30 August 2012

A Shift in Values

As I read about minimalism, I realized that the notion of decluttering and owning less stuff is a central theme. But I don't think removing objects from one's life in itself is minimalist. It's more of a consequence of a shift of values, a different perspective on the importance of owning objects.

Here is my own example if it helps understanding what i'm trying to say. I have had one major shift in values when I went to Japan for one year.

Before I left, I thought that my money was better spent in physical objects, such as DVDs, mangas, video games or books. My reasoning was: if I have 20€, and I go to the restaurant, the next day I have nothing: no money, no object. But if I have 20€ and buy a DVD, the next day I don't have the money anymore but I have the DVD. So I always prioritized growing my collection of things over paying for an experience or a social event.

The change occured in Japan, first because I was shocked at how much more avdertisements they have and objects they buy there, and second because it took me a lot of time and money to ship all the stuff I bought during the year back to France when I left Japan. I really started asking myself questions after another year, when I realized I hadn't used 10% of all the objects I had shipped back.

I realized that owning many objects could easily become a burden to organize, maintain, find a place for, and sell/donate when you want to get rid of it. My values began to shift. I started thinking that maybe, a DVD was not the best investment for my 20€.

Now, I value experiences over objects. I still buy some, when I know I will use them regualry. If it is only for a one time use, I rent or borrow, because it will save me not only money, but also time and storage space. So now with my 20€, I would rather go to the restaurant with my friends, visit a museum, go to the theater or to a concert. And if there is a film I want to see, either I go to a cinema, or I borrow a DVD from a friend, or I rent it for 24 hours...

1 comment:

  1. I have to say, i think in similar lines. Money vanishes when i go out socializing/drinking/partying. I rather spend on clothes. I am trying hard to balance it all and stop accumulating clothing.