The problem with stuff

In short, I have too much of it.

You see, I was brought up from an early age to believe that more things (owning more stuff) meant more happiness. In the short term that always proved to be true, or at least it felt that way. But as I’m learning, that thinking was wrong.

I was fortunate enough to have a birthday halfway through the year in July, so twice a year, once on my birthday, and then once again at Christmas in December, I’d get more stuff! When I got on my own and got a job and started earning money that just meant even more stuff. It wasn’t so much zeal as it was necessity, at least at furst. I was living on my own, I had my own apartment so I needed pots, pans, blankets, clothing, you name it. I needed all that stuff.

As the years passed on by I’d get more and more then when my penchant for  technology kicked in it only accelerated with VHS movies, music CDs, and on and on it went. Then, I got married, her stuff combined with my stuff and we kept right on going!

Flash forward to the future, we have four children, we’ve moved many times through the years and each time we moved we purchase more for every birthday, every Christmas, even ‘just because we can’. More stuff. Now that three of four children have moved out it’s clear to see that we have too much stuff. Do we really need 15 plates? 15 cups? Not that we ever needed 15 sets of dinnerware to begin with but it just seemed to happen over time like they walked in while we were sleeping or something. Creepy, to say the least.

The problem though with maintaining all of this stuff, and worse yet purchasing more, is that it takes time away from your life. Regardless of how small or insignificant the item might have been when you purchased it you first had to decide to purchase it, research it, travel to get it, transport it home, find a place for it, take care of it, keep it clean, keep it safe, and perhaps even insure it.

This goes without even discussing moving around with it, moving around it while at home, or stressing out over it if it breaks and you need to replace it, or gets stolen, or you simply can’t find it when you need it. And don’t forget how much money it cost you over the years.

The good news is there’s a solution! I didn’t invented but I’m absolutely committed to chasing it down. In a word – minimizing. The benefits of adopting a minimalist lifestyle are irrefutable.

Here’s a short list:

  • More time – the less stuff you buy an own and maintain and clean give you more time.
  • Less stress – if you don’t have a house full of valuable items to worry about being ruined or destroyed or stolen that’s less stressful. Not to mention fact that less items mean less things to clean or take care of giving you more time to pursue your hobbies.
  • More money – this one’s a no-brainer but honestly if I had adopted this thinking years ago I would’ve saved tens of thousands of dollars through the years. Money that I don’t have to now try to come up with to save for retirement or other important goals.
  • Freedom! – Think about it. If you didn’t have all of the stuff that you have now but instead simply had high quality items in the freedom to move about in your home regardless of the size think of the freedom it would give you.