How To Become a Minimalist

If you were to sneak into my bedroom right now, you’d only find 150 things. (You would also creep me out, so don’t do that! :-p) The best gift I have ever given myself was separating myself from excess stuff. This week’s video discusses the process I used for becoming a minimalist.

Show Notes

How to become a minimalist:

The Cleanse:

  • Block off an entire working day
  • Use the Three Piles Technique
    1. Keep
    2. Trash/Donate
    3. Box

Maintenance:

  • Donation Sundays
  • In with the new, out with the old.

Special thanks to Ryan Ricketts for the post idea. Please let me know if there are any topic’s any of you would like me to talk about! :-)

11 comments… add one

  • Sistah Hollywood Jul 19, 2013

    I’ve started this journey (getting my possessions down close to 100 things) and its sort of an oxymoron since I’m also working toward a new career in fashion.

    How does a known fashionista get all of her stuff down to 100 (or close) items? Not easily, I tell ya. So far I’ve separated items into piles. Day 1 was th toughest – I cired lol smh as I put items into their respective piles. But now in retrospect I feel quite silly that I shed tears over STUFF – esp stuff I haven’t seen, touched or worn in over a year.

    Now that I have majority of things ready to go, I’m organizing an event where I can sell 90% and donate the rest.

    The entire process has been enlightening and I’m looking forward to further self-discovery.

    • Danny Dover Jul 19, 2013

      >its sort of an oxymoron since I’m also working toward a new career in fashion.

      lol, yeah that is a bit of a hurdle but it sounds like you have been making amazing progress. :-)

      >Now that I have majority of things ready to go, I’m organizing an event where I can sell 90% and donate the rest.

      That’s a really good tip! Making some money!

      Keep fighting the good fight!

  • Simply Paul Jul 19, 2013

    I’m a big fan of Leo at Zen Habits, as I’m sure most people are. I’ve considered doing this already many times and what I’ve found is I actually don’t have a lot of owns of my own to pay with. The things I would consider shedding are items I share with my family.

    As long as people find what works for them, then it’s all good.

    • Danny Dover Jul 19, 2013

      I am a big fan of Leo too. (http://zenhabits.net/ for others) He was one of my original inspirations for decluttering.

      >I’ve found is I actually don’t have a lot of owns of my own to pay with.

      Sounds like you have already won then :-)

  • mike vallano Jul 19, 2013

    Nice tips! It’s helpful to have a method to the madness.

    I wasn’t as process-oriented when I got rid of everything. For me the most important step was deciding to do it. From there it was just lots of hard work trying to find the best home for everything and trashing as little as possible. You have lots of “fun” experiences selling over 120 things on craigslist, I’ll tell ya.

    After over a year and a half of having everything I own fit in two bags small enough for carry-on, I can honestly say that I have not missed one thing that I got rid of. It’s liberating to not be bogged down with stuff.

    Thanks for sharing your method!

    • Danny Dover Jul 19, 2013

      Hey Mike!

      I think you are right about the decision itself being the most important part. Minimalism isn’t just an activity, it is a mindset.

      >After over a year and a half of having everything I own fit in two bags small enough for carry-on, I can honestly say that I have not missed one thing that I got rid of.

      You are amazing Mike :-) Just saying.

  • Trav Bell Jul 19, 2013

    Love the video’s Danny, especially this one. I’ve just hit 40 years old & apart from having a semi-mid-life-crisis, I’ve taken stock of all the ‘stuff’ in my life too & got rid of a lot of it in the process….except for my surfboards & bikes! :-)

    I’ve just joined a ‘Freecycle’ group in my local area. This is where we all simply give our stuff away. One man’s trash is another man treasure! I’ve also joined a ‘Buy, Swap & Sell’ group, instead of going down the ebay route. The understanding of both groups is that they pick-up the stuff from your house. Hopefully, your readers have groups like this around them.

    I’d hate to be hard-core, but this has also included the people in my life who no longer add value. The energy-takers, rather than the energy-givers. But that’s just me.

    Minimalism equals less noise & more room for Bucket Listing! Love the 100 challenge. It scares the sh!t out of me, but I might try it out.

  • Cecilia Jul 26, 2013

    post suggestion: Game planning the Life List: how do you decide what life list item to do next? do you mean to certain things in a specific order or is it willy-nilly whenever the opportunity presents itself? has it ever happened that you wanted to do a life list item and somehow it had to be postponed?

    • Danny Dover Jul 26, 2013

      Love it! Just added it to my list. You should see that one coming up soon. :-) Hope life (and MOB) are going great!

  • Mark Aug 12, 2013

    Nice video! Thanks. I wrote something similar about living a minimalist lifestyle here:

    http://walkthepla.net/can-you-own-your-age/

    My personal challenge is to own just the number of things that I am years old. So, I’m 43 now, so I want to just own 43 things this year. I wrote up the full list of things on the blog post, although it was a couple months ago so I should probably update it …

    Thanks again!

  • Ryan Ricketts Jan 3, 2014

    Hey there, Danny.

    I’ve read this post a couple times and watched the video once or twice (or thrice), and I continue to find it helpful along with your other minimalist articles on the site. Well done.

    My minimalism journey started last year and I’ve been getting more into it over time. It’s a high when you give something away, especially to someone who needs it or if the item is valuable. My sister received my 46″ HDTV and almost freaked out.

    With the new year, I’m now kicking my whittling down of possessions into hyperdrive, starting with your Donation Sundays concept. I’ll let you know how it goes!

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