Some examples of why we keep things we don’t need
1. “It was a gift”.
If you don’t use it, wear it or even look at it. If its hidden away in a clutter draw and its existence is rarely acknowledged, then maybe you should consider throwing it in the charity shop bag. Think of it this way, if you bought a gift for someone, wouldn’t you prefer to gift them the peace of minimalism over the burden of an object they find no use for?
2. I might use it one day.
This argument is the reason we hold on to documents we are never going to read or a vintage typewriter in need of restoration. Perhaps you bought an expensive item of clothing and never wore it. You keep this item buried in your cupboard. You hope that one day the inspiration and confidence to pull it off will strike and your money wouldn’t have gone to waste. But seriously, if it’s been lying around for year or two and you haven’t fished it out, throw it out (in other words give it to someone who will use it).
3. I used it once and now I never look at it.
I find the best example for this one is book hoarding. So often, we read books and then put them on shelves to gather dust when someone else could be enjoying your used copy and not purchasing a brand-new printed edition. Another example is the Halloween costume that you wore 2 years ago that sits at the back of the closet and rarely sparks recognition.
Tips for getting rid of stuff and to stop accumulating
1. Box it.
Put items you are unsure of in a box, seal it up and place in storage. After a couple of months, you will know if you really want it or whether it made little impact on your life. If it's not missed, maybe you should get rid of it.
2. Get a friend to help you.
Ask a mate to walk around your room and question why you want to keep certain items. This forces us to confront why we keep things and to evaluate if there is valid reason to do so. The decision is still ultimately your own!
3. Don’t make immediate purchases.
If you are about to buy something you don’t exactly need, practice waiting a while before finalising a purchase.
4. Trade it out.
If you really want to buy something, consider having a “trade it out” rule, so that whenever you buy something new, you give something you already own to a friend or charity.
5. TV and advertising
Television has become a really common platform for switching off after a long day. If you want to become more minimalist, it is worth considering the negative effects tv can have on your life. Lots of TV and frequent social media usage can expose us to materialistic ways of thinking and encourage us to buy in excess.
<a href="https://visualhunt.com/author/980976">risaikeda</a> on <a href="https://visualhunt.com/re/58b2a1">Visualhunt</a> / <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/"> CC BY-NC</a>