Every month or so, I open every drawer and closet in my room, grab the clothes I don’t wear, and divide them into “maybe” and “donate” piles. (Usually, the “maybes” get donated at the end.) The rest is self-explanatory.
But why? I’m too young to have a mid-life crisis. Do I not like clothes? It isn’t about “liking” as it is about possessions — I’ve learned that they tend to possess us rather than vice versa.
We then become attached to our items, which we drag physically and mentally. To rid them is like taking calm, deep breath and exhaling slowly. Or a crisp, cold gulp of water.
And by removing these chains, I found freedom. The freedom to move. The freedom from material restraints. (And the freedom to open my closet without visual harassment.)
This idea is hybrid of Nate Green, Tim Ferriss, and the 80/20 principle. In the 80/20 principle, Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto, found that 80% of effects generally come from 20% of the causes. So, for example, 20% of clients lead to 80% of profits or 20% of the world’s population holds 80% of the income, etc.
I noticed — back in early-2010 — I wore 20% of my clothes 80% of the time. Just why the heck did I need the other 80%? Would my life be any different if I donated the things I never touched? “Probably not,” I thought. Worse-case scenario, I could always buy something I eventually needed.
That night, I grabbed all my clothes and divided them into “keep,” “maybe,” and “donate” piles. It was difficult at first — I never used my *throwing stuff away* muscles — but after a few hours, I bagged over 60% of my clothes for donation. (I used Beautiful Store, which does free pick-up in Incheon, South Korea.) A month later, I filled two more garbage bags with my clothes and created a new rule — for every piece of clothing I acquire, I donate one.
The result? More space in my apartment, and people who needed my clothes more than me got them.
I never looked back.
[quote]One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.
- Bruce Lee[/quote]