Some of the very cool side effects of owning a whole lot less stuff!
1. Finding things is easier
When surfaces and floors are clear, and things that belong together are kept together, losing your passport, your keys or other important items rarely happens.
2. Keeping things tidy takes less effort
There is less stuff to get in a mess in the first place and the things you do have are all easily put away. Getting something out is easier because you don’t have to shift a mountain of other things out out of the way to get to what you need.
3. Cleaning is faster
Cleaning (a job most of us want to spend as little time as possible on), is super-fast when you don’t have to pick up and move things out of the way. Clear surfaces just need a wipe over that takes seconds. Floors can be easily hoovered or mopped. You can whizz round, get it all done, and then go out and do something you want to do instead.
4. Packing for holidays is stress free
When you limit the amount of things in your life, you not only have a greater appreciation of what you need on a day-to-day basis, but one circuit around the house will enable you to collect up everything you need for a trip in no time.
5. It’s easier to be spontaneous
Our things (and our commitments) are a responsibility. The more things you have, the more time you need to spend on them. If you have less, it is easier on a sunny weekend morning to decide that you will spend the day at the beach, because the demands on your time at home are minimal. There is less cleaning, tidying, and general maintenance, which gives you more free time.
6. It’s easier to focus
A clear space allows your mind to fully concentrate on the job at hand. Whether that is writing, organising digital data, painting the bathroom or just reading a book. In a simple and clean environment you won’t suffer from the constant distraction of visual reminders of things that you need to do, fix, arrange, tidy and clean up.
7. You spend less
When you break the habit of shopping for things you don’t really need, it frees up income. One of the great things about owning less – by choice – is that is helps you make better decisions on what you bring back into your life. It is easier to see through marketing and advertising gloss, and to know whether you really need something.
8. You do more
You will eventually reach a point where the balance tips and you have cleared away enough that you start to gain time. When this happens you’ll need to fill that time – and as long as you don’t fill it with more stuff, this is the point at which you will make big gains as far as working towards a life you truly love goes. Now you will have the time to take up rock climbing, genealogy or a chemistry A level. And you can do so with full focus and no distractions!
9. Bye bye overwhelm
You know that feeling: when you’re running late, you’ve got a deadline on a project you’re not going to make, the house is a mess, you’ve run out of dog food, there’s no milk left in fridge and your mother is coming to visit after lunch. That kind of overwhelm is symptomatic of too much stuff and too many commitments. When you simplify your life, by reducing both physical possessions and time-commitments, you give yourself space to breathe. Overwhelm dissolves and leaves you facing a clear path ahead.
10. You feel happier
Lack of control is one of the biggest root causes of stress. We can’t control what life throws at us, but we can be careful curators of our space and time. When you clear the decks and give yourself room to breathe, you are exerting a level of control over your environment that gives you mental peace and allows you to focus on other things.
Own less, and do more!