Jan-Lukas Else

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Getting rid of it - The start of my minimalism project

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Lately I got deep into the topic “minimalism”. I read a lot of online articles, started to read a book, watched some YouTube videos and even the Minimalism Documentary. I want to become a minimalist, get rid of most things I own and live a more meaningful life, which isn’t defined by my consumption. But hell, that isn’t easy.

A few points about how I understand minimalism and what it means to me:

  1. Minimalism is a mindset.
  2. Minimalism isn’t about having no material things. It’s more about having just the things, that add value to your life or have a special purpose.
  3. It’s about exiting consumption and becoming a happy person without it.
  4. Less can be more.

I think I was already some kind of minimalist before starting this journey. I was always very careful about my money and most often thought twice before spending it. I never really liked shopping, but somehow since I started earning my own money, I started buying more things. That needs to stop.

But it’s not only about material things. It’s also about other types of consumption, like social media. I got rid of most of my social media accounts last year, and never regret it any second. Scrolling is basically the new smoking. We get addicted to it and without it we get nervous.

Through consumption we try to find a meaning in our life, we try to fill a void. But this way we lose control of our life. We need to take action and define the path of our life ourselves. Consumption is just distraction that steals our focus from the important things like reaching real happiness, relationships and health.

My first action to get closer to minimalism was to completely clean my desk and remove everything except my PC, monitor, lamp and paper for notes. This helped me a lot to better focus for my last exams.

After I finished my exams I decided to get rid of all the laptops and PCs I don’t use and need anymore. I have 3 laptops (+1 from my grandmother I never used) and 1 PC, but I only use 1 laptop. So to begin I put two on eBay and see if it’s working to sell them there. If it works, I’ll get rid of the others too.

Now, while waiting for the eBay results, I looked around in my small room, which is just has a size of about 10 square meter, and finally understood, why my mother always told me, it looks horrible in my room. One could think I’m a messy. A lot of books I read 5 or 6 years ago, lot’s of stuff from school (I don’t go to school for over a year now) and so much random stuff I collected during the last 19 years of my life. Definitely too much and I already dream of my room being almost empty.

But until this dream comes reality, there’s still a long way to go. I started with getting rid of my school stuff. I just kept some artworks I did and some examples to later show my children, but the rest of probably more than 60 kg found it’s way to the bin. I was really amazed by the amount of paper one student collects during his time in high school (8 years in Germany) and it wasn’t even everything I ever had. And the feeling of getting rid is so freeing.

As a next step, I will probably go through all my books and either keep them, give them two my little sister or donate them. I read a lot of books when I was younger but somehow lost this habit in recent years. However, when there’s free space again, there’s also room for new books again. Joshua Fields Millburn, one half of The Minimalists, stated he got rid of almost all his books and started reading more.

After that, my wardrobe will be my next target. I will remove all clothes I don’t like or wear.

But let’s stop talking and start doing…

I’ll keep you updated on my journey towards a more minimalism life. If you want to learn more about this topic, I really recommend you this blog.

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Jan-Lukas Else
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