In a nutshell: How many cups can you drink from at one time? How many pairs of shoes can you wear at one time? How many cars can you drive at one time?
Outside of a nutshell: This has been my approach to minimalism, only having one (or very few, in the case of dishes – you may have other people over for dinner, but not likely 300 other people) of any given item that’s only used one at a time. By all means, make it quality! You’re using it everyday.
Just a few of the benefits:
- No more comparisons: Chances are, if you own multiples of one thing (bikes, pairs of shoes, chef’s knives, pairs of jeans) you have a single favorite item, that perfect fitting pair of jeans. Why own anything else? When you only own one, you can wear your favorite thing every day.
- Fewer decisions: Use the tall skinny flutes or the bulbous red wine glasses? If you only own one type, it’s a non-decision – pour the wine, sip, and enjoy. As Barry Schwartz points out in the Paradox of Choice, more choice leads to less ultimate satisfaction.
- Less to clean: If you only have one bowl, you have to wash it before you can use it again – no more piles of dirty dishes weighing on your conscience.
- Freedom from the desire to shop: If you already have a bicycle, or a backpack, or a phone, you’re done – that means more money in your wallet and less time agonizing over what to buy. No need to look for anything else in that category for a long time, since you did your research and bought a high quality version that suits you well. Now go outside and enjoy the day!