How much stuff do you really need to live? Come on, let’s be honest with ourselves. We live in a world of surplus stuff and 24-hour online shopping opportunities. People from every economic bracket can and, at times, inundate themselves with “stuff”.
There doesn’t seem to be any indication that all these purchases are making people any happier, in fact the reverse seems true. We don’t seem to live in a very happy world anymore.
Are you tired of trying to organise the stuff you own? Well, here’s a tip to help you organise your stuff… have less stuff! Less is best.
Yep, it’s that easy. Just like living on a budget means you should spend less than you earn. So having less is best, with less possessions to organise. If you don’t have a lot of stuff then you don’t have a lot to organise.
One question to consider is “how did I accumulate all this stuff”? All our clutter has come from somewhere and sometimes we shop to meet an emotional need. Who hasn’t indulged in some “retail therapy”? I definitely have! However, if we continue on that path we will end up with a house full of stuff and our emotional needs will still be unmet. Often realizing why we have so much clutter can help us on the path to having less.
Something else to consider, is that the amount of stuff we have expands to fill the space we have. Consider, in 1994 the average Australian house floor area was 96.6m2. This rose to 127.1m2 in 2003. So in the space of 19 years there has been a 31.6% increase in house sizes. And guess what? These large homes are mostly full of stuff.
Here are a couple tips to help you live with less.
- Clear the Clutter
Go through your possessions and be ruthless. Show no mercy to the excess things in your life. As you decide what to keep and what to bid farewell to, remember the quote by William Morris, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
2. Stop Shopping
One of the quickest ways to live with less is to stop buying more. Browsing the catalogues, or going to the shopping malls is quite dangerous (I know it can be for me at times). How many times have you gone “browsing” and bought something? I am very guilty of that! However, I’m slowly learning to go shopping when I really need something and not just to “browse” or fill in time.
You know sometimes minimalism can get a bad rap. There are some minimalists who live this lifestyle to the extreme, counting how many items they own, saying “here’s a list of X many things I own”. I think they’ve gone a little far. Minimalism is about clearing the excess in our lives and not about deprivation. Clearing the excess may not just be possessions, it may also be commitments, activities that keep us busy, but not fulfilled.
Reducing our possessions can result in actually having more! This might sound like an oxymoron, however we can have more of what really matters in life. More happiness, more family time, more contentment, more of what matters to you. Have you asked yourself the question “what really matters in life?”
So how can we keep the clutter from coming back? A very important question indeed. Here are a few thoughts to consider to help answer this question.
- Just because it’s free, doesn’t mean we need it
- If it’s on sale, doesn’t mean we need it
- Help friends and family understand how you are trying to live (minimally) and in the gentlest possible way, guide their gift buying for you
- Check out your emotional connection to shopping. If “retail therapy” is a stress release, maybe it is possible to find another form of stress release that won’t cost you money or clutter your home.
Consider the title of this article “Less is Best.” How can you have the best?