Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Minimalism vs. Possession Obsession

I have too much stuff. And not just books (which there's a shitload) but trinkets, notebooks, files, etc. Items that I rarely look at but feel the need to possess. Stacked up everywhere, spreading like a contagion. Reminds me that d and I occasionally talk about the time we lived in Virginia in a one-bedroom apartment with absolutely no furniture save two lawn chairs that we dragged inside from the third-floor balcony when company arrived. Bedroom had a mattress, lamp, and zero other furnishings. Now our happiest time will always be when our daughter entered the frame but occasionally we recall the earlier era when we had next to no possessions. Life seemed a lot more, say, manageable.

So I was drawn to Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things directed by Matt D'Avell and featuring minimalists who believe in more happiness through less clutter. Here's the trailer for you. Now, I'm not sure I could ever scale it back as far as the minimalists do because I like a lot of books surrounding me and couldn't imagine Joyce's Ulysses orphaned on the shelf. (Though if I could only have one novel, what would it be?) But after viewing Minimalism on Netflix, I scoured through a few containers inspired by not just the film but my previous lifestyle and tossed away old newspapers, magazines, and papers guilt free. It felt damn good... and hardly made a dent. Still, like my hero Sisyphus, never give up. I'm going to try again today.

6 comments:

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

David, thanks for writing about Minimalism. I will watch it on Netflix. I have been practising "less is more" for the past few years. Every time I get rid of something I haven't used or didn't know existed around the house, I actually feel good about myself. The only thing I'm loath to dispose of is my modest collection of books and comics. Now if only I could apply the "less is more" principle to my mind — not easy de-cluttering that one!

David Cranmer said...

We are moving stuff out of one room and into another this week and my goal is to downsize in a major way. I really loathe transporting items to a storage unit that's already overflowing. Funniest part is I don't miss the items until I open a lid and see it for the first time in months, years. So I definitely don't need it! As for the mind, I've found slowly scaling back on social media has helped. Though I have a long way to go in that department as well.

David Nemeth said...

My almost 20-year-old son and I have been listening to The Minimalists podcast for the past few months. I'm really looking forward to working on the purge in my office over the next few months. I'm excited to watch this documentary as they've been discussing on their podcast - and yes, I started at episode 1. :-)

David Cranmer said...

I need to listen to that podcast, David. Odd thing about podcasts and me. Thoroughly enjoy them, even more so than TV, but forget to listen in. Need to rectify.

Neil Waring said...

We seem to talk more about getting rid of stuff than actually getting rid of stuff. I think this year we will do it. Not sure anyone needs 100s of old golf clubs and 1000s of extra golf balls. At times we laugh at our pathetic attempts to minimalize, even a little bit.
This year we will celebrate our 49th anniversary and we too, talk about how great life was before we had so much we really don't need.
Great post, think I will take a look at the movie on Netflix.

David Nemeth said...

I cannot believe they made me rethink Jimmy Carter's malaise speech which I am listening to now.