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Anyone actively minimalist or big into decluttering?

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    #16
    To be honest, bags have always been one of my "collections" so TB did NOT help in that regard. I still have more luggage than I ever use, but find it hard to let it go. My packing cube/accessory drawer is getting especially out of control!

    I need to get better, but I did a lot of decluttering before my last move. I finally got rid of most of the CDs I have but never listen to, and books I haven't read since grad school, and a TON of clothes that hadn't been off the hangers in years. My ultimate (and likely just aspirational) goal is to get my possessions down to what I can pack in my car.

    I have one advantage in that I am not at all sentimental with the exception of a few small items (e.g. my teddy bear from infancy, a keepsake photo of my great grandfather). I ditched all my yearbooks without a sigh, and people probably get offended with me for the ease with which I dispose of or re-gift presents I don't use/like. I try to follow the "beautiful or useful" rule as much as possible.
    "I'm more of a creative problem solver with good taste and a soft spot for logistical nightmares.” ― Maria Semple, Where'd You Go, Bernadette

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      #17
      I'm in the "must have one of everything" mentality of things I collect. Real books. Yarn. Weaving and spinning equipment. Travel bags and packing cubes, even though I don't actually travel that much.

      I'm pretty good at weeding out my clothing, though.

      And I can throw out my husband's stuff with no problem. He hoards old newspapers that he swears he's going to get around to reading someday.

      I find that watching an episode of Hoarders usually gets me motivated to go through my overflowing closets and shelves and get rid of a ton of stuff I'm not using and know I never will use.

      I love the idea of being minimalist, but then it's very hard to replace a lot of the stuff I've collected over the years. It's just not online when I want it.
      And I'm very tactile. I need my things.


      I do find it amusing that I want to one-bag it when I travel, but I need to BUY ALL THE BAGS in order to do that. Sigh.
      Last edited by BWeaves; 06-15-2017, 07:01 AM.

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        #18
        I was totally just coming on here to say, Tom Bihn was a decluttering gateway!

        I did the same exact thing. These bags and this forum got me obsessing over single-bag travel, which transformed itself into, "why do I have so much stuff at all!" I have read many of the links here and have definitely begun the journey towards downsizing. I love looking at all the ingenious space-saving design ideas incorporated into the Tiny House movement, though I'm more inclined to be a small home person myself. My hope is to buy or build a smallish (800 sqft) home in the next 10 years. So towards that goal I am actively thinning and re-homing things. I used to have large media collections. When I finally digitized my cd collection I never looked back. No more discs, dvds or new books. I've whittled the book collection down to only the ones I truly love and re-read and need to have close to me. I keep trying to convince myself to get rid of unused dishes but for some reason that one is stumbling block for me.
        "Here's my life. I have to mine it, farm it, trade it, tenant it, and when the lease is up, it cannot be renewed."
        --Jeanette Winterson

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          #19
          So my wife and I sort of brute-forced ourselves into minimalism when we moved across the country. When we decided to move out from the Midwest, we were considering living in a Tiny Home or out of an RV since we didn't really have any intention or expectation of being able to afford a home we figured we could use that to our advantage and be nimble. When we decided to move to Seattle and live small instead of mobile, we decided that we'd only carry the things we could fly with. We started with the 100 Thing Challenge, marking in a notebook the items we couldn't live without.

          My initial method was to find single-use items that could be better served with a multi-tool or could be done with little difficulty by hand. I then decided what items I had to have, things like clothes, a laptop, luxury items that I use daily (e.g. my PS4). We already had a pretty good head-start since we planned on just refurnishing and buying new kitchenware in Seattle. Still, we both love books and I was an avid movie collector, and the hardest part for me was paring down my 100+ movie collection into about 10 movies. Same with our book collection. We had a bookshelf that was about 10' x 6' and a set of 4 of those Ikea cube bookshelves for overflow and my videogames when we began and when we ended, they all fit in a 45-liter carry-on. I understand that I rarely used most of my movies and books, but I still miss them. Especially movies -- there just isn't a really great way to get commentary tracks and special features online yet.

          Once we did that, we pared down until we had 2 bags a piece. It was rough, but we did it. We actually ended up paring down even more when we got here, though, as our first apartment here was a 195 square-foot microstudio. Looking back and considering that apartment, we had clothes, suitcases, a toolbag, a bedframe and bed, TV stand with the TV, PS4, and printer (which we bought because my wife got a job working from home!), a hotplate, a couple of towels, a bookshelf with the books and movies as well as some pictures, our laptops, kitchenware and that's it.

          We're currently in a slightly larger apartment and re-cluttering but I don't think we'll ever go back to the amount of stuff we had when we decided to move to the PNW, and we're happier for it.

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            #20
            I am a minimalist and actually chose Tom Bihn gear because I am living out of my bag and needed gear that lasts. The move to fewer and better things brought me to tom bihn.

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              #21
              Originally posted by BWeaves View Post
              I find that watching an episode of Hoarders usually gets me motivated to go through my overflowing closets and shelves and get rid of a ton of stuff I'm not using and know I never will use.
              I do that, too! (I feel bad because people on that show have serious mental illnesses, but it motivates me to clean.)

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                #22
                Originally posted by Frank II View Post
                It's difficult but you have to get rid of the "what if" syndrome and "well I spent $$ on it so I don't want to waste it." Give it away if you have to--I donated a lot of stuff to charity and got a tax write off--but let items go. They are only things.
                Sunk cost fallacy is real, and it's hard to get out of that mentality.

                We had an apartment sale, then donated the rest to charity too. Just be smart with what you donate to charity, don't give them extra work. If it's in bad condition or not something they can take, give it away/freecycle it or recycle it if you can and throw it away otherwise.

                Originally posted by BWeaves View Post
                And I can throw out my husband's stuff with no problem. He hoards old newspapers that he swears he's going to get around to reading someday.
                It's always easier to throw away somebody else's stuff. :P More seriously, though, even though we're "re-cluttering" my wife and I use this sort of thing to our advantage and audit each other every once in a while for that exact reason -- it's easier to hear somebody else say it and really consider it.

                Originally posted by Quotidianlight View Post
                I am a minimalist and actually chose Tom Bihn gear because I am living out of my bag and needed gear that lasts. The move to fewer and better things brought me to tom bihn.
                I've watched your video on bag audits and I love the systematic way you go about actively considering what you need and really considering the value of a thing and whether there is anything better out there that can do the job and the job of other stuff.

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                  #23
                  Originally posted by MatthewR View Post
                  I've watched your video on bag audits and I love the systematic way you go about actively considering what you need and really considering the value of a thing and whether there is anything better out there that can do the job and the job of other stuff.
                  Is there a link to the video please. This sounds interesting.


                  Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
                  Aeronaut 45 (Navy/NWS), A30 (Black/Island), Tristar (Steel/Island), Western Flyer (Steel/Island), Pilot (Steel/Island), Synapse 25 (Mars Red/NWS), Synapse 19 (Black/Island) & (Burnt Orange/Steel), Ristretto 11 (Navy/Steel), Small Cafe Bag (Navy/Steel) & (Mars Red/Dawn), Daylight Briefcase (Cloud/Dawn), Side Kick (Mars Red/Dawn), Travel Cubelet (Mars Red)

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                    #24
                    Originally posted by Perseffect View Post
                    Is there a link to the video please. This sounds interesting.


                    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
                    Here's the video I was talking about.

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                      #25
                      Thought I would share my top 5 favorite videos to watch (all TED talks) that have helped me (and still do) to let go of those tricky categories like photos and sentimental things, double sets, extra just-in-case things, and mental clutter!

                      Every time I watch one of these it helps me peel another layer of stuff off me and my space. Especially the first one!!!

                      1. LIFE IS EASY. WHY DO WE MAKE IT SO HARD? by JON JANDAI
                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21j_OCNLuYg

                      2. ADAM BAKER: SELL YOUR CRAP
                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XRPbFIN4lk

                      3. THE ART OF LETTING GO by the Minimalists
                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7rewjFNiys

                      4. THE MASTERPIECE OF A SIMPLE LIFE by Mara Malloy
                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zj8HJntlP4

                      5. IS YOUR STUFF STOPPING YOU? by Elizabeth Dulemba
                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Pb-hjqdjbY
                      Last edited by anna2222; 06-15-2017, 01:39 PM.

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                        #26
                        I dream of living in an almost empty house- it's a running battle with my wife and young daughter who both love stuff.

                        I have two rules that tend to drive most of my 'stuff' decisions-
                        1- If I was moving house, would i be annoyed that i'm packing up, transporting then unpacking this item? If the answer is yes- it goes on eBay or to the local charity shop. I recently made the call to go digital with all my fiction (was a long, hard decision) and only keep physical reference books. I got rid of around 1,000 books and it was incredibly satisfying.

                        2- Buy the best you can afford- it makes you spend the time and effort researching, and that process usually acts as a fairly efficient purchase filter. it's much nicer to have a few, really high quality, items that will last forever- than piles of crapola.

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                          #27
                          Anyone actively minimalist or big into decluttering?

                          I've been going through this process recently and experimenting a little. I listened to the audiobook Everything that Remains by Joshua and Ryan (mentioned in an earlier post) and it really struck me that simple and uncluttered can help enjoy things more.

                          Two approaches I've taken
                          1. Buy less stuff (this is hard I must admit), but asking the question "Will this add value to my life" helps to avoid a lot of purchases.
                          2. Sell some stuff. This has been easier and quite liberating and I really appreciate what I keep more than I did before.

                          I have recently got rid of a lot of my TB bags and larger accessories that I had "just in case". I now only have 1 bag for each size / use rather than several which overlapped in their use. I appreciate each one more now although I still have quite a few. For interest, they are:

                          SCB for light essentials
                          Pilot for personal days out
                          S25 for family days out
                          A45 for family trips

                          Cadet for daily work
                          Tristar for work travel

                          I used to have Side Kicks, MCBs, Co-Pilots, Ristrettos and more all overlapping for those occasional 'just in case' days.

                          I'm sure I can strip this list down further but for now, it feels good.


                          Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
                          Last edited by Perseffect; 06-15-2017, 02:25 PM.
                          Aeronaut 45 (Navy/NWS), A30 (Black/Island), Tristar (Steel/Island), Western Flyer (Steel/Island), Pilot (Steel/Island), Synapse 25 (Mars Red/NWS), Synapse 19 (Black/Island) & (Burnt Orange/Steel), Ristretto 11 (Navy/Steel), Small Cafe Bag (Navy/Steel) & (Mars Red/Dawn), Daylight Briefcase (Cloud/Dawn), Side Kick (Mars Red/Dawn), Travel Cubelet (Mars Red)

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                            #28
                            I began the "right sizing" process a couple of years ago and could not be happier. I never really had much stuff, at least compared to most, but I had more than I needed or wanted. Visual clutter really bothers me and I moved into a house with extremely small closets and no other storage space. That helped me focus on the things I wanted to have and everything else went. I donated, gave to friends and threw out a lot of items. Fortunately I have never been attached to stuff. I found many good references online including most of the ones listed by other. Now my goal is to move into a 25" travel trailer full time (with 3 Golden Retrievers) and travel across the US. I try to keep my TB obsession in check but we all know how hard that is. I have also found many good ideas for traveling light on this site and one bag most of my trips.

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                              #29
                              Originally posted by kathryn View Post
                              To be honest, bags have always been one of my "collections" so TB did NOT help in that regard. I still have more luggage than I ever use, but find it hard to let it go. My packing cube/accessory drawer is getting especially out of control!

                              I need to get better, but I did a lot of decluttering before my last move. I finally got rid of most of the CDs I have but never listen to, and books I haven't read since grad school, and a TON of clothes that hadn't been off the hangers in years. My ultimate (and likely just aspirational) goal is to get my possessions down to what I can pack in my car.

                              I have one advantage in that I am not at all sentimental with the exception of a few small items (e.g. my teddy bear from infancy, a keepsake photo of my great grandfather). I ditched all my yearbooks without a sigh, and people probably get offended with me for the ease with which I dispose of or re-gift presents I don't use/like. I try to follow the "beautiful or useful" rule as much as possible.
                              I went through a bag collection obsession as well once, and didn't buy one in about 2 years before needing something better for work. Then I found the S19 and donated some bags, and ended up just keeping a rolling luggage and two duffle bags from Nike for moving purposes. I had so many others...

                              Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

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                                #30
                                @mathew,

                                Totally agree about buying the best stuff, even if it costs more because high quality will save in the long run, I have always found. I have two pack rats in the family and they really don't "see" how much stuff they have, it does not affect them one bit. I have learned to keep my mouth shut and hope that eventually they will see it my way! I gave one of them his first TB item, an Empire Builder, a few months ago and asked that he "think about" reducing his similar-sized bags. Just the other day I found 3 of his backpacks in the donation box!

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