Downsize your living. Why less is more?
Living with less is a choice that has to come after some contemplation. It is hard for some people to decide to make this choice, and some people even give up, because having a comfortable life with everything on hand is more important for them, which is ok.
Although some people think that it is hard, living with less could be very liberating. This is because owning things makes us think more. The less we own, the easier it is to navigate through things, keep spaces clean and organized, and, in general, be happier.
What does living with less mean?
Life with less could be interpreted in many ways.
You could think of living with less as a synonym for extremist minimalism, which means that all you need for living is just the absolute essentials. This means no carpet in your house or even no furniture; no decorations and so on.
Another opinion is that living with less is living a simple life, without unnecessary stuff. It implies having things that serve a true purpose in your life: no air purifier, waffle maker, or onion cutter.
At the same time, living with less can translate as cutting on the stuff that you own. If you had 10 pairs of jeans and now only 5, it is living with less.
Whatever interpretation suits you best, the most important thing is that living with less will simplify your life and will make you a happier person.
Benefits of living with less
The advantages of living with less are quite numerous I dare to say. It opens up more areas in our lives, from saving money to having more space in the house, and even improving our wellbeing. I will explain them more in detail below:
Instead of buying a new item that doesn’t serve a very useful purpose, you could better save the money for your children’s college, or for buying a better house.
Another eventuality you could spend money on instead of buying things is on creating meaningful and memorable experiences. You will get so much more excited about going on a date with your partner/friend, than buying a fast fashion brand T-shirt.
Being more organized
House just gets messy when owning too many things. Your space is going to look so much tidier if you decide to live with less. And it’s going to be easier to clean it as well!
Saving the environment
This is a huge benefit because constantly buying new things means more pollution.
Global warming is a real occurrence and every object that we buy will probably take years to disintegrate. It is especially when buying stuff from fast fashion brands or from brands that don’t care at all for the environment. Moreover, these brands tend to last for a short period because they are low quality (that is why they are cheap).
Improves mental wellbeing
We tend to bond with the stuff that we own, but not necessarily in a good way. We care about those things and we spend a lot of mental energy thinking about them. What we could do instead is to invest that energy into something more meaningful.
Having more stuff means more stress and overwhelmedness. We also spend more time cleaning and organizing when we own more, which can lead to feeling burned out and tired. That is why when living on less, people feel more relaxed and released.
The letting go happens not only for stuff but also for the negative energy.
Where to start?
Usually, we have too many clothes that we don’t need. We buy clothes for different occasions, or for “just in case” occasions. Also, we think that we need T-shirts of all colors, same with jeans, and even other clothes items. Buying clothes for sale is another reason why our wardrobes are full.
It is possible to live more minimally than that.
All that we need to do is to be more intentional about the clothes that we buy. For example, it is better to buy a qualitative cloth item from a sustainable brand than to buy a few articles from a fast-fashion brand. It will not only last you longer but also will be better for the environment.
One more thing to keep in mind is that downsizing your wardrobe is much easier when those remaining items are minimal and simple. You will get bored much easier with a colorful shirt with lots of stickers than with a white or black one. Plus, simple clothes are easier to combine, which also means less stress!
This is especially true for women but sometimes applies to men as well. Overbuying cosmetics is a thing that lots of people do but the truth is that they don’t need that much.
Before being minimalist, I used to have more than one shampoo, deodorant, oil for the face, body, different types of creams, and make-up products. When I was going to travel, I was taking a lot of it with me, thinking that I truly need all of them. At one point I realized that all I need is so much less than I thought I need. And I also realized that without all the cosmetics my body and face can just breathe and be as it is, natural.
Now when I go to travel all I bring is toothpaste and deodorant, and I am not kidding.
I have to admit that I cannot live without a blender. I use it every day or every other day. But for example having a toaster, a rice maker, or a waffle maker feels unessential to me. Of course, it is subjective but most of us will agree that having an apple cutter, or a thing that gets seeds out of cherry is unnecessary.
Try to make your kitchen as minimal as possible and have only items that you use every day or so.
This is a general one but having less furniture is a nice way to keep your stuff to a minimum. It is not only going to make you live with less but also will create more space in your house which you can use for doing some yoga, or playing with your children.
Also, watch out for the items that you put on the shelves. They might look nice, but they mostly just gain dust (although if they bring you joy, I would leave them as they are).
This is where most stuff that we don’t need is. Consider taking a look at the items that you have there. You will probably realize that you need to get rid of most of them. If yes, then do so! Donate or recycle them. In case you didn’t use them for half a year or even more, then it is for sure that you are not going to use them in the future.
How to accept living with less
Living with less is a state of being, not something temporary. This means that you need to accept and embrace this new life.
It can be both exciting and hard to start this journey.
What you can do to accept it easier is to take it slow. You don’t need to declutter your whole house in a couple of days and sleep on the floor. Just start easy and see what level of “living with less” suits you best. Think twice before getting rid of things, so you don’t regret them afterward.
Taking it slow will be much easier for you to accept a more minimal life. It’s also going to prevent over-decluttering or getting rid of articles that you use.
Another way to accept life with less is to clearly emphasize the reasons why you want to do that. It will help you to stay focused on your path and not turn back.
You can even write down your motivations and put them on the fridge.
Some examples of the reasons why to live more minimally are: being more intentional, focusing on important things in life, saving money, the environment, or having more space. There are much more reasons, but try to elaborate on them, so that you highlight them in your mind.
Ways to live with less
Now let’s talk about strategies and tips on how to live more minimally. These techniques will help you to save money and to make more space in your house.
This is the number one thing that you should do to live with less. You should of course research how to properly declutter. In case you have too many things and don’t know where to start, check out this article on decluttering when overwhelmed.
The basic thing that you should know is that decluttering takes time and it is better not to do it all at once. You have to give away items little by little.
Another important thing to remember is that one thing is better than two. Duplicates are not a must and you can easily live without them.
Be grateful for what you have
Tenting to overbuy things because you think that what you have is not enough is a big problem. It stops you from being more minimal.
Sometimes I find myself wanting things that have more features, are newer, or prettier. Then, if I am being mindful enough, I realize that all I need is here. I don’t need more than that for happiness. Thinking that after I will have that item will make me happy is an illusion.
The happiness that material things bring to us is insignificant.
Being grateful for what we have is what increases our happiness and mood.
If 50 years ago you would tell someone that there is a small device that can store thousands of pictures, books, and music, he would think that you are insane. I feel so grateful that we have the opportunity to use such a small device (aka phone) for so many purposes.
You should too!
Instead of buying physical books, we can use E-books, which saves so much space in our house! Instead of having printed, dusted pictures in the closet, we now can use Google Photos to store our images! This is cool, seize it!
Have you ever bought yourself a nice dress and said that you are not going out for dinner the next month? Well, it should be the other way around. We value and remember experiences much more than stuff. This is true even though we use material things for a longer time. Experiences bring more joy than material stuff and this is a fact.
Before buying something, consider waiting a couple of days to see if you still want it. Sometimes we are very impulsive. As a result, we buy items that after a day or two we regret. So it is important to sleep on it a little.
Have you cheated on minimalism?
It happens that motivation sometimes goes away. We forget why we started living on less and begin to clutter our lives again.
If this happens to you, don’t get discouraged.
It happens to a lot of people because it is hard to get used to new habits.
What you can do to get back to normal is to simply set the intention again. Set the intention to start the journey with more wisdom and not repeat the mistakes again.
The things that you gathered can simply be donated, resold, or recycled.
It is all good, you can just begin again.
Are you ready to start living with less?
The most important thing to remember is that living with less means having a more intentional approach to things.
Moreover, you have to be mindful of your feelings and emotions. Don’t be a prisoner of your thoughts. You can always choose to let go of your ideas.
What I meant by the words said above is that you really have to put effort into being more conscious. This will help you to overcome the desire of wanting more material things. Also, being more conscious will help you out with embracing your new journey and being grateful for what you own.
In conclusion, I want to challenge you to start this new way of living. Begin it with lots of ambition and motivation. Realize how powerful the outcome may be and do it.
So, are you ready?