When I was a child, my father had a insanely large collection of movies on VHS tape. He had a viewing room with a projector television where the walls were lined with cabinets that housed movies. There were hundreds of them, maybe thousands. In the early 1990’s it was like having Blockbuster in your home. Awesome! We were overwhelmed with options whenever it was movie time. Years later, he moved onto DVD’s along with everyone else. The cabinets filled and stacks of movies teetered precariously around the room. Once again, most of them had never been watched.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve observed myself committing the same compulsive behavior. First it was baseball cards, then video games, then vinyl records. The idea is to horde things with the unconscious belief that “one day I might use this”. The problem I find is that it results in a cluttered mindset in addition to a cluttered living space.
As I reduce my physical possessions, I feel myself getting closer to focus and clarity. There’s less on my mind. I’ve given away all of my books and my Blu-Ray collection is next.
The next step for me is taking the same actions on my digital life. When I open Google Chrome every morning, a dozen tabs are routinely open from the previous day, and I don’t know where to start. I download movies compulsively, never watching many of them. I maintain and expand an iTunes library with 90 days straight of music. This is common among my peers, but I question the benefit and practicality.
Today, I make a pledge toward minimalism.
The first thing I’ve done is removed everything extraneous from this blog.