My Journey to Living More With Less
I’ve recently seen a documentary on Netflix which has deeply resonated with me. The documentary is called Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Thing and depicts the story of two guys trying to lead an uncluttered life, getting rid of their belongings and living with the bare minimum.
The documentary ends with the following quote which really undermines the reason why they’re doing this:
“Love people, use things. The other way will never work.”
As cliché as it gets, it seems that one can live a more healthy and fulfilled life by getting rid of stuff and instead focusing on the relationships with people.
I’m passionate by technology so I own a lot of stuff, mainly electronic. Whether it is a few t-shirts I received at my last hackathon or one of the phones I keep “just in case” my current one breaks, I have a lot of things that could, I have a bunch of things that I never use that are just lying there. Why don’t I get rid of them?
Clutter doesn’t just happen in your bedroom, it also happens on your smartphone …and in the cloud, digital clutter. How many apps, subscription services, do I have lying around that I don’t use or never really thought about whether I needed them?
I’m pretty sure that following this minimalist principle will actually help me achieve better relationships. These relationships might not only be with people: maybe it will help me deepen my relationship with technology as I learn to cherish my “collectables” more. Or, maybe by getting rid of things I will be more inclined and “free” to travel.
Basically, I think it cannot do any harm to sit down from time to time and review my personal inventory.
This is exactly what I will start doing. In this “journal” I will account my journey to living with less by getting rid of two things I own every day. Easy, right?
However there are some rules:
- Trash doesn’t count (that should be thrown away regardless).
- It doesn’t count either if it’s something that I always thought I’d get rid of but was too lazy like that old pair of flashy pants that I forced myself into buying because it was “cool” but I’ll never wear again because, let’s face it, they are bright yellow.
- Digital things have to be products I use (like my Netflix subscription or the 5 apps I have to order food).
- Can’t throw these things in the trash! I need to find a way to recycle, sell, or donate them.
I’ll keep these posts short, keeping the following format:
- Short story on how I got that thing I’m getting rid of
- Why I got rid of it that day
- How I got rid of it
Enough with the introductions, let’s start!
Being the first day, I quickly looked around my room to see if there was anything lying around that I kept telling myself: “I’ll need this for a particular occasion.”
I decided to get rid of these:
An extra set of skateboard bearings
These came with a longboard I received for my last birthday. I already had an extra pair of ATM Abec 5 “Fast As Hell” bearings that I used to replace the bearings on that longboard.
Now I had these bearings lying around which I was “keeping” in the case I would get another skateboard (I have, like, 4 already). It’s time for them to go, they are not special (it’s not like they are ceramic Swiss bearings either) and I can just switch my bearings around when I change skates.
I put those on Craigslist for free, hopefully someone will pick them up!
An old pair of fitness shoes
I bought these during a shopping spree on a trip to Washington DC with my family a little over 2 years ago. The sales clerk of the local Nike Town told me he didn’t want me running around with just any old shoe (I got flat feet) so he made me buy a pair of these Air Zoom Structure sneakers that are reinforced in various places. This way I could run for longer periods of time.
Rest assured, I bought another pair of sneakers recently. It was time, these were starting to give in but I was keeping them as extra “dirty hiking shoes”. Let’s face it, I can use my news ones and clean them from time to time.
Fortunately, I found a clothes bank close to where I live so I donated them easily.