14 Mar

2014

Cassidy's Moving and Storage

Minimalism: Towards A Lifestyle With Less Stuff and More Of Everything Else

If you’re facing a move this year, one of the best ways to start getting organized is to reduce the amount of clutter in your life. Less stuff means less to pack, fewer boxes to keep track of and a better experience in general.

People have learned that not only does buying stuff cost money, but cleaning, organizing, and moving them are getting the way of spending time with family, travel, exercise, spirituality and other things that enrich our lives. The increase in consumer debt levels and TV shows like Clean Sweep and Extreme Clutter show us that having more than we need isn’t prosperity, it’s a burden. Recent studies like this one show that when we spent money on experiences, not things, we’re happier. Some people are living the life of digital nomads – travelling the world to work with little more than their clothes and their laptops.

In 2014 getting organized, reducing clutter and minimalizing the amount of possessions you have is more popular than ever. Blogs like Zen Habits, the Minimalists, and the 100 Things Challenge have been online for years, but they are now being joined by thousands of other blogs.

A Google search on “minimalism” will give you an eye-opening taste about just how popular the trend is getting. Some of them make great reading. Others can get a little silly, especially posts written by people who have chosen an arbitrary number of things to live with, and then spending time agonizing about whether a pair of socks count as one thing or two.

Others can be truly inspiring. German grandmother Heidemarie Schwermer gave away everything that didn’t fit in her suitcase, quit her job, and spent 16 years living nomadically, trading work for room and board. She provides things like cleaning, gardening, and therapy sessions (she is a trained psychotherapist) to the network of people who provide her with a place to stay. She has written three books about her experiences, and has donated all royalties to charity. A new documentary about her experiences is called “Life Without Money”.

Most of us would not go to such extremes, but people from all walks of life are getting inspired to get rid of possessions we don’t need. Mothers with small children, fashionistas, and trades who need a lot of tools can have a hard time with this.

It’s important to remember that there is not just one way to go minimal. You don’t need to get to 100 things or you’ve failed. The overall goal is to have the right amount of things for your life. If you have extra things you don’t use, donate them. If what you have makes you happy, then cherish them. It’s what works for you that counts.

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