Extreme Minimalism (The Ultimate Guide + Image Quotes)

Andrew Hyde made headlines last week after speaking with ABC Radio News

Andrew Hyde is a technology tycoon and consultant if you're not familiar with him. He, like many others in his field, is constantly on the move, working in both New York and Silicon Valley. He also founded Startup Weekend and is the organizer of the TEDxBoulder conference. He mentors new businesses and is working on a new venture that will make art out of discarded vinyl records.

Sounds like a typical business professional, doesn't it? Well, Hyde does have one other claim to fame that distinguishes him from his competitors.

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Andrew Hyde only has 15 possessions

Hyde has chosen to be homeless. He sold all of his possessions after leaving his job as a community organizer for the New York-based start-up incubator TechStars and decided to travel the world. And everything is going swimmingly for Hyde.

For years, I've been fascinated by minimalism. One of my first posts on Lifehack was about 100-item minimalism. And, while I'm making a concerted effort to clear out the clutter in my own life, I'm not sure I could ever reduce all of my belongings to 100 items, let alone the incredible challenge of choosing just 15 items to live on. So it begs the question, what 15 items would you choose to live with?

In this image of Hyde, you can see him as well as all of his worldly possessions. There are two pieces of outerwear, some workout clothes, an orange backpack, a pair of socks, a pair of sunglasses, a phone, a laptop, and a few other miscellaneous items in addition to the clothes on his back. In other words, everything he requires for a mobile tech job. (You can find a complete list of Hyde's belongings from 2010 here.)

And, while not having a permanent home certainly helps to limit the number of possessions a person can have (unless you invest in a long-term storage unit), only 15 items seems ridiculous to most people, especially anyone who enjoys fashion and wants to own more than one pair of shoes.

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But it's important to remember that just because you don't own something doesn't mean you won't be able to get your hands on it if you need it. The larger your social network, the fewer items you need to own. You can always borrow what you don't have from friends or colleagues, whether it's a suit for a formal occasion, a casserole dish for cooking dinner for your in-laws, or even an entire house while your friends are away. And, while you may believe that there are only a few things that a person cannot live without, the majority of them have adequate substitutes.

Cooking essentials such as pots and pans are unnecessary if you are traveling and eating out for every meal, staying in a hotel, or staying in accommodations provided by your employer.

If you don't have a house or an apartment, you don't need furniture. You don't need a television or a cable box to watch your favorite shows if you have a laptop. It's the same with video games, books, and magazine subscriptions.

Consider the savings. There are no car payments, no mortgage payments, and no cable or utility bills. You could probably afford to go out to dinner every night and travel extensively if you didn't have those burdens.

So, how would you go about reducing all of your possessions to just 15 items? It was a slow process for Andrew Hyde: “I started with the basics: two shirts, one pant, one short, one sandal, one pair of sunglasses, and underwear. I included a few “must-haves” for myself, such as an iPad and a camera. I tried it out with a backpack, toiletries kit, towel, and a few random items (pen, connector cable, chargers). After five weeks on the road, there is more in the bag that I have not used than there is in the bag.”

“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less,” Socrates once said. Andrew Hyde is living a Socratic ideal that meshes surprisingly well with our modern perceptions of what it takes to be happy for a guy who lives with only 9 pounds worth of personal belongings.

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You have heard it all before: "Live life to the fullest", "follow your dreams", "be who you are" and "if it is meant to be, it will be". These are all wonderful quotes that are meant to help you live a happy life but they miss the point. Our lives are interconnected with each other and with the world.

No matter how hard you think you try, there’s always going to be a certain level of stress in your life. And when stress gets out of hand, it can start to negatively affect your life. But this doesn’t have to be the case. There are some easy steps you can take to improve your life in the long run, and we’ve found a few that can help you enjoy a better life and get rid of stress.

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