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 it: About 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!
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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