Reading a Book About Minimalism for the First Time: Goodbye, Things

Last year, I’ve mentioned on a post about my financial review that I started taking minimalism to heart. (Although I think I’m already a minimalist in one sense or another and that includes the dislike of shopping in store.)

This year, I read a book about minimalism for the first time. It’s called goodbye, things by Fumio Sasaki. It was recommended by Nina of The Minimalist Ninja.

I’m thrilled to heed her advice. Within a week, I finished the book that I borrowed from the library.

Book Review: Goodbye, Things by Fumio Sasaki

What I Like About the Book

On the first few parts of the book, Sasaki added photos of some stuff of minimalists from Japan.

Replacing a TV with virtual reality. Becoming a digital nomad with one backpack. I love seeing gears; maybe I can use some of those on my minimalism journey.

Can I say it again. I love all the photos. The before and after photos are inspiring. Who would have thought that adding images would be such a treat, yet it does make sense.

The book is somewhat a memoir of Sasaki’s life as an editor and stumbling upon minimalism which has a huge impact in his physical and mental health. It shows that minimalism isn’t just a trend that would go away someday. It’s a way of life that enables us to do more with less.

The key takeaway for me is gratitude is happiness.

When nonessentials no longer cluttere our life, we can see clarity and be grateful for what we have, the things that truly matters such as quality time and energy that are limited.

Is it too Extreme?

I entertained the idea of having a tenugui (Japanese towel) and futon which are gaining attention in the West.

But I can’t have a house without a tape which is essential in wrapping balikbayan boxes. Office supplies have tremendously decline in numbers in my study table but I’m not too gung ho about collecting scented stationeries anymore, like I used to do in elementary.

Minimalism isn’t a competition of who can survive with so little stuff in life. That what makes me sad when I watch videos and read the comments (this become a habit and essential just as the content) about he/she is not a bona fide minimalist.

While others have chosen to live with less stuff like the digital nomad, it doesn’t mean that everyone should do the same. To each his own.

Minimalism teaches us to know ourselves and (hopefully) respect others.

So I’m giving away some books and keeping my office supplies because they spark joy.

Tip: If you find it hard to part with your stuff, give it away in batches whenever you are ready to let go. But don’t wait for the perfect time. It doesn’t exist.

Before I write this blog post, I discarded some photos. I kept my 5 favourite photos. Maybe someday I’ll have to say goodbye. Maybe.

Quick Notes

Although I wanted to read the book again, it may not happen so I copied some notes from the book.

We can refer anytime to some of the tips from the book. My favourite tip is no. 12.

Recap: 55 Tips to Help You Say Goodbye to Your Things

  1. Discard the preconception that you can’t discard your things.
  2. Discarding something takes skill.
  3. When you discard something, you gain more than you lose.
  4. Ask yourself why you can’t part with your things.
  5. Minimizing is difficult, but it’s not impossible.
  6. There are limits to the capacity of your brain, your energy, and your time.
  7. Discard something right now.
  8. There isn’t a single item you’ll regret throwing away.
  9. Start with things that are clearly junk.
  10. Minimize anything you have in multiples.
  11. Get rid of it if you haven’t used it in a year.
  12. Discard it if you have it for the sake of appearance.
  13. Differentiate between things you want and things you need.
  14. Take photos of the items that are tough to part with.
  15. It’s easier to revisit your memories once you go digital.
  16. Our things are like roommates, except we pay their rent.
  17. Organizing is not minimizing.
  18. Tackle the nest (storage) before the pest (clutter).
  19. Leave your “unused” space empty.
  20. Let go of the idea of “someday.”
  21. Say goodbye to who you used to be.
  22. Discard the things you already forgotten about.
  23. Don’t get creative when you’re trying to discard things.
  24. Let go of the idea of getting your money’s worth.
  25. There’s no need to stock up.
  26. Feeling the spark of joy will help you focus.
  27. Auction services are a quick way to part with your possessions.
  28. Use auctions to take one last look at your things.
  29. Use a pickup service to get rid of your possessions.
  30. Don’t get hung up on the prices that you initially paid.
  31. Think of stores as your personal warehouses.
  32. The city is our personal floor plan.
  33. Discard any possessions that you can’t discuss with passion.
  34. If you lost it, would you buy it again?
  35. If you can’t remember how many presents you’ve given, don’t worry about the gifts you’ve gotten.
  36. Try to imagine what the person who passed away would have wanted.
  37. Discarding memorabilia is not the same as discarding memories.
  38. Our biggest items trigger chain reactions.
  39. Our homes aren’t museums; they don’t need collections.
  40. Be social; be a borrower.
  41. Rent what can be rented.
  42. Social media can boost your minimizing motivation.
  43. What if you started from scratch?
  44. Say “see you later” before you say goodbye.
  45. Discard anything that creates visual noise.
  46. One in, one out.
  47. Avoid the Concorde fallacy.
  48. Be quick to admit mistakes. They help you grow.
  49. Think of buying as renting.
  50. Don’t buy it because it’s cheap. Don’t take it because it’s free.
  51. If it’s not a “hell, yes!” it’s a “no.”
  52. The things we really need will always find their way back to us.
  53. Keep the gratitude.
  54. Discarding things can be wasteful. But the guilt that keeps you from minimizing is the true waste.
  55. The things we say goodbye to are the things we’ll remember forever.

Recap: 15 More Tips for the Next Stage of Your Minimalist Journey

  1. Fewer things does not mean less satisfaction.
  2. Find your unique uniform.
  3. We find our originality when we own less.
  4. Discard it if you’ve thought about doing so five times.
  5. If you’ve developed your minimalist skills, you can skip the “see you later” stage.
  6. A little inconvenience can make us happier.
  7. Discard it even if it sparks joy.
  8. Minimalism is freedom – the sooner you experience it, the better.
  9. Discarding things may leave you with less, but it will never make you a lesser person.
  10. Questions the conventional ways you’re expected to use things.
  11. Don’t think. Discard!
  12. Minimalism is not a competition. Don’t boast about how little you have. Don’t judge someone who has more than you.
  13. The desire to discard and the desire to possess are flip sides of the same coin.
  14. Find your own minimalism.
  15. Minimalism is a method and a beginning.

Final Thoughts

Take your time. Maybe for now minimalism is just a thought.

You’re more likely to try the new burger on the ads than get rid of unused popcorn maker which makes a mess aside from popcorn. (I used to have this. Movie night is cleaning night also.)

But give it a try. One item a week as a start. Before the year ends, you’ll have more space and time in your life. And money.

What are the things you had difficulty parting with? Any tips on how you get started.

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About Pwede Padala Gal

Pwede Padala Gal loves to share tips on how to save in Canada and the Philippines. Someday she'll finally teach her Aspin at least one dog trick and keep a cactus alive. Chat with her on Facebook and reddit.

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