How much stuff do we really need to lead a normal life? Not as much as you might think. In 2009 I moved into a 200-square-foot cottage. The rent and location were awesome, but there was one problem: Half my stuff didn’t fit in the place. So I got rid of it.
I got rid of a lot. Furniture, old clothes, books, shoes, art. And you know what? I haven’t missed any of it since. In fact, I wonder now why I had so much stuff in the first place.
This post originally appeared on Medium.
This is my house. Ten feet wide, twenty feet long.
I’m not a hardcore minimalist, but this small space I’ve lived in for 4 years has kept my life pretty simple. And this simpler life is much more aligned with my environmental values — small living means a smaller carbon footprint. You end up thinking carefully about what you buy or bring into your life when, for instance, acquiring a new pair of shoes means you have to get rid of a pair you already own in order to fit them in the closet.
If you feel like simplifying your own life, here’s a quick list of a few things I’ve learned to live without. Simplify starting here. But beware, it’s addictive. Pretty soon you’ll want to downsize to one of those tiny cabins. At least that’s where I’m headed.
That cheap medal you got for completing the half marathon two years ago, the eiffel tower shot glass someone brought you from Paris, that copy of your college graduation announcement that you’ve saved. You don’t need any of these things. Because guess what? Without them you’ll still remember what it felt like to train for that half marathon or to have graduated from college. None of those memories are going anywhere. Donate or recycle this stuff — you won’t miss it.