In our first installment of how to Live Rich with Less Stuff, we discussed what “rich” means. The definition of living rich is different for different people. The family man with six children to feed probably needs more stuff than the single person, and the person living in a warmer climate needs different stuff than the person living in Alaska.
There are so many benefits to living with less stuff! To begin with, having lots of stuff requires lots of room to keep it in, which may mean living in a bigger house than you really need. If your house seems overcrowded and you’re thinking you have to move to a bigger place to have somewhere to put all your stuff, maybe you don’t really need a bigger house. Maybe you just need less stuff. After all, a bigger house means bigger house payments, bigger utility bills, bigger property taxes, more furniture to fill all those rooms up with, and therefore more rooms to clean. Do you really need a bigger house? Do you really want to spend more time cleaning your house? With less stuff and a smaller place to keep it all, you can spend less money every month, and less time taking care of all that stuff. More time in your schedule and more money in your pocket; two big benefits to living with less stuff.
Another benefit to living with less stuff is that your life suddenly becomes more simplified. With less clothes in your closet, for instance, getting dressed in the morning is a lot simpler! One of the places a lot of people start when deciding to simplify their lives is simplifying their clothing choices. Most people find that when they take inventory of their overstuffed closets, what they find are more outfits than they wear on a regular basis. Closets are a great place to start getting rid of stuff, and the rewards are immediate. Imagine clearing out half your closet in a weekend, getting your clothes down to what you like, what actually fits you right now, what looks good, and what feels good on your body. Imagine getting rid of all the things you think you might wear one day, and honing in on your “go to” outfits. There’s a reason most of us wear the same things over and over again; we like them! Getting rid of the excess clothes in your closets can benefit both you and someone else. Consider your local homeless shelter, day care, or thrift store. Or, if you’re ambitious enough and looking for a little extra cash, hold a garage sale. The neighbors get your extra clothes, you get their extra cash.
In addition to more time, money, and space in your closet, there are intangible benefits to minimizing the stuff in your life, such as less mental stress, less anxiety, better quality sleep, and more peace of mind. Is there debt that’s been weighing you down? Trading in your expensive car and scaling back with a less expensive one can free up money you would normally spend on a big car payment, a large insurance bill, and costly repairs and free up that extra money to put toward paying down your debt faster. Can you picture how great you’d feel without any debt at all? No more “easy monthly payments” for the rest of your life…now that’s living rich!
We hope you’re starting to see how embarking on the journey to living rich with less stuff could have multiple benefits. As we stated in part one of this series, it isn’t just about the “stuff” but that’s a great place to start when gaining an understanding of the concept of minimalism. The purpose of ridding yourself of excess stuff is to make room for what is truly important; to make room for the stuff that adds real value to your life and get rid of everything else. Imagine a life where you keep only the things you use, enjoy, and truly need to live your best life.
Minimalism allows you to get the excess stuff out of your life and out of your way, so that you can figure out what is truly important in your life. The point of living with less stuff is that less material possessions to look after, take care of, keep track of, and worry about replacing frees you up to focus on the other stuff, the truly important stuff. The stuff that really matters. In the next installment of our series on how to Live Rich with Less Stuff, we’ll share some of the first steps you can take on the road to embracing minimalism as a lifestyle.