10 reasons to own less stuff
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Owning less allows for more freedom
This is so important. I think we don’t realize that we don’t own our things, the own us. They limit our mobility, our finances, and our free time. Owning less allows for spontaneity; you could take a job on the other side of the world without the worry of how to get your stuff there.
You’ll have less to clean.
I think this is typically a pro for everyone. Less cleaning means more time to enjoy yourself; and let’s be honest, a clean home is a peaceful home. When you own less, there is less to organize, fewer clothes to wash, fewer crevasses for dust to hide in, and fewer things to pick up and put away.
There’s more money for your pocket
When I finally switched to a minimalist lifestyle I kept track of how much I saved + made. I sold a lot of my things and every time I put back an impulse buy that counted towards how much money I was saving. Over a year I saved + made $3,700! And that’s only from impulsive buys. That doesn’t even count the thousands I saved just by being more intentional with my purchases and things. Owning less and continuing to own less really does help keep a sizeable chunk of change in your already very tiny bank account. And honestly it’s all those pesky little purchases that do the most damage.
Having less means you’ll have more time.
This one is my favorite reason. So many of us let our passions sit on the back burner because “they’re not as important as *blank*”. Well, frankly that’s stupid. Our passions are what make us unique and are what contributes to the world.
If you own less, often you have to spend less time doing unpleasantries: like cleaning, working overtime to pay off debt, or whatever else you do instead of enjoying your life. You can always earn more money, but you’ll never get more time. I finally was able to start painting again – even though I’m awful at it – by owning less, because I found more time.
By removing the excess, you discover that you have time for the things that matter most to you. You could travel more, spend more time with friends, prioritize a relationship or career, or you could just find more time to sleep. Time is the most precious and limited resource on this planet, why do we waste so much of it on our stuff?
It is kinder on the earth.
Okay, so this one is pretty obvious. If you’re consuming less, you’re causing less strain on the earth’s finite resources. Everything we buy (and therefore everything we own) puts some kind of strain on the planet whether it’s through production, transportation, or disposal. Be a bit kinder to mother nature and just own a bit less.
It’s better for your mental health
Clutter has long been thought to cause strain on your mental health. If you decide to own less you can create a little extra white space and give your mind a break. This leads to increase positivity, decreased depression and anxiety rates, and better creativity. Think of your mind as a blank canvas, you can create anything you want but when your canvas becomes too full it takes away from the underlying beauty, peace, and appeal of what you want your life to be.
Owning less increases your gratitude
This one I really hadn’t expected, but it is true and one of the most powerful benefits. When we are bombarded with ads telling us that we NEED more, if we don’t know better we start to believe them. We become less satisfied with what we have and feel as though the grass is greener. By owning less, you learn to appreciate your things more because you have to justify the “why” you own them.
And because you have been able to justify it, that thing has earned a spot in your life and therefore must be important. The grass may still seem greener elsewhere, but you realize the pros in just watering your own grass.
It increases your confidence
By only owning things that important to you or that you actually use, you eliminate a lot of the uncertainty with yourself. No, sadly self-confidence isn’t going to appear by getting rid of your stuff, I’m not saying that. But you get to remove things that bring negativity into your life. Having a closet full of only clothing you love and feel hella confident in is obviously going to feel better than stuff that you got because it was “such a great deal” but makes you look like a frumpy mom. You’re not keeping things that leave you stuck in the miserable past (like that bracelet from your ex-boyfriend that’s in your sock drawer).
You get to choose what comes into your life and you get to create the life that is your masterpiece. And I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel more confident about my life. When you own less, you choose to bring in the things that only make you feel positive or that benefit you. The things don’t get to own you anymore.
Your life feels less chaotic
I’m not sure why this happens, but I think its just a combination of the things above. Maybe, it’s because you don’t find yourself frantically searching for that lipstick you swore was on the counter. Or maybe you’re less likely to be late to work because your keys aren’t buried under a weeks’ worth of mail.
With less stuff, things have a home, losing stuff becomes more infrequent and when you open cabinets things don’t fall on your head. For some the appeal of less chaos is appealing enough to own less stuff.
You’re able to give more.
You own less, are burdened by less, you’re more appreciative and you have more leftover. Obviously, with that comes the ability to give more. You have more time to donate to causes and people that are important to you. You have more money to help someone out. You may feel less mentally drained, so you can give more emotional support to your loved ones. When stuff isn’t owning you, you can give more to others and to yourself.