Minimalism 2017 Challenge

Minimalism 2017

Bare wallsSo, in my FB and Twitter post a couple of days ago, I mentioned #minimalism and a challenge that came to me: Can I get rid of 2017 items that I have been holding onto in the year 2017?

Last year I did purge a number of items, but not as many as I thought I would. So, I really wanted to set an aggressive goal for 2017.

What is Minimalism?

Is minimalism like the post picture, bare walls down to studs with a few scraps of life floating around? I will not call myself an expert on Minimalism, but what I have learned is it is different things to different people. It might be living out of a suitcase with less than 60 items, or it may be just reducing the noise in your life to leave only what is important.

For me, it is the second. It is not getting rid of everything. It is simply, getting rid of the things that I don’t need or do not truly give me pleasure. It is not having cheap crap, but getting rid of the cheap and keeping the high quality.

For example, do I need four mid-quality TVs or can I get by with a single high-quality one. If you need four TVs because you watch multiple sports events at the same time, then by all means, have four TVs because that is something important to you.Those are the type of trade-offs I see as being the core to making minimalism work.

Those are the type of trade-offs I see as being the core to making minimalism work. This year, I have to look at more of the items I have and decide, do I need my can of Spam-A-Lot Spam? Does it do anything for me other than sit in a corner of a shelf? Do I need the set of acrylic paints I have if I do not see myself using them in the next three years? Do I need that dagger? (Hint on the dagger: yes!)

Challenge Rules

All challenges need rules, so here are the rules I am setting for myself in the #minimalism2017 challenge:

  1. What I am getting rid of has to be something I have held onto for a period of time (I can’t throw out the bag my fast-food came in and count it)
  2. What I am getting rid of cannot be something that is broken and I would throw out anyway (unless I intentionally broke it because I was getting rid of it)
  3. What I am getting rid of cannot be something I am replacing with something else (I don’t get to count tossing an old FitBit if I am buying a new one)
  4. Items that are logically a single unit count as one item (a CD and its case is one item, not two; a power cord and the brick and the laptop are one item, not three)

Can I do this? Can I get rid of 2017 items in less than 365 days when they were items that obviously had some meaning to me at some point in time because I still have them? Time will tell, but I think I can. (Crap, that requires an average of over 5.5 items a day.)

The questions I need to keep asking as I take this journey are:

  • Does the item have enough meaning for me to keep it or can I live happily without it?
  • If I want to keep it, would a picture of the item be enough?
  • Can I simplify, remove ten items of less quality and replace them with one item of better quality or function? (This will not violate rule #3 if I get rid of more items than I replace them with, but I only count the difference.)

I’ll keep you updated on my progress. Overall, I think this will actually be a real challenge, especially as I remove the low hanging fruit and eliminate the easy items, leaving just the hard ones.

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  1. Pingback: Minimalism - 2017 Challenge Update - Thaddeus Nowak

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