“The more things you own, the more your things own you”! – Chuck Palahnuik
Clothes stuffed in suitcases and dumped on top of cupboards, unused utensils stacked up in the kitchen cabinets, toiletries that are old and way beyond their expiry date, yet to be thrown out.
It’s a result of a fear that engulfs every human being at some point of time. The fear to let go.
For all you know, these are probably the things you may never use. But each time you come across it, the obvious doesn’t strike – to get rid of it!
The mind actually wants to remove it. It would mean getting a cleaner and organized space. But the subconscious mind clings onto it. Often it’s the thought about utilizing it at a later stage or some sentimental attachment that proves to be the culprit.
In Japan where consumerism had become an obsession, the recent trend has been to adopt minimalism. The objective here is to simplify one’s life with minimum number of possessions. Minimalism or ‘minimaristo’ has been widely adopted across Japan with majority giving up most of their possessions aiming at leading happier lives. Originally the Japanese lifestyle had minimalism embedded in it – architecture, garden design, music, flower arrangements and poetry.
Being a minimalist doesn’t mean sacrificing things for the betterment of the world. It simply means prioritizing and understanding what one needs the most.
Many apartments in Tokyo are furnished with just a sofa- bed that can be put into the closet leaving the room virtually empty. This means less clutter and less cleaning time. The time that has been saved is utilized for productive activities like travelling and reading.
While travelling too, a backpack and smartphone, a Kindle ebook along with two sets of clothes and a few daily necessities are all that they require. This ensures that they get sufficient entertainment and they can travel at any time they want.
Minimalism is seen in Japanese food habits and businesses as well. Their diet consists of plants and unprocessed food. A small portion of rice, half an avocado, a large piece of salmon, spinach- carrot- cucumber salad is actually a wholesome and filling meal. They believe that their bodies aren’t meant for bread, pasta, sugar or gluten.
Companies across Japan are doing away with unused things and demonstrating cleanup techniques.
This extreme minimalism keeps the Japanese very focused and active throughout the day. Most people adopting such a lifestyle slowly begin to enjoy the comfort attained from it. They begin to need that one thing in abundance – Minimalism itself. And that my dear friend is a GOOD sign.