Today I love…How to Simplify When You Love Your Stuff

6 Jul

I believe this article may just have been written for me!

I am actually currently in the process of downsizing and kid-proofing my house of junk (pleasure)….anyone who knows me will tell you that I have a lot of stuff (crap)….but this is all a good thing – ie. good for me; good for my sanity (the emotional benefits of de-cluttering are massive as we shall see below), good for my house, good for my finances and good for my health.

My aim is to fit the kids and Mr. Big and all their stuff in comfortably but also make myself a little teeny weeny craft corner in the kitchen so that I can set up the sewing machine and shoe making materials there….and of course all of this will also make Mr. Big feel more at home when he moves in….

This is an excerpt from a great post I found on a fave blog of mine, Zen Habits.

It is a guest post from Barrie Davenport of Live Bold and Bloom

How to Simplify When You Love Your Stuff

Simplifying is liberating and beautiful.

“It all depends on whether you have things, or they have you.” ~Robert A. Cook

Simplicity. It is a lovely ancient spiritual tradition that has seen a recent resurgence in popularity.  As we try to make sense of our erratic economy and the accompanying financial anxiety, it is natural to leap to a less risky lifestyle extreme — stop spending, scale back, live lean.

In spite of embracing the concept of simplicity, most people really love their stuff, and they love acquiring more stuff. Like our attitudes about a healthy diet, our feelings about material things are complicated. We know what’s good for us, but we just don’t want to give up what we like. Our stuff makes us feel good.

Is it possible to live a simple life and still love stuff?

How much letting go of stuff really counts toward simplifying anyway?

Living simply and detaching from material things will make you happier. There is real research and lots of anecdotal evidence to support the truth of this. But is it possible that some material things can add to our happiness, sense of contentment and joy in life? If so, how do you go about deciding what’s good stuff and what’s bad?

Here are some thoughts that might be useful.

1. Look around your house now.

Walk from room to room. Do you see things that you never use and don’t really care about? Why not give them away or sell them? Clear physical and psychic space by removing the “dead wood” in your environment. Someone else might really need these things.

2. Examine why you are hanging on to something.

3. Look at how you spend your time.

Do you have things you own for hobbies that you never pursue? Do you have a kitchen full of gadgets but you rarely cook?

4. Are you in a career that is thing-focused?

5. Consider experiences rather than things.

6. When you think about your things or want to purchase something new, consider these parameters:

  • It brings beauty into your life and stirs your soul.
  • It supports a passion or hobby.
  • It helps bring family and friends together in a creative, meaningful way.
  • It educates and enlightens.
  • It makes life profoundly simpler so that you can pursue more meaningful things.
  • It helps someone who is sick or incapacitated.
  • It is useful and necessary for day-to-day life.
  • It’s part of a meaningful tradition or a reminder of a special event.

7. You will know you are buying mindlessly if you:

  • Buy on a whim.
  • Buy to impress others.
  • Buy because you feel you deserve it.
  • Buy when you can’t afford it.
  • Buy just to update something that still works or looks fine.
  • Buy because someone else has it and you want it too.
  • Buy because the advertisement seduced you.
  • Buy because you are bored.
  • It’s purchased because buying soothes you.

Apply mindful purging to your current lifestyle and belongings, as well as thoughtful consideration to your future purchases. Carefully examine your motivations for keeping possessions or buying new things. Once you allow things to serve your soul, rather than you being a slave to your things, your life will evolve into an artful harmony between what you have and who you are.

Read more from Barrie at her blog, Live Bold and Bloom

and download her free e-book, How to Live a Meaningful Life.

Source: How to Simplify When You Love Your Stuff | zen habits

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