Stuff can be fun. It can entertain you. It can pamper you. It can even make you look good in front of your friends but stuff has its problems. To start, everything you buy in life costs you money. That means everything you own requires you to put in a certain amount of work to get it. Stuff also takes space. Space can be quite a commodity in today’s average home. People pack their houses so much that they need to rent even more storage space. Everything you buy also requires maintenance and I’m not referring only to physical maintenance, I am also referring to what I call, mental maintenance. Everything you have is a burden on your mind, no matter how small. Even the simplest of things have the chance of being stolen or lost or broken. That will always be somewhere in your mind whether you consciously think it or not. Instead of living with more things, a new growing minority of people are fighting to live with less. Call it simple living or minimalist living, it encourages the same thing. If you want to learn how to live with less stuff then follow along and learn a bit.
Toss the Stuff You Thought You Needed
The first thing anyone needs to do to learn to live with less stuff is to throw away what they don’t use. This is often the least pleasant part but do not skip it. This part allows you to see exactly what you’ve made the mistake of buying in the past. You’ll may even find things that are still packaged or tagged that you haven’t used over the years. This is a fact finding process as much as it is a cleansing process. Go through what you own piece by piece. If you haven’t used it in the past year then put it into one of three piles. Those three piles should be throw away, sell, or donate. If you’re feeling generous then get rid of the sell pile and put everything in the donate pile. The only things that you are allowed to keep should be things that have real sentimental value. That includes things that are rarely used like suits and evening wear. If you are uncomfortable with that then instead of selling something just box it and throw it in your basement. A few months from now think about it again.
Don't Fall Into the Stuff Trap
Now that you’ve rid yourself of all your current clutter, the next step you have to take is to prevent any future clutter from building up. Throwing out as much stuff as you just did will help with that. It helps show how many things in our live are rarely ever used. Short term emotions cause people to buy things that they don’t need. You need to learn to prevent those short term emotions from controlling you. You need to change the way you look at a purchase. Instead of looking at that new piece of clothing being a way to look better. You need to see that new piece of clothing as a gateway drug. One new piece of clothing needs another to look right. It’s the cycle of buying. It happens with everything you do. If you buy a new tech gadget to impress your friends then six months from now you’re going to have to do it again to get the rush back. See the reasons you’re spending and fight them at the source.
When considering how to live with less stuff it can be easy to settle for a small change. A lot of people will just go through their closet and consider themselves done. It will give them the rush of having completed the task without actually changing their lives. What I ask of you today is to not stop. Don’t let yourself stop getting rid of what you don’t need and avoiding emotional purposes. Get a rush every time you get rid of something and avoid a purpose. Make it a habit in your everyday life. That is the only way that you can really make it change.