As I continue on my “minimalist” journal I realized I’ve made a pivotal jump this past year. I went from decluttering every room in my house to actually owning less stuff. And can I tell you how freeing that is? Of course, that’s what this post is all about. But even the switch in my mind from simply wanting to get rid of stuff to desiring less stuff has been magical.
So here are 10 reasons I like owning less stuff and who knows, maybe you will too.
I Like Owning Less Stuff
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1.) Less to clean.
One day while “cleaning my house” I realized all I was doing was moving the same pile around from room to room. Odds and ends that I didn’t want to get rid of but didn’t know where to put. Items such as broken electronics I was planning to fix, little toys, mugs I had received as gifts but was never going to use, etc.
And then I asked myself, “If I get rid of this today will I miss it in a month?” The answer was a resounding no. In fact, I wouldn’t miss it in a year. So I donated the good stuff and trashed the rest. And it felt so good!
Now when I clean I definitely have fewer piles to move around my house as I work to eliminate all unnecessary clutter. Plus, it saves me cleaning time!
2.) Less to maintain.
Similarly, if we own less we have less junk to maintain. Fewer things with batteries that need replacing. Fewer future broken toys may need to fix one day. Fewer sunglasses we’ll have to replace because we lose them. And fewer things we have to clean as part of its maintenance. Less “stuff” means less stuff we have to fiddle with during our days and give precious time to.
This doesn’t necessarily mean throw out everything that needs replacing or can be fixed. But it might mean not buying it in the first place so we don’t have to waste time in our future fixing it.
3. Less to get disappointed when it breaks, rips, or fades.
I don’t know about you but whenever I get a new shirt I get excited thinking about the first time I’ll wear it! I’m certain it will make my day extra special! But you know what usually ends up happening? I usually spill spaghetti sauce on it the first day I wear it because that’s how my life goes. Haha. Or, the first time I wash it fades to an ugly color.
But that’s life with material things. They won’t last. They will break. They will rip. And they will fade.
So is it worth spending our hard-earned money on these items or taking up more room in our house?
That’s why I’m a huge fan of thrift store shopping. I don’t have to feel guilty if I get a stain on a shirt the first day I wear it if I only paid $4 for it. Trust me, thrift stores have some good stuff too!
If I do purchase something new I’m a big believer in quality over quantity. I’d rather pay more money for a piece that will last me a much longer time but hold up well to wear and tear and the washing machine. Check out this post on creating your first capsule wardrobe if this idea intrigues you too.
4.) Less to move!
So you might plan on never moving. But for a while, my husband and I were moving every single year to avoid rent increases in Washington, D.C., and let me tell you, owning less stuff was a major blessing then.
There’s less to sort through. Less to pack. There’s less to pay movers to move for you. It can really make a not-so-fun experience a little bit better.
5.) Less to eventually haul to the thrift store.
I’m not sure if you’ve started on a decluttering journey yet, but it’s definitely the first step in a minimalist lifestyle. And when you do you may feel like you are constantly driving to the thrift store to donate stuff. And quite frankly, if we don’t learn to desire less we WILL constantly be cycling new stuff in and cycling new stuff out. No surprise here, but the secret lies in owning less stuff and buying less in the first place.
6.) Less time wasted thinking about wanting more stuff.
I’m not going to lie. I still go through periods where I become obsessed with certain items and will spend hours researching skincare products online or scrolling Facebook marketplace for new furniture. But it’s usually during the times that I’m unhappy with some area of my life and trying to make myself feel better through retail therapy.
When I am truly content I find I “online” shop less, stay off Amazon more, and am able to walk past more aisles at the actual store without adding to my cart. I love the time I gain in my life to devote to things that matter more than “stuff” like my family, friends, and fun.
7.) Less comparison.
Oh boy, is this a good one! When I start to compare myself to others I often find myself trapped in this unhealthy cycle of wanting to buy more stuff to keep up with the Joneses. And I don’t even know who the heck the Joneses are anyway! But I’ll tell you this. It never helps me feel better about myself.
But when I work on trying to make my LIFE better I find I don’t need to compare myself to others because I’m happy where I’m at and with what I have today. I truly don’t care if people have nicer clothes, newer cars, or better phones than me. I’m happy for them but I’m even happier that I don’t desire that stuff.
8.) More appreciation for what I own.
Similarly, I’ve found that when I own less I’m actually more grateful for what I have. I’ve been working on paring down my closet and instead of having too many items that I never wear, I have 20 items that I wear all the time and am grateful I own.
Having less actually allows you to see more when it comes to what you own. And it can be a real practice in gratitude.
9.) More intentionality about what I spend my money on.
When you start owning less it rewires your brain to distinguish between wants and needs. I only have one pair of sneakers now so if I completely ripped then I would need to get a new pair. But my closet is already full of pretty floral dresses so even if I see a beautiful one in the store I know I don’t need it. This leads me to my last point.
10.) More money saved!
Owning less stuff means you will save more money. You’ll spend less money on clothes you’ll never wear, toys that will break, kitchen gadgets that will go unused, and technology that will become outdated in a year. Save your money and watch it grow!
What’s your favorite thing about owning less stuff?
Additionally, if you’re ready to use play as a way to help your kids develop physically, emotionally, and socially check out one of my favorite courses called Purposeful Playspace.
It will help you create a designated space where your kids will want to play without you with fewer toys but organized in a simple, way that promotes fun learning and development for your kiddos.