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The Minimalists
The Minimalists are Emmy-nominated Netflix stars and New York Times–bestselling authors Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. Alongside their podcast cohost, T.K. Coleman, this simple-living trio helps millions of people eliminate clutter and live meaningfully with less. Learn More.

Collecting Is Dangerous

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

No matter how hard we try to hide behind euphemisms and other semantic trickery, though, the truth will always find us. 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, websites, and clubs all dedicated to collecting things—not creating things, but collecting them.

We don’t believe there’s anything inherently wrong with owning material possessions, but we do wonder why so many of us collect things: why do we give our belongings so much meaning?

The things we collect become elements of us: our collections become part of our identities. 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 we’re already perfect—beautiful through and through.