One of the tips mentioned in Goodbye, Things was to leverage social media as a way of creating a personal pressure to stay on track with the job of minimizing.
As such, I’ve submitted a Reddit promise to get rid of 10 things per month. There were a few encouraging comments and one that led me to further analysis asking if this is about net reduction or not.
I’ve emphatically committed to net items, meaning that if I had acquired items during January, I would have to increase the number of items I got rid of by the same amount - for example if I bought 1 item, I would have now to get rid of 11 items.
It was a decision I hesitated a bit as I didn’t know what to expect as far as purchases and at the end of the day commitment won.
As it turned out once I started out following the advice in the book things ended up snowballing to the point where within a few days I had over three times the amount I had committed to and had to put a stop to it out of fear that I will discard everything in the first month and thus not be able to keep my commitment (habit building is important).
Some of the rules/tips that really helped:
- #9 - Start with things that are clearly junk - examples of items I threw away: a dried out glue stick, pills, expired coupons;
- #11 - Get rid of it if you haven’t used it in a year - some clothing items and books fell under this category;
- #20 - Let go of the idea of someday - this was hard one for me as I do love collecting projects;
- #14 - Take photos of the items that are tough to part with - another difficult one as it seems that some gifts and hand-made items are just not made for getting rid of but for recollecting and maybe laughing about; I now have a folder of photos on my phone where I store this and you know what - it was actually easy to share and remember the item this way.
All that being said, January saw me acquire 2 items and discard 31, a total net of 29.
On the business front I read/listened to 7 books, not all of which apply at this point and all of which were inspirational:
- Jason Schreier’s “Blood, Sweat, and Pixels” (don’t ever want to be in the video-game industry);
- Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”;
- “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell;
- “ReWork” by Jason Fried and DHH;
- Ben Horrowitz’s “The Hard Thing About Hard Things”;
- Chris Guillebeau’s “The $100 Startup”;
- currently reading Eric Ries’s “The Lean Startup”.