Fumio Sasaki: Goodbye, Things (On Minimalist Living)

How often have you gotten about clearing the clutter in your life? Not very frequently I am sure and whenever you have, you would have probably dug up, re-discovered, discovered Things that you have accumulated over years and maybe decades, giving in to our seemingly endless patterns of consumption – relentless and perpetual. So, we have populated our rooms, homes and houses with Things – Things that are not necessarily of any utility or functionality any more, just more of storing, hoarding, and bringing in more Things to add to what is already there. That DVD, that sweatshirt and dress, those shoes, these books, that decor and furniture, this Nintendo, those limited editions, that half price store steal, and so on and so forth, till Things define us to a point where we actually find it hard, or next to impossible to let go off them, lest we become ‘lesser’ in the process. This is where people like editor Fumio Sasaki decided to reclaim their sense of self and life, by embracing minimalism and removing all Things that are non-essential to everyday functional living. ‘Less is More’ defined by practicing it. As a sensibility of the everyday and a philosophy of life, it is antithetical to the ‘To Buy is To Be’ diktat of the late capitalist enterprise, and resistance, as we know, is never futile.

In ‘Goodbye, Things‘ Sasaski delineates some of the principles that can aid us in embracing minimalist living:

1. Discard the preconception that you can’t discard your things

2. Discarding something takes skill

3. When you discard something, you gain more than you lose

4. Ask yourself why you can’t part with your things

5. Minimizing is difficult, but it’s not impossible

6. There are limits to the capacity of your brain, your energy, and your time

7. Discard something right now

8. There isn’t a single item you’ll regret throwing away

9. Start with things that are clearly junk

10. Minimize anything you have in multiples

11. Get rid of it if you haven’t used it in a year

12. Discard it if you have it for the sake of appearance

13. Differentiate between things you want and things you need

14. Take photos of the items that are tough to part with

15. It’s easier to revisit your memories once you go digital

16. Our things are like roommates, except we pay their rent

17. Organizing is not minimizing

18. Tackle the nest (storage) before the pest (clutter)

19. Leave your “unused” space empty

20. Let go of the idea of “someday”

21. Say goodbye to who you used to be


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