I broke up with my things because they spent more time in a cardboard box than out on a shelf soaking in rays of glorious sunshine.

We broke up because I didn’t even know who they were anymore. The great times we had were distant memories but it’s not a sad story. We are okay being “just friends”. Things were once a big part of my life. They are responsible for the reason I have moved on.

The reason I know that I deserve better now.

How did I start the process of minimizing?

By taking inventory.

Minimizing first includes understanding what you have. It started on a spreadsheet where all of my possessions lived in my space and on the page.

I listed:

  • What it cost me to purchase the item.
  • Why I owned everything.
  • How much equity I had in each.

The shocking discoveries:

  1. Duplicates: There were repeats of my things that I’d accumulated “just in case”… bye!
  2. Debt: Things depreciate quickly. If I’m not using items and they’re not worth selling to anyone else, why are they here?
  3. Used: When I bought preowned there was greater preserved value. Retail is the premium paid for being attached to breaking up with things not meant to be.

Sorting my inventory reset the troubled past of my current belongings then shaped the future for new things to enter my life. It is mandatory for me to purchase used and avoid duplicates to stay out of being debted emotionally and financially to my things.

This accelerated my minimalist journey to warp speed.

A place for everything and everything in its place.

It’s become nothing out of the ordinary for me to move every year. Sometimes to find a more economical living situation or simply out of boredom. There was a moment while I packed up my belongings to move this week when realized I don’t even know what things I own anymore.

Many of the things I do own are reminders of experiences had. Gifts from friends, a photo album from college, an $8 bull horn from Amazon that has brought endless aggravation to neighbors and countless laughter for friends. I’ve watched roommates move in and out of my place and am always surprised by the amount of things they would cart in and out. Moving trucks the size of semis will soon be the norm for our consumer driven society.

When are we taught that the way to experience life is to purchase things?

I realized how little is necessary as I packed everything I needed in the trunk of a Hyundai Accent for a 30 day cross country trip. Living as a minimalist in material possessions allows me to live life as a maximalist because I have the ability to fund experiences. Ones that give me stories to share with you here.

After moving from place to place it caused me to rid myself of things that weren’t useful. It fueled further travel where weekend trips turned to week long trips and from weeks to months. The things I had a long distance relationship with back at home were lonely and we didn’t talk much anymore.

I’m single from things now with my arms wide open to experiences, and I’m never turning back.