Q. In a world where there is surplus, (and excess, too) – thanks to the constant race for better living, technology, increased spending capabilities, financial gains – how and where does one draw the line?
Marie Kondo: Ask yourself: “Does the state of my home make me comfortable? What about the state of my life?” If you are struggling to answer yes to these questions, it’s time to re-evaluate how you are currently living.
To do this, first try tidying your home entirely. By reassessing all the belongings you have in your life, you clarify your values – a vital step in creating a boundary between your core and the world that is steeped in excess.
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Q : Do you think [financial problems are] essential for people to finally realize the consequences of [materialism]?
Leo Babauta : I think financial problems highlight the underlying problems of excessive consumerism, so yes, that does tend to help. But it’s not necessary — even in good times, people spend too much and then spend too much time working, to end up with a bunch of worthless possessions (and often too much fat as a result of consumerism). If they can see, by the shining example of minimalists, that by letting go of all of that you can work less, be happier, have time for what’s important, be healthier, reduce your impact on the environment … maybe they’ll join us. I definitely think that leading by example, and starting a community-wide discussion on these important issues, is the way to start this movement.
Leo babauta is the author of many books, which can be buy from the links given below.
Q: Your architecture is famous for its clarity and purity. Did you seek out those qualities when you were younger?
John Pawson: In my mind, everybody feels this need. We all live in a state of contradiction. We want to create order and feel liberated from the weight of too many possessions, but at the same time we love to accumulate things. We want to travel and be alone at the same time. We want to be successful and earn more money, but we also want to turn our backs on the corporate world. But it’s true, I felt the desire for simplicity you are talking about early on. When I was six years old, I went on a seaside trip to Blackpool. On the way back, I realised I had lost my set of pens. I was shocked and swore to myself never to get so attached to things again.