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Stuff. Things. Objects. Possessions. Shit. Crap. Everything you own.
We're at the end of the age of consumerism. All of that shit doesn't matter anymore.
The game has changed. At some point in the past decade, it became clear that one of the most important skills you can master is how to become a minimalist.
I'm writing The Art of Being Minimalist in January 2016. I share a wall with a psychotic hoarder with tourettes. He's being evicted. I haven't seen the inside of his apartment, but I've heard horror stories from the people who've been in there. Accounts range from 'being unable to see the floor' to 'shit stacked so high it could crush you.' He gets a pension from somewhere. His life's goal is to beat a path to the front of the apartment, outside my window, where he opens the trash can and peers into it. Over and over again he does this. I know he's insane, and I'm not making fun of a mentally ill person.
But by all description, I must be insane too. I try not to have guests, but when I do the first question is 'where is your stuff?'
All of my stuff fits into one bag. For the past seven years, I've been living out of one bag.
When I first became a minimalist, I wanted freedom. I wanted to live outside the norm. I wanted to travel, see the world. I've seen a good chunk of it.
Now I'm a minimalist living in Fayettenam where I run food to tables as I work in one of the most popular restaurants in town. I work in a restaurant because I don't make money on the Internet anymore. Back in the day I did. Maybe someday in the future I will again.
These days I'm a minimalist to survive. I told someone I don't check my mailbox because I don't get any bills. I pay rent and that's it. It's a month-to-month lease at one of the smallest apartments in town. It's third world living in the first world. Some say the building should be condemned. I say condemn it. I'll move out with all of my stuff in a bag. Maybe back to San Francisco. Maybe back to New York. Maybe back to Mexico City.
People think having stuff brings safety, security, comfort, and gives you the ability to relax. It won't help the guy next door. They'll evict him in a week or two, and all of his garbage will be tossed out onto the street. He'll be forced to pick through it one last time before wandering down to the homeless shelter, then the city trash will probably pick all of his stuff up and take it to the dump.
The saddest thing about it all is no one cares. I don't care. All of his stuff is garbage to me.
And if you looked at my stuff, you might consider all of my stuff to be garbage. One man's stuff is trash to another man.
I own two laptops. The first one only works if you plug it into a wall. The other only works if you yank the power cord through the gap between the keyboard and the screen, then it'll charge and hold a charge for a few hours. I bought them at Walmart in 2013. Now they're junk. When they fail, I'll throw them out and buy a new computer.
At the end of the consumerist age, everything is disposable. Even computers are now tiny and disposable. So is kitchen crap. I bought a pan, cutting board and a knife. All for less than $20. One of my things is a Mexican blanket, but I bought another blanket too because it's winter. That was $5. This is all I needed to set up my life here in Fayettenam.
I also own a pair of shoes, a pair of boots and merino wool socks. A hoodie, a jacket, a coat because it's winter. All of this is dispoable. All of it will wear out and I will buy new things.
This might all seem inspiring or depressing, depending on who you ask. I may seem rootless. I may seem insane. But I'd argue that it's an insane time, and during an insane time you need to be able to pack down to survive.
I'd prefer to be making enough to live in an expensive simple studio apartment in a city somewhere with beautiful hard wood floors and a marble-surfaced kitchen with a gas stove. But I don't right now. Someday I will, and all of my shit will still fit into one bag.
I live the simple life because I want to. The environment only changes my reasons for doing so.
I think you should rent a dumpster and throw all of your shit in it.
You should pack down to one bag.
And you should either stay or go.
Me, I'm going to save a little bit of money and try to learn how to make money on the Internet in the post-consumerism age before I start wandering east, west, or south again.
I don't want to be jumping on planes right now. I prefer the Mexibuses of America. They'll take you anywhere. I'll throw my bag in overhead luggage and no one will know that I'm moving. I'm not a nomad. I'm not a vagabond. I'm not homeless. I'm not a fleuchtlinge. I'm a minimalist.
I've mastered the art of being minimalist. It's a skill that will serve me from now until the day I drop dead somewhere in the world.
During good times and bad the minimalists win. Because minimalism is brings about the highest quality of life for the least money. It's the safest way to live. It's the easiest way to get the most accomplished. Minimalism leads to more freedom, more productivity, and also more good nights of sleep.
I'm writing a book. It's called The Art of Being Minimalist. It's not done yet. But if you want to buy it right now, it's 17 bucks. When it's done it'll be $25. For less than the price of a burger and a tall beer at the restaurant I'm working at right now you can be the proud owner of a digital copy. Once you're done reading, you can throw away the link. It's a digital copy, so it won't weigh you down when you leave or if you're on the road right now.
When you buy The Art of Being Minimalist you'll get a link sent to your email. Save the link somewhere or write it on a notecard. The link will be live updated as I write the book.
I don't know when the book will be done, but check back here for updates.
To buy now hit the button above, you'll be asked to pay with Paypal. You can use a credit or a debt card. If you want to pay with Bitcoin you can. Email me. If you want to pay with cash, visit me in Fayettenam.