Watch The Minimalists' TEDx Talk: A Rich Life with Less Stuff

The Minimalists

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus write about living a meaningful life with less stuff for 3 million readers. As featured on: ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, TODAY Show, NPR, Forbes, The Atlantic, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and National Post. They live in Missoula, Montana.

Collecting Is Dangerous

Collecting

Collecting material possessions is not unlike hoarding. Take it from two former hoarders—ahem, collectors—of stuff. The word collector just sounds prettier than its alternative.

Don’t believe us? Look it up. The Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus lists the following synonyms under the first definition of collection: HOARD, pile, heap, stockpile.

It’s strange: there are myriad TV shows and websites and clubs all dedicated to collecting things—not creating things, but collecting them.

While the two of us don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with owning material possessions, we do wonder why so many of us collect things? What’s the purpose? Why do we give our belongings so much meaning in our lives?

The things we collect become elements of us; our collections become part of our identities, a slice of who we are. But what happens when we take away our collections? Are we not the same beautiful people?

Actually, when we jettison our superfluous possessions, we discover that we’re already perfect, beautiful right down to our bones.

The Minimalists: Free Essays via Email // Books // Writing Class // Mentoring