Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism

I'm moving! I've always been cognizant of how minimal I am with my day-to-day (routine, closet) but how cluttered my space is and how much information overload that I subject myself. Moving is my way to get a fresh start and be intentional about all the things that are in my life.

Goodbye, Things is the first of a few books I plan to read on minimalism and digital minimalism! The book is a nice and short read. The ending reads like a bullet list of recent self-help philosophies. I appreciated this, but my main interest was in the middle of the book, which are concrete tips and frameworks to pursue minimalism.

Notes while reading:

  • Humans are old hardware running on new technology with information overload and constant software upgrades.
  • We adjust to our wins much quicker than we adjust to our failures. We adapt super quick; we get bored of things. We use our present emotions to assume our future emotions (e.g. go shopping while hungry).
  • Richer doesn’t mean you get more than 24 hours a day or grow a bigger stomach.
  • We have a learned helplessness when throwing away things. There are many reasons that throwing away items are hard. Vanity? Shame— "oh, I’ll get to the guitar one day!" Selling the guitar would suggest that we are failures. Maybe we feel like we haven’t justified it’s use yet. Beware sunk costs.
  • Our stuff is our roommates. If they’re not paying rent, kick them out.
  • You almost never regret throwing away things.
  • People struggle with organizing because there’s clutter. But if there’s no things... then you’ve solved the clutter issue. Throw things away first. Then, organize.
  • Leave unused space... empty! Do not fill the void.
  • What would you keep if you were starting from scratch? Of these items, which ones do you actually use?
  • Two principles: Hell yes, or no. And, say "see you later" before you say "goodbye". In praxis, that means stowing away items that you feel reluctant to throw away instead of throwing it away. If you’ve managed for 1-2-3 months without using it... you’re good and you're more likely to throw the item away.