Less is more. We’ve heard that phrase A LOT. There’s a good reason for this… in most cases it’s actually true!
For a lot of us, letting go and having less can seem scary at first because we are taught to believe that we need all of the things we accumulate. This was how I once felt. However, when I began to simplify because I had heard that the effects were freeing, I was completely surprised at the incredible effect it had. (Related article: 20 Simple Ways to Simplify Your Life)
Having less does not mean having nothing. It does not mean that you give away the things that you love and use all of the time. Rather, it means letting go of the things that we do not need, use, or find to add any value in our life. This makes room for more – more of the things that make life good.
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Less money spent on ‘stuff’
When you desire less, you buy less! It’s really that simple. Then, the less you own, means having to spend less on repairing and maintaining things. As a result, you are left with more of your hard earned money, so that you can save, pay off debts, work less, or invest in fewer but higher quality items that you need.
Less mental clutter and stress
You may not realise it, but when we are surrounded by clutter, our minds feel busy and cluttered too. It’s like a background noise that we don’t realise is there, until it is switched off, bringing a peaceful sense of calm. With a clearer mind, it is easier to be more focused, productive and relaxed. When your space is calm, it can feel like a haven from all of the busyness around.
How many times have you bought something that has sat somewhere in your house, still with the tags attached or in a box? No doubt at the time of purchase, it seemed like that item would fill a need or make you happy. Intentionally planning our purchases helps us avoid buying things we don’t actually need, eliminating that guilty feeling that comes from not using things we’ve bought.
Time is precious. The less time we spend looking through catalogues and store emails, making purchases, and maintaining our things, the more time we have to do the things that are truly important to us. More time to spend with those we love. More time to do the things we love. More time to look after ourselves properly.
More appreciation and contentment
Appreciation and gratitude breed contentment. When we choose to have fewer belongings, we are more likely to be very intentional about the things we do bring into our lives. They will be things that we love, and appreciate. We feel gratitude for those things and have a greater sense of contentment.
Often we are encouraged to believe that the more we have, the happier we will be. The pursuit for more only results in an unfulfilled desire for more. On the other hand, being content with what you have changes your mindset. It helps to keep the important things in your life to the forefront. It often results in a more generous attitude – and we all know that there is more happiness in giving!
Are you exploring living with less? Joshua Becker’s website Becoming Minimalist is one of my regular ‘must reads’ and I highly recommend you take a look. He’s also published a few books, including the awesome The More of Less : Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own.
I, having downsized myself from a large home in the country to an apartment in the city, found that I have experienced every one of these benefits listed above! I designed the life that I love and have never been happier by making the choice to downsize. Many people only wish that they had chosen to downsize sooner.