“Goodbye, Things”. Everything started with this book.
In March, I went back to Vietnam and enjoyed spring vacation with my family. During this vacation, I spent most of my time reading books.
One day my dad mentioned a book that he was reading, called “Goodbye, Things”. He said that the author of this book decided to discard most of the things that are unnecessary for his daily life. I borrowed that book and spent a whole day to finish the book. Sasaki Fumio, the author, mentioned a concept that I have never heard of: “Minimalism”.
“Minimalism” started from the word “Minimal”.
Minimal = as small as possible, simple. Minimal can be used not only for things but also for morale, such as human relationships or tasks.
The book written by Fumio emphasized minimalism in terms of discarding things. He said that we can live happier with fewer items inside the house.
I looked at the picture of his house. It was too empty. There was nothing on the floor. Only when the night comes, he will take his futon (Japanese mattress) out, then put it back into the closet after he woke up. I can’t live like that, but at least, thanks to him, I started to take an interested in minimalism life.
I realized that somehow, I had been a guy who prefers the minimalist style for a long time. Since I came to Japan, I always buy simple style clothes from Uniqlo. I also love IKEA and MUJI interiors. However, I didn’t know about a term called “minimalism”. Until when I read the book that dad gave me, I shout out “This is the keyword that I have been looking for!”.
The Second Book
I decided that after coming back to Japan, I will change my room, from discarding to tidying. I even thought about buying new interiors. In “Goodbye, Things”, the author stated 55 tips for beginners to say goodbye to things. However, I felt that this is not enough to help me gain a certain knowledge about discarding as well as tidying up. Then, when I was walking inside the bookstore next to my familiar Starbucks, I saw a book called “The-Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Kondo Marie.
I grabbed the book right away and read it for the whole time when I was sitting at Starbucks. Kondo Marie is a professional organizing consultant. She loves to tidy up since she was five. She said “our parents usually tell us to clean to room, but they don’t actually teach us how. They might not even learn to tidy up properly when they were kids”. She also emphasized that it is important to discard things before starting to tidy up the room. This is somehow connected to the first book written by Fumio that I read before.
“Minimalism”, “Discard” and “Tidy”
Two Japanese books with one concept “minimalism” and two actions “discarding” and “tidying” helped me change my view of the lifestyle. After finished the 2nd book, I started to work on discarding things. I threw away lots of print out papers that I kept from 1st year because I thought I might use it again someday. But I realized that I haven’t touched those papers even once. And just like that, I got rid of many things that are unnecessary for my life.
Although I would only stay in Japan 6 more months (at the time I decided to declutter), I still bought new interior since I wanted to live in a nice clean room with a simple interior to enjoy the real minimalism life. After decluttering my room, I really feel happier
Some people think that they can only achieve minimalism life when they can declutter almost everything like Sasaki Fumio’s room. However, I think each person has their own perspective on minimalism. Therefore, as long as I feel comfortable with my life at the moment, it is good. I don’t need to throw my TV, because I still need it. I still need by dining table beside from studying desk as I want to enjoy my meal in a separate table.
Say goodbye to things is one of many ways to achieve the minimalism life. The real “minimalism life” can be achieved after you decided to simplify almost every aspect of your life, such as your daily tasks, your relationship, etc.
As I said before, I became interested in Minimalism life, hence I decided to read more books to further gain the knowledge about this concept. Here are some books that I’ve read recently: “The Power of Less” by Leo Babauta, “Essentialism” by Greg McKeown or “The Minimalists” by Joshua & Ryan.
I suggest you read two books that I read first, which are “Goodbye, Things” and “The-Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. I believe you will have the same reaction as mine, which was “Oh wow this is great! I want to clean up my room ASAP!”.