After watching multiple documentaries and spending too much time on Pinterest, I have been inspired to live minimally. In my twenty-one years of living, it had never occurred to me that I didn’t need THAT much stuff. Yes, buying things can be fun. Treating yourself once in a while is necessary. However – owning six pairs of black boots and fourteen beanies is no longer my ideal lifestyle. I have always wanted to be more organized, but it turns out…I just need less stuff. I’ve come to the conclusion that it is better to own a few items that you love and cherish, rather than own multiple items that you like but never use. Every item you possess must have purpose. I was only making use of two pairs of boots and maybe like three beanies anyway.
Here’s why you should get rid of everything that you do not love:
1. Less stuff = more time
When you have a smaller amount of possessions, you will spend less time worrying about them. Downsizing your closet gives you less options, therefore you won’t have such a difficult time deciding what to wear (guilty). Less stuff to take care of and organize means more time to do things that you love.
2. This “stuff” won’t last forever
Yeah, probably the most obvious point I have. Do you really need to keep that participation trophy you won in third grade? Is that serving a purpose in your life? A lot of the stuff we hold on to is for sentimental reasons. It’s not the trophy that you want to keep, it’s the memory. If you have a hard time getting rid of things like this, just take a photo of the object instead of keeping it. Unfortunately, every item you possess is totally insignificant in eternity.
3. Easier travel
As I enjoy my last few months living rent-free with my parents, I know the time to move out will come soon. I do not want to have the stress of transporting all my needless stuff to a new location. Call me crazy, but as an aspiring traveling yogini, I would love to be able to stick all my possessions into a couple of bags. It’s hard for me to imagine living with that much, but it is certainly possible. The average American owns about 300,000 items in their household. Can you imagine owning just about 100 items in the whole world?
How the heck am I supposed to get rid of things (especially if I’m a packrat)?
Great question, I’m here to help. Here are a few things to contemplate as you go through your belongings.
“If I was out shopping right now, would I buy this?” If you wouldn’t buy it right now, let it go.
“Have I used this in the past year?” If you haven’t used it in the past year, you probably won’t use it this year either.
“Do I have something else that already serves the same purpose?” Wait, what do you mean I’m not supposed to own fourteen beanies?
“Am I holding on to this because I don’t want to waste money?” Look, I hate to break it to you, but you already wasted the money. There is no getting it back. Let go.
If you are torn between keeping and tossing, place those items in a box. If you need to break open the box to use something within the next thirty days: keep it. If not, let go.
HOWEVER…for those items that you cannot live without, items that make your heart flutter, items you know every square inch of, items you become just ecstatic talking about them…KEEP! If you love it and it greatly impacts your life, keep it. I have gotten rid of a lot of my belongings, but I refuse to let go of my books, paints, and yoga mats.
The hard part of being minimalistic is that once you get rid of things, you may still feel like consuming more. Needs versus wants. It’s basic economics, people. The idea that I am exchanging hours of my life to buy material goods has really impacted me. I do not want to waste these hours of work for things that will not serve a purpose. Letting go of what you do not need feels SO GOOD! Trust me on this one. Buying less materials ultimately means more money for adventures.
Here’s to less stuff and more adventures in 2017.