Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Minimalism; 50 things.

     I was doing some reading here when I came across an idea that I'd heard of before, and have been recently feeling inspired to put into practice. Minimalism and simplicity have always held a very inviting quality for me. As the names would suggest, the ideas behind these two concepts are quite simple, indeed: simplify your life, minimize your possessions and the general "clutter" in your life. One of the biggest draws for me, undoubtedly, is the freedom that comes with breaking free from both the temptation to consume (the need to have more), and the feelings of monotony and lack of personal impact, contribution and control that occur when you consume mass-produced junk, made who-knows-where out of who-knows-what, and sold by corporations. Personally, I like to know where my clothing and other belongings come from. I like to know that the person who made these things was treated kindly and paid fairly, that it doesn't contain toxic and/or unsustainable materials, and that it is of good quality and worth what I'm paying for it.

     But I digress... the things I've just discussed are not necessarily definitive of minimalism. One could spend hours (possibly weeks or years!) debating and discussing the intricacies of a minimalist mindset and what true simplicity entails. However, feelings of frustration surrounding consumerism and our society's preoccupation with "things", with little to no regard for where their things came from or how they're produced, are very often instrumental emotions in triggering a shift towards a simpler and less consumption-driven life. This is mostly where my motivation lies, though the thought of having a tidier and less-cluttered living space is also temping! :P My goal is mainly to basically eliminate unnecessary purchases, especially from "big box" corporations and anywhere that does not have actively and openly ethical production standards, and to generally have less stuff! I hope to center most if not all of my future purchases around thrift, cosignment and antique stores, along with locally made items in order to support my community, while also donating anything I don't need. Which leads me to the reason for this post (finally!). The post on mnmlist that once again sparked my interest in simplification, is this one: The 50 Things Challenge.

     The challenge I plan to undertake is a little less hardcore than the author of this blog's. His (or her) goal is to pare down all of their belongings until they only own 50 things!!! This is a very impressive feat for anyone, even a seasoned minimalist, I would think. Therefore, I will be taking a modified route, and simply giving away 50 things. Maybe one day I'll be able to whittle my staggering collection of nick-nacks and unessentials  down to 50 absolute necessity items, but to be honest, probably not. That's not really my style. I do like to have SOME things that are just quirky or neat that don't serve a specific purpose, but I definitely feel an intense pull to simplify. So I will be using a couple of days this week to meticulously select 50 (or more!) of my possessions, be they articles of clothings, books I won't likely read, etc.

     I'll share the results, and possibly some pics from my next trip to Value Village where I'll be unloading my 50 burdensome items and very possibly picking up at least 10 replacement items... *sigh* the road to simplicity is difficult and paved with impulse [thrift store!] buys...

Peace! :)

1 comment:

  1. in response to your comments, i have NO idea how my 3 year old was able to open that knife! i'm always terrified that i'll cut my finger off if i even touch it!

    and about the lucid dreams, i looked into that a few years back and was able to do it a handful of times, but it would be something really awesome to master!

    this blog entry reminds me of when our family first moved into our new house. we threw out SO much stuff and basically only had our clothes, so pots and pans and beds to sleep on. our house felt so empty at first, but it was much nicer not having as much clutter and stuff (junk).