Minimalism is letting go. Letting go of attachments. The reason why we hold on to many things is because it is filled with memories that we love so much. We tend to keep every memorabilia that we collected over the course of our lives, as a result our house is filled with boxes of these memories. There is nothing wrong with keeping these things – we are humans. We treasure the things that remind us of our happy times. We want to store all those memories as long as we live and we want to have something to look at when we are old. It is normal that we act that way. This is the reason why many people does not want to be minimalist, they do not want to throw away these memories. People thing that as minimalist, we have to let go of all these memories and attachment. The truth is we do not have to really throw away all our memories.
It is normal to collect memorabilia and items. What is excessive, however, is that we do not want change and we want everything to remain that way. We treasure so many things that we store it in our cabinets and it adds clutter to our house. Most of the time we just store it in boxes and leave it in a corner. Clutter adds stress to our lives, we may not be aware of it but it does. It is important that we can breathe in our house. A clutter free house is a beautiful thing to look at and it clears our thoughts of distractions. We are able to concentrate more with our family, work, and health when we stop looking at the mess around us. What is not healthy is when we do not feel comfortable in our own homes because of these boxes or the overwhelming memorabilia all around our room.
I do not suggest that you throw all your things away to create space. What I suggest is that we go over these stored things and select the most valuable ones, keep only those that adds value to our lives. Those that made us happy and thought us a lesson. We can also compress our memorabilia by creating a scrap book which is hard to do but rewarding when it is accomplished. We collect bits from these memorabilia and add a note to it. Rather than storing all the clothes we used in our high school, we could take a photo of it and cut a few fabric, stick it in a page and write down the reason why they are so important. We compress these bulky fabrics into few pages of memories.
Our goal is not only to get rid of the hidden boxes where we keep our memories but also to make them visible. The reason why we keep them is we want to see them. By creating a scrapbook, we can easily look at them and read the captions. Instead of having bulks hidden in our closet we have a thick book where all these memories are stored. Streamlining our memorabilia cannot be done overnight. It may take weeks or months depending on how many they are and how long we reminiscent. Reducing their volume is not a race, we can take our time. we do not have to rush, we can start by one box at a time. Remember that minimalist also suggest slowing down. We should not hurry things up and enjoy the moment. Focus on one item at a time and you can take your time in creating your compact memories.
A Filipino family loves memorabilia from their different trips. We love to collect things and display it in places where our visitors see. We treasure almost every blessing that we received. Almost all houses have a cabinet full of trophies and souviners. We love to keep things that reminds us of our happy times – for that reason we cannot adopt a fully minimalist house and lifestyle. If your house is so crowded because of these items, I suggest you streamline them. Select only the best ones and put the others in your scrapbook which you can display in that area for the visitors to see. I remember the photo albums in our living room, every time a relative visits my parents would always show these photo albums. This idea may be old but you can keep almost all your memories in a small photo album. So, rather than hoarding different souvenirs and items from your visit why don’t you print pictures instead. It is compact and works the same way of reminding us of our adventures.
I am not saying that we throw away memories, most minimalist can do that but as a Filipino who is trained to keep things – it is hard to throw away memories. That is why instead of throwing things away, why not put it into minimum.