Why You Have So Much Stuff (And What To Do About It)

Why You Have So Much Stuff (And What To Do About It)

Okay, I admit it. Most of my blog posts are essentially ‘fluff’. I can write and write about minimalism and how to cut back on your things, but the truth is, unless we get to the heart of the matter, not much will change. Why do we have so much stuff? I’ve thought of a few, real, soul-searching reasons: We’re Covering Pain – Feeling depressed? Go out and buy something. Worrying too much? Watch TV to forget about reality. Like overeating, shopping can cause a momentary high that we use as a way to cope with life. It’s a temporary means of escape. But like a drug, it’s addictive. It only lasts a moment and we’ll always have to go back for more. Finding Willpower is Too Hard – It’s no secret that our society teaches self-indulgence. We know we are bombarded with thousands of images a day taunting us to buy things. We know companies spend millions on finding ways to make their product appeal to us and convince us to buy. And with so much else going on in our lives, it’s easier to just give in and accumulate stuff than it is to work at building the willpower not to. No One Taught Us Differently – In the 1930s, people stretched every item and every dollar. There was no waste and people survived with very little just to make it through the Depression. Many generations have passed since then. Having parents who taught us how to be frugal and wise with our money is a thing of the past. Add in ease of access to credit...
8 Ways Decluttering Reduces Stress

8 Ways Decluttering Reduces Stress

Does the thought of decluttering cause you stress? What if you knew the result would do just the opposite? Here are eight stress-reducing results of decluttering: 1. You’ll Spend Less Time Cleaning – Owning less stuff means you have less stuff to clean up, dust around, put away and organize. This means it will take you less time to clean your home and you’ll have less stress about finding time to get it done. 2. It’s Freeing  – Decluttering your stuff also declutters your mind at the same time. Decluttering causes you to think about what is really important and let go of the unnecessary. This thought pattern can’t help but flow over from being about your stuff, to being about your life and your thoughts. 3. You’ll Have Fewer Choices to Make – Owning less will make it easier to find something to wear, something to read, or something to watch. Even though these are fairly simple decisions, it’s amazing how they can add to daily stress. 4. You’ll Get More Time – Owning less means having less to maintain. Less cleaning (#1), less maintaining, less shopping and less working to pay for it all. This all gives you more time to spend with family, with God, exercising, being outside and enjoying life. 5. You’ll Save Money – The more you have the more you need, and likewise, the less you have the less you need. Three cars means three cars to keep maintained and repaired. Four bedrooms instead of two means extra square footage to clean, fill with furniture, and pay a mortgage (or rent) on. Plus,...
4 Common Myths of Minimalism

4 Common Myths of Minimalism

Since embracing minimalism, I’ve encountered more than one person who believes minimalism is something it’s not.  Today, we’re going to dispel four of those myths. I can’t own anything – Minimalism isn’t about giving away everything and living with one bowl and one outfit (although there are people that do that). It’s more of an individual decision. It’s living with what you need and keeping what you love. It’s breaking a habit of self-entitlement and excessive spending. It’s placing thoughtful value on certain things in your life and removing the excess. Only you can decide how much that entails. Everything will be white – Although I do find that when you search pictures of minimalist décor, you find a surplus of bare white rooms with a few pieces of white furniture, that’s not really what minimalism is. If you like white rooms with white furniture, then yes – that’s what it is for you. But if you like colour and you love your display of antiques, then that’s okay too. It’s personal preference. I can’t buy things – While living simply is bound to curb your spending, it doesn’t mean you can never buy things again. It does, however, cause you to make more thoughtful purchases. There’s enlightenment through deciding what is most important. What do you really need? What do you really like? There’s no big shopping sprees on your credit card where you buy everything because it’s on sale. There are planned purchases that you save for and end up loving because of the consideration behind it. I have found this makes shopping more enjoyable. Minimalism is...
3 Ways Minimalism Is Good For Your Soul

3 Ways Minimalism Is Good For Your Soul

Less stuff. Less TV. Less distractions. Less clutter. Less, less, less! How can less give you more? Since beginning my journey in minimalism a year ago, I’ve been finding out the answer to that question. Here are just three ways I’ve discovered that minimalizing is good for your soul: 1. A decluttered home brings a decluttered mind – A home that isn’t full of stuff brings peace. Less house cleaning. Better finances. Less things competing for your attention around. It gives you room to breathe. 2. Simplifying means evaluating – Minimalism forces you to take a good look at what is really important – stuff, time, people, work, God. It helps you become more thoughtful about why you have certain things and why you do certain things, and prioritize accordingly. 3. Minimalism brings you closer to God – As the old quote says, “When you come to the place God is all you have, you realize God is all you need.” And although  I certainly haven’t minimized down to nothing, removing the distractions and needless things from my life has caused me to look deep down into my soul and examine what lingers there. Instead of turning on the television to ‘veg out’, I spend time reflecting. Instead of playing computer games, I spend time reading the Bible. I’ve been facing what’s truly in my heart and walking taller and stronger because of it.   As Joshua Becker posts on Becoming Minimalist, there are many other benefits of minimalism. If you haven’t yet, I would encourage you to step out and try minimalism for...
3 Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill That You’ve Never Thought Of

3 Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill That You’ve Never Thought Of

Living a minimalist lifestyle has helped me to examine the value and need behind every item I buy. Working so hard to declutter my home has made me extra careful with what I bring back into it. Minimalism has also caused me to look back to the ‘old days’ when pioneers used everything and wasted nothing. Through that, I’ve inadvertently found three things that I can either completely cut, or significantly reduce, from my grocery bill. Don’t keep your paper towels in the kitchen – It seems crazy at first, and I found it quite frustrating, but within a few days I no longer felt the need to grab a piece of paper towel for every little thing. I now use dish rags more often, and I have a separate set of ‘clean-up rags’ for larger spills.  I still use the paper towels for ‘pet messes’ and certain other things, but I can’t believe how long the last package I bought has lasted me. Stop buying gift wrap – Whoever invented the idea of Christmas wrapping paper and gift bags was a genius. This past Christmas, I was faced with the reality of it all. Do I really spend money on paper that just gets ripped off and thrown in the garbage? (And isn’t even recyclable)? There are enough gift bags coming into my home that I haven’t had to buy those in years, but then there’s the tissue paper… So this is what I’ve done: At first I started wrapping presents in newspaper. Did I get comments? Of course – but in the end, is the present about...