You have probably heard the terms “minimalism” or “minimalist.” For a great read on what these terms are referring to check out this article: What Is Minimalism?
Deciding to own less can be a truly life-changing experience when you commit to the process.
Usually, the process of owning less begins with the realization that all of the “stuff” you have accumulated has not brought you lasting happiness. That initial dopamine hit from the time you made your purchase has worn off, and now you have so much clutter and dissatisfaction trying to maintain it all.
If you are ready to hit reset and create a peaceful, organized, and manageable home where you own less, read on.
There are some basic questions you can ask yourself as you go through the process of removing items from your home. By sticking to these questions, you can avoid some of the roadblocks people encounter when beginning this process.
- Do I use it?
If you haven’t used or needed an item within the past six months to a year, you can probably send it on its way. Right now, it is just taking up precious space.
- Do I love it?
If not, why are you keeping it? Creating a home that showcases the things that are meaningful to you will bring more contentment than holding on to things that have no purpose or sentimental value.
- Does it fit?
I know. You are planning to lose weight and wear those jeans from twenty years ago, right? Let’s be real, though. How long have you had this plan? If you fit in the jeans last year and you are currently on a weight loss journey, then it might be ok to keep them. However, if you have been telling yourself this story for the past ten years, let go of the item and move on.
- Is it in style?
If not and it is taking up space and collecting cobwebs in your closet or you have it in storage-Let. It. Go.
- Does it work?
No? You said you would fix it, but you haven’t. Now is the time to take action or let it go. This question should be a no-brainer. Get rid of all of those phone chargers with exposed wires.
- Would I buy it again?
We all have purchases we regret. I have a friend whose husband is enamored with the “As Seen on TV” products. They are never as good as the commercial says. Put it in the yard sale or donate it. Today.
- Do I have duplicates?
How many crystal serving bowls do you really need? Many of them may have been wedding gifts you received twenty years ago and most have never been used. Unless you entertain large crowds often consider blessing someone else who needs it.
Excess is not making you happier.
- Am I saving it just in case?
This mentality is completely understandable. The problem is that the item is usually in the way and filling up your closets, attic, garage, or drawers making it harder for you to access the things you really need, use, and love. A clutter-free, calm home is worth way more than any tiny regret from letting go of an item you have not needed in 20 years and may have even forgotten you had.
- Is it worth the time I spend maintaining it?
Your time is valuable. The space in your home should bring you peace. While you are making the decision to own less, consider the time you spend maintaining your possessions.
Would your life be less stressful without those items?
- Do I feel obligated to keep it even though I don’t really want or use it?
It is hard to let go of something a loved one has given us. The important thing to understand is that it is not a judgment against the person who gave the gift if you do not keep it nor does it equate to the actual memories you have of that loved one. We can honor the love and thought put into the gift without allowing guilt to steal our joy. It’s okay to let go of the item. Consider this as permission to do so guilt-free.
It is not always easy to let go of the things we have held onto for so many years. We have often been conditioned to want MORE, and so it seems normal to fill up every crevice in the house.
As we age, we realize that owning less really does give us more freedom.
A clutter-free house is safer for someone wanting to age in place. Spending less on things we don’t need allows us to give more to those who truly are in need. When we have less to maintain, we have more time and resources to entertain, travel, and be debt-free.
Are you ready to own less and live more freely?
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