I’ve moved seven times in the last five years. Driven across the U.S. four times in the process. In a 2002 Chevy Cavalier. Stick. Shift.
While you’re still processing what a rockstar I am, I’m gonna lay some knowledge on you – your 106-piece Swarovski
unicorn, fairy, troll whatever collection doesn’t matter. I’m not one of those people who like to make blanket statements, but if you still have it in 15 years, you’re probably a serial killer. Worse, but less surprising, you’re also probably single. I get it – nesting is instinctive, and buying crap we don’t need might fill some of the void in our meaningless consumer-driven lives, but the truth is this:
You don’t need 90 percent of what you own. (Also, if you got that “consumer-driven lives” reference, give yourself a pat on the back. If you can still reach your back after all the arthritis, that is – that movie came out in 1999. I know. The horror. RIP Heath.)
I’m not trying to go all Tyler Durden on you, but my nomadic trail all across this great country has given me some perspective that the typical 9-to-5′er might have missed. When you move often, your attachment to inanimate objects starts to get put into perspective. Hauling things around in a car on which you’ve already put 75,000 miles (over the course of three years) has a way of letting you know that it’s time to reevaluate your belongings. Heirlooms are one thing – family memories and history are important pieces of the life you make for yourself. That coffee table from the thrift store with the Rainbow Brite stickers on it, however, can happily re-purpose itself into firewood.
There are several reasons I believe in the power of unburdening yourself when it comes to relinquishing your material possessions. You see, at some point, the things you own end up owning you. You see what I did there? Maybe I am more Tyler Durden than Imelda Marcos, but I’m also an honest advocate of paring down your life to make time for only the most important pieces. I’m equal parts Coco Chanel, admonishing you to return that last piece of “art” you bought at IKEA, and John McCraken, hoping you can see the intrinsic beauty of a monochromatic lifestyle.
Minimalism doesn’t have to be a life choice, but it can be a life saver. Fill your home with light, and beloved pieces, and suddenly, the world is a larger, more beautiful place with room for imagination – if your canvas is already full, where are you going to paint? Making more money to buy “better” things becomes secondary to appreciating what you already have. Take a look around your space and donate two things you don’t need. Make it about charity. Make it about anything other than having things you don’t need, and I guarantee it will become more apparent how right Mr. Durden was about… well, some things. And that’s the number one and only rule of the Minimalism Club.