My minimalism: a relaxed approach

While gazing at people in a ballroom, one of the protagonists in the favorite series of mine says:  “Quite an eclectic group: have money, want money, no money left”.  This is where the minimalism of today stands.

The ‘have money’ don’t care about minimalism and the more they have the more they gather…interesting, for they won’t take it to their graves for love of God.

The “want money” do anything for money including pretending to be better off than they really are by, among others, accumulating things that they don’t really need, but which show their supposed status.

And the “no money left” are the ones who had money, but have lost it somehow. They usually divide into two sub-groups of “will do anything to get back to having” and “money come, money go – one has to live the life”. There is not much they usually have, or things that they do own and have accumulated are past their initial beauty and freshness. I won’t comment on the 1st sub-group, but the 2nd is an interesting one, for they foremost do not care about things. Why? because they have learned that money and things are something that can disappear fast, that is temporal and that in life there are more important things.

The last group, not mentioned in the quote, is those that do not have money at all. They don’t own and there is not much to say, because most often they do not have a choice in the matter.

I think the key is to strike a balance. It is true that having a variety of things is useful, yet we don’t use most of them 95% of the time. For instance, I don’t need 100 shirts. What I need is a few.. maybe 20 at most… shirts that will mix and match with my max. 10 skirts, 2-3 jackets and 3 pair of pants (2 in that jeans). I used to have a lot of clothing, due to economic reasons most bought at thrift stores. However, with time, with several massive home changing operations and the travels I had to make, I observed that I do not use most of it and I would rather change the volume to quality. Over last 3-4 years, I did a revolution. I buy clothing seldom, but I buy it at mid-range stores where the quality meets the price. Ergo I get a good wear to price to looks ratio. Poor people don’t have the money to waste on trash things, for they need to be replaced often resulting in spending more over a longer span of time.

Another idea I did implement in my wardrobe is the 6 month rule. I have 2 hangers, where I put the pieces of clothing which I do not use that often, and every 6 months I take a look and ask myslef: “have I used it in the last 6 months?” if no, I move it to he black hanger, where it stays for another 6 months. Should it not be touched for another 6 months, I start at first looking for a person who would like to have it.. I give it a month.. if none appear.. it goes to the Red Cross container nearby. I do my best to buy clothing only when something used up needs replacement.. but am far from perfect at it.

All of this, can be applied to any other area of life and things we accumulate. I it with almost anything I have at home. It all takes practice and strong will to fight off the temptations, but after 3 or almost 4 years of this, I can pretty much pack all my clothing into 1 large (standard size) suitcase, I can pack for a week into a carry-on without an overweight including my electronics. And I find this ideal. I still believe I own way too much junk and will be working on limiting it.. but I hope these few ideas will help others also.

It is better to find friends, real friends, to have plenty of things.