Living in a consumerist society often leads to living a life that's packed with stuff, from overstuffed closets to over filled junk drawers and stacked storage bins. Finding a path in life that's personally fulfilling really requires looking at your life more objectively and cutting away the things that aren't necessary, while actively looking to experience so much more of what life has to offer. Far too often, our possessions actually hold us back and limit our possibilities.
Here are our top 4 reasons why you should try minimalist living.
Every item that you own takes some of your time and energy. When you let go of your excess possessions (the things you really don't need), you immediately find you have more time to spend doing the things that really matter. Just imagine a Saturday afternoon when you aren't worried about tidying up, running errands, dealing with paperwork or organizing your home. Take this a step further and imagine spending the day with friends or family - or possibly even immersing yourself in exploring captivating locations in entirely new countries, enjoying all that life has to offer...
Clearing out your closets and junk drawers gives you more than space; you also get the benefit of clearing your schedule, now and into the future.
Antoine de Saint Exupery once said, "He who would travel happily must travel light," a phrase that you can take to heart both at home and abroad. With our 5 children, we travel light because it’s so much easier. Here again, excess possessions are weights that hold you in place, limiting the way you live and your potential for exploring the world around you. Most people fear losing even the most trivial of items (stuff), but in reality those things are simply wasting your resources and preventing you from stepping out into the amazing world that's right outside your door.
Simplifying your existence is a surprisingly easy way to expand your horizons, for instance when you're not constantly looking at buying new things - the latest and greatest this or that, you can quickly eliminate debt and likely build your savings account faster than you might have thought possible. With accumulated savings and being debt free, you may even be able to work quite a bit less, giving you the time, energy and opportunity to travel to new destinations around the world that have been calling your name for so many years!
'Keeping up with the Joneses' is a phrase that's so common it has literally become a cliche, and the media constantly sends the message that if you aren't buying something new, trendy and in demand, you not going to be happy. If you're caught in that cycle of buying more, newer or better stuff so you can compete with those around you, take a step back to decide if that really makes you happy. The reality is that buying ever newer things is only a temporary comfort that doesn't offer any long-lasting peace, happiness or real joy for that matter.
All too often people live their lives in a defensive stance, determined to protect their possessions at any cost. It naturally follows that when you let your excess possessions go and ease up on your determination to protect so many of the ties around you, possibilities begin to surface everywhere imaginable. You can become more confident through this new feeling of freedom and actively pursue finding the path that truly suits you, whether you want to change jobs, become location independent to see the world or even simply settle down and build a wonderful family.
While it's important to meet your basic needs, such as having a home to hang your hat in, streamlining your material possessions is an excellent 'tried and true path' towards self-reliance which cultivates the compelling inner feeling to do, see and explore so much more. Instead of buying that next new gadget, let that go and look for what truly brings you happiness. In an all round sense, just 'letting go' is the most effective way to simplify your life, which in turn opens your mind to ever more fulfilling ways of finding a deep sense of peace, meaning, abounding happiness and joy.
I get asked a lot about what happens to our stuff when we travel, and I answered this question in this video.