5 Ways to Live With Less

Today I wanted to share some thoughts on having what you need versus having what you want. I think that Americans in general love to own “stuff”. We clutter our homes with knick-knacks, shove our closets with clothes we don’t need, and order things online impulsively. It’s easy to do these days with online shopping being so quick and easy! Today I wanted to share my point of view on things and also to hear your own in the comments below!

In order to avoid excess and clutter, I stick to a few simple “rules” I like to live by. Of course I don’t follow everything perfectly 100% of the time, but it is a mindset I like to stick by. There are so many people in this world with so much less than me, and I believe I have a responsibility to not live in excess. 

5 Ways to Live With Less:

  • If I don’t wear something for a season, I donate itAbout two times a year, I go through my clothes and  take out anything I haven’t worn. If I didn’t wear a pair of shorts the entire summer, chances are I’m not going to wear it next summer. I make a donation bag up with these clothes and send them off to people who will want to wear them!
  • Buy Pieces to easily mix/match: This helps me to keep down the volume of clothes I have. I personally love to stick to basic pants or skirts that will go with many colors and styles and then buy colorful exciting tops to mix and match. The same thing goes with shoes; I stick to blacks, browns, whites, neutrals that will go with any clothes I’m wearing. I usually have 2-3 flats, 1 pair of sneakers, 2 sandals, and 1-2 pairs of boots. 
  • Before you buy, ask if you need it: Before you throw in that knick-knack or kitchen gadget to your cart, ask yourself why you’re buying it. Many times when I stop and think about my unplanned purchases, I realize it’s not anything I really need. 
  • Buy to Last: Since I’m trying to live with less, I believe the pieces I do buy should be high quality and built to last. For example, two years ago I bought my first pair of heavy duty Winter boots. They had a heftier price tag than the cheap discount stores I’m used to frequenting, but they have been amazing. 
  • Invest in Experiences not things: This is number one for me! If I’m going to buy something and spend time on something, I want it to be amazing experiences to share with loved ones. In the end, making memories with loved ones is everything. The 50 pairs of shoes in your closet? Perhaps not worth it! You decide!

Final Thoughts:

Now, before you decide to sell all of your possessions and go backpacking throughout Europe, (I’d love to join you if you do!) I urge you to make small changes. Think through your purchases and decide what you and your family need vs what you and your family want. Decide on the areas you are willing to change and make small manageable changes. 

I know that living this way makes me savor experiences and time spent with others. I value time over money and feel satisfied and content overall. I’m not interested in chasing after temporary highs and things that won’t matter to me later in life. I have love and support from many people and for that I’m so very grateful. After all, that is everything!

Do you own too much “stuff”? Thoughts on this topic? What do you impulse purchase most?

Tell me in the comments below!

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26 thoughts on “5 Ways to Live With Less

  1. I love this! Having the tightest budget I’ve ever had, I’m trying really hard to resist buying anything I don’t absolutely need. I still have my moments, but I’m getting so much better! I HATE having too much “stuff.” It makes my life feel cluttered!

  2. These are all so simple, and I love the tips on donating if you don’t need it or asking yourself, ‘Do I NEED this?’ before you buy it. 🙂 I’m a bit more minimalistic than I used to be; I used to be a huge clutter bug.

  3. I love these tips!

    Being in Denver, one of the perks, that I actually thought I’d hate, was that we never have the opportunity to switch out seasonal attire. With potentially 80 degree days in January and 50 degree days randomly in the Summer, there’s not really a reason to switch with the seasons. So it’s been WONDERFUL for making me realize what I really don’t need or wear. Such a great idea to do that each season, rather than just once a year. (#overwhelming)

    Thanks for the tips!
    XO, Jessica
    http://www.semisweettooth.com

    • Nice! I’d love a warm January! I hope to be able to live in a warm climate at some point in my life–i hate the cold! Yes, I try to do it at least twice a year so I dont feel overwhelmed.

  4. love this!! I go through my closet once or twice a year and donate what I haven’t worn that year or in a long time. I just did this a couple weeks ago and it is such a good feeling. I’m always conflicted about should I spend less when shopping or invest in more quality pieces… I usually shop at Old Navy or Target or Forever 21, but some of that stuff doesn’t last too long. I am not a huge shopper so I definitely lean towards the side of not buying unless I need something.

  5. Ugh, I have a problem!! I’ve always been an impulse shopper since I got my first job at 14 years old, and Target is my weakness. Everything you said above is so perfect and is stuff I need to think about more often. For the month of September, I’ve been trying to avoid spending money on unnecessary things, and sticking to my budget. So far it’s been going well and we’re already halfway through! It’s definitely the online shopping that I’m avoiding like the plague. I delete all my promotional emails in my inbox immediately and don’t even look at them! The temptation is real.

    • haha, I can definitely understand that (especially Target!) I mean, is it our fault that they sell such cute stuff?! Good luck with your spending freeze–sounds like youre doing a great job. I think if you do this for a while, you’ll eventually get in to the habit of not spending a lot! Hope it goes well!

    • Yes, I’m currently in denial that colder weather is coming so I havent touched fall or winter gear yet…I’m not ready to commit hahaha

  6. donating clothes or selling them to a consignment as helped me declutter and live with less. I hate having a ton of stuff: I am def trying to be more of a minimalist!

  7. I think I take a lot of things I own for granted. Owning a blender isn’t a necessity, but it’s sure nice to have around. I know I struggle with deciphering between the “want” and “need.”
    I feel the need to impulse buy when I shop online, and so I generally avoid purchasing things over the interwebs.

    I love these tips though. We could all benefit from living a little more minimally.

    • Yes, it’s easy to rack up a tab when youre adding things to your cart online! It just doesnt have the same feel as when you are physically in the store!

  8. Love this! Seriously such great suggestions. The mix and matching pieces is such a big thing that I do not think about enough. I like to “invest” in bold statements, but it’s the simple pieces that I end up wearing all the time. Thanks for for sharing! <3

  9. I used to shop all the time! Now, I try and limit my shopping sprees and ask myself if I really need whatever I’m buying. I also donate clothes I haven’t worn in a while to a local charity.

  10. Its amazing what can happen when you just take a moment to think. You can realize that you may even own something the same or very similar, or you may realize that you are wanting to make the purchase for some other reason (shopping therapy anyone?) – not because you actually need the thing.
    Number 4 is where I struggle most. Being so “frugal,” I tend to go with whatever is cheapest. But then I end up having to buy more and more things and end up with a huge collection of not very good quality items. I hope, at least when I have more money, I can really invest in better quality items and focus on simplicity.
    Great post.

    • Thanks, Cora! I cant afford to get super expensive clothes either right now. When I can invest I do, otherwise I am still searching for the bargains! 😀 That’s a great point about having something similar–isnt it amazing how often we are drawn to items that are similar to what we already have?!

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