A Minimalism Exercise

This is an exercise where I list all of my non-consumable physical possessions as a way of going through all of them and get rid of unnecessary things. This is a minimalist practice I created for myself. Adopt if you like.

By reducing stuff I own to the absolute necessity, and to make sure they look the same, I don’t have to choose which shirt to wear or which bowl to eat food from. This effectively reduces the decisions I have to make each and everyday so I can focus on reading and learning music. It also lets me get used to a lifestyle of not deriving happiness from unnecessary physical possessions (i.e. big house, fast car). This, instead, forces me to derive happiness from myself–the beauty I can experience, the knowledge I can acquire.

Of course, it helps with moving, too! And I move around surprisingly often among renting places in the Bay Area.

Here they are (I’m underlining stuff I should get rid of or should not have as many of, but still keep because I’m a shITTy human being who has eMOtIOnaL aTTAchMEnts Ok?!):

  • Clothes: total ~8 t-shirts both black and white, some underwear and tank tops to wear inside or at home, 3 pairs of comfy sweatpants that I wear every where–and I mean everywhere from home to work to friend gatherings, 5 jackets–ranging from light to heavy duty, 4 shirts, a 2-piece navy suit in case I go somewhere fancy, a watch, a backpack, a laptop bag, 7 pairs of sock, 3 pairs of shoes: 1 sneakers + 1 fancy + 1 hiking boots, 1 flipflop, 1 sandal, a sewing set, 5 scarfs, a pair of gloves, 2 t-shirts and 1 tank top for gym, 2 shorts, a pair of pants and 2 shirts designed for biking, 2 belts, 1 pair of shirt tuckers, hangers, 3 luggages that I can usually fit all of my non-furniture stuff in.
  • Electronics: laptop, phone, chargers, earphones, back-up drives, extension cords, Google Home.
  • Furniture: A bed with mattress, sheets, 2 pillows, 2 blankets, 2 nightstands on both sides of the bed, 2 small fake plants, 2 light bulbs, a room divider, a big water bottle near my bed, house keys, a scented candle, lighter.
  • Hygiene: A towel, a hair-clipper, a make-shift laundry bag, detergents, tooth brush, toothpaste, toilet paper, razors for shaving, nail-clipper. I didn’t miss soap or shampoo or hair-drier since I shaved my head to avoid any hair styling or hair maintenance decision.
  • Travel: a sleeping bag, a heat insulator pad to sleep on, an eye mask, a neck pillow
  • Kitchenware: a pot, a pan, a bowl, a spoon, a fork, a knife, a scissor, a lunch box, 4 bottles of sauce I still have from my last barbeque.
  • Hobbies: A bicycle with locks, a helmet, a reflective jacket, bike-cleaning stuff, an ukulele, 4 boxes of board game.
  • Personal paperwork: that Math college diploma I hang on the wall not, bank stuff, immigrant stuff, ids.
  • Study: 5 music textbooks, 9 books that I’m tempting to get rid of since I can have their digital versions instead, 5 binders of notes from math and statistics class that I’m not entirely sure if I need to revisit again, pens, pencils.
  • Medicines

Holy crap, that’s a lot! Even though I’ve gone through several cycles of getting rid of things I don’t need.

This exercise helped me get rid of some more stuff I haven’t used for a while and don’t intend to use. It was a gratifying feeling to delete some items from the list above.

I hope this can be of help to anyone coming across, if you choose to adopt a similar lifestyle as a mean to preserve everyday decision-making power and redirect happiness source.

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