Neat Desk

Until today, I had a big built-in closet filled with magazines, comics, and other miscellaneous junk. Well, they are—or used to be—part of my collection, but the truth is, I would never even get close to reading all of them. So I made up my mind to get rid of the contents of the closet altogether. No more magazines. No more comic books. No more junk. I feel awesome. It’s like losing 40 pounds all of a sudden.

I am a great fan of Zen Habits, and I’ve been reading Mr Babauta’s posts for half a year now. I gotta say I’m totally in love with his minimalist lifestyle. The most meaningful tips I’ve implemented in my life concern living more frugally and having a minimalist home. And today I continued my quest towards minimalism, because I still had one dreadful closet yet to be decluttered.


I used to collect all sorts of useless things. I filed every slip of paper I thought I would need in the future. I kept tens of different pens and pencils in my pencil stand. The desk was cluttered with ugly decorations and figures. I had clothes in the dresser I never used. There were decks of Magic the Gathering cards on my bookshelf (the last time I played with them was exactly a decade ago), and hundreds of burned CDs and DVDs in the drawer. To be honest, I can’t even keep track of what I used to have. But now that it’s all gone, the place looks so much cleaner and healthier. I am happier with fewer possessions.

What did I keep?

On the desk

  • MacBook
  • external hard drive for backups
  • TV
  • video game consoles (PS2 and PS3)
  • stereo set (amplifier and speakers)
  • small bust of the Buddha (the only piece of decoration)
  • file for unpaid bills, diplomas, certificates, and recent documents
  • notepad
  • pencil stand (two black pens, one red pen, two mechanical pencils, and one eraser)
  • tape dispenser
  • box of tissues
  • digital camera
  • personal items (iPhone, wallet, and key case)
  • the book I’m currently reading

In the drawer

  • headphones
  • microphone headset
  • charger for digital camera
  • passports
  • hairdryer
  • holiday and birthday cards

On the bookshelf

  • books (duh)
  • video games
  • movies
  • Nintendo DS

In the closet

  • clothes
  • basket for socks and underwear
  • shoulder bag
  • Japanese calligraphy equipment
  • extra blankets
  • medicines
  • cologne
  • things to sell

Although I would’ve put decluttering on my list of skills every successful person should learn, I understand that many people are collectors. And quite happy as such hobbyists. After all, I do allow myself to collect three things. Books. Video games. Movies. But I try to limit my collection to only those books, video games and movies that I believe are essential. If I acquire a video game I don’t like, I try to get rid of it by either selling it or giving it away. With movies, I only buy the ones I know I’m going to watch more than once. Books, however, are a bit more difficult. I am still obsessed with books, as I haven’t got rid of many trashy novels such as Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter and Lonely Planet guides.