How To Start With Minimalism

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Minimalism, maybe you have heard about it and you thought it sounds interesting. You may have started cleaning up (minimizing), but you stopped again.

Perhaps minimalism reminds you of boring and bare spaces without furniture and atmosphere.
Maybe you think in minimalism: ‘I do not want to minimize, I want to optimize’ and you think that with minimalism you will miss things that are very important.

Whatever you think about minimalism, in this article I explain what minimalism is and how it can change your life in a positive way. Let’s start at the beginning.

What is minimalism?

Minimalism: the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from them.

–¬†Joshua Becker

Translated: deliberately and consciously promoting what we value most and removing what prevents us from doing so.
As you read, minimalism is just the opposite of lacking something or missing something. It is precisely to focus on what is important and essential. It is up to you to find out by asking yourself the right questions.

Classmate booklets, old love letters and tickets were left after drastic cleanup. In this a piece from the 100 Things Summer Challenge:
“I planned to bundle all my books, scripts, notes and love letters that had emotional value in a big book: the emo book. This to the great fear of my girlfriend and father who strongly advised me not to edit these things and to keep them intact. I’ve thought about it again and they’re right: it’s worth wearing these things my whole life behind my ass. ”
I was persuaded by my environment but the urge was too strong to continue anyway. Right after reading this piece from Marie Kondo’s book The Magic of tiding up!’:

Discard all those letters. The purpose of a letter is fulfilled the moment it is received. By now, the person who wrote it has long forgotten what he or she wrote and even the letter’s very existence. As gifts as gifts, keep them only if they are pure joy.

Almost all letters and cards gave me no ‘pure joy’ anymore. The letters had lost value through time. So I decided to see these letters as Snaps on Snapchat or Stories on Instagram. These are images or videos that remain available for 24 hours and then disappear.

I started scanning all my letters and cards and put these files in a folder on my computer: EMO.
Eventually 4 items remained:

1. An album of my photos.
2. The entrance ticket to the Michael Jackson concert in 1992
3. A folder with diplomas and awards
4. A reading book

The album of my deceased aunt has a special place in our house. It is in a place where you can open it. I have framed and hung the card from the Michael Jackson concert. It was one of the most beautiful moments of my youth to be there and I want to be reminded every day.
All my diplomas and honors are in a drawer. It shows a number of important achievements, but I do not necessarily have to show them to others. The reading book is waiting in the house for… a future child that I can read it together with my cuddly toy. Because a few things you just have to pass on to the offspring.

I scanned the rest of my stuff with emotional value and they are neatly stored as files on my computer. This to trigger the memories if I want to.
Gifts on birthdays and holidays.

I still get presents sometimes that I do not want on my birthday. This will always happen sometimes but I know how I can best ensure that this occurs as little as possible.


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