Tuesday, 5 March 2013


I've got a problem that I am working on. Whenever I do something I find pleasurable I feel guilty. This is particular when I am just relaxing watching youtube videos or indulging in some peoples favourite past time, doing nothing.

Why do we feel guilty then, well I could go into a long drawn out spiel of what research suggests but nobody wants to hear that. In my opinion guilt is a product of our present day social environment where the idea of “work” that being a 9-5, 5 day a week job is seen as the social norm. As a result any time we aren’t working even if it outside of our working hours affects us and we feel guilty as a result.

This as far as I’m concerned is an absolute joke, why should enjoyment and idleness be frowned upon. We should be able to do what we love whether that be sitting around doing nothing, playing video games, going to the pub, whatever it may be don’t feel guilty, enjoy it!

One of the products of minimalism is that you should have more time to do the things you enjoy as your life is free from those aspects seen as unnecessary.

So my advice, stop doing what society expects of you and get out there and enjoy yourself. Life is for living so go and live it and remember no regrets.

Saturday, 16 February 2013


In further attempts to simplify my life and de-clutter I was musing through some of my belongings and noticed I still held all of my assignments from university in paper format. Although these had originally been typed up on the computer, through these course of time these had been lost.

I collected together all of my assessments which for some odd reason hold some sentimental value, go figure. As I am currently in the possession of a printer/copier/scanner I decided to go through the process of scanning all of these files onto my computer and now house these both on my hard drive and within a google drive. I definitely recommend this for sentimental and important documents which you want to hold in one spot.

Anyway, whilst scanning away probably well in excess of 1,000 sheets of paper it occurred to me the power of the internet and now I have at my fingertips the ability to access these documents anywhere in the world. The simple act of scanning these into digital format has allowed me to not only dispose of the physical documents but has actually made them more easily accessible anywhere in the world and all I need is an internet connection.

In this day and age I think it is easy to forget the power we have at our fingertips and through a simple act of cutting down my belongings through digitization I have in actual fact increased the usability by now having multiple access points to these files.

I feel it's an important lesson to remember that in practicing minimalism and simplifying our lives we can in actual fact further enhance our belongings that would have previously been considered clutter.

Friday, 15 February 2013


Reddit has quickly become my go to place for pretty much everything and I feel that even my own "Fresh Start" would not have been possible without it. I consider myself a bit of an introvert, I enjoy my own company but I still enjoy interacting with others out in the real world and in cyber space.

So what is Reddit? Well Reddit is a platform that allows users to post links or discussions. These posts are then either upvoted or downvoted by other users which then influence there position on the site and your on newsfeed, the more upvotes the higher in the queue as it where. It is such a simple idea yet has been executed so well and credit goes to the guys over at Reddit for making it happen.

Glancing at the states as of today's date we are able to see that there are over 4,300 active communities, users have visited the website from over 175 countries and the number of logged in Redditors amounts to over 2,200,000. Additionally Reddit proved remarkable in other areas, it has provided a platform to host regular meetups one of which I have attended in London but it also allows celebrities to answer questions from users referred to as AMAs (Ask me Anything). Notable AMA's that come to mine are those of Snoop Lion (Snoop Dogg) and President Barrack Obama.

Some of the top reasons why Reddit is my favorite website on the net include:

1. Provides a platform to link with others who share similar interests to yourself.

2. Generally speaking the best content will be pushed to the top with undesirable content being swiftly down voted and not shown on your news feed.
3. Allows you to discover new areas of the web that you may have never considered before. I don't even know how many websites I now frequent as a result of Reddit but it's a lot.
4. Content is created by the users.

But what about me, when I log onto reddit where do I hang out? well some of my favourite subreddits are /r/minimalism/r/declutter//r/simpleliving/ for all of my minimalism needs. /r/Paleo//r/keto//r/bodyweightfitness//r/progresspics/ for my health and motivational needs. /r/LifeProTips//r/EDC/ (Everyday carry), /r/Entrepreneur//r/IWantToLearn//r/malefashionadvice/ for my own personal interest. There are a host of other sub-reddits I visit but these are certainly the most frequent and it is through these sub-reddits that I find a lot of my reading material across all corners of the internet.

I'll be honest, without Reddit I probably would not have begun on this minimalist movement. So thank you Reddit for helping me improve my life. So guys jump on board head over to reddit.com take a look around see if you find a sub-reddit that interests you and get involved in the community.

Monday, 11 February 2013


Over the past 3 months or so possibly longer I have begun a quest to create a simpler, cleaner life for myself. This has been in the form of several different initiatives including diet, exercise and work. This is something that I have wanted to share with others so that they may benefit also from what I have discovered and so I am able to continue learning, changing, shifting, upgrading my own processes and improving my own life.

To kick off I want to explain one area that above all else I wanted to grapple with and this wasn't just a quest with a simple start and finish. This area represents a lifestyle change one that I am consistently evaluating, reassessing and questioning.

This area is minimalism. Now before I explain the changes I have made in my own life and how I intend on continuing this movement I feel it worthwhile actually defining what minimalism is. For many they feel that this is simply removing objects from your life and getting rid of so much that you have the smallest amount that you could possibly live with. This I feel is a misguided view, rather I feel that minimalism is a constant process of simplification of your life, removing anything regarded as non-essential to you as an individual. Therefore each persons on concept of minimalism will be different based on their own traits, hobbies and careers among other things. As a result of this, individuals concepts of minimalism will consistently change throughout their life.

The actual process of minimizing my possessions was relatively simple it involved looking at my possessions asking myself does this add any value to my life? This value could be in certain forms an item may contain decorative value it may spice up the room (eg. Posters), the item may contain sentimental value (one such item that springs to mind is my Great Granduncles war journal and discharge papers), the item may be defined through your own core values as one which you would deem essential (such as this computer I am typing this blog post on). You get the idea, if the item in question did not measure up to those values my feeling is that it was actually detracting from those objects that did add value and as a result had to be removed from my life.

I wanted to take the time to also to define my objectives in doing this. I had explained earlier that I wanted to change as an individual. Minimizing my possessions allowed to focus on other more crucial areas on my life such as:

  • Financial: Adopting minimalism has meant that I have less possessions that need to be housed which potentially means I would need less areas to store these goods. Therefore I could in the future live in a smaller dwelling, thereby saving money on real estate. Additionally I am much more careful with the goods I purchase for instance when in the past I might have impulse bought an object just because I could, now I actually think about and research my purchases ensuring I stress quality over quantity. This in turn decreases the amount I spend on consumables.
  • Relationships: Freeing up possessions truly does give you more time for the things that matter. Of particular note is relationships, whether that be with a significant other, friends, family, pets, you name it.
  • Stress: Minimalism has allowed me to become less stressed in my life. Not having to worry about a mountain of possessions is a real load off and it is something I feel everybody should consider.
These are the more significant areas of my life that have benefited as a result of turning minimalist. This is by no means an exhaustive list and I'm sure at a later date these topics as well as others will be discussed in greater depth.

You're probably asking what I did with those objects I got rid of. Well as far as I was concerned I had 3 options. One I could sell it and this would be my first port of call, if it had any monetary value then I sold it. If I was unable to sell any of the objects or it wasn't worth the effort for what I would get out of it I donated it. Fortunately here in the UK there is an abundance of charity shops so my unwanted clothes and belongings did not go to waste. Of course finally there was the trash which is where a good deal of my belongings ended up.

As far as what the future holds for me and minimalism I am still constantly evaluating my possessions considering whether they are worthwhile holding onto. It's actually quite fun and I am working on formula to determine what objects should be kept and those that shouldn't. Additionally, as far as the items that I now currently own go I am always looking for ideas to upgrade those items. For instance most recently I have changed my Kenneth Cole Trifold wallet to a Saddleback Leather ID wallet and couldn't be happier.

For those who want to find out more about minimalism one of the best sources of knowledge on the subject is over on Joshua Becker's blog Becoming Minimalist. I strongly encourage you to check it out. You won't be disappointed.