There is probably a better term for what I am talking about, I think it is minimalism but in order to become a minimalist you would first need to get to that point and I call in downsizing.
For most of my life I had as much stuff as possible. First-world problems, right? Well, it wasn't really a problem until it came time to move somewhere, then it was a huge problem.
When i first moved to Thailand I obviously couldn't bring all the stuff I had acquired over the years with me so I filled up a backpack and a suitcase and that was all I got to bring with me.
It only took a few years before I managed to acquire loads of shite again. I was the kind of person that I think most people are and I gravitated towards buying things, excessive things, redundant things.
Like most people I had 5 pairs of jeans and 100 or more shirts despite the fact that I have a rotation of maybe just a few of them that I ever wear. I had 10 coffee cups, 10 plates, 10 of really everything in the kitchen despite the fact that I lived alone. Did i really need 6 towels?
Later on I had two gaming desktop computers with a total of 5 monitors, a laptop, a tablet, and 2 smartphones. What is going on here?
Then one day it came time to move a bit further away and i decided i was going to get rid of all of this stuff and I did.
It was a tough choice to make because when you are contemplating getting rid of things all of a sudden everything seemed to important to give away. It was only because of the airline baggage restrictions that I finally did get it down to 2 suitcases and a doggy crate and this is where it stands today.
To be honest with you, i don't think I actually really need about half of the clothes that made it this far in the journey so when i moved into my current house i put all of my shirts on hanger with the hanger in there backwards. When I leave this house in a week and of the clothes that are on hangers still facing backwards are not coming with me to Vietnam.
I think we are all guilty of collecting too many clothes and never wearing them. I have been toting 2 custom made suits around with me for nearly 20 years and have only worn each of them 1 time. They will not be making the trip to Vietnam with me.
I will say this: Although my fashion options are very limited by getting rid of most of my clothes, I really wasn't a very fashionable guy anyway, so it doesn't bother me a great deal. Plus it is pretty liberating to know that my entire life fits into 2 suitcases. It certainly takes a lot of stress out of packing, that's for sure.
I know a guy who is in his early 70's and recently did the same thing and he told me stories about how he had to make 15 trips to The Salvation Army to offload 50 years of essentially garbage and how some of his older electronics, which I would say we are all guilty of stockpiling, The Salvation Army folks just kind of laughed.
My 70 year old friend also said that he has never been happier about the amount of "stuff" that he owns and while it was a little difficult to get rid of the memories, in the end he was never going to use that stuff again.
Maybe this sounds a bit preachy but that is not the intention of me writing this. I know that people enjoy collecting stuff and if you have kids living your life in a minimalist type of way probably wouldn't be possible. Also, depending on where you live in the world, quality furnished housing might not be something you have access to and therefore you have to own furniture - lots of it.
I just know that for me something changed about halfway through my life. I stopped wanting to collect loads of things and because of technological advances the things I enjoy the most like music and video games keep getting smaller and more portable. So it just works out nicely for me. The hardest part for me to accept was that I will likely never own a gaming rig ever again - they are still just too huge.
The main benefit for me is that I can move from one side of town to another, or even from one country to another in a taxi or with checked bags on a plane, and a reckon i'm gonna be moving a lot in the next couple years, so this minimized life is not just beneficial, but probably necessary for me.
Do you own too much "stuff?" Are you a proud pack rat? Or have you downsized your life as well? I'd like to hear about it either way.
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Ahah lucky guy! But it feels good when we gift things we don't use to others who can enjoy it! Also have you noticed when you just gave away something and magically it suddenly appear the ocassion to wear or use that?!🤔😁
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I'm a young man in my 20s and it's amazing how you spoke straight to me. I cutrently live alone, never been married or had to live with my gitlfriend, so I don't have much stuff. I have three each of plates, spoons, forks, bowls, pots and all that.
All my life, I focused on the things I need and tried to get as much of them. I had two suits that I was carrying around, both were made because of different weddings; one way back in 2014 and the other in 2017. I hadnt used either of them ever since, so last year I got tired of letting it waste and just gave it out to someone else. Oh, and they were also getting undersized.
I think the downside is that my life has almost zero aesthetic appeal and you know, it's something I've accepted. Perhaps when a woman comes in and takes control of certain things, I'll be different but for now, I'm super happy about my minimalist lifestyle.
I think one of the key factors of simplification — at least for me — is that it doesn't only clear out physical space, it also clears out psychological space. When we have a lot of stuff, much of has a "story," and we keep all those stories somewhere in our mindspace... and it causes a sort of clutter and heaviness. As I have gradually sold off stuff via eBay and other places, I find my mind is lighter... as well as the physical load of "stuff."
Minimalist lifestyle is what one should acquire. I too agree on having one. I have cleared a lot of clutter but somethings are like which won't be useful but you cant let it go. later which occupies lot of space. Nut I will try to be minimalist someday soon.
'Downsizing' is a great way to put it man.. I am admittedly a bit of a hoarder, but I can acknowledge that my peace of mind and happiness seem to be inversely proportioned to by how much crap I am surrounded by!
When we moved to England a few years ago for 6 months to help out my father-in-law after his wife passed away, we brought half of our house with us. The rest we put in storage. When we got back to the states, we left everything in storage and I was sort of traveling around for a while with only a laptop and a few suitcases. I have to say, at first it was difficult; but after some time it was really freeing!
You just don't need all that crap - but sometimes it has to be practically pried from your hands to make you realize how much it's all weighing you down.
I must admit I have stopped by unnecessary shit these days. When I moved from the UK we had a 40 ft container and two teams of movers. They were panicking after day 3 and an extra team arrived. Imagine having a 40 ft container full and you are still throwing things away. I don't buy clothes unless the ones I own start falling apart. I need some jeans though as the last pair lasted 3 years and are very holy right now. What you have done is smart and something we should all look at and think about doing. 90 percent of our possessions we don't even use and are there for maybe days.
I love that more people are asking this question! We have an in-out rule in our Thai house now - something new comes in, something old MUST go out. It all feels heavy and cumbersome to be schlepping so much stuff and weight and energy.
I'm guessing from this post that the departure is near. Two important things:
Hugs as you mull over the closing of a chapter. Excited about having a new craft beer buddy next time we head to Vietnam tho. :)
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You should get a significant other. They do a great job of helping you get rid of all the stuff that you think you need to be holding onto :) I give my wife a really hard time about all the stuff of mine that she has thrown away over the years, but for the most part I can't really argue with her logic. She was right probably 99% of the time. Her sister has been on a real "Simplify" kick the past five years or so and although we would never go to that extreme, small bits of the concept have rubbed off onto my wife and I. I would probably be considered more of a pack rat that my wife. It seem to balance out really well. Moving is a good time to downsize and figure out what you really need and what you can live without.
I have STUFF! I wouldn't call myself a pack rat or hoarder by any means, but I have my share of things. Over the past year I off loaded lots of it, but not nearly enough. I have been going through boxes in my basement and listing it on ebay and craigslist. It does feel good for it to be gone. I found some pretty cool stuff along the way too. "Wow.. I can't even remember buying that" kind of stuff. The weirdest thing I came across was a marionette doll. A wicked possessed looking thing it was. Almost wished I didn't come across it. haha
I like the 2nd pic! just to the point I am not tied to things, moreover I feel like I have not enough air to breath when I see how many things have entered my life I am For downsizing for sure! It's freedom of body, soul and mind. A human needs very few things for his life, all the rest are just useless "luggage".
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