Alexander Fufaev
My name is Alexander FufaeV and here I write about:

July 2022 - August 2022: The extensive decluttering of my room and my first contact with minimalism

"3rd July 2022. Around ten in the morning, I woke up. As I got up to prepare tea for Jule, she rolled over to my side of the bed. I gave her a kiss on the cheek as she continued to doze. Mom was already on the early shift. In the kitchen, I made Jule's favorite tea, black East Frisian tea, with exactly one teaspoon of sugar. For myself, I brewed a filter coffee with oat milk.

'Good morning. Good morning. Good morning, sunshine,' I sang cheerfully as I went into my room to wake up Jule.

'Yawn. Good morning, my love,' Jule yawned and stretched.

'Your delicious tea is ready,' I said and gave her a kiss on the mouth.

'Okay! I'm coming,' Jule replied and stretched once more.

Sitting on the balcony at a small table, we had breakfast under an awning that protected us from the glaring sun, enjoying the view of the wheat field right off the balcony. The tits living by the house flew around us and sang, as if they were putting on a show for us.

'Do you still keep in touch with Mara?'

'No, we don't have any contact anymore. We decided it's better not to jeopardize my relationship with you. Besides, she met someone else.'

'Do you still have feelings for her?'

I looked down at the bread roll I had just finished spreading and hesitated for a moment.

'No, I don't have feelings for her anymore. It wasn't love. We were just, as Mara would say, hormone-driven.'

Jule laughed. There was a brief silence. She looked into my eyes, this time not gazing through me into infinity. I noticed a slight joy in her face.

'Oh Jule, look! An eagle!' I joked, getting up from the chair and pointing a finger at a huge bird above the field.

'What a goofball. That's a buzzard!' laughed the bird expert, who knew everything about birds from her voluntary ecological year.

'Sashi, shall we go for a walk?'

'Sure!' I replied, and we quickly cleared away the cups and plates.

We strolled along a dirt path surrounded by golden wheat and radiant sunflowers.

'Oh no... we have to pass under the high-voltage lines,' Jule noticed as she saw the cables hanging over the path.

Jule's pace quickened as we approached the lines. I adjusted my pace and laughed.

'Ah, Jule, your hair!' I teased her as we stopped under the lines.

She touched her hair.

'That's not true at all, you joker.'

I grinned and gave her a loving kiss on the cheek as we walked.

After the walk, we played an ancient version of my favorite board game, Activity, with words that are no longer used today. Time flew by.

In the evening, we had intimate, loving sex for the first time in a long while.

After a quick shower, Jule and I went to the living room. She sat on the sofa, and I sat down on the carpet next to her.

'Jule, do you still want to move in with me?' I asked cautiously.

'Yes, but I'm not ready for it right now. I'm still attached to Shinshu. And Sashi, please, don't send me any more apartment listings for now. I need to sort out my feelings first,' she explained somewhat annoyed.

Feeling a bit sad, I lowered my gaze. Jule sat down next to me on the carpet, crossing her legs. I slowly let my head sink in her direction, closing my eyes as I did so.

'Dead,' Jule commented on my fall onto her legs. That was always our joke when someone fell dead tired onto the bed and was good for nothing.

Jule gently ran her fingers through my hair, and a contented grin spread across my face. When I opened my eyes again, I looked up at Jule. I saw this wonderful person, with whom I had shared so many ups and downs. In that moment, I was incredibly grateful to have such a wonderful person by my side. I closed my eyes again and remembered the beautiful and meaningful moments that bound us together. Jule was a woman who never let you down. She always reached out to me in dark and cold moments, offering me light and warmth. She was a woman with whom I could be a hundred percent myself – even when I was on the toilet.

The First Encounter with Minimalism

August 13, 2022. On a Saturday, I decluttered my room before dismantling the large wardrobe, bed, and table. The move to Hannover to a shared apartment with three people was approaching, and Jule and I had decided that I would move first without her. She wasn't ready to leave her shared apartment yet and to leave Shinshu definitively behind. Although it was difficult for me, I accepted her decision.

I didn't want to bring any unnecessary baggage into my new home, so I started sorting out everything I no longer needed. First, I tackled my paper documents, which were scattered in two folders and numerous notepads on my shelf.

In university, I had long been using a tablet and only used paper for short notes or spontaneous ideas. The papers were scattered chaotically, and I had lost track of them. During my YouTube research for a good paper management system, I came across an app called Notion. With it, I could digitally manage and organize my to-do lists, ideas, diary entries, and other notes. I decided to stop using scraps of paper and notebooks and instead note everything in this app, which I installed on my laptop, PC, and phone.

In addition, I secretly got rid of all sorts of writing utensils like pens, pencils, rulers, erasers, hole punchers, and staplers. They found a new home on the shelf in the living room, where my mother's paperwork accumulated. The only exception was the black pen that Jule had given me for my birthday. "You never know, maybe I'll need to sign something someday," I thought.

During my research, I discovered people who completely managed all their paperwork digitally. A man in a video enthusiastically talked about how easy it was to search for documents. I was fascinated and decided to implement this system immediately. All I needed was an app as a document scanner on my phone. I took photos of my certificates, bills, contracts, and other important documents, and the app automatically converted the photos into PDF files. Then, I named the files sensibly and saved them on my PC in a folder as well as on a USB stick for backup.

After three hours of photographing and sorting, when I finally finished, I treated myself to a short coffee break. I looked at the two thick folders of paperwork. Deep down, I wanted to get rid of everything, but I hesitated out of fear of regretting it later. Questions swirled in my head: "Should I dispose of everything in it? Or should I keep the original certificates just in case? You never know... Although, so far, I've never had to send an original certificate by mail. A photo of it has always been sufficient. But what if I do need an original certificate?"

A quick Google search reassured me. If necessary, I could easily request certificates again from the school or university. With this knowledge, I decided to remove everything from the folders and take them to Mom's room for shredding. I gave the empty folders, which I didn't want to sell, to my mother, who believed that everything might come in handy someday.

Now, my shelf and table were completely free of analog writing stuff. From today on, I decided to digitize all letters directly and then dispose of them, so that no paper would accumulate with me anymore.

The decluttering was actually fun, and with great motivation, I turned to my wardrobe next. Together with Jule, I had already sorted out embarrassing, broken, or inappropriate clothes, like the ugly black bell-bottom pants and the Oxford shoes with the excessively long tips. When I combined them both, I looked like a mix of a mafia boss and a clown.

The polo shirts with fake logos, which made me look like a rich snob according to Jule, were also ruthlessly sorted out. After an inspiring YouTube tutorial by Marie Kondō, I tackled the remaining clothes that fit me but that I never liked wearing or simply never found an occasion to wear. Colorful long-sleeved and short-sleeved shirts, gifts from Galja from Prague, long-sleeved T-shirts, itchy sweaters, and countless scarves and scratchy wool socks ended up on my bed.

The sight of the Mount Everest of clothes on my bed made me shudder a little, but I knew I didn't want to take these items to the new apartment.

It was already five o'clock, and I had already accomplished quite a bit.

"Sashul, you're diligent," my mother praised me as I left the room to get the bags for the old clothes.

"It's so much fun!" I replied with a broad grin and grabbed some vegan fish sticks with mashed potatoes and fried onions in the kitchen - a little refreshment was needed.

"You can give me the old clothes, I'll take them away tomorrow along with my own clothes. Anything else you don't need, you can put in the garage for now!" my mother called from the bathroom, where she was doing laundry.

"All right, Mom," I called back as I enjoyed my meal and already contemplated the next stage of my cleanup.

After eating, I decided to tackle the chaos of technology that had spread throughout the room - on the table, on the shelf, in two boxes, under the bed, at the bottom of the closet, and on top of the closet.

First, I focused on my desk, which was equipped with an impressive setup. Two 27-inch monitors stretched across the entire length of the table. A slightly dusty, black desk lamp, which I had received from Jule's parents for my birthday, stood next to a high-quality wireless Logitech keyboard and mouse. A large mouse pad with a starry sky motif adorned the tabletop. A monitor lamp was attached to the main monitor, a New Year's Eve gift from Dascha and Tobi. Two speakers were on the edges of the table, and on the left side, there was a microphone arm with an expensive USB microphone that I used for my YouTube videos. At the bottom of the table sat a huge ATX PC case, into which I had invested all my savings to smoothly edit YouTube videos.

I stood thoughtfully in front of the table and asked myself, "Why do I even have the webcam if I haven't used it until now?"

The desk lamp, which had since been replaced by a much cooler and space-saving monitor lamp, was also no longer needed. Determined, I crawled under the table to unplug the webcam and lamp cables, then laid them on the floor.

Next, I looked at the bottom of the closet. There, I discovered a wireless over-ear headset that had also been given to me by Jule's parents but was no longer used due to ear pain. Since I had already switched to small in-ear headphones, I decided to sort out the headset and place it with the other discarded items.

Looking around the room, I noticed a stack of empty boxes on top of the wardrobe. I pushed my chair to the wardrobe, stood on it, and began throwing the boxes from keyboards, monitors, phones, and other technical devices that were cleverly suggested for me to buy by Amazon but were no longer in my possession, onto the floor.

The stirred-up dust made me cough.

With the boxes down below, my room was already cluttered, and it was impossible to move around. So, I decided to take everything I sorted out to the garage first.

When I came back to the room, I noticed that my black T-shirt was covered in dust. I shook off the dust and then looked under the bed, where an old monitor arm, my toolbox, and more unidentifiable empty boxes lay. I decided to take these things, except for the toolbox, directly to the garage as well.

A bit sweaty but still motivated, there were still two boxes left in the gap between the wardrobe and a wall. There, my old graphics card, a processor, a power supply, and countless screws and cables that had accumulated over time were stored. I began sorting the cables and paused briefly: "It's lying here, and I have no use for it anymore. But maybe I'll need the screws someday? Hmm. But I'm starting a new life. I'm moving! Then I don't want to drag all this stuff with me... I'll just leave everything in the garage."

It was difficult for me to part with my old technology, which had served me well, whether climbing the ranks in League of Legends or working on my Universal Thinker project. But I decided to take them to the garage anyway.

After placing the boxes outside the door, I determinedly tackled the toiletries, a box of medicines, and the books filling my shelf. As I went through the toiletries, I found a perfume I had never used, a gift from Galja in Prague, as well as countless sample scents, expired creams, and medications. Without hesitation, they all went into the trash.

"Why do I even accept gifts that I know I'll never use?" a thought crossed my mind.

Next, I tackled the books stacked on the lower shelves. Books like "Foucault's Pendulum" and "Inkheart," which I had never really read, immediately ended up on the floor. A thick, ton-heavy book on the general theory of relativity, which I couldn't possibly take anywhere, also joined them.

Then came the six physics books, which served more as reference works. Here, I hesitated again: "Actually, nowadays, I read everything on my tablet. Hmm. But there's something special about reading from a real book! Oh, I only use the physics books for reference anyway... I could just as well use the book on my tablet when I want to look something up."

It was damn hard to decide.

"Sashul, dinner is ready," Mom called from the kitchen.

"I'll be there in a minute," I called back, still pondering.

With a determined grip now, I took the remaining books from the shelf and placed them on the floor in the hallway, leaving the shelves empty. I quickly took everything to the garage and took a moment to thoroughly remove the dust.

Before heading to dinner, I stood at the entrance of my room and looked at it with a broad grin on my face. From a once chaotic room, it had now become a tidy one. The transformation from a messy room to this organized environment made me really happy in that moment.

"Sashul, are you coming?" Mom called me again from the living room, where our dining table was.

"I'm coming," I replied and immediately went to the living room to have a well-deserved dinner with Mom and Lauri.

After dinner came the hardest part of decluttering: my Gothic CDs. Many beautiful memories were attached to Gothic I in particular, and it was difficult for me to part with them. However, at the same time, I didn't want to cling desperately to the past and let the CDs gather dust in the closet just for sentimental reasons. Therefore, I decided to gift the Gothic CDs to another Gothic fan whom I knew would appreciate them.

First, Unconscious Life Upgrades:
  1. I don't own any types of paper in my office, whether it's notepads, sketch pads, scraps of paper, or Post-its. Likewise, I don't have any paper documents. Instead, I have completely digitized everything. Therefore, I don't own any stationery like pens, staplers, hole punchers, or rulers. My paperwork is entirely digital. Additionally, I have canceled all mail deliveries, such as from my health insurance, and I don't accept flyers or promotional materials distributed on the street. These measures have reduced my paper waste by 80% (the remaining 20% comes from the paper packaging of groceries or toilet paper) and save me money because I no longer need to buy notepads or other stationery. Another significant advantage of digitized paperwork is that I can now sort my documents more easily, find documents faster, and create backups.
  2. I have decluttered all clothing items that I don't like, don't fit, or are damaged.
  3. I have gotten into the habit of not owning physical books. I love places with huge bookshelves and a cozy corner for reading. For that, I would go to the library. If a book captivates me and I absolutely want to read it in the bright sun, I'll buy it. Once I'm done with it, I sell it on eBay Classifieds or give it away. In all other cases, I read digitally. This way, I save money, space, and contribute less to deforestation.