Friday, April 29, 2011

Less stuff = more happiness?

For the last 6-8 months I have been in a new process in my life. I have greatly diminished the amount of stuff I have. First it was because we were moving from a 3,400 square foot home with 3 sheds on 16 acres to our 5th wheel and a 30 foot storage trailer. Now its just because I am finding I don't need even all the stuff I saved from the move.

In the storage trailer we built shelves along each side to store totes and other stuff. It is very handy and I don't think I could get rid of it.

On the other hand we also have a very small storage unit we are paying for each month. I have a strong desire to completely empty the storage unit and either integrate the items into the storage trailer or get rid of them. Last night I lay in bed thinking of things I could do with the items in the storage shed. Today I am going to implement my plan.

Many months ago when I started this process I thought it would be awful to get rid of so much stuff. I mean I practically gave most of it away. That part did hurt a little. But bigger than that is the freeing aspect of having less stuff. I have lately discovered that you don't really own stuff, it owns you. You have to house it, clean it, arrange it, take care of it and on and on.

In owning less stuff I find I have much more time for other things like sewing and gardening. I don't have to spend all my time dusting or other maintenance of my stuff.

I keep my keepsakes of course. I cant seem to get rid of all my pictures and a few of my nick nacks. I have some toys that were my mom's when she was a child and I keep them of course. Ideally things like that should be on a shelf where others can see and enjoy them.

This week I have been on a no spending on non necessities time. I have bought a few things but not without really thinking about whether they were necessities or just wants. It has helped me continue my re-education of myself in the buying and spending department. I don't need things to make me happy. I don't need things to be someone. Things don't define who I am.

I will continue to sort through my stuff/things and continue to rid myself of the luggage I have spent years accumulating. I'm not saying I want to be a minimalist or even that I want to get rid of most everything I have. Not at all. But I do want the things I decide to keep to be meaningful to me and my family. I want to be able to maintain the things I decide I want to keep and not have them be a burden to me or my family. If I died today I want my kids to have an easy time going through my stuff and not dread the thought. After all, is all my stuff what I am about? Does it make me who I am?

How about you? Are THINGS very important to you? Do you feel the need to shop often? Do you think that the more things you have the happier you will be? If you cant have something do you think it will hurt you in some way? Can you live with out it?

I realize not many people would choose to live the way we do and that's ok. I also know that when you live on a farm and or have animals you have to have more stuff. I am not condemning that in any way. What I am writing about is my stuff and my self and my life and how I feel about all that. I am just finding that for me I really do like having less stuff.


Yolanda said...

I completely agree with you. I once read a book called "It's here... somewhere" and the author said that if you don't NEED it, or you don't WANT it or you don't HAVE ROOM for it, it should go. I LOVE "dejunking" and you post has re-energized me. I to, would like, when I die, for it to be very easy for people to clear out my belongings. I certainly am not there yet, but I'm working on it. We are having a big Family Reunion in June. I might take some keepsakes along to pass out. For instance, I have Japanese kimono that was given to me 20 years ago. It is in my cedar chest and never sees the light of day. Hello?? I've already given away most of my jewelry to my girls. I keep my clothing pared down and when I need something, I go to thrift stores. Other than underclothing and shoes, I rarely buy anything new unless it is on super clearance. If my closet is crowded, then I have too many things. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on this.

Anonymous said...

Nice! Love ya.

Dave and Tina Schmidt said...

Amazing the things we learn when we are forced to do something and things turn out great. this is fantastic.
So check out Barney's blog, he and his wife had #3 on Tuesday this week.

Emerald said...

I love your Blog, it is an encouragement to me. My husband and are moving into our 5th wheel, and it does take some getting used to. This post is great~I'm sure this is why Jesus said in Matt 8:20"Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." Jesus knows the earthly treasures are a distraction from the spiritual kingdom we are to abide in.