The Minimizing Equation

equationIt has come to my attention that some people, some minimalists have a hard time determining whether a possession of theirs is valuable enough to be worth keeping. To be honest there is no solid mental process for determining these things. I myself struggle with this very often. When this happens to me, when I am divided between keeping something and discarding it, I ask myself a few key questions. These questions are:


  1. Is the time I spend maintaining this thing longer than the time I spend using/enjoying this thing?
  2. Is the money I spend maintaining this thing the best use of that money, or could I be spending that money on something I could get far more value out of?
  3. Is the amount of physical space this thing is taking worth the gain (tougher to determine).

Question 1 is the deal breaker. If I spend more time maintaining something than I do using/enjoying it, bye bye.

Question 2 is also a deal breaker.

Question 3 is not quite so straight forward. So It will often require more thought.

Here are some examples of things I discarded in my life based on these guidelines:

  1. Cable Service
  2. MTG Card Collection
  3. DVD’s
  4. Clothes, shoes
  5. Extra Bicycle
  6. Kidney (Just kidding)
  7. Wife (and the jokes just keep on coming)

Presently I do have a large comic book collection that I have not touched in ages. I have not gotten rid of it for investment purposes…….and admittedly sentimental reasons. But for all practicality, while it requires no maintenance or money to keep (anymore), it is taking up half my closet. I just can’t bring myself to do it. I am far from the perfect minimalist. But as with all things, it’s not the destination, but the journey that makes it all worth while.