Or the surprising benefits of minimizing
Have you ever thought about the time you invest in managing all your stuff? Maybe it’s your investment in the caring of things — the yard, the floors, all those windows in your big house. Perhaps you invest emotional energy worrying about upgrading a possession or how you can dispose of something in an environmentally friendly way. If the possession is rather old, disposal could actually be problematic.
I already talked about how the piles in our attic started stressing me out while I was at work! I ended up spending time up there when the temperatures were comfortable, but I believe I moved and organized more goods than I tossed. These were my husband’s things mostly, and he has his own demons about owning things. Out of respect for him, I could merely nibble at the edges.
Enormous benefits await
Nibbling and pecking away are all I accomplished last year too, but I still have some feelings of accomplishment. There are, after all, enormous benefits to downsizing or minimizing one’s possessions. Benefits you might not have considered.
Becker offers an extensive list which I’ll cite in brief. Perhaps you can name yet more benefits.
- More time and energy
- More money
- More generosity
- More freedom
- Less stress
- Less distraction
- Less environmental impact
- Higher-quality belongings
- A better example for your children
- Less work for someone else
- Less comparison
- More contentment
There is more joy to be found in owning less than can ever be found in pursuing more. (Joshua Becker in The More of Less, p. 8)
So how many of these benefits apply to your life today or hold some appeal?
My favorite is “more money.” I retired earlier than planned and concerns about having enough money to last into my dotage crop up now and then. I try hard to push away those concerns, as worry is not terribly productive in the grand scheme.
What I think about second-most is having the time and freedom to go places, like hang out at the beach. Leaving “home” for travel means dealing with yard care and other necessary maintenance from a distance.
Hoping for a simplified life won’t make it happen, so I must plan for it. For now, that means emptying all the cluttered spaces and keeping only what “sparks joy,” as Marie Kondo advises. It feels like a full-time job. Sigh.
*This post originally appeared on Medium.