In these busy days there are more people choosing to make their life simpler to help them cope better with day to day life. Many find they feel better physically and mentally for doing this. One way to simplify life is to own less ‘stuff’.
It is quite common for people to want to accumulate things. When I started work I began buying all sorts of things for my home. I often bought more than I needed. If something was cheap I sometimes gave in to the desire to buy more, you know, just in case one got broken or lost.
At times friends were moving house and offered a couple of boxes of things they no longer wanted. Wow, something for free. As the years went by, garage sales became all the rage. This provided another chance to buy extra things cheaply, often things I didn’t really need.
There was a time when I collected books. I still love books but now own a limited number. I use the library regularly. I love the ease with which I can borrow books and other items from libraries around the state. When there is a message in my inbox to say there is something waiting on the ‘holds’ shelves at my local library I get a buzz. When my items are due to be returned I am happy to do this rather than having to find space to keep them.
At one time I had a large collection of decorative owls. I had other things on display as well. These days I only have a few ornaments and have parted with many of the owls. There are other things I would rather do than dust.
The feeling can be if having one of a particular item brings pleasure, then owning two will give twice the pleasure, three will give three times the pleasure and so on. For example, I have a side plate I particularly like. It is hand painted with grapes and a bird. Every time I use it I admire it. I did think of looking around for another one or two special plates of this size for my personal use. Then I asked myself, why? I only use one plate at a time. I have one I really like. I have side plates with my dinner set for other people to use. There is no purpose in buying more.
It can be tempting to buy clothes one doesn’t need. I have read most women use 20% of their clothes 80% of the time. This is probably true for most people. We have certain items that are versatile, comfortable and that we feel good in. For women working full time it is likely ‘work’ clothes get the most use.
Having too many clothes isn’t a blessing but makes life more difficult. It is harder to find what you are looking for and clothes get crushed when they are jammed in the wardrobe (or wardrobes) and drawers.
I have no desire to return to a time of no air conditioning, no microwave oven and no computers. However, I limit the technology I own to what truly serves my purpose. There are many items other people may own and feel they can’t live without but that doesn’t mean I need to have those things.
Over time I have found I feel more relaxed having less ‘stuff’. My life is simpler and I don’t miss the things I have sold at garage sales or given away. I enjoy the things I have chosen to keep more now I don’t have clutter. It is nice to open a cupboard and not have things fall out. I can find things more easily. I also don’t feel guilt about owning stuff I never use. I actually feel as if I can breathe more easily.
A saying we often hear is ‘less is more’. For me, owning less results in more time because I spend less time searching for things that ‘are here somewhere’. I can spend more time doing things I enjoy rather than organising and dusting stuff on shelves. It can be a relief to part with surplus stuff and live more simply.