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If you read my blog, you will know that last year we sold our house and gave away practically all of our possessions (hey, there’s an 11 letter word with 5 s’s! Too many for Scrabble.). We had decided to go minimalist. Oops!

We gave away all our white goods, furniture and just about everything except our clothes and cars. No, we were not planning to leave the country (heaven forbid). We just wanted to live in rented property and have freedom from household maintenance, pesky neighbours, bodies corporate and all the baggage that comes with owning your home. The idea was that if we didn’t like where we were living, we could just move on.

Great! In September 2018, we rented a double story, furnished penthouse in Rosebank. Glass everywhere, brilliant sunsets, more space than we knew what to do with. The furniture was crap, so the lease agreement included refurnishing by the landlord. After a couple of months, he still hadn’t come to the party, and offered to refund our deposit if we wanted to move on. His return on investment was pathetic (I’ve written about returns (ROI) on these up-market properties before) and having to spend another R450K on a dead duck was not to his taste.

So, at the end of December we moved to another upmarket unit, also in Rosebank (same lousy ROI, by the way). We didn’t want a repeat performance, so had selected an unfurnished place this time. Now here’s the rub. We had to go out and buy – you guessed it – white goods, furniture, cutlery, crockery – STUFF! So much for minimalism in our lives.

So yes, minimalism is a great concept, but, like Just in Time for manufacturers, it should, perhaps, be a state of mind, rather than a rule book. Adopt the concept and carry it with you whenever you contemplate buying something, or storing something. Don’t be scared to chuck out or give away. Keep the clutter out of your life. In Feng Shui terms, the energy will flow more freely through your home and your life.

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