Why do you keep empty boxes of shoes and other stuff?

How much space do they take up in your home?

Do they still spark joy, add value or meaning to your life?

Do they bring you closer to your life goals?

These were the questions I thought of and acted upon promptly last night as I come home from my overnight trip to celebrate New Year at a friend’s town in Laguna.

So I disposed of all the shoe and a few gadget boxes I’ve kept in my two years of living in my small apartment unit. And I was shamefully amazed because of the number of accumulated stuff that I no longer need or use.

Before 2017 ended, I return to watching other videos related to minimalism after watching the more than an hour documentary “Minimalism: A Documentary on the Important Things.”

I’ve learned a lot from them, but if I would summarize them into three takeaways to share with you, here they are.

1. Give or donate belongings that no longer add value to your life.

2. Get rid of toxic relationships. Those that sap the life and joy out of you, those that don’t add value to you, or people who don’t know how to value the time you give them and the efforts you do for them. Especially avoid people who just use you for their own benefit or agenda.

3. Live your life with minimal and only important possessions. Clue: those that you regularly use within three to six months at a time.

The bottomline of this is to avoid the clutter and spending time and resources to maintaining them, so you could have more time for the things and people who truly matter in your life.

Taking this concept of minimalism to the next level, Greg McKeown coined the term “Essentialism.”

He exhorts: “Every choice we make to pursue the essential and eliminate the non-essential builds on itself, making that choice more and more habitual until it becomes virtually second nature…The life of an Essentialist is a life of meaning.”

When I read his book on Essentialism last year, I realized I need to possess only the essential things and pursue only the people who truly matter in my life.

Life is short to be spent on wasteful non-essentials.

Those empty boxes I threw away last night symbolize things, activities and relationships I need to be set free from this 2018.

As this new year begins, I resolve to turn over a new leaf to live only for what’s essential.

What are your own version of empty boxes?

Adrian is a professional Events Host, Writer, Teacher, and Change Catalyst. He's a world-class emcee creating fun, memorable, and meaningful events. As a change catalyst, his mission is to inspire personal development so people could have better lives with brighter future, against all odds. An IELTS- and TESOL-certified English Trainer, he's also a prolific Tagalog Tutor.