Having few desires means satisfaction with what you have.
Making radical plans always has more ramifications that one first thinks. I have this germ of an idea to convert an old school bus into a camper / RV / motor home, and / or find a great plot and construct a home / holiday home out of shipping containers. One of the ramifications is that the amount of interior space is likely to be limited in either of those projects.
But, there is an axiom; You don’t need more space, you need less stuff…
Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like. ~ Will Rogers
Ergo, the first rule of living with less is to stop buying things you don’t really need. A lot of us like buying new stuff: kitchen gadgets, clothes, pictures, ornaments and geegaws, books, and other sundry unnecessary crap. Then we find our spare room and garage filled with the old stuff we have replaced with new stuff, and eventually we have to take all that old crap to the thrift store.
All this costs us time, money, stress, and heartache. Buy stuff we don’t really need and our lives are filled with clutter, and clutter is incredibly stressful. The simple answer is; ‘if you don’t absolutely need it, then don’t buy it’. If there is no clean and empty space on your tables, kitchen counters, bookshelves, dressing table, desk, and in your bathroom, then you have far too much stuff.
Clutter, junk, piles of unused stuff, overflowing cupboards, a garage you can barely get your car into, a spare room full of more unused stuff… all this is bad for your physical, mental, and spiritual health. If you can’t lose weight, you’re always tired, you’re always late for work ~ then clean up your clutter.
Instead of complications and clutter, consider simplicity and minimalism instead.
If one’s life is simple, contentment has to come. Simplicity is extremely important for happiness. Having few desires, feeling satisfied with what you have, is very vital: satisfaction with just enough… and shelter to protect yourself from the elements. ~ The Dalai Lama
Simple living will benefit your physical, mental, and spiritual health in many ways. Living simply declutters your life and your daily schedule ~ who knows if you live simply you may even make it into work on time.
Living simply with less stuff, living a clean and minimalistic lifestyle, well it isn’t something that you should attempt to achieve overnight, usually this kind of huge change takes time, effort, and determination. Take little steps, at least to begin with. Some good ideas are;
- Get rid of all your duplicates. If you have 2 of something, like 2 copies of the same CD, then you have 1 too many. Take the duplicate to the thrift store.
- Clean out your garage and spare room, (and other places you store unused stuff). If it’s been in your garage for years, and you’ve never used it, then either take it to the thrift store, give it away, or put it in the dumpster.
- Start a clutter-free area. Have a minimalistic and clutter-free zone or room perhaps your bathroom, or kitchen, and then expand that through the rest of your home.
- Travel lightly. Take half the stuff you think you will need, and twice as much money. If your garage or spare room is full of luggage, suitcases, bags… then get rid of some of them. Most airlines will only allow one bag anyway.
- Dress with less. If you haven’t worn it in months, and you don’t really like it, and maybe it’s a little worn, and it doesn’t fit you any more ~ then take it to the thrift store. Have a colour and style theme that really suits you, and try your best to always stick with that.
- Simplify and purify your diet. Go through your fridge, freezer, and larder ~ junk anything past its ‘use by date’ or is of dubious quality, or you shouldn’t be eating or drinking anyway.
- Have a £1,000 pound emergency fund, ($1,000). Money for emergencies reduces stress and makes it amazingly easier to junk stuff you don’t really need.
I live in a 500 square foot loft apartment I call the garret. The only thing I have too much of is books. My bookshelves are full, my bookcases, (2 of them), are full, and there are books stacked on the floor… I’m working on that, all of my books are for sale on Amazon. In recent weeks I’ve got rid of half my clothes, (see point #5), and replaced some with far better quality stuff. My kitchen counters and bathroom are totally clutter free, and my refrigerator is only half-full. I’m not doing too badly on being minimalistic and clutter-free.
Trust me~ discarding unwanted stuff, being clutter-free, creates a raft of good feelings.
Simplicity is the most difficult thing to secure in this world; it is the last limit experience and the last effort of genius. ~ George Sand
Good design and good quality is timeless. Always buy the best you can afford, and never buy more than you need. Remember K.I.S.S. ~ Keep It Simple Stupid… Simplicity is Good, and Clutter is Bad. Focus on what really matters to you, and don’t get suckered in to buying cheap bargains you don’t need.
Less is more. ~ Mies Van Der Rohe
Be clean, simple, uncluttered, and minimalistc, (especially in the bedroom), and I promise you your life will be better.
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When I first ran away from real life and came to my seaside apartment I was a broken man. The thought of friendships and relationships made me feel physically ill. I also began to relearn who I really was. The true Jack Collier cannot abide clutter, untidiness, dust, dirt, and mess. Neither physical, mental, and emotional muddle sit well with me.
Nor do I seem to be particularly acquisitive. The pleasures of collecting things; pictures, ornaments, and the like, largely passes me by. Although I have been, and still am, guilty of having far too many books and too much recorded music, (in its multifarious forms), than can be good for one person.
Fashion does not particularly interest me. My sheepskin ‘flying’ jacket is more than 20 years old, and I am still wearing dress shoes almost as old as that. ~ but then I’m a man.
Without any planning or conscious thought I began the process of decluttering my life.
Some of this was easier than you would think, because there are only three little rules;
- Do not buy anything that does not have an immediate and specific purpose in your life.
- If you have things which do not have a specific purpose in your life, then either sell them, give them away, or dump them in the trash.
- Never, ever, leave anything out in the open, cluttering up table-tops, counter tops, bedside cabinets, dressers, sinks, the sides of the bath… If you are not actually using something right now, then always put everything away. If there’s nowhere to keep whatever it is ~ say clothes you haven’t worn for years, then follow rule #2.
What I did not realise until very recently is that living attracts clutter like a dog attracts fleas. Decluttering your life is not a one-off event, it’s an ongoing process which requires vigilance and effort. Consequently I am still selling stuff through eBay and Amazon, I am still a regular visitor to my local thrift / charity / goodwill stores, and I still find myself tossing things into the trash.
Worst of all, I still sometimes buy things I don’t really need, or even want. And, like all men, I am terrible at returning things to the store.