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  • Writer's pictureTamanna Mohapatra

Minimalist hoarders

I am not sure if this is an actual term but it's a term I heard my friend describe herself as this weekend. I thought it was interesting; interesting enough to pen and share some thoughts around it.

These days all of us are inundated with both FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and it's corollary- 'Fear Of Missing Out on a Good Sale', If there's one thing we Americans do and like to do, is shop. "Shop till we drop", "I deserve it", Shopping is cheaper than a Psychiatrist", "Too good a deal to miss"...these are just some of the expressions we are all very familiar with. I am guilty of this habit too; every time I get stressed I feel the urge to buy something. If I am going on a much anticipated trip, I feel I should get something new to memorialize the occasion, as if the 100s of pictures taken on the trip won't be memory enough.

I have been trying to improve. I no longer go online on the day of a holiday when the best online deals are available because they are very tempting and you always think it's better to buy now when it's on sale vs. when it's not-even if it's something you didn't really want or even worse didn't need in the first place.

I also have a strict rule (which I am proud to disclose I have been following), every new purchase has to lead to one or two donations. The aim is over time to own minimum items. The benefits are many- less item owned translates into less items to take care of, less items that can get lost, and less items that don't get used. Three excellent reasons, not too mention the money saved and the positive sustainability effect. Reduced consumerism is always good for the environment.

A very close friend of mine considers herself a minimalist and she has an empty wardrobe to prove it.

The opposite of minimalism is also a concept familiar to us Americans- Hoarding; not giving up anything. Another equally close friend of mine is a self proclaimed hoarder. Her one room studio is a magical home where things are balancing on more things that are both kept on top of a third item for lack of space. Why do we hoard? Why can't we let go? Why do we need to fill our mind and even is our physical space with stuff? One answer is probably it looks good in the store and we think it will therefore look good in our surroundings and give us equal amount of happiness/pleasure seeing it. But alas, our homes are not showrooms. The effect is not the same, but once bought we can't return it or feel bad admitting we made the wrong purchase in the first it stays and our house gets messier and messier resembling our messy lives.

Minimalist hoarder then is someone who knows they want to be a minimalist but are a hoarder in reality and so don't do either- not buy nor part with what they have. I guess I am the opposite- I buy but donate; the key word being donate, not throw- so that someone else can use it and it's given away at a point where it's still usable. What kind are you? If you happen to come across this post and make it to the end, do share your thoughts. Till next week! A la prochaine.

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