Get Rid of Things to Find Freedom

The concept of minimalism and the reason why implementing this lifestyle will be beneficial in our daily life and in the future

The first time I encounter minimalism when I randomly watch a video on YouTube about an interview with Fumio Sasaki, as an author of a book called ‘Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism’ more than a year ago. To satisfy my curiosity about this concept, I bought that book along with a book about the Japanese way of life, Ikigai.

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Now, look around you. How many items you only use it once or twice? Next, examine your closets/cupboards and ask yourself the same thing. Some of you might realize that from so many items that you have, only a few of them that you usually wear or use on your daily activities. Now ask yourself how do you feel about that and why do you still keep things that might have been residing in the same place, unused for years?

The concept of minimalism basically means that having objects that we only need in our life without excessively buying things. It is not about some kind of achievement if someone only has less than let’s say 100–150 items on his/her house. Yet consciously managing his/her stuff whether he/she still want to use it or get rid of it. Having less stuff will ease your mind and give you freedom. Then, why not start to sort a massive pile of your stuff?

Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important — so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom — Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus

At first, maybe you have difficulty in sorting those goods. That probably because you might be putting too many memories on that stuff, for instance, your organization jacket/clothes when you are in high school or university that might be too small for you now or a pair of shoes that you only twice in a decade (I know this is exaggerated). Why not just simply toss all of them out from your place rather than hoarding things?

Another thing that we should consider implementing minimalism in our life is as living creatures, we know that we will experience death. Therefore, who will sort out your things when you are gone? And why give your loved ones or family a burden to clean up your belongings?

There is a Swedish concept about minimalism called ‘Döstädning’, which literally means Dö=death and Städning=cleaning. This concept means that to sort out someone's belongings by herself/himself for the next generation before he/she kicked the bucket. If you want to learn further and explore this idea, you can read ‘The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning’ by Margareta Magnusson.

Death cleaning is not about dusting or mopping up; it is about a permanent form of organization that makes your everyday life run more smoothly — Margareta Magnusson

There are several advantages if you decide to implement this lifestyle on a daily basis. First, you will help someone who needed the most. I started decluttering my unused or unworn items about a year ago, and I was surprised by how many clothes I had before, yep about four mineral water bottle boxes which contain clothes, jacket, jumper, t-shirt, pants, and bags. After that, I donated those things to the nearest NGO near my place.

Second, it will ease your mind and your activity. By having only a few things you need in your own place, it provides you with more space to move freely and at the same time give a sense of tranquillity. The last one is to perform this concept in your life will train you to make a decision wisely and reduce consumerism. In other words, it will help you to save more money for not impulsively purchase things.

Indeed, to apply this concept you will need courage and dedication to remove your unused things and let go of memories that attached to those items which might need a new home. However, you will gain some positive things in return from that eventually.

A Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Graduate and Master of Veterinary Science Student. Trapped Between Words and Stories