Reducing my possesions

Fri 29 April 2011

I decided at the start of the year to reduce my possesions purely as I found myself incredibly weighted down by what I owned. Unwatched DVDs, unplayed video games, unread books even unworn clothes do take a mental toll when deciding what to do with your day, it's pointless guilt from overconsumption. So, I decided to sell/donate as much as I could stand and see where it left me.

It's all based on the 50 Things challenge from mnmlst.

I won't bother listing what I've gotten rid of, but it certainly was quite a lot and I do certainly get an incrediby light sense when I look in my wardrobe and see only a few t-shirts all of which I'm happy to wear.

Here's my list. It doesn't include things that are apart of the house(TV, shredders etc).

Tech

Lumux TZ10 Camera

Android Phone

Philips 21 inch monitor

Clothes

Slazenger T-Shirt(Navy)

Slazenger T-Shirt(Navy)

Slazenger T-Shirt(Red)

Slazenger T-Shirt(Blue)

Slazenger T-Shirt(Black)

Shirt - Blue Check

Shirt - Red Check

Shirt - Black Check

Blue Jeans

Blue Jeans

Shorts - Green

Nike - Red Hoodie

Blue Hoodie

Black coat

A Suit

Karrimor Shoes

Nike Runners

Adidas Astro-Turf Boots

Black Shoes

Converse Shoes

Socks(A group)

Underwear(A group)

Running shorts Navy

Running shorts Black

Running Under-Shorts

Pyjamas Trousers

Pyjamas Shorts

Fleecy Jumper Black

Misc

Umbrella

Chessboard

Fender Stratocaster w/ Mini Vox Amp

Backpack

Clerks Lunchbox

Leathermann

Pen-Knife

Wallet Band

Notebook

Notepad

Folder

Spongebob Moneybox

Family Photo-Album

Bonsai

Tree

Wire

Spatula

Clippers

Brush

Watering Can

Sprayer

Drawing

Notepad(Large)

Pencil-Set

Charcoal-Set

Travel

Rolling Bag

Toiletries Case

Toiletries

Gilette Tech Ball DE Razor

Shaving Brush

Books

Left Hand Side of the Brain

Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy

The Elements of Style

Philosophy Bites

Logical Chess:Move by Move

History of Western Philosophy

The Mythical Man Month

The Pragmatic Programmer

Code Complete

I'll keep updating this as I decide to get rid of more. Hopefully by the end of the year I'll be down to the magic number.

Removed

*

Oxford English Dictionary

*

Walden

*

Macbook

*

Grey Hoodie

*

Wireless Keyboard

*

1TB Iomega Hard Disk

*

Short-Sleeved Shirt White

*

Shirt - Green Check

*

Long black coat

*

Travel Pillow

*

Dune

*

Filio

*

Shorts - Blue

*

Notepad(Small)

*

Sleeping Sheet

*

Bosch

*

Signposts to Elsewhere

*

Rain-Jacket

*

Complicity

*

The Republic

*

Programming Collective Intelligence

*

Python Reference

*

Bonsai Basics

*

Karl Marx:Selected Writings

*

The Treastise of Government

*

A Brief History of Philosophy

*

Running T-Shirt White

*

Arsenal Jersey

*

Jumper Navy

*

Jumper Black

*

Walnut Desk

Books

You'll notice quite a few books, I find that while the kindle is great for reading novels, when studying I tend to scribble all over my books and the kindle really wasn't a suitable replacement. I also use a lot of study-aid books especially when reading weighty topics. As a result I still usually buy a copy of the book and download the study aid onto my kindle. So I am reducing my book intake and I still get to write to my hearts content! I do still intend to get rid of more books though, in the end I always try to retain the message of a book in a mindmap, so really keeping the book long after it's been read is pointless. If I need to re-read a book I own I can grab a digital copy.

Benefits

Other than a pleasant feeling of lightness from minimising your possesions, you begin to value your purchasing decisions more. For example instead of thoughtless buying another video game that'd I never get around to playing, I sold my PS3 and picked up a small chess set and began to learn the more advanced aspects of the game. I'm enjoying it so much more. I value the longer term enjoyment from chess as opposed to the transient pleasure of video games. It's something I'd never consider before attempting this 50 items system.

Another obvious benefit is my one in one out system, whereby I need to get rid of something on that list to replace what I've bought. As a result I spend far less and value what I have more. When you reflect seriously on what you spend you begin to notice how much excess we burden ourselves with. Upon realising this I decided to pick up a copy of The Life You Can Save by Peter Singer and after reading it I decided to take as much of the money I was needlessly spending and put it to charity. If you're considering doing the same I'd stronly suggest checking out givewell a fantastic charity review site and the life you can save, they might just inspire you to do something very cool!

Tips/Tricks

I've found that whilst I've managed to cut down on my superfluous items I always came across more useless junk. I've started place all these junk items on a shelf near the door, once I'd collected enough stuff I go to the charity shop or recycling depo and get rid of everything. I found it much easier to put things on the shelf than to immediately give it away, if you find yourself attached to things unnecessarily it might be a useful step to take

Category: Philosophy Tagged: minimal

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