I recently watched a Ted Talk with the same title, “Less stuff, more happiness” and it got me thinking. Like many others with the next year approaching I’m thinking of ways to improve myself, my life and explore thoughts on how to make 2015 better than 2014. The new year is really just a catalyst to these ideas, an annual reminder to do better and be better in the upcoming year. In the past two years of my life I’ve really started understanding and practice the idea of investing in life experiences and doing things that create joy versus the traditional material approach of buying stuff. I think many of us in our early 20s are hit with a titlewave of adulthood expectations. You’ve just graduated, congrats! now on to paying off that debt, starting your career and the beginning of acquiring grown up possessions, like a new car, a new house, name brand clothes, a nice sofa, that big screen tv, a pinterest worthy wedding and so on. But why? The reality is we don’t actually need these things. Our needs for survival are actually very minimal – food, water, shelter and a sense of community. There isn’t a checklist of stuff to adulthood like mainstream media (such an overused term, I know) suggestions.
Graham Hill, the speaker in Ted Talk I mentioned in the beginning, proposes a simple concept we as human should embrace: less is more. I know, you’ve heard it before too. It wasn’t until he put this concept into perspective that I truly took to heart what that saying means. The less stuff you own the more freedom you’ll have – both mentally and physically, the more time you’ll have, the more money you’ll save, all while reducing your carbon footprint on the environment. Whoa. Such a simple idea with so much power. After watching the short video, I want to drop what I was doing and gut out the things that are holding me back, to edit my possessions to the very best of what I love and no longer hold onto things simply because I spent money on them. It was like a lightbulb, a rung higher to strive for in life! One’s stuff really does have a way of limiting other areas of life. By editing my possessions down the my absolute favorite things, it gives me the opportunity to truly evaluate and make myself aware of what my real needs and goals are in life. It creates a new version of conciseness when I’m deciding to own something new, “Do I actually need this or will it take away from the other things I want in life? Is this worth my money, time and freedom?” I want more of what makes me happy, which is experiencing life, having the funds and time to travel the world and spending as much time with those I love. So, for the entire month of January I will be working towards this goal! I’ve devised a weekly agenda to accomplish this. Each week in January I’ll share what I did and any thoughts or tips I have along the way. Here’s my plan of attack if you want to join in:
Edit my closet and organize the space.
Edit my other closets, like the entry closet, bathroom and my beauty closet.
Edit my kitchen. Get rid of all the dishes and stuff I really don’t need. I mean, I’m pretty sure I still have crappy kitchen stuff from college in their that I never use.
Edit my furniture. I have a tendency to keep furniture for future places. I have artwork stored because I’m not really sure what to do with them, I don’t really love them, but hope they’ll be useful in the future.
At the end of each week I will pack everything that got the boot and donate to a local charity. I’m actually pretty excited about this even if at the moment it seems like a lot of work. Hopefully by dividing it up into chunks it will be a smoother process! I’ll keep ya posted!
Photo Credit: Oracle Fox4