As a reader of this blog, I am sure you already know that I am smitten by the minimalism bug. For those of you who do not know yet what minimalism is, it is the concept of owning less things through intentional living in a manner that we only indulge in those that add value to our lives.
Ever since my tryst with minimalism, I have taken some measures to simplify my life:
- I reduced the number of shirts I use, frankly because I hated ironing them. I now have a white shirt and a black one for formal occasions and one shirt that I use for more social occasions. I have switched to wearing T shirts to work. Trust me, they are far more comfortable.
- I am giving away some devices that have just been sitting at home, unused. Hope they find better use than they did at my place.
- I packed up unused items provided by my house owner and stored them away in a far away place. My kitchen now has a bit more space for the regularly used items to dock themselves.
- I have setup a blocker in my browser that limits my social networking time to 10 minutes during a work hours. Though my productivity has not improved, I am writing more often as my mind is less cluttered by news feeds of others’ activities.
- I have also spent considerable time unsubscribing from various emails, disabled pop-ups from various news/sports apps and even whatsapp. Though “phantom vibrations” were felt from time to time, the withdrawal is now complete and I don’t feel the urge to check my mobile every 10 minutes.
- With the free time I got, I am now able to devote more attention to things I love – Solving those 1000 pieces puzzles and actually reading a few books
Now that I could see more benefits of living an intentional life, I wanted to take the next steps in minimalism. This was when I came across “The Joy of Less” by Francine Jay being mentioned quite often as one of the best books on living a minimalist life.
I found the tone of the book to be pretty light and breezy to read. It felt more like the author was talking to me rather than writing to me. This helps to make things fun and also keep my mind open to the ideas being suggested.
The book starts off with some philosophy about minimalism and why one should embrace it. For someone that was already sold on the concept, this served as positive reinforcement to the benefits of minimalism.
Next was a framework to minimize your stuff. This laid some basis on how to go about decluttering things from your house and also ensuring that things stay the same way post the process. I liked the way Francine brought to our attention, some of the methods through which stuff accumulates without our knowledge.
The concept of having circles to describe the placement of things around oneself makes a lot of sense. The inner circle would be those that one uses daily, the second circle would be those that we use often but not on a daily basis and the outer circle would be those that can be kept away for longer periods of time but still cannot be completely removed.
And the rest, you have permission to let go!
But wait, Francine gives you suggestions about what to do with these excess. There are many ways to dispose off them which can ensure that they find better homes or owners and also do not damage the environment with our excessive dumping.
Overall I feel that this book is a good read for those who want exposure to minimalism and are looking for ways to declutter their homes. Though the book speaks about issues we face, going from room, once can choose to pick the sections that concern them.
One aspect that I feel was completely neglected was applying minimalism to people’s digital exploits. The book was very focused on decluttering physical objects that there was, pardon the irony, less room to discuss meta-physical decluttering.
To follow Francine Jay please visit – http://www.missminimalist.com/
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