The average German owns 10.000 things - I own less than 1% of the average now. The last two weeks my life has changed. I have sold, gave or threw away pretty much everything I owned.
I am now down to less than 100 (physical) things. Clothes, books, iPad, a bike, a longboard, bathroom stuff and a few personal things with special memories attached are the only survivors of this radical cut. Everything else: gone. No more furniture - no more stuff I haven't used or worn the last 12 months. No more ballast.
A backpack, a trolley and one box is all I need to carry what I own. How did I came up with this idea? I had to move just recently and I looked at all this stuff I haven't used at all the last 12 months. And this was actually a lot! You only notice that, when you start packing your stuff for a relocation.
Why move all this mess once again in my life into another flat. Why keep it if I don't use it?!
To make this decision and to put all that stuff on the "don't need" stack was quite hard. But keeping it, just because I liked it once? Because it was expensive at some point? Just because there is a funny story about it? If I had a story attached I took a picture of it to remember it. I simply digitalized the things for the pure purposes of keeping the memory :)
To be honest: when you give it all away you ask yourself for a second if people will think that you are worth less somehow. Because in our society the things you own play an important role to express yourself, to show what you have achieved in life, to show who you are, your taste and your way of life. And the pure fact that this thought came into my mind - what will others think? - convinced me even more to do it, as it drives me nuts making decisions based on what others might think about it. (yeah. still the rebel in me)
Although I of course realize it is just a different a slightly more unconventional way of expressing yourself anyway ;) - now: the minimalist. Also a statement.
Well, all I need and don't own I rent now. A car I can rent when needed. A flat with furniture I rent now. Service included and it doesn't cost much more than renting the pure flat in the same area without all those things in it.
It really feels crazy and a bit scary when I look at what is left. It feels like traveling with very little baggage on short trips, where you are always concerned, that you might have forgotten something totally important.
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But I also feel somehow relieved. I am really flexible now. The process of going through all these things, really made me think more about the importance of things in my life in general. I love things. I love buying things. I really have a passion for beautiful things. I have wishes for things I would love to own some day.
But what I realized: the really important things in my life are created in my head and become reality in form of bytes and not atoms. And I just need a few atoms to create the meaningful bytes!
And the funny thing is, that I right now create bytes for the atoms in your life in the form of our little app thin.gs - to learn more about your atoms in form of bytes. The beta will start this summer and I promise: then I will praise all the remaining 100 things I still own and all the stuff I consider buying some time, when the time is right.