Since the holidays are quickly approaching (and because reader Ryan Ricketts reminded me :-p), I created another video on minimalism. This week’s guide covers what to do after you have whittled down your possessions to your ideal number. If you are unfamiliar with this series, check out the other videos below:

Tips for Maintaining Minimalism

Allow yourself to purchase expensive high quality items – This took me longer to learn than it should have. Minimalists still buy things! In fact, sometimes they buy very expensive things. If you are going to minimize the amount of possessions you own, it makes sense to get the highest quality that you can reasonably afford. I have done this with my computer and with my jeans and have never looked back.

Continue giving items away (This is especially important during the holidays!) – I can’t explain it but somehow things are going to come out of nowhere. Be it new socks in the dryer or underwear gnomes who want to prank you, new stuff is inevitable. For this reason, it is important to keep giving away items in order to keep lean.

Keep a highly visible counter (of objects) – Use the same positive pressure that used to whittle down items in the first place and use it as a maintenance mechanism. (Note: For some reason I kept saying ‘public’ in the video when I really meant ‘visible’. I even redid a take to correct this. Somehow I made the mistake again and didn’t notice it until it was already up on YouTube. Excuse my repeated blunder. :-p)

Replace, don’t add – Again, this is especially important during the holidays. Go way out of your way to only replace items, don’t add new ones. Just because something is free doesn’t mean it doesn’t cost you anything. An emotional cost is often times far worse than a financial one. Be on the lookout!

Schedule quarterly stuff audits – I had imagined that once I got down to 100 items that I would no longer need to bother counting them. Unfortunately, this proved untrue. Somehow my number of items was still fluctuating even when I didn’t know it. As such, I recommend scheduling quarterly stuff audits in order to keep yourself honest! :-)

P.S. I am thinking about creating a free video series (same format at the one above) on storytelling. I have been doing a lot of research into storytelling lately and think it might be valuable to share what I have learned. Is this a topic that interests you? Do you think this would be valuable to you?