August 8, 2020

Minimalism: Serving a purpose

When it comes to buying new things, I’d say that I do it a bit less frequently than the average American. Malls are my worst nightmare. I have running shoes with the soles torn apart and a 10 year old hoodie that I wear all the time. Part of this is due to my aversion to spending money, but part of it is that what I have works just fine.

So many people buy a new iPhone the second it goes on sale just to get the new features when there is nothing wrong with the one they had. People buy nicer cars or bigger houses to impress others but these changes do nothing else to positively impact their lives. It’s a phenomenon I understand but that I want no part of.

Every item you own should serve a purpose; get rid of anything that doesn’t.

I live by the motto less is more because I truly believe it. The more cluttered our lives become and the more importance we place on physical items, the less we are able to focus on the things that really matter.

If you want a challenge or to put this into action, try going through every item in a room where you live and getting rid of all items you don’t use or don’t serve a vital purpose. If you want to go hardcore, do this exercise to your entire house. I think you’d be surprised by the amount of junk you have.

The hard part about this is not coming across items that are obviously trash, it’s getting rid of the items that you think could be useful but haven’t touched in 10 years. If you really haven’t used it in that long, you likely won’t be using it in the near future. Even if you were to need it, you can use this as an excuse to upgrade. But, I’m going to bet that instead you forget you ever had or needed it in the first place.

The important realization with this is the fact that by getting rid of things you don’t need, you aren’t lowering your standard of living in any way, instead you’re probably making it a lot better. Just because you may no longer have as many things as the neighbor doesn’t make them better than you. Go ahead and keep some of your nicer items if you’re still attached to them but understand that you’re holding on to them because there is sentimental value and it’s not actually all that functional anymore. Just like our money, as soon as you let your things control you, it’s game over. Take charge and focus on what matters.

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