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Minimalist lifestyle - through life with 64 objects
- Current article
They minimize their lifestyle because they are looking for the maximum. You focus on the essentials. While an average household has around 10,000 items, minimalists reduce their belongings to a few hundred things.
Cédric Waldburger is a minimalist. He practices self-restraint and has freed himself from all unnecessary possessions. The 30-year-old wants to go through life with light luggage and therefore only has 64 items. He even gave up his apartment.
Everything he owns is black and he never spends more than three days in one place. The digital nomad develops apps to optimize his life and that of his customers. He is involved in various companies and projects internationally and is constantly on the move.
Waldburger lives minimalistically, but is not a dropout, but wants success. Discipline and self-optimization are important values for him. “The nice thing is that I'm just extremely free in my life,” he says.
Up until now, Waldburger was single, but now he has fallen in love. Minimalist life for two - is that possible?
His new friend Elena Iwantschek optimizes search engines. Unlike her boyfriend, she owns an apartment, and there are more things in her bathroom alone than Cédric Waldburger owns as a whole. Nevertheless, she is convinced of his lifestyle.
But it is clear to both of them: should they one day start a family, things will probably get complicated with the reduced items. However, the two are still constantly on the move. They meet in Bali, Berlin or anywhere else in the world in hotels or rental apartments. Wherever they have their business appointments.
Cédric Waldburger is aware that frequent flying does not necessarily correspond to a minimalist concept of life: "In return, I try to reduce my ecological footprint with my reduced everyday lifestyle."
The cleaning coach
40-year-old Selim Tolga sorted his toys by color as a child and he loved tidying up. Today it has become his business. The abundance of his customers is his happiness. Because as a cleaning coach, he helps people to clean out their apartments.
"Others take a psychiatrist, I afford the cleaning coach," says his customer Ute Ruf. The former teacher and author has collected countless things in her life and is happy about the feeling of happiness after tidying up and disposing of objects that have become superfluous. She invests around 90 francs an hour for this.
“Minimalism helps to draw boundaries with possessions and thoughts, so that one can free oneself from unnecessary ballast,” says Selim Tolga. He often recognizes similar patterns in his customers. Many overwhelm themselves with the exclusive reduction in ownership and forget that there is also a need to clean up their heads. Only then do you feel free and carefree.
Tips from the cleaning coach
- The less you own, the less you have to tidy up - only 20 percent of 10,000 items that you own on average are actually in use
- Define practical places and put things back there after use
- When mucking out, do not ask "What can be removed?" rather, "What really adds value to my life?"
- “But maybe I need that again”: This attitude is mostly at the expense of the present. So far it has not been used either. The freedom gained feels better than being prepared for the unlikely event
- “But it cost money”: Yes, but storage also costs (space, energy, time, maintenance). The freedom gained feels better than the loss of money hurting
- "It was a gift": The purpose of a gift is to make the giver happy. Then you can do whatever you want with the gift. Otherwise it is not a gift, but a deal: "I'll give you my tea set and you will keep it in the living room cupboard for the rest of your life"
- You also have to muck out in your head. Too many wishes, projects, goals cause just as much chaos as physical disorder. The right question: "What is my mission, which values are important to me?"
Tolga receives a lot of inquiries from people who would like to be tidy but don't know where to start, and it is easier for customers to let go of things when they have someone to help them.
Living in the snail shell
Tanja Schindler has decided to let go. The building biologist only lives on 35m2 and can move at any time with her Oeko-Mini-House, which she designed herself. She finds the minimalist lifestyle a good alternative to the often ill-making excess.
"We are the first generation to have everything, and we have noticed that that doesn't make us happy," says the mother of two. When she moved out of the common house after the separation, she only kept items that are really close to her heart. She only owns one bike and no longer a car. And she values natural materials.
For many, status symbols have lost their power. That is why more and more people in industrialized countries know the need to free themselves from what is useless. You suffer from too much information, too many things and too little time for the essentials.
We buy more than we need. We get bogged down, we lose focus. Shopping as a leisure activity does not make you happy in the long run, it is an act of skipping which is ultimately based on the exploitation of third world countries. Alternatives are needed.
The trend towards a minimalist lifestyle reveals the longing for more simplicity and classification in an increasingly unmanageable world.
Paolo Bianchi questions whether the reduction of property and the targeted tidying up help against disorientation. He is a lecturer in lateral thinking at the Zurich University of the Arts. "Just because we suddenly roll our shirts into sausages doesn't make the world any clearer." He sees the trend more as a sedative pill that helps to distract from the complicated world.
Don't worry, says Selim Tolga, the tidying up coach: “Even spontaneous disorder has a place in minimalism. But not the oppressive and time-consuming. You should just surround yourself with things that are beautiful and important to you and that, in the best case, make us happy.
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