I overcome my problems and lead a healthy and happier lifestyle.