The Ultimate Downsizing to Become a True Minimalist

The more I live the more I realize that everything is a relationship. The interactions between people with people, or people with things.

People to people is easy to understand but hard to master. There are whole fields of studies that are dedicated to this, namely psychology and sociology. I’m still a student of understanding people. At this rate I’ll be a student my whole life just trying to live in peace with people.

The other type of relationship is with things. Recently, I’ve been tasked - or rather, challenged - to reduce my possessions so that everything I own will fit into three boxes (actually, it’ll be two boxes, a duffle bag, and a guitar). At first, I questioned myself due to the monumentality of this task, but soon I realized that it’s a doable challenge if I can let go enough things in my life. Thus, I started to list about 80% of my things on Facebook Marketplace to either sell or donate.

I started this process about a month ago. In the beginning it was hard to let go some things, such as my Lego sets collection. But I convinced myself that these Lego sets will not be build and will just sit in my closet. They are better served with someone else who will enjoy them. The idea that others will use my items gives me the motivation and the courage to say goodbye to my things.

During this materialistic purge I realized that this process is an emotional one. There are things that I hold value to because they were given to me by someone whom I admired or is no longer living, such as a spoon to skim the fat off the surface of soups given to me by my grandma, an automatic screw driver given to me by my dad, and my 30 years old duct-taped backpack from China that I used when I was in elementary school. These things are worth zero dollars, but to me they are reminders of a time period or of a person’s well-wishes for me. I’m hoping as time goes on I will let go of these things and will only preserve the memories, but right now it’s not the time.

I also feel the things that I will keep will be the most precious things to me. I will have a stronger relationship with these items and not have thousands of minor relationships with the things I don’t care much about. In the end I’m realizing that it’s not so much the items, but it’s more about what they symbolize in my life. As Marie Kondo would say, “Do they bring me joy?”

All this downsizing is the precursor to something bigger that I’m about to do. It’ll be my dream come true if I were to accomplish it. I hope to write about that soon.