Category Archives: General

How to Become a Minimalist

In the past, every time I stepped into a professor’s office, I was in awe of all of the books filling every nook and cranny. I felt like I had stepped into an intellectual temple. So, I was delighted every time a professor gave me a free book. I quickly grew my own temple of books.

When I moved to Washington DC, I became fascinated with style, a regular GQ model. I kept buying new clothing. Except, I continued buying quantity over quality. Now, I own 6+ pairs of jeans, only 1 of them fits perfectly.

Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need…The things you own end up owning you.  It’s only after you lose everything that you’re free to do anything
– Fight Club

It’s time to get rid of all the shit I don’t need.

I made the easy decision to become a minimalist. Why?

  1. Less stress and worry about losing, cleaning, or fixing things.
  2. More money to invest long term and to buy quality, expensive items.
  3. More happy from memorable experiences rather than buying a new toy (proven study).
  4. Non-attached to possessions. My identity is based on my character, not what I own.
  5. Flexible to quickly move, travel, or change.

So, how am I becoming a minimalist right now?

  1. I’m selling most of my books on Amazon (already got 2 sales in 3 days 4 sales in 4 days) and donating the rest to PaperBackSwap (free book swapping club, highly recommended).
  2. I’m packing most of my old clothes for ebay, donations, or storing at my parent’s home. I’ll start listing some on ebay this weekend.
  3. I’m buying more stuff.

Wait! What?

Yeah, I’m buying more items. That is, I’m buying high quality, durable products that will be frequently used. *Note: Do not ever go into debt (minus mortgage and student loans). Don’t buy shit unless you actually have the money to pay for it in full.

True example: My first junker car was a $1,600 1990 Nissan Stanza which repeatedly died over 8 months (my first car). That’s $200 cost per month. Whereas, I’ve driven my $5,000 car for over 5 years meaning $83.33 per month. And I’m still driving it so it’s getting cheaper and cheaper. (a used car always makes sense over a new car, financially speaking)

Over time, purchasing long-lasting quality items makes more sense. By buying less quantity, you can buy higher quality but less items. Also, there’s no impulse buys. Since quality items are very expensive, I must weigh each purchase very carefully.

For example, this LifeSaver Water Bottle costs $150. However, it produces fresh, clean water out of almost any water source including muddy, bacteria filled water.

A normal water bottle costs $1 – $3 (my campus, jesus christ). So, after half or quarter of a year, I’ll have gotten back my investment. Also, I have the freedom to go anywhere and have clean water. I could be in a disaster area (Hurricane Katrina & Haiti Earthquake) and not have to worry about clean water. It comes with a 2 year warranty and great for the environment. It’s the last water bottle you will ever need.

I don’t own one….yet.

This is my first week as a minimalist. Soon, I’ll be able to fit all my possessions in my car.

Think about all the things you own. All the books, clothes, gadgets, and accessories. It’s a lot, I know because I own a lot of stuff too. When was the last time you used them? Now, imagine how great it would be if you no longer had to worry about them, or even better, the feeling of joy by giving them as a gift to someone in need or a friend? (books with personalized messages make great gifts. They are the only item that appreciates in value as a used gift.)

Hello world!

Welcome to my virtual home! This is a lifelong experiment to living transparently.

Putting yourself public on the internet goes against the norm unless you’re a celebrity, own a web business, or insane. After all, what about those druken picture from St. Patty’s bar crawl where you’re passed out on the street at 2pm? We can’t let others find out!

Sure, there will be negative consequences, but in the end, I take responsibility for my actions and not trying to please everyone. Besides, my friends know I’m a little nutty.