A Few Perks of Having Less Stuff

posted by Andrea | 03/21/2017
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Although I personally have no desire to become a true minimalist, there are many situations when I definitely prefer “less” over “more”.

I prefer fewer items of clothing that I love and feel great in versus lots and lots of options I continually try on and hang back up.

I prefer fewer toys, books, games, and crafts that my children actually play with versus rooms full of toys and games they don’t have the time to enjoy.

I prefer fewer to-dos and obligations on my schedule versus being over-committed and stressed out by everything on my plate.

Even when it comes to technology, I prefer fewer gadgets, accessories, Apps, plugins, etc.

Of course, there are always situations and circumstances where “more” is most likely better than “less”, but when it comes to things and stuff, I feel there are a handful of tangible benefits from having LESS.

Let me explain…

1. More Financial Stability

You’re buying less, you’re paying to maintain less, you’re updating less — all of which equates to spending less, saving more, and more financial stability.

2. More Time

Along the same lines, with less stuff to shop for, buy accessories for, clean around, and maintain, you’ll most likely end up with more time to do other things you might enjoy even more!

3. Less Buyer’s Remorse

We’ve all been there — that great jacket, purse, couch, refrigerator, toy, computer, kitchen gadget, etc. seemed like just the thing for our home and lives… but now we’ve spent the money, we hate it, and we can’t bring it back.

I doubt any of us will get through our lives completely unscathed from buyer’s remorse, but it sure happens less often when you don’t buy or have as much stuff!

4. Less Indecision.

I don’t know about you, but I cannot stand indecision. Personally, I am very decisive, so it drives me nuts when there is procrastination or dawdling over any type of decision.

I honestly think this is one of the main reasons I choose to have fewer things — because it means fewer decisions (and less chance of indecision) on my part.

I don’t struggle with “what to wear” because I regularly purge the things I don’t love and am only left with clothing I know I like and feel good in. I don’t wonder about where to put things because we have “homes” for all our books, toys, games, puzzles, etc. and if things start getting too full, we purge to make more space.

Less indecision is a huge perk (for me) of having less.

5. More Freedom

In general, when I think about owning less, I have a feeling of more freedom. In fact, Dave and I regularly joke about retiring to a tiny condo someplace where there is no room for anything extra — I think we both like the idea of being “free” from stuff.

I realize it’s often very difficult to be completely free from stuff, but by owning less, I do feel like we have more freedom.

I should point out that when I say “having less stuff”, that can refer to any number of items.

In my opinion, “less” is determined by our own personal views. What Dave and I might consider as “less” could be three times as much as what someone else might consider “less”. What you consider to be “less” might be more than what Dave and I consider to be “less”.

I’m not nearly as interested in the exact number of things you have or own as I am in the fact that you are willing to purge the things you don’t want, need, use or love.

I don’t care if you have 40 things, 400 things, 4000 things, or even more than that as long as you actually use them all, enjoy them all, and have a reason for keeping them all.

That said, if you feel like you could use more financial stability, more time, less buyer’s remorse, less indecision, and more freedom, it might not be a bad idea to consider purging some of your things. You might be surprised how much you also enjoy having less! 

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11 comments

  1. Jennifer

    03/22/2017

    I have been working on this as we recently moved from a 1600 sq ft house into a 500 sq ft apartment, and we are about to move on to about a 200 sq ft sailboat. I struggle mostly with purging clothes. We do so many different types of activities and I work part time, so I’m having a hard time getting my number of clothing items down. The hubby doesn’t understand that I don’t want to wear the same 2 work outfits (which is what he wants me to get down to) every week. So rather than concern myself with numbers of items I’m considering thinnest materials to fit more in less space so I can have more items. It’s a challenge for me. I like to have options as I am often moody about clothing choices, but I keep your closet in mind and push myself to let go.

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  2. Michele

    03/21/2017

    I love this article, and credit you for helping me to move more and more in this direction over the years!!

    It is so freeing to have less stuff and more time for living. Also, as a mom, and knowing how easily kids stuff multiplies, I found this article a fascinating read:
    http://raisedgood.com/extraordinary-things-happen-when-we-simplify-childhood/

    Thanks for your inspiring, common sense, and attainable posts. They are greatly appreciated!

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Michele, I’m off to check out that article 🙂

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  3. Susan

    03/21/2017

    I’m trying to retrain my brain along these lines and am fairly good now, just have to purge from my collecting days. (Don’t you like how I used collecting instead of hoarding or saving everything forever.)
    But the one thought that saves me from collecting more is that my brain needs to catalogue my belongings. Physical space and maintenance take less energy over the long run than mental inventory and confusion leading to depression and guilt (remorse).
    This freedom of brain space I count it as a huge perk.

    Thanx for your blogs with great info. Susan

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    Andrea Reply:

    yes, it requires A LOT of mental energy to deal with too much stuff. Also, you might be surprised how much physical energy is takes as well — I know so many people who have to move their things to clean around them, move them because company is coming, move them because they are actually moving to a new house (and taking all their junk with them), etc. etc.
    Glad you are making progress!!

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  4. Sarah Spencer

    03/21/2017

    Yes times 5! One area in which you inspired me recently is Christmas decorations and holiday events. These 5 perks definitely apply and will help motivate me as I continue to simplify our holidays…And every other area of my life.
    Your messages of simplicity and “good enough” and “all things in moderation” have helped this recovering procrastinator more than you can know. Thank you! And my husband thanks you
    Blessings from NM!

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Sarah! I used to be a lover of Christmas and Fall decorations — but I’ve almost eliminated my collection over the past 5 years. I just don’t use them right now and I don’t want them taking up space in my house. IF I want to do more decorating in future years, we have an amazing thrift store less than 1 mile from our house that sells holiday decorations for pennies!
    Glad to help you as you purge — and you can say “you’re welcome” to your hubby too 🙂

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  5. Michelle

    03/21/2017

    I couldn’t agree more! My house if filled with furniture that I don’t like because I cannot part with it because of sentimental reasons. I truly envy your minimalist approach.

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    Andrea Reply:

    oh, and furniture is bad because it’s so big and bulky! Sorry 🙁
    Have you tried repurposing anything so it’s more useful — or repainting / reupholstering anything to fit your style better?

    I’m not sentimental, so it’s hard for me to fully understand not being able to purge something due to sentimental attachments, but I do think you have options if you’re willing to spend some money re-doing the furniture.

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  6. Kristin

    03/21/2017

    Less stuff is so freeing. Freedom and more time is a huge motivator for my minimalist journey.
    And I’m enjoying having control of my finances.

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    Andrea Reply:

    It’s so crazy because it can be so difficult to get rid of things (even for me at times) but then it feels SOOOOOO good when they are gone!

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