It goes against everything our culture has (not so) subtly taught us to own less, but once you give yourself that initial push, you’ll find the difference can make a world of difference. Doing a massive purge of your stuff can solve multiple problems and sources of stress in your life — here’s how.
1. Spend Less
Choosing to accumulate only the essential often results in financial freedom. Have you ever sat down and added up all the little or moderate expenses here and there to see what you really spend on material things? Try tracking your spending for a month or two, you’ll be surprised how much money you could save by changing your shopping habits.
2. Less Stress
A minimalist home is significantly less stressful. Admit it, there’s probably at least one or too (or, more likely, several) spaces you wish was less cluttered, but every time you try to clean it up, it just ends up cluttered again. Living a minimalist life makes your living space less likely to accumulate clutter.
3. Easier to Clean
The fewer things in our home, the easier they are to clean. Save time and effort and have a cleaner home.
4. More Freedom
The sense of freedom that comes from minimalism is truly refreshing. You probably don’t realize the amount of energy and time you spend on your things; it’s second nature for most of us. Give yourself more freedom.
5. Good for the Environment
The less we consume, the less damage we do to the environment. Trying to make conscious decisions while shopping can only go so far, and many people simply give up trying. Buying and owning less is a much easier way to lessen your impact on the earth in numerous ways.
6. Be More Productive
Our possessions consume our time more than we realize. Spend less time with stuff and more time on working towards your goals.
7. Example for Your Kids (or Young Siblings, Etc.)
These are valuable life lessons they will never learn in the media. If you have kids in your life who look up to you, be they your sibling or your niece or your son, you can be the defining example in their lives and inspire them to be free of excess stuff.
8. Support Other Causes
Money is only as valuable as what we choose to spend it on. You can have more funds to put towards causes and organizations that matter to you; your minimalism can directly help others.
9. Own Higher Quality Things
More is not better… better is better. By scaling back on your usual frequent purchases, you have the opportunity to spend more on high quality items that will last — and look good doing it.
10. Less Work for Someone Else
Create a less stressful life today and lessen the burden on someone else too. At some point, whether it’s moving to a new house or otherwise, someone other than you will have to go through your stuff (with or without you). Don’t leave them with endless knickknacks to sort through.
11. Be Happier
Owning fewer possessions makes you happier — really. One study has shown that 87% of people who self-report owning less stuff said they were happier than when they’d owned more.
12. Do Work You Love
Own less stuff. Choose work you love. You’ll have more freedom to pursue opportunities you otherwise wouldn’t have taken with a house full of stuff to look after, and spending less time shopping (be it window or actual) frees up time for your career.
13. Freedom From the Comparison Game
Our culture begs us to own more. Feel better about yourself by making it so you can’t get sucked in to the constant cycle of comparison.
14. Time for Things that Matter Most
The more stuff you own, the more your stuff owns you. Paying off big purchases, not being able to take that job across the country, dreading packing for a trip — that isn’t how you should be spending your life. Spend your time on things that matter.
15. Visually Appealing
Make your home more appealing. Simple. Less stuff, less cluttered look. You’ll have a living space that looks tidy and clean with significantly less effort than when you had more possessions.
16. Not Tied to the Past
Release the past to create a better tomorrow. Recognize that you don’t need a keepsake for every memory. Letting go of trinkets and old possessions doesn’t mean forgetting the past, it means strengthening your memories and carrying the reminders with you always. Tip: get in the habit of taking digital pictures for places or people you want to remember and saving them in organized folders on a flashdrive or cloud service. Scan old photos so you can keep them without the clunky photo albums.
17. Less Places for Your Heart
Invest your heart into meaningful things. A risk of owning more things is the amount you have to stretch yourself to care about them all. Lighten the load.
18. More Opportunity for Rest
Take a deep breath. You’ll have more time to relax if you spend less time pursuing material goods or over-working to afford them.
19. Find Things Easier
Own less clutter. Find stuff quicker. Simple as that. It’s a lot harder to loose things with significantly less possessions.
20. Live in a Smaller Space
For most families, a house is the costliest investment they’ll ever make. Even living on your own or with a roommate can be pretty spendy. Help yourself out and have less stuff so you don’t have to find a place big enough to put it in.
21. Display What You Value Most
Communicate what is most important. What do the things you have on display in your home say about you? Are they really a true representation of who you are and what you value? Owning less allows you to present an image that you can be proud of.
So go on, break out the donation boxes. Remember: it’s just stuff.
21 Benefits of Owning Less Stuff | Joshua Becker
Featured photo credit: bric-a-brac/Kevin Utting via flickr.com
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