The top four resolutions for the New Year are:
- Lose Weight
- Quit Smoking
- Get Finances in Order
- Get Organized.
Let's assume we're all fit non-smokers, and since we're all reading The College Investor, obviously we have our finances in order (or we're on the right track!).
So, then, let's get organized. I've recently gotten on the minimalist bandwagon. It's a great way to justify owning less. It sounds better to say, “I'm transitioning into a minimalist lifestyle,” than, “I'm kind of cheap, mostly frugal, but really sometimes cheap.”
Getting started with minimalism can be tricky, if you think that everything in your house is there because it's something that you love.
I would wager, though, that's not the case.
I think it's really a wonderful thing to start transitioning into a minimalist lifestyle. Minimalism is very, very simple. And it can be as extreme or as tame as you want.
Look around your dwelling. Do you have more stuff than you need? I would guess that you do. But our relationship with our stuff is an odd thing.
One Morbid Trick to Transition to Minimalism
Just pretend that you're dead, and that you are your friend, going through your house, seeing what should be kept, and what should be tossed.
I go through my apartment often, thinking, “okay, Kathleen is dead. We need to get all this stuff out of this apartment as soon as possible. Let's start with the kitchen.”
I don't know about you, but my kitchen is where almost all of the stuff that I love lives. Please, people who love me, use my amazing kitchenware. I have really great stuff! Oh, sure, you can toss the muffin tins, but almost everything else is something I very much love, so take it and do great things with it.
All right, let's move into the bathroom. I've already gotten rid of all the expired medicine, so you can have all the over-the-counter stuff that you may need. Why don't you give the Sudafed to the Oregon residents? It's harder to get that here. Thanks.
I know, there are an obscene number of towels, but since I'm dead, I don't need to explain. But if you need the towels to wrap any of the breakable kichen stuff, then you might understand.
Bathroom done, let's go to the dining room. The table is amazing, so please pass it on. And as for the floors, there's only one good rug in this place, and you can tell which one it is, so keep it or pass it along, but don't give it away. The others are trash, and if you don't need them, take them back to where they came from: Goodwill.
You like that TV? Great, take it. Couch? Loveseat? Fine. Now, onto the bedroom. The bed was purchased in 2009, so it should be good for another several years, and it's amazing for dreaming. The clothes can all be worn, or not, depending on your size. I try to keep the inventory small so either way, it won't be much of a burden. The furniture in the bedroom is fine, but you don't have to keep it.
Try this, seriously, the next time you go through your house systematically. Remove yourself from your real life. Pretend you are dead. Or, check out Leo Babauta's thoughts On Minimalism.
Oh, and don't forget the jewelry drawer. That might contain all my valuables.
How do you get started with minimalism? Is it too morbid to consider your mortality?