I just found this rather extreme example of owning almost nothing:
The picture, and having just returned home from living in Zürich for four months, made me think (once again) about the stuff I own and seem to keep collecting.
The four things I missed the most while being away were (quite to my own surprise) my bed, my couch, my office chair and my vinyls.
I don’t listen to vinyl that often (might be less than once a month even), but I like the feeling they seem to embody of owning a piece of art and a performance. And living in a 12 m² room, rather than my own 50 m² apartment, made it apparent how much I like to have rooms for different purposes. One room to sleep in and one to be in. That was way more important than I imagined—and I missed my couch, bed and office chair because of that.
- Beautiful things.
- Emotionally important things.
- Tools, devices, and appliances that efficiently perform a useful function.
- Everything else.
There are no numbers, no set rules for how much stuff you “must” own. I like the idea some have of only owning 100 things, or even just 50 things. But it’s only an idea. I couldn’t do it myself but I can, however, cut down on the stuff that I already own and don’t use.
DVDs go category no. 4. My espresso machine in no. 3. My couch, bed and chair in no. 3 as well. Half my clothes go in no. 4, and I need to buy after a pattern of no. 1 and 3 from now on.
Actually, I don’t think you can even buy after category no. 2 most of the time. That’s the kind of stuff that evolves over time. A picture of your parents when they were young. The album signed by your favorite band. The book you read four times last year.
Question yourself with everything you are about to buy; if there is a reasonable chance it will be placed in category no. 4 anytime soon, don’t buy it.
I already made it easy for myself by packing most of my stuff in boxes in my basement before moving, and there is nothing in them I’ve missed in the past month.
Next time you move (or do a real Spring cleaning), print this poster Morten made, and follow the guidelines for every single thing you own:
Read More (although I don’t agree with everything in these articles and blog posts, they’re all nice to read in their own way)
- How To Live With Just 100 Things
- But Will It Make You Happy?
- Paul Graham: Stuff
- Why I Gave My Company To Charity
- Cult of less: Living out of a harddive
- Cult of less
- David Karp: Life Improvements