Archives for category: minimalism

Dust. <sniffle, wheeze, blink>

Boxes sitting stored in an unused room gather dust. <a-a-chooo!>

Dust gets up my nose so sniffling and sneezing all Sunday – the after effects are still continuing today – was the price I paid for sorting through all my stored possessions.

Was it fun? Mostly – a really nice trip down memory lane with items I had forgotten I owned.

Was it challenging? Yes – overcoming the feeling of “But I might need this again one day!” was at times difficult. Add to that the emotional attachments of “Awwww, but so-and-so gave me this!” and it was quite the head-spin exercise.

Was it releasing? Yup – to create three rather large piles of a) rubbish, b) recycling, and c) sell/give away, was uplifting. And to re-stack the boxes into an orderly pile again was pat-on-the-back worthy. Sure, there are still archive boxes which need sifting through, but they can wait for a rainy day.

At least I now know what I have. It’s strange to list my items of furniture on two hands though!

1. Super-comfy bed (I LOVE my mattress)

2. Bedside cabinets x 2 (Dad is using one in his room at present and I have managed previously without them)

3. Rimu TV cabinet (I don’t have a TV, but this can double as a bookcase. Again, could manage without it)

4. Computer desk (very un-emotionally-attached)

5. Office chair (it’s old – would love a more comfy one)

6. Rimu sea chest (full of photos, souvenirs and family memorabilia)

7. Two-seater sofa (which desperately needs recovering: 80’s floral pattern, ick!)

8. Electric piano + stand + stool (my pride and joy and greatly missed over the past year)

9. Black ‘executive’ recliner chair and footstool (practical, but not loved)

That’s it. Once a rimu table/chairs are finally sold, along with a big rimu bookcase, I will be able to fit all my possessions in a horse-float type furniture trailer.

No fridge, no microwave, no washing machine, no dryer, no car, no drawers, no stereo, no ‘spare’ anything.

Feels good. A feeling I’m not sneezing at… 🙂


I’m about to wade into a big reorganise, purge and pass-on of my possessions in storage.

All day tomorrow I will be opening boxes, inspecting the contents, bundling like with like (things got a bit mixed up in the earthquakes) and asking myself three questions:

  • Do I love this item?
  • Am I likely to use this item soon?
  • Could this item be passed on to anyone else, for free or $$?

This could be a fascinating exercise…

Wish me luck!

How many possessions do you have that were given to you by someone else, and you wish they hadn’t?

They had the best of intentions – they wanted to say ‘thank you’ or to show they care about me or to fill a perceived need. And now I’m stuck with an item that I don’t either a) use or b) love.

Am I really stuck with it? What’s getting in the way of me passing it on to someone else?


Fear that I might actually need it one day.

Fear that the giver might ask about the item. Could I truthfully tell them I no longer had it?

Fear that I will be seen as ungrateful.

Fear that I might hurt their feelings.

As good as this post is by ‘The Minimalists’ (Getting Rid of Gifts) the 75 comments by readers are the most interesting. It seems I’m not alone in wanting to find a way to keep my physical footprint small whilst still allowing people to ‘give’ to me, and me to them.

Roll on the Christmas experiment…  😉

I’ve been reading quite a few blogs on minimalism lately. After nearly a year using less-stuff-than-before (especially during the trek) I’m thinking it wouldn’t be hard to reduce the possessions even further.

But what is minimalism? Here are some succinct definitions:

Minimalism is a tool get rid of superfluous excess in favor of focusing on what’s important in life so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom. (The Minimalists)

It’s simply getting rid of things you do not use or need, leaving an uncluttered, simple environment and an uncluttered, simple life. It’s living without an obsession with material things or an obsession with doing everything and doing too much. It’s using simple tools, having a simple wardrobe, carrying little and living lightly. (mnmlist)

What Minimalism is really all about is reassessment of your priorities so that you can strip away the excess stuff – the possessions and ideas and relationships and activities – that don’t bring value to your life. (Exile Lifestyle)

As you can see, it’s not just about getting rid of ‘stuff’. It’s about reassessing what’s really important in your life.

That’s slowly becoming clearer for me.

What’s most important in your life?

When I first looked at my pile of possessions stacked up in my brother’s house (after ending my trek) I thought “Jeepers, there’s tonnes of stuff here! What am I going to do with it all?”

I started digging through the boxes to find some items I wanted to use again – like my shaving brush, and other clothes besides my tramping gear, different footwear, a journal and two text books. I then realised that compared to many folk, I actually own very little. Yet, a vast amount of those items I haven’t used for a long time, don’t need at all or are just waiting until I work out what life has in store for me next.

A friend of mine has one back-pack of possessions. He likes the freedom it provides.

Part of me finds that concept very, very appealing. Especially since (as this video shows) the way the world deals with ‘stuff’ has to change some time soon.

I’ve always enjoyed following the 100 Things Challenge. I’ve pondered at times what are the key items that I a) use and b) love. But because my life is so varied, how would I narrow it down to ‘less than I have now’? After all, I have gear for:

  • Tramping and cold weekends on camp
  • ‘Professional moments’ like shirts and suit coats and ties (though I proclaim to have an allergy to ties…mwah-haha!)
  • Tennis and yoga and dancing
  • Presenting and running training courses
  • Business – admin/office items and accounting records
  • Scout uniforms and souvenirs and resources
  • Not to mention table and chairs (far bigger than I need), a small sofa, bookcase, stereo, etc

I’m keen to keep life simple. I suspect ‘less stuff’ is going to feature in that plan.