My Thoughts on Minimalism

Facebook Marketplace has made it so easy for me to sell stuff I don’t use, and it’s quite addicting.  I sold quite a few things lately, some of which had sentimental value to me.  For example, several years ago my mom bought me two framed antique relief maps that I absolutely loved.  She got them at the Salvation Army for $10 each, and then gave them to me for Christmas one year.  When I was single and lived in my condo, I loved to have them displayed on the living room wall.  They were quite the conversation pieces.

When I got married, they didn’t work anywhere in the house.  So I sold them both for about $250.  I was sad to see them go, while simultaneously being happy that I made that kind of money.  Lately, I’ve been selling my baseball cards, too.  Looking at them reminds me of happy times, and I can understand why I collected them throughout elementary and middle school.  But they were just sitting in boxes, and they didn’t exactly appreciate in value like I thought they would.  

I think if I were still single and in this frame of mind, I would have downsized drastically.  I would spend money not on things that break or sit in boxes, but on experiences that can be remembered.  I wouldn’t need a man cave when I could go to the pool hall or pub with friends.  I wouldn’t buy treadmills and workout videos when I could go hiking or biking around town.   

Think of how happy (some of) you were in college even though you lived in a tiny dorm room and had to share a bathroom.  Now imagine living in a small apartment or condo and never having to mow the lawn, shovel snow, pull leaves out of the gutter, or power wash the house.  I get jealous just thinking about it.

If I were to sum up my advice here, it would be this:  Don’t accumulate things that will make your life more difficult.  Only buy the bare essentials and spend your time experiencing all the world has to offer.   Look at people who work 60 hours a week and have huge houses.  Ask yourself, “Do I want that life, or is there something better out there?”  Because I can tell you, there absolutely is something better.  As Aaron Clarey tells us, what really makes us happy is “other people”. 

Published by Mr. Curtis Sensei

Hello! My name’s Curt, and I’m a teacher, Director of ELL, and Co-Director of Educational Technology at a small private high school in West Michigan. I share my ideas here.

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