I am very grateful for the things I own. However quarantine house cleaning sessions have made me understand I have a lot more stuff than I need. To be honest I have no idea if I will ever get to use all of them. But at a time where I can’t see what the future will bring financially, I am really afraid to get rid of things.
What overwhelms me is not only the physical stuff I have accumulated through the years but also the digital archive I have is mind blowing. Today I set up my old Evernote account – which I haven’t used since 2014 – again and it took me an hour to clean up the notes that I had saved.
2 or months ago I watched a documentary on Netflix called the Minimalists where they came up with a solution to simplify your life. Actually I am not sure maybe they mentioned it in their blog. What they advised you to do first was to pack everything in your house as if you were moving. Then as you start to need things you will get them out, like for instance at night you’ll need your toothbrush, pijamas, pillowcase, bed sheets, quilt and you take them out. So as days go by you work your way through the stuff you packed and after a while everything your haven’t packed has to go because you are not using them which means you don’t need them. As I’m not living alone this method is not an option for me and to be honest even if I were living on my own I doubt that I could really do it.
On the other hand life organization guru Marie Kondo has a completely different technique. Marie says you select the items on whether or not they give you joy. So first you go through your stuff and get rid off the things that don’t give you joy and then you organize them in the specific ways that she explains in her book, documentary and so on. It seems like as capitalism makes us buy things excessively we will need to try a lot more techniques to get rid of them.
If we were to make a comparision between the Minimalists and the Marie Kondo technique (why not because after all we have nothing better to do right now #quarantine2020) the purpose of the Minimalists is to free ourselves of physical attachment to stuff and find a more meaningful life with a purpose much deeper than owning things.
I agree with the opinion that in order to notice beauty in our lives we need to simplify the life that we lead and to do this we need to get rid of the things that block the view. I like to think of this as arranging a flower garden. If, without planning ahead you grow a lot of plants in your garden, when they grow up it will end up looking kind of messy or at least it will be harder to appreciate the beauty of all the flowers. If you don’t tend to your garden and weeds grow everywhere and you don’t pull them out, your beautiful plants will not find the place to grow. So let me summarize below how I plan on tending to my “garden”:
First I will pull out all the weeds in my virtual garden. What are they you ask: stuff that I don’t need, things that instead of helping out, they get in the way. It is time to say “thanks and bye”.
Second step will be to shine a light on the most precious and beloved flowers in my garden. Which flowers I want closer to my eye and heart? My mission will be to decide what they are and give them the place they deserve in my garden.
The last step will be tending to my garden more often without waiting for things to get out of hand. At this point though, I do have a bad habit to get rid of, which is to put things away instead of taking the time to think if I need them or not. 😛
Dear reader, so, how do you find the idea of seeing your life as a virtual garden? What would you say your life would be better described as? What are your ideas about minimalism? If you’re interested, check out the 2 documentaries I mentioned above. As a final word, I’m a firm believer that as our lives get simpler we will have more time for the people/ things we really care about. <3
I actually watched the documentary myself maybe two years ago and even before that, I would always let go of clothes and things that I hadn’t used in the past months or year. I love the ideas in the documentary and how it teaches us to be happy even with less materialistic things and I believe the virtual gardening would help anyone who is looking to grow some special beautiful flowers. Loved your writing ❤️
Thanks sweet Ana <3