Goodbye, Things the New Japanese Minimalism - Fumio Sasaki

Goodbye, Things the New Japanese Minimalism - Fumio Sasaki

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About the structure of this book Chapter 1 takes a look at the definition of a minimalist and what exactly it means to be one. It also explores some of the reasons why I believe the minimalist population has been growing in recent years. Chapter 2 asks why we have accumulated so much in the first place. It considers the habits and the desires that we have as humans and the meanings that exist behind all the objects we have. Chapter 3 offers some basic rules and techniques for reducing our material possessions. I’ve compiled methods for discarding various things, along with an additional list for minimalists who want to part with more items, and also a remedy for minimalists who get addicted to throwing things away. Chapter 4 talks about the changes that I went through when I decreased the number of my possessions to an absolute minimum. Along with the psychological results, it offers a look at the positive things that have happened to me by going minimalist and the sense of happiness that I have become more aware of. Chapter 5 offers more insight into why the changes that I went through have made me happy, and covers more generally what I learned about happiness along the way. I hope you’ll start at the beginning of this book to give you a better sense of minimalism, but it’s also okay to read the chapters randomly if you prefer. I think a quick look at Chapter 3 will come in handy for anyone who’s thinking about reducing the amount of possessions that they now have. In this book, I’ve defined minimalism as (1) reducing our necessary items to a minimum, and (2) doing away with excess so we can focus on the things that are truly important to us. People who live that way are the ones I consider to be minimalists.

Goodbye, Things The New Japanese Minimalism Fumio Sasaki Translated by Eriko Sugita

W.W. NORTON & COMPANY Independent Publishers Since 1923 New York | London

Contents ILLUSTRATIONS INSERT INTRODUCTION

1. Why minimalism? 2. Why did we accumulate so much in the first place? 3. 55 tips to help you say goodbye to your things 15 more tips for the next stage of your minimalist journey 4. 12 ways I’ve changed since I said goodbye to my things 5. “Feeling” happy instead of “becoming” happy AFTERWORD AND MAXIMUM THANKS RECAP: FUMIO SASAKI’S MINIMALIST TIPS

Goodbye, Things Fumio Sasaki

BECOMING MINIMALIST Both of the pictures on the opposite page are of my old apartment. I couldn’t throw things away. As you can see, my possessions kept piling up. I lived in this apartment for ten years, and during that time, it seemed like my life had stopped moving forward. That was when I came across the concept of ​minimalism—of reducing your belongings to just the minimal essentials. I went from messy maximalism to life as a minimalist. I said goodbye to almost all my things and to my surprise I found I had also changed myself in the process.

HOW I BECAME A MINIMALIST

1. Little by little, using techniques I’ll cover in chapter 3, I turned that messy room into a tidy apartment.

2. I got rid of all my books, and even my desk and chair. We call this “simple” living, rather than minimalist living.

3. Finally, I got rid of my mattress, table, and even my TV. I often feel like I’m a Zen monk in training.

Maximalist Life

1. I used to leave my clothes lying around, which resulted in what you might call a peculiar art-installation feel.

2. I drank beer at my messy table, munched on snacks, and played video games. I gained weight of course. Minimalism helped with that as well!

3. I used to enjoy buying antique cameras and strange lamps at online auctions.

4. My hallway, formerly lined with bookshelves. I collected as many CDs and DVDs as I could, but in the end I didn’t really cherish any of them.

CASE 1 FUMIO SASAKI

MODEL APARTMENT FOR A MINIMALIST

When I moved out of my old apartment, I chose a simple twenty-square