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Minimalism and Commitment to Simplicity

“The things you own end up owning you.” ― Joshua Fields Millburn

I must say, I’m loving this whole Minimalism movement.  If you are a hardcore Minimalist, I’ll warn you now.  I’m much more of a moderate.  I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m not trying to live out of a book-bag.  Yet, committing to simplicity is freeing and LESS REALLY IS MORE.

My own definition of Minimalism is to only buy/own things that will add value to your life.  There are no “rules” to it.

What Have I Done?

Ever since being exposed to the recent film “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things”, I’ve thrown out about 10 garbage bags of crap I don’t need.  More specifically, items that weren’t adding value to my life.  Most of it were made up of the following:

  • Free T-Shirts that accumulated over a number of years
  • Clothing, some of which were really old Christmas gifts that never made it into my regular rotation
  • Useless gadgets or decorative pieces that take up room
  • A ridiculous amount of cups and plates
  • A collection of DVD’s I bought in my teens that I will never watch again
  • Golf Clubs
  • Unneeded paperwork
  • Books that I don’t think add much value

 “I’m not trying to tell you how to do it, I’m just telling you how I do it & you can use it as a proxy” – Gary Vaynerchuck

I’ve never considered myself a material person yet getting rid of some of these items were tougher than expected.  “I’ll keep this just in case” or “I’ll save this for (insert name here)” were common thoughts throughout the process.  I came to the decision to just get rid of it, right then and there.  If not, they will just keep taking up space until I finally take some action.

The truth is:

  1. I don’t need 18 plates and cups for 2 people.
  2. I don’t play golf anymore.  I have one too many hobbies as it is.
  3. I haven’t watched a DVD is a LONG time.
  4. Most of my new books are on Amazon Kindle.
  5. I don’t need to keep client files more than 7 years.
  6. I’ve rarely been given a free t-shirt where I think “I’m totally wearing this out.” One t-shirt I threw out said “Talk Derby To Me”.  It came with my admission to a horse race.

Though, I don’t live a stressful life, I believe little daily stressors can take a toll on us.

Rather than digging past 14 articles of clothing I haven’t worn in years, I can just grab and go with the ones worn most often.  Even just seeing clutter go away has eased my mind.  Next on my list is to mount the TV and get rid of the stand, whose prior use was to house the 50 DVD’s I once proudly owned.

Side Note: The Minimalist mindset & de-cluttering makes it easier to clean.  There are less things to move out the way.

This commitment to simplicity has made it’s way into my spending habits.  I thought my budget was bare bones until I realized I was paying for things that I don’t care about.  Cable was the biggest culprit!  Look out for a post later this week on Cable.  The Millennial generation has had enough!

Take a listen to “The Minimalist Podcast” by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus.  It’s a refreshing look at life through a different lens.

 Why Did I Do This?

I’ve made this commitment for these reasons:

  1. I truly value people, experience, and conversation rather than material possession.
  2. Moving residences in the past made me realize how easily things pile up
  3. I wonder how much more productive I can be without useless products and services
  4. I think it’s a better financial decision.  Think of how many thousands of dollars those 10 trash bags were worth?

Your thoughts and feedback are welcomed.  Comment below!

(the featured photo was downloaded royalty free from pexels.com)
Eric Estevez
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