Friday, April 9, 2010

My Quest for Minimalism

Of all the blogs I check every day, mnmlist is the one that I get the most from. As the name might suggest, minimlism is what mnmlist is about - it may sound boring or perhaps trite to some, but for me it is everything but.

For many months now I've been focusing on ridding myself of my possessions. After years of collecting 'stuff' that I considered to be important - stuff that I might need one day or stuff that is just sentimental, I needed change. All this stuff cluttered up my living space which in turn cluttered up my mind. I began by just throwing out a bunch of old shit that I hadn't used in years (old documents, strange trinkets, general crap), with only a few exception, like books, dvds and clothes I thought I might need.

I’m now at a point where what I do have left feels like clutter. So I'm planning on getting my clothes down to the bare essentials, eventually just one drawer. I'm planning on culling my dvd collection back to just the dvds that I actually watch on a regular basis (like my favourite documentaries etc). Eventually I'll have no books, if I need a book I'll borrow it from a library (or buy it then donate to a library).

Clearing my life of material clutter is the first step I've decided to take on the minimalist path, beyond this there are many other things I will do, what they are I'm not even entirely sure. I am sure that it will be never ending. Perhaps one day I’ll be like Gandhi.

To some people this might all sound a bit silly, but after I started to do this, I began to discover the essence behind it all - the truly important things in this world are not material at all.

I’d like to end by mentioning some people who have inspired me with their ways. Firstly, Jason only having 4 t-shirts. I still have about 10 or 12 shirts (down from about 40), Jason survives with only 4 shirts and he always looks pretty good to me. I hope to cut my collection down to single digits, only a select few shirts that I really like and actually wear regularly. Secondly, Lee being a vegetarian. This is something I will eventually get around to me thinks, and Lee doing it is cool because … he did it. And lastly, Eden. He is in general a frugal person. I take a lot from him and his ways, from his cold showering to his ability to not give into temptation as easily as me.

- Dogman


  1. Hey Hamish that's cool but if I were you,I wouldn't be in a hurry to throw away all your books and dvds. They're a form of creative expression and (depending on your collection) can sometimes be works of art, so I don't know if I'd lump them in with all your other material possessions. If you're talking more about culling 'how to lose a guy in 10 days' from your dvd collection or throwing away your 'goosebumps' novels than that's a different story i guess...

  2. I love this blog, a blog on this site hasn't gotten me thinking to this extreme in a while. I'm not sure what to say really, because I agree with minimalism and purity 100%, but I also believe in not worrying about little details in my life like "having too many t-shirts" or "storing a dvd on my shelf that I rarely watch"... I know that these things may sound trivial when I state them that way, and that they sound very important when you state them your way, I just don't know if minimalism in your sense of the word is the way for me just yet.

    It may be because I'm so busy (I say that in the most non-smug way possible), it also may be that I haven't thought about minimalism to the extent that you have, I just don't know.

    I will say this though - the details of what you talk about in this blog are inconsequential to the meaning that you are trying to convey; by ridding ones life of metaphorical 'clutter', you can see the path that is true and real, allowing a clearer mind and a cleaner heart.

    Setting aside material possessions, I use a "minimalist" approach to life in many ways; whether it be sacrificing something I love such as coffee - or forgoing my favourite tv show to receive a much needed night of rest; whatever it may be it is something that I am reducing in my life to be free from these 'possessions'.

    I could go on forever on this topic, but I think you've summed it up nicely.

    I also like the latest mnmlist blog - reading about Someone Elses Problem (SEP)on both the blog and wikipedia was awesome.

    Did I mention that I'm drunk?

    BOTM ftw

  3. Minimalism is an awesome thing from the limited experience I have with it. Last year I gave my room a true clean, threw away so much crap like old trophies, clothes and junk. I told myself that I wont ever let it get dirty or cluttered again. It now possesses a liberating simplicity.

    On an ironic side note it was me minimalising the amount of time I spent on the net that stopped me from going to mnmlist

  4. “The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” - Socrates

    I think this sums up what I'm trying to get across. I might have used seemingly trivial examples, but these are the things that are cluttering up my life right now. Once the books, dvds, and clothes are gone I'll focus on something else. Then I'll be left with only what's essential in life - family and friends (love).

  5. Damn you Socrates for being so wisdomy!

    That would be ideal - I want to get rid of my tv and computer, so that all I have to entertain myself is books... and then if I wanted to watch a movie I could go home and do it or something.

    The very fact that you, me, or anybody thinks and does something in order to reach a minimalist lifestyle says something about you as a person - kudos.