A morning at 20 Below Coffee, journaling and reading.

A morning at 20 Below Coffee, journaling and reading.

The Bullet Journal has increased my awareness on my to do list and how it seems that some items just never get touched while others get crossed off RIGHT AWAY. This stark difference is intriguing, but I’ll discuss that another day. What I want to discuss is something I thought of because of my adventure into Bullet Journaling.

One of the items on my list is “Clean & Organize my room” which is a very vague and overwhelming to do item (takes a lot of work!). It was first recorded on July 7th (although has been an action item for much longer than that) and I migrated it forward in the month of August as an outstanding To Do task list. I thought about it though, do I really want to clean and organize my room?

I mean, it’s not a pigsty or anything like that, just messy, unorganized, and uncoordinated. But I am clearly capable of living in it, since I’ve been dealing with it for this long. Then I stepped on some papers and the first thought that came across my mind was,

“Why in the hell do I even have this stuff in the first place?”

That’s when it occurred to me. I need to go through another round of purging material possessions. Apparently, my recent move was not enough to satisfy my need for getting rid of items.

So recently, I’ve become acquainted with the idea of a Minimalistic lifestyle. At first, I thought that Minimalism was only a concept for art or technology UX. However, I had an opportunity to go see a documentary about it, but ended up having a conflicting arrangement, so I didn’t get to go. However, it was my first exposure into the idea of Minimalism as a lifestyle. Some friends did go to it and they had some thoughts on it. Ultimately though, the idea of minimalism appealed to them. This led to my friend playing “The 30 Day Minimalism Game.”

What’s this game?

  1. You get rid of X amount of items each day, where X is determined by the day in the challenge you’re in.

  2. The game lasts 30 days back to back, so on day 1, you get rid of 1 item, on day 2, 2 items, etc etc until you either cannot get rid of anymore items or you hit 30.

  3. You have until Midnight to get rid items that day

  4. Play this with yourself or with a friend!

Doesn’t seem very challenging at first, but as you continue to get rid of items, it gets harder, or so it would appear. It’s funny how attached we get to certain items. How are we able to let go of some of these items we possess? It comes down to value.

Value can be defined in three ways. There is practical  value, monetary value, and sentimental value.

  • Practical Value - How useful this item is in your life. For instance, a car has a ton of practical value because I drive it to work every day. You can assess the amount of practical value by comparisons of alternative methods, such as riding a bike or walking to work. There isn’t a way to measure this in objective terms (or at least that I know of so far!).

  • Monetary Value - The easiest to define. Literally, how much the item cost you initially, and then how much money you put in to maintain it. Back to the car analogy, you bought a car for X amount of dollars, and then you over the car’s lifespan pay Y dollars for Maintenance, Fuel and other costs associated with car ownership. Comparisons to other items is much easier because a dollar amount is an objective method of measurement.

  • Sentimental Value - How much this item means to you emotionally. Is this item related to any memories like a relationship or a specific event? For instance, I have my Orientation Cobber Beanie from my Freshmen year at Concordia (Fall ‘08) still and it has a ton of sentimental value!

So, I already have the mindset of assessing value when I make a financial decision. I ask myself “How much value will I get out of this financial decision?” and I go through the three values. Usually, the answer is no, which is a good thing. I’ve been curbing a lot of my spending lately for movies, entertainment, and other fancy electronics. However, I struggle a lot with present moment pleasures. This includes going out for drinks, coffee, and other items that increase the everyday experience. It adds up really quick!

But the focus of this post is on material goods. These items you buy/acquire accumulate and before you know it, there value goes down just because they become part of the competition of your items trying to capture my attention. There are items I only have touched recently because I moved. Else they sit around, accumulate dust, and take up space.

The idea, get rid of it!

So that’s the goal! Get rid of bunch of stuff, declutter my room, and streamline my life. Some people asked “How can you get rid of 465 things?” That is the challenge, and we’ll see how I go!

So, if you’re interested, you can catch it by following my Instagram! I got some commitments (like being out of town) that will prevent me from fully playing the game daily, but multiple posts will be coming (and I’ll try to plan on foresight!). We’ll see how far I get! While you’re at it, you can see my #52MealsChallenge that I blogged about as well!

So that’s it folks! This is the beginning of my intentional journey towards Minimalism. I like to think I’ve been a minimalist already and not realized it, as it makes a lot of sense to me. A recent blog I’ve began to follow summed up Minimalism really well. I’ll leave that passage for you here.

To be a minimalist, you just have to be able to recognize what adds value to your life, so you can subtract what doesn’t – that’s the only calculation you need to know. The more you can recognize what adds value to your life, the easier it’ll be to decide what to cut from it, and the happier you’ll be; that’s the prize you should be after. - Cait Flanders | Blonde on a Budget

What do you think? Do you think I am crazy? have you tried this for yourself! Tell me! Leave me a comment or tweet me at @therealjakek!

On an unrelated note, let's re-design my website. It's pretty messy.