How Much Stuff Do You Really Need?

Surprisingly, not much.  I’ve recently been scanning minimalist lifestyle blogs over the last month and have been sold on the idea that we have too much stuff.  We can still live rather comfortably on a fraction of what we own and I’m convinced affluence and our thoughtless consumption habits have resulted in many ills that infect our warped outlook on life.  As a result, I’ve started to pare down the things I own to the essentials, and it feels great to remove the clutter that surrounded me.  I estimate I got rid of about 50% of my stuff over the past few weeks and I can’t say I miss anything or even realize it’s gone.  The three primary benefits I’ve experienced so far are as follows:

1.  Freedom – Stuff weighs you down.  To describe this freedom, it’s like when you go away on a trip and you pack two or three bags, and have to go through so many additional logistical steps (and worry) lugging all this stuff with you — then you see a savvy business traveler with one small carry-on bag zipping in and out of the airport as if he were going home from a day at the office.  To add insult to injury, when you pack to return home you realize you probably didn’t need to bring half the stuff with you.

2.  Efficiency and Time – Getting my stuff down to the essentials has increased my efficiency and ultimately saved me time.  Basically, when I pared down my stuff, I decided that if I didn’t use something within the past 6-months (with the exception of seasonal items like summer/winter clothes) then I got rid of it.  I was amazed at the amount of stuff that I accumulated that was just taking up space year in and year out.  Now I can better account for the stuff I do have and not have to clean, maintain, or weed through a bunch of non-essential stuff to find something I do need.

3.  Peace of Mind – Clutter distracts and derails you from focusing on what is important.  Having to account for so much crap subconsciously keeps you at unease and you don’t even realize it.  There is a peace knowing that the remaining things I do have I actually have a use for.

Here are some minimalist blogs I’ve been reading over the past month as I transition to a minimalist lifestyle.

Zen Habits –

Becoming Minimalist –

Far Beyond the Stars –

RowdyKittens –

The Minimalist Path –

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