In our last installment of how to Live Rich with Less Stuff, we talked about some first steps you can take to relieve yourself of excess stuff in your wardrobe closet and start on the path to minimalism, keeping only the items you use regularly, truly enjoy, and which add value. Less stuff means less clutter and more room for what really matters to your happiness and adds quality to your life.
So what do you do with what’s left after you’ve gotten rid of everything you don’t need? Once you unburden your life of all the excess material stuff you aren’t using, you may find you need less room to live comfortably. Downsizing to a smaller living space means you can have a smaller mortgage payment or pay less rent every month. Curbing your spending habits and buying less stuff means having more money in your pocket, paying fewer and/or smaller bills, and getting out of debt sooner. Fewer bills and little to no debt means more money freed up for savings, more cash for doing things that you enjoy, and more flexibility to help someone else out financially.
Along with getting rid of clothing you don’t wear and giving up space you don’t need to live in now that you have less stuff to fill it up with, why not re-evaluate your daily activities and time commitments to see if there are things you’re doing that don’t really add value to your life. Can you cut down on the time you spend in front of your laptop? Perhaps watch less television? Maybe do a social media fast for a week? How often do you actually use that monthly gym membership you’re paying for?
Here are some ideas of things to do instead of watching a screen:
• Spend time with your significant other
• Read that novel you never seem to have time for
• Spend time with your parents, siblings, or children
• Take a daily walk around your neighborhood (who needs a gym for exercise?)
• Make a list of ways you can add value to someone else’s life
• Take action on that list
• Find a park in your city you’ve never spent time in and spend time there (maybe bring that novel with you!)
• Visit a neighbor or friend (showing up with a bottle of wine or food dish is a great way to get in the door)
• Volunteer at a local homeless shelter or animal shelter
• Take a class in an area of interest
• Learn a new skill
• Discover your city’s museums and art galleries
• Foster a dog or cat
• Journal about your journey toward a life of minimalism
• Visit a retirement home and read to a resident
• Mentor a teen
• Meditate, pray, spend time learning to be still and quiet
• Help a friend clear out their closet
• Teach someone you care for about minimalism
There are so many better ways to spend your time than staring at a screen! Our list gives you 19 options; we’re sure you can add a few more of your own to that list. We all only have so much time on this Earth; don’t you want to get the most out of the time you have? Getting down to owning just the things you use, need, and enjoy, and ridding yourself of routines that don’t add value to your life leaves you with the things that bring you joy, the time to spend with those you love, and the opportunity to share your gifts, time, and talents with the world. In the final installment of how to Live Rich with Less Stuff we will focus on that last bit and talk about ways in which you can be enriched by a lifestyle of minimalism, and how you can pay it forward so that other lives are also enriched.