Reducing my possesions

Posted on Fri 29 April 2011 in Mindfulness

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).


  1. Lumux TZ10 Camera
  2. Android Phone
  3. Philips 21 inch monitor


  1. Slazenger T-Shirt(Navy)
  2. Slazenger T-Shirt(Navy)
  3. Slazenger T-Shirt(Red)
  4. Slazenger T-Shirt(Blue)
  5. Slazenger T-Shirt(Black)
  6. Shirt-Blue Check
  7. Shirt-Red Check
  8. Shirt-Black Check
  9. Blue Jeans
  10. Blue Jeans
  11. Shorts-Green
  12. Nike-Red Hoodie
  13. Blue Hoodie
  14. Black coat
  15. A Suit
  16. Karrimor Shoes
  17. Nike Runners
  18. Adidas Astro-Turf Boots
  19. Black Shoes
  20. Converse Shoes
  21. Socks(A group)
  22. Underwear(A group)
  23. Running shorts Navy
  24. Running shorts Black
  25. Running Under-Shorts
  26. Pyjamas Trousers
  27. Pyjamas Shorts
  28. Fleecy Jumper Black


  1. Umbrella
  2. Chessboard
  3. Fender Stratocaster w/ Mini Vox Amp
  4. Backpack
  5. Clerks Lunchbox
  6. Leathermann
  7. Pen-Knife
  8. Wallet Band
  9. Notebook
  10. Notepad
  11. Folder
  12. Spongebob Moneybox
  13. Family Photo-Album


  1. Tree
  2. Wire
  3. Spatula
  4. Clippers
  5. Brush
  6. Watering Can
  7. Sprayer


  1. Notepad(Large)
  2. Pencil-Set
  3. Charcoal-Set


  1. Rolling Bag
  2. Toiletries Case


  1. Gilette Tech Ball DE Razor
  2. Shaving Brush


  1. Left Hand Side of the Brain
  2. Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy
  3. The Elements of Style
  4. Philosophy Bites
  5. Logical Chess:Move by Move
  6. History of Western Philosophy
  7. The Mythical Man Month
  8. The Pragmatic Programmer
  9. 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.


  • 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


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.


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!


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