I discovered the real benefit of minimalism is that you get to use everything you own.
In my pre-minimalist days I used to collect a lot of things and due to ‘stuff –overload’ few things would be put out of sight. I had this really chic office bag in black which my parents had got for me. I had just started working and thought I wouldn’t be able to carry that look at the very beginning of my career. It got stacked away somewhere and I forgot about it.
About 5 years later I finally got it out of the cover (while de-cluttering ;)) and decided to use it as I urgently needed a bag. I loved it and felt very happy transferring my stuff into the new bag.
After 10 days of use I noticed that the corners of the bag have started to chip-off. After years of storage I guess the bag got spoiled and it started showing up on the bag already.
How I wish I had not stored it for such a long time and begun using it immediately.
The journey on this road called minimalism has taught me to:
1) Own less: This is the core philosophy of the practice. For me it means to own enough so that every item can be used in its freshest state. Imagine a soap made from fresh ingredients like lavender essential oils and you store it for eternity. One day it will lose its scent and the reason why you paid extra for that soap. Instead if you used it the day you bought it, the pleasure from using it instantly will be doubly or 4x. But to use an item in its freshest state means that I must not have 10 of those, else it will get into the waiting line.
2) Stop preserving things: Another reason why stuff gets stored away is the fact that it’s too good to be used now. We keep waiting for the right or perfect time to use it. In my case I put the bag away for both reason: many other bags in possession and it wasn’t the right time in my professional career to use such a bag. If you own a beautiful object use it now. Derive the maximum pleasure today and you will feel very satisfied with owning less.
Take out time today to go through all your belongings and see if you’re missing out on a beautiful ring, an uplifting scent, a hand crafted scarf etc. But take a decision for each item that you pull out of the lumber room: Use it or Discard it
Lets banish words like Store, Preserve, Save, Put Away etc…