The Minimalists suggest that you should only own belongings that 1) serve a purpose and 2) bring you happiness (have some sort of value to you).
Take a second to think about everything that you own. Every little thing. Could you name all of it? Does even half of it bring you direct happiness on a daily basis?
I was noticing in Billings, I was spending a lot of money that I didn’t really have. On clothes, eating out, and just random things that I did not need. I was unhappy living in Billings, so I was doing whatever I could to make up for that. I was raised in a household that often used buying things as a way to fill certain voids. This behavior was taught to me. But does it work? NO. and I am so happy I realized this in my early 20’s vs later on in life.
I started analyzing my belongings…. did I need 6 winter coats? 8 pairs of sandals? the skillet in my cupboard taking up space that I never used? the set of plates and bowl large enough to serve 12 people? Books I’ve already read or never intend on reading? random decorations that supposedly express my style? 10 USB Cords that I don’t know what electronic they belong to? a drawer filled with 100+ Pens and other “junk”, 4 Belts when I only favor and wear one, 8 different 1/2 empty bottles of lotion, and more importantly…. did any of this stuff really serve a purpose? and did any of this stuff contribute to my happiness?
Well to answer the 1st question, Yes. I needed a winter coat (I LIVE(d) IN MONTANA), same with boots, cooking utensils, and yes! Of course, I need plates and bowls. What could I do to ensure I was getting the most value out of these items though? I will talk about that in another post.
Question 2: Did any of this stuff contribute to my happiness? Plain and simple, No.
I sold some stuff and donated other stuff. It’s pretty cool that others will be able to find value from the items that weren’t bringing value to my life.
Overall, I got rid of AT LEAST 5 whole shopping carts full of stuff…. and I couldn’t even tell you what that stuff was right now, that’s how insignificant to my life that stuff was.
When we moved into our smaller apartment in Bend we naturally parted with some more things and over time we have been getting rid of belongings in preparation for the tiny house. It’s funny how one week I will look at something and decide that it is bringing value to my life and that I am not willing to part with it, but then a few weeks later I have decided that I don’t really need it or enjoy it that much after all.
Now I am noticing how much money I am saving without even trying to. I can go shop and walk around stores ALL day without purchasing anything because I am not buying things to fill a void anymore or just making purchases because I can. I only buy the things I need or the things that I genuinely think can make me happier.
When you declutter your life you can make room for things that are more important. I was feeling less stressed, I had less to clean & overall minimizing made more space in my life for the people, experiences, and things that actually are important to me.