I'm the first to admit that my apartment is usually a mess. It's partly me filling my life with work and play... but it's also because I have a lot of gear. Or, as a minimalist might call it, "clutter."
Yes, it's nice to be in spaces that are clean and open... but no. "Minimalism" is not the life I want. The only way to get rid of my "clutter" would be to give up all my sports, hobbies and interests... in which case, I may as well be dead.
Consider this guy:
It's like, Cool, dude! You only have four shirts and three pairs of pants! You're "Zen Buddhist" and "anti-capitalist" (because that works out so well in the countries where it's been implemented)!
Don't you have any interests?
You talk about "wants" vs. "needs"... but as far as I'm concerned, the items that people "need" are those that will help her see, explore and enjoy the world. For example, I need at least eight pairs of shoes.
I need my basketball shoes:
Because, otherwise, I wouldn't be able to do this nearly as well:
And even if performance were a sacrifice I' be willing to make... every time I got on the court in shoes that aren't meant for basketball, I'd put myself at an increased risk of injury.
And if you don't have your health, what do you have?
(Fun fact: I've even started wearing special basketball socks, even though I sued to think that was a marketing gimmick. Here's why it's totally not.)
But I also don't want to live without cleats -- how else can you cut hard during ultimate frisbee?
Because, yeah, barefoot games are fun. Like, if you're on a beach or at a park and someone's like, "Hey! I have a frisbee! Who wants to play?" Awesome!
But, personally, I strongly prefer to play at the highest level I can. And the way to do that is by having the right equipment. Next thing you know, you'll be on the AND1 Mixtape Tour -- and on your way to Potlatch!
Then, of course, there's volleyball shoes; hiking/running shoes; flip flops (I buy nice ones, because they're better for your feet); dress shoes; skateboarding shoes; and dance shoes.
And then there's surfing gear -- this usually includes one board to start out with, and a quiver of them as you get good enough to surf the gnar:
SO gnarly, brah. From: If Your Partner Loves You, They'll Let You Travel.
You want to have the right board for different conditions. Some days, you just want a really big board to help you catch some really tiny waves. Other days, you'll want something longer, shorter, or differently shaped.
Remember: achieving flow is all about finding the right combination of challenge and mastery. It's not about sitting on the floor of an empty room. As you improve at something, you will want more, better, or different things.
Then, of course, there's backpacking and camping gear. Sure, you can go "ultralight"...
But it's way more fun and comfortable to have luxuries. For example, owning a water pump instead of using the more "space efficient" iodine tablets. What would you rather drink: mountain water, fresh from the stream --- or iodine-flavored water that's been warming up in the sun?
I mean, I bring iodine tablets, too, just in case something goes horribly wrong. They take up no space and weigh nothing, so why not?
Not to mention the whole "safety" thing. In the unlikely event that you get hurt or lost, you want to have a few essential lifesaving pieces of equipment, like this emergency beacon.
Then there's scuba diving, abalone diving, crab fishing.
There's mountain biking, road biking, and a number of other activities that fill my life with movement, newness and adventure.
Why, yes! My Scott Spark does spark joy -- at least once or twice a week!
When the world around me is like one giant playground, why wouldn't I want to have the clothing, shoes, and equipment I need to take advantage of it every day?
After all, one of the best ways to be happy is to live like you're traveling.
And I haven't even started talking about the ways in which I fill my life with art and music. Life isn't just an adventure -- it's also a poem! And, for me, having a microphone, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, amp, tuner, capo, picks, notebooks, harmonicas, harmonica holders, and other musical gear is necessary to capture beauty and pain in a way that is meaningful to me.
Way more meaningful than sitting in an empty room.
From the pain of driving behind your ex's car and remembering how much you miss him -- even if only for a second! even if you're totally happy and mindful the other 99% of the time:
To describing what it's like to lose a friend whose romantic feelings you don't reciprocate:
To a silly love song that's supposed to be a duet:
Now, I suppose there's a reasonable argument to be made for most people having too many clothes:
Sure, but like... if you have a closet, anyway... why not put clothes in it? That way, you can dress girly when you're feeling girly, and comfy when you're feeling comfy, and sexy when you're feeling sexy.
There's something to be said for the Konodo Method of asking yourself: "Does it spark joy?"
But there's also something to be said for being able to pull a silly onesie out of the closet for a onesie party
an ugly Christmas sweater for the holidays
or a little pirate costume for a crazy startup party you just got invited to.
So, sure. Go ahead and buy a copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Organizing and De-Cluttering. I listened to the audiobook a while back -- it was great. Lots of useful advice.
But take it with a grain of salt, of you're going to end up like this guy:
Thanks for reading! Now go enjoy your clutter!
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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