2 November 2017

How to Start Living a Minimalist Lifestyle

by Andrew

The only way to begin living like a minimalist, I'm convinced, is to throw away all the junk,—everything, all of it—in one swift, violent move. It all goes in the trash. Maybe 3 pairs of clothes you keep, a pot, a skillet, a wooden spoon, a fork, a knife, a plate, a computer, your phone, a couple toiletry items, soap, a towel or 2, a razor, deodorant, nail-clippers, tweezers. Everything else goes in the trash. Just do it, or you never will.

Or else you make compromises. Well maybe I can just keep this chair instead of this chair. I at least threw away one of the 3 couches. And I can't just pitch this outfit. Grandma gave it to me that one year for Christmas. It has so many memories attached. Not yet at least, I'll give it some more time, and then try again.

That's the problem with junk, you see. Once you have it, you become attached. But it's just stuff. Once it's out of sight, it will be out of mind. You'll see.

If I'd have never went homeless, I'd still be carting round my junk with me everywhere I go. Pay for a moving truck, pack it all in, unpack it all out, I just love my junk so much, moving it all round like that. I stuff it all into the new place. And I stare. Look at all my pretty junk. My pockets are empty. That costs a lot.

Really all I need to do is eat, and sleep, and stay warm, and work. I make a little bed with some blankets and my sleeping bag. The sleeping bag goes with me everywhere anyway. The blankets are like $5. Then to eat is easy. I cook. I need a pot and a spoon to stir, a skillet for the eggs, and to refry the beans. That's it. And then one plate and one bowl and one fork and a spoon and a knife, that's all. It's just me. No dishes pile-up.

All I would need for entertainment is a phone. If I didn't program. So I need a computer too. I prefer most to read. So I get a library card. I return the books when I'm finished.

My pockets stay as fat as they can. I don't buy anything but food really. I love food so much.

What would any new gizmo do for me? I think back to when I was a kid. I loved action figures—X-Men, Power Rangers. So excited I'd be at the toy store, searching up and down the aisles for a new action figure. I'd buy it. And I'd be so excited on the car ride home. Unpackaging the thing was the best part. But by 2 days later, it's under the bed, already forgotten, the new action figure, old. And I'm already dreaming of the next one I'll buy, the next time I go to the toy store. I was too young to realize then. But I see now. I get no satisfaction from trinkets.

Or like the nephew is finally learning. A room full of toys he has. I've never seen so many, even at the toy store. It's raining outside. And he is playing soccer in the living room with the step dad, with an empty box of kleenex.

It's creation from the dirt that concerns me most, personally. There's a tweet on Twitter I saw. Humans are here to create, not to consume. Something like that it goes. And I think I agree. I feel it anyway, creation over consumption. I like creating from the mud, the ground up. What good does the junk do me?

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