At some point in recent years, you have probably heard of the Minimalism Phenomenon.
While the term also refers to the 1960s art movement, its meaning today more often refers to a lifestyle centered on lack of material possessions. In some ways it is simply a trend that briefly drew a great deal of social media and press attention, with spearheads such as the creators of the documentary “The Minimalists,” as well as Marie Kondo, author of #1 New York Times best-selling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
However fleeting it may be as all fads are by nature, minimalism still holds valuable wisdom as it starkly contrasts consumerist corporate America.
The motivation behind minimalism is that by decluttering and ridding oneself of unnecessary worldly possessions, one is able to lead a peaceful and simple life. This idea in fact goes hand-in-hand with the basic economic concept of diminishing marginal utility, which means that after a certain point, consuming more no longer increases your “utility,” or happiness. All throughout life, we scour for good deals online and in stores, inwardly congratulating ourselves when we’ve hit a rare bargain, as though it were a piece of treasure. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and more recently Amazon’s Prime Day can attest to how crazy society is about good deals. Even with pricey items like Apple products, there are people who camp out in line to get their hands on the latest iPhone.
So minimalists may be onto something, having found a way to escape the vicious, seemingly never-ending cycle of accumulating more stuff. After all, there usually comes a point when we forget what we have purchased because it is buried deep in the back of a closet or stored away in the attic. It is worthwhile to declutter at least once a year, perhaps more often if necessary. The easiest way to start is by discarding items that serve no practical use anymore: broken gadgets that have been lying around collecting dust, shoes that show excessive signs of wear and tear, clothing that no longer fits. Next, you can move onto things that no longer serve any purpose for yourself, but are still in decent condition to donate, give to friends and family, or sell. These could be anything from books, desk toys, mugs, sports equipment, and so on. Items that you forgot you had in the first place are sure to fall into this group.
Finally, you can pause and take note of what remains. They are without question the possessions that still hold sentimental value, such as photo albums (remember those?), personal diaries, meaningful gifts, and possibly childhood toys. There is no need to discard these if you are still strongly attached to them. Items like jewelry, however, don’t always fit quite so neatly into this category. While family heirlooms passed down through multiple generations are most likely worth keeping, if only to uphold tradition, other pieces of jewelry may be difficult for you to let go of simply because they seem rather valuable.
So how should you go about clearing unwanted jewelry from your possession? First, it’s a good idea to have a set of predetermined criteria to help you easily pick out which pieces of jewelry should go. Once you have made the decision, you can think about your options for what to do next. While donating or giving them to loved ones would be very benevolent, you may get more personal satisfaction by selling them for cash instead. There are multiple potential buyers in New York City’s Diamond District on 47th street prepared to help you lead a more minimalistic lifestyle.