July 20, 2012

Minimum Possible Stuff

I am at the age where my toys are on the up. I am also at the point where these toys are inhabiting every corner of my living space, and at the point where its become an irritation to me. So I am at the point where I can either:

– Rent storage and pay extra just to have stuff.
– Get a bigger place to love to accommodate my toys.
– Sell stuff with profit a good cause with some of the stuff.

As you know, I am closely associated to and I donate about 4 black bags of old kit there every year. So I am more of the opinion that I should be trying to simplify, yet again. Its a radical process that I have to keep doing. I was reading a little about simplification again this morning and came across some great ways to handle the disease that is clutter in our lives. What I was reading had a much broader impact than just the stuff cluttering my space, but it made me think about stuff specifically and what the absolute minimum stuff is that I need to get through my days.

Here is the process I am going to follow in the next few weeks to get back down to a minimum.

1. Make a list of everything you own.
Include everything and I mean everything in there. Socks, shoes, hats, old tools, everything…

2. Assign a value to everything on the list.
The value should represent what you feel you could sell that item for, as well as the amount of time you would need to sell it, realistically, in the simplest way.

3. Write down how many times per month you use that item.
Then add, on a scale of 1-10, how much you enjoy that experience.

4. Now start a new list, removing the following items:
– Items you have not used in 6 months.
– Items you listed under 5 on the enjoyment scale.
– Items you have duplicates of that you do not use.
– Items under R100 in value go into a DONATION pile.

5. Sell those items. Take 10% of total sales and donate it to a worthy cause.
Think of a charity you have always wanted to support.

6. Take another 10% and treat someone, without care for the value.
Possibly take some long lost mates out for a long lunch or treat your long-suffering girlfriend to a weekend away. But use some of it for a cause that improves your life or truly benefits someone else’s life.

7. Take 10% and spend it on yourself on items you have been longing for.
Do it, without a care.

8. Put the rest of the money away, and forget about it.
Interest rates are low, times are good to save. Don’t be a fool and spend it all.

These seem like simple steps and perhaps you’ll be amazed at the value you could derive out of this. Not only will you not miss 80% of what you give away or sell, your space will be improved, your life more calm and you will be down to your minimum possible stuff.

Who is with me?

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