BR:Goodbye Things – Fumio Sasaki

Goodbye Things
Fumio Sasaki is a writer in his thirties who lives in a tiny studio in Tokyo with three shirts, four pairs of trousers, four pairs of socks and not much else. A few years ago, he realized that owning so much stuff was weighing him down - so he started to get rid of it. In this hit Japanese bestseller, Sasaki explores the philosophy behind minimalism and offers a set of straightforward rules - discard…

This is the second book I have read on Minimalism so far this year and the best yet. Written through personal experience, the author explained to us as to why and how he became one of the maximum minimalist by choice in Japan if not in the world.

It is not simply a  How to book but  it is a story of a journey of the author’s own experience – his struggles and triumphs in letting go of his attachments to material possessions. I found myself chuckling many times and able to relate to myself and those I know, as he explained what his thoughts were and how others may think as well when it comes to throwing ‘junks’ that we take as treasures or items that we save up for our unborn grandchildren. We are different and yet the same. The more I read on I understood as to  why he did what he did – to throw away and not even store anything of ‘might be useful someday’  just made sense. To move out of one apartment to another in just 30 minutes? Or to have more time doing what you like instead of doing chores? In fact he said that doing chores is even more enjoyable as it became less of a hassle and his living area calms the nerves.

With a bit of story telling he also gave us about 55 ways  or tips on how you can condition yourself emotionally to make it easier to say goodbye to things that no longer serve your daily life. Those greeting cards and arts and crafts given to me by kids whom I cared for during my Kindergarten working days went into the recycling bin day before. I took photos of them as suggested. I suppose it is a fear of no longer seeing something that brings me the feeling of nostalgia that made me kept them. I had piles and piles of notebooks that are waiting to be used. Simply taking away more storage and more of my living space. I packed them up and told my daughter to give them away for her friends to use. I’ll finish using the ones I am using and once I’ve utilized them I can get more then. Buy things only when I need or I really use on a daily or even monthly basis. I don’t strive to be a minimalist but I do aim for a bit more simpler life with less things that only taking up space.

I only took a few tips and I feel that I am actually making more progress in getting my life to be less cluttered. Minimalism as he puts it is a journey and you don’t have to do it in a day or weeks. It could be years. As I remember him saying that it took him about 5 years. Get rid of the real junk out first and go on from there. Would I recommend this book? Totally. Especially if you are hoping to seek some guidance or are thinking about downsizing your worldly possessions.    


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