Tor Myhren makes his active persuading bodies to access things. And he’s acceptable at it. You don’t get to be President and Chief Creative Officer of Grey New York after alive how to accomplish bodies appetite to banal up. (Or, at least, after inventing an ad with a talking babyish who trades stocks.) But recently, Myhren has adopted a abolitionist denial policy. He’s giving abroad one affair he owns a day, every day for a year.
Obviously, the apperception abaft those “Don’t-have-a-grandson-with-a-dog-collar” DirecTV ads is not aloof activity to ample a agglomeration of old arcade accoutrements with actuality he hasn’t beat in ages and cull it bottomward to the Salvation Army. Where’s the fun in that? Myhren’s dent bottomward absolutely and creatively—or as the administration types he mixes with ability alarm it —intentionally. For a start, he’s a minimalist. His active allowance has no chairs, aloof one couch and a table. So for him, it’s beneath about throwing out ataxia or de-cluttering and added about hardcore pruning, or affairs topiary. In fact, his action has a name: The Abolition Project.
“This is not a annotation on consumerism,” he says. “The Abolition Project was aloof for me. To see what I absolutely wanted, and absolutely needed.” Nor, he acknowledges, is there annihilation decidedly blue-blooded about the affluent minimalist giving abroad the $300 Theory sweater or $250 bound copy blooming Jawbone Jambox that he doesn’t use much, but could apparently alter tomorrow. “Frankly it has been a actual egocentric experiment.”
In acknowledgment for 365 of his carnal goods, Myhren claims he gets accuracy of mind. “When there’s a lot of actuality about it’s actual adamantine for me to think,” he says. “When I’m concepting [an announcement chat for advancing up with ideas] and writing, it feels like I can anticipate added acutely with this actuality gone.”
There may accept been some business account too. Myhren says he can beam abutting up not what makes bodies appetite to buy something, but what makes us appetite to own something. “Part of this for me is about research,” he says “You apprehend what are those activate credibility of things that are absolutely important to you, and what are the things that are aloof stuff. If annihilation abroad this is abundant analysis into the animal anima and charge states.”
He may be on to something. Contempo letters accept begin that Americans are amazing beneath the weight of their stuff. There are 2.3 billion aboveboard anxiety of self-storage in America , alike as houses become anytime beyond and booty up added of the acreage they’re anchored on. A contempo UCLA abstraction found, amid added things, that “cars accept been confused out of 75% of garages to accomplish way for appliance or boxes of domiciliary goods.” Is actuality able to accord abroad 365 mostly altogether accessible items a new anatomy of luxury? Is there such a affair as apparent monasticism ?
(Read More: The American Home Is Too Cluttered and It’s Stressing Us Out)
Here’s how The Abolition Project works: Each Sunday, Myhrven posts seven things he owns on Facebook. (It has to be on amusing media, he says, so he can’t aback out.) Some of his giveaways are chargeless swag; some of them are added luxurious. Anniversary 14, the aerial end whiskey purge, was a decidedly acceptable anniversary for his single-malt-loving friends. “All bristles bottles were claimed in minutes,” he says. He arrays the appurtenances and photographs them, wallpaper* style, from above, usually on the white elastic jigsaw mats he and his wife Tomoko put bottomward because they accept a adolescent child.
He’s not accustomed to accord abroad annihilation acceptance to his wife (a aphorism he has burst added than once). He’s not accustomed to accord abroad annihilation acceptance to his kid, back Tomoko maintains a 100-baby-possessions-only regimen. He’s not accustomed to buy annihilation new except non-tangible, decaying at atomic appurtenances like new songs or movies or aliment (a aphorism he’s burst at atomic three times: two pairs of shoes and a Bustin longboard.)
A lot of his giveaways are clothes, cheapies from Uniqlo or adorned ones from y-3. Best of them are tasteful, although not always—he got some affable biting for what was called “the Pastel Purge” of aboriginal September. “To appearance some of that actuality to your accompany is apparently way too anecdotic into my personality,” he says. “I anticipate about that back I booty the picture. I attending at it and I say ‘God, I would absolutely catechism anybody who endemic that.” His best big-ticket giveaways are account about $300.
His accompany animadversion or argument or email him if they appetite something. He gives it to the aboriginal being who asks. If they alive alfresco New York City, he mails them the actuality on his dime.
Myhren, who’s no drifter to giveaways—he was the bedlamite abaft the abundant Oprah car advertisement of 2004—got the abstraction from a acquaintance who had been afar alert and bare a alpha alpha in his burghal home. But Myhren lives in the burghal with his wife and child. Their 2-bedroom accommodation is dispersed and white: “Tor doesn’t like any ataxia in the house,” says Tomoko. Her ancestors owns a acceptable ryokan (Japanese inn) abreast Hiroshima area the accoutrement are monastically dispersed and area he has had some of his best ideas. And like abounding a 40-something executive, he remembers his canicule backpacking through developing countries accustomed aggregate he endemic as advantageous times. “I did my best cerebration in those days.” he says. “All I had was a pen and a paper.”
Only one account he discarded—an old appearance Nordic ski-sweater that was his dad’s—has he after reclaimed. Apart from that, clashing the afflicted appearance in the ads his close created for Ally Bank, he has regretted nothing. And he’s advertent actuality too, like that he has a LOT of scarves. “Who would accept accepted I was a bandage guy?”
Now ability be the time to anticipate about friending Myhren. He’s 250 or so canicule in and he’s accustomed abroad best of the below fruit. “I’m not abiding I accept 100 things left,” he says. “I’m alpha to worry.” His wife Tomoko has so far absolutely enjoyed the Abolition Project. “I own about a third as abounding shoes as Tor does,” she says. Nevertheless she afresh begin him continuing at the kitchen drawer allurement if she absolutely bare three whisks. He doesn’t cook. “I told him, ‘You can’t blow that drawer.’ ”
Myhren, who loves shoes, still has 50 pairs left. They can’t last.
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