I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a while now. When I first saw Leo Babauta with his list, I was intrigued. Then I saw Colin and Joshua, too. That got me thinking about how many possessions I currently have.
I’ve been down the route of owning a lot of stuff, and to be honest, it’s exhausting. The list below are the things I own and have with me at this moment. I still have things left back home (in Sweden) that I didn’t have time to clear out. It is stuff I will at some point sell or give away.
I feel like I can still eliminate a lot of stuff. I have way too many t-shirts. I probably don’t use 60% of them, but I’m not getting rid of them yet, because there’s no point. I am not traveling, but at some point they will go.
Then I have four sweatshirts, of which I probably only use two. I’m not sure if I’ll live like this for the rest of my life, probably not, but at this point in time, it’s something I enjoy.
What a Minimalist Lifestyle Means to Me
I enjoy a minimalist lifestyle because it gives me freedom. It isn’t just to save money or get a gold star. I care about what’s going in the world and inside myself.
When I used to buy things, I did it because it felt good. And that is what shopping is to most people–a high. Simplifying your life means that you have to simplify your mind.
This journey is extremely fascinating for me right now. I realize that while stuff definitely can be cool, it isn’t essential. When I’ve got my bases covered, I’m good.
1. Personal Things Only. I do not count shared items, such as kitchen utilities, the camera (which I never use anyway), and so on.
2. No Books. I am not counting books. I currently have a handful of books with me, but the only one I would take with me if I were to move is the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I’m long overdue for buying a kindle.
3. Groups. Underwear and socks are grouped, because that’s what the cool kids are doing when they’re building their list of possessions.
My Possessions (on April 19th, 2010)
- Cell Phone
- Asus Laptop
- Laptop Backpack
- Flip Cam
- External USB Mouse
- External USB Keyboard
- USB Flash Drive
- Sennheiser Headphones
- USB Microphone
- Ear Plugs
- Pit-Rok Deodorant
- Black Sweatshirt
- Blue Sweatshirt
- Gray Sweatshirt
- Red Sweatshirt
- Beige Pants
- Slack Pants
- Swimming Shorts
- Regular Shorts
- 13-Year Old Shorts (My Favorite)
- Socks, counted as a group (~10 pairs)
- Underwear, counted as a group (~10 pairs)
- Cool Yellow Towel
- T-Shirt #1
- T-Shirt #2
- T-Shirt #3
- T-Shirt #4
- T-Shirt #5
- T-Shirt #6
- T-Shirt #7
- T-Shirt #8
- T-Shirt #9
- T-Shirt #10
- T-Shirt #11
- T-Shirt #12
- T-Shirt #13
- T-Shirt #14
- Passport/Wallet with Contents
- Asics Shoes
This Too Shall Pass
In the future, this list may grow, or it may shrink. I’m not bound by any particular rules, but at the moment I’m putting a lot of value on only owning things I really need.
The freedom you get from eliminating everything unnecessary and starting over is tremendous. It’s easy to let complexity and stuff creep into your life if you’re not paying attention.
Stay aware and stay awesome!
[Update: I wrote this post in early 2010, and on November 27th, 2010, I moved back to northern Scandinavia. I lived 11 months in Spain as a radical minimalist. However, now back home I have my work cut out for me. I am getting rid of stuff slowly but surely, but remember: this is not about living with a certain set of items, it’s about living with the essentials.]
[Update #2: It’s now 2014. I became a father in 2011. We bought a house in 2013. While I no longer live with the above items, I still enjoy living simply, and keeping the clutter down. It’s much harder with a family and a house, but again, this isn’t about how many things you have, but determining what you need.]