Goodbye Things, The New Japanese Minimalism

By: Jordan

IG: @jay_lasoul

At the moment, my room consists of a bed, 2 tall white baskets, saved shopping bags, books, a windowsill filled with candles, crystals, a plant, a picture, and a painting, and odds and ends. My plan was to get 2 dressers, a desk, and a large mirror. I didn't want gaudy furniture so I was looking to sleek lines and neutral colors. I was calling the style "minimalist." I was extremely close to purchasing all of that, then something made think to look up the word minimalism. 

I initially thought that it was a no-brainer. Minimalism was when you do not have a lot of things in a space, everything is tucked away out of site, and there is a lot of white. While I was right about the first point, I learned that my idea of minimalism did not even scratch the surface. 

My research lead me to realize that minimalist do not tuck away their things, they actually get rid of their belongings entirely. After doing my googles and digging a little further, I came to the conclusion that I needed to actually pick up a book and hear from a minimalist directly. Bare with me as I am new to the concept and have only indulged in one book. I have another on one in my cue. 

Goodbye Things, The New Japanese Minimalism, by Fumio Sasaki was my starting point. Easy to understand and engaging enough to follow, Sasaki leads the reader through his definition of minimalism and why he chose to indulge. What I have found is it is much deeper than simply throwing away your things, but as Sasaki says, "understanding what is important." It makes you turn a mirror to yourself and decide what is absolutely necessary for you to survive and what is an  excess and easily replaceable. 

Sasaki gives the reader 55 tips to help ease the transition from clutter to clean. Here are a few that resonated with me:

  • #4: Ask yourself why you cannot part with your things - I am low key a hoarder. I like my things to be mine and not be owned by anyone else. I also am very sentimental and like to be reminded of special moments. 
  • #7 Discard somethings right now: This is useful because many of us try to wait for "the perfect time."  If this has taught me anything, its recognizing that there is rarely a perfect time for anything. Take the first thin you see and do not absolutely need, give it up!
  • #11 Get rid of it if you haven't used it in a year: I have clothes, papers, books and shoes that I have no more than a year. 
  • #20 Let go of the idea of "someday": If you have not used it, you do not have to hold on to it in the hopes that someday you will need to dust it off and use it
  • #26 Feeling the spark of joy will help you focus: Pay attention to the way an item made you feel when you first bought it. If it doesn't not bring back that same joy, it is time to get rid of it. 
  • #42 Social Media can boost your minimizing process: Naturally when we tell people our business, they become intrigued with what we are up to. So I am using my personal Instagram and the Goddess Culture page (every now and then) to document my experience and be inspired by others who are on this minimalist journey.
  • #43 What if your started from scratch: This tactic makes you think about what items would would have in your space if you had to start with nothing. This is extremely useful if you are moving or are about to move because essentially, you are starting with a completely empty space.
  • #51 If its not a "hell yes!" it's a "no": If its not a hell yes! I have to keep it, then its a no. Throw it away and rid yourself of the item that is taking up extra space in your life. 

I am by far no expert on the subject, but I do want to bring you all along my journey and inspire at least one person to relieve themselves of possessions that are cluttering their space!