I read Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism by Fumio Saski in December. I previously wanted to read Marie Kondo’s book, but it was always checked out at the library, and eventually all I heard was hype. Plus, I’m pretty decent at getting rid of things that don’t mean anything to me, and keeping things that make me feel good.
In terms of Goodbye, Things, I liked that Saski had a rational grip on reality – not too extreme in getting rid of things, not too sentimental, but also not judgmental. He used to hoard possessions: books he never read, electronics he never used, and more. After realizing this didn’t make him happy, he started getting rid of things. It was hard and he admits that, so it was easy to relate. It was hard for me to get rid of things in the beginning, but now I almost feel like a machine – not extreme, but I am not overly sentimental and will settle for taking a picture of the item and keeping that. This is something Saski recommends, too. He took pictures of a lot of his possessions before he gave them away, and admitted that he never looked at the pictures again – so how much could he have loved the item?
I have started taking pictures of things before I get rid of them, too. I haven’t taken photos of items yet, because I’m usually ok with getting rid of those. I took some photos of elementary school papers my mom kept, though. I don’t want the physical papers, but I would like to have the option to look back on them in the future. I plan to do that with my old photo albums also – “old” as in middle school and high school, things that probably shouldn’t be seen again anyway!
I think this book probably tells a lot of minimalists what they already know, but sometimes it’s nice to hear your ideas re-iterated and backed up, and that’s why I enjoyed this book and found it encouraging on my journey to minimalism.