Finding Balance

Finding Balance

So in my last post I talked about what got me interested in minimalism and if you made it all the way to the end you might think that I live in an empty house with four bare walls, but that's far from the case.  Several years ago I thought that maybe I could be one of those hardcore minimalists that survives with 50 items in a rucksack, but it turns out that wasn't for me.

For one I have a wife.  While she is one of the most practical and grounded people I know, she isn't one to easily succumb to my flight of fancy life epiphanies that seem to pull me in whichever direction the wind is blowing.  Another thing is I have, and enjoy, several hobbies, all that require a certain amount of supplies to sustain.  T-shirt printing is a great example of this, racing cars is another.  It would be impossible to do either of these things without a certain amount of tools, equipment or supplies.

I also noticed something I call the boomerang effect.  For every ten things you may toss out one to two will eventually make their way back.  Sometimes you throw something out only to realize a few weeks later you needed it and end up repurchasing it. Other times clutter just sneaks back up on you.  A souvenir here, a late night Amazon impulse buy there and before you know it the clutters back, just with a new face.  Just because you Marie Kondo your life once doesn't make it permanent!

Rather than a life long cycle of binging and purging material objects I try to take stock of my life about once a month to see if there is anything I'm no longer happy with or use.  If there is I make a note of it and if I still feel the same way about it the next month I get rid of it.  I also try and apply this to my purchasing habits by trying to wait a while before I buy something to see if it is truly something I'd really like to own.  Nobody's perfect though, and impulse purchases do happen, but the more you can make a habit of being consciously aware of your purchasing habits the amount of regrettable impulse buys will go down drastically.

When it comes down to how many personal belonging are right for you it is all about being honest with yourself.  If having something enriches your life with its use or its beauty then you shouldn't feel guilty about owning it.  The things you have should enhance your quality life and brighten your spirit.  It's when they become an unwelcome burden to you should take the time to reevaluate and adjust things accordingly.  

The better you get to know yourself the more readily you will know exactly what things you need in your life.  The answer could be as few as 50 total items, or it could be several thousand.  As long as each one has a purpose that you can justify to yourself than the number is really irrelevant. 

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