Sep 1, 2013

The Benefits of Having Less

I believe that you can greatly simplify your life by reducing the amount of "stuff" that you have.

When I say "stuff" I'm talking about clothing, books, decorations, kitchen equipment, cleaning products, etc. 

The last few months I have been thinning out my possessions and I have found it to be very liberating. I finished my office a few weeks ago. See:

The last few weekends I have been working in my bedroom closet. My closet was crammed full of clothes. I sorted them into three piles. One pile for for cloths to get rid of (stained,ripped, worn out) and that pile alone filled 3 30 gallon garbage bags. One pile for cloths to donate because they were either too small, too large, or I just don't wear them; that was another 2 garbage bags full. I was left with clothes that I do wear regularly and that fit well. I also kept one well fitting suit that can be worn for different occasions. The crazy thing is that I still have what seems like a lot of clothing. I have certain items that are geared toward different activities that I would really hate to get rid of (maybe I need to get rid of some activities as well). But, my closet actually has space now and I can easily store everything. I still have a variety of clothing for different weather. 

It is a lot easier to pick out what I'm wearing because there are less choices and all of the items that I do have fit well and are my favorite cloths to wear. That seems to be the best part about it to me. The challenge now is to not accumulate that much clothing again. 

An interesting dynamic of decluttering is the fact that its very hard for some people to get rid of perfectly good stuff. I have been challenged by that myself. You need to get to the mindset that you really need very little of what you actually have. People survived for millions of years with virtually nothing except food and shelter. We are programmed to believe that we need all of this "stuff" to get by, but we do not. Breaking the cycle of being a serial consumer is an important part of choosing to live simply.