Less Stuff, More Life

Less Stuff, More Life

Stuff steals your joy and suffocates your life. Do you believe this? I do. I’m on a mission to become weird.

Dave Ramsey says, “Don’t be broke. Be Weird”.

He suggests to look at what everyone else is doing and run the other way. The Joneses want stuff: cars, houses, furnishings, clothes, and the bills that pay for the stuff put a noose around their neck that one hiccup in life–an accident, a car repair, a broken appliance–leaves them “stuffocated”.

Nerdwallet says the average household is $135,924 in debt.

Bloomberg says $16,000 of that is credit card debt.

No. More. Stuff.

More than a year ago my family of four took a vacation and all of our needs fit into two backpacks. If we had taken more stuff we have checked bags and missed flight connections. We each had three or four sets of clothes and washed them in the sink and hung them to dry. We were minimalists and it was an experience that left us thirsting for more–I mean less–stuff.

Over the last eight weeks we have sold so much stuff. At the same time we put our house on the market to sell. Last week we closed on the sale. No one would have said our home was cluttered. Judgments say we lived simply. We didn’t pour additional concrete for the driveway or build a shop, or fill the house with furnishings. Simply to others felt “stuffocated” to us. We leased a 997 square foot 2-bedroom apartment for four people. The girls share a bedroom and we have a dog. No amount of downsizing prepared us for the transition. No matter how small our material goods are there was still too much stuff. We still have a few boxes of stuff to take to Goodwill, and we are 100% debt free. We are FREE! Here’s what we’ve learned.

Less stuff means more life.

Travel:

Remember that backpacking trip? We can have great experiences like those more often. We can move quickly with less stuff, even be more spontaneous. There’s no house, yard, or anything else to maintain. We can go whenever we want, where ever we want to be. That thought alone leads to a lot less stress. Stuff doesn’t hold us back.

If your income comes from online sources the world becomes your playground. House sit for people around the world and your lodging and utilities are covered. Go have experiences stuff will never let you have.

Declutter:

My mom is a pack-rat. She still has my grade school worksheets. I recently convinced her to shut down a storage unit where she was storing stuff because it has cost her more than $5,000, for stuff that fit in her garage. My husband’s mom is a pack-rat. She doesn’t understand why we want less stuff when stuff can be handed down, passed around, or is generally useful. My Dad wants to know when I am coming to pick up my late Grandma’s china. It’s beautiful and I don’t have room for it. Dad chuckles when we talk about our next move. We get the, “Oh you kids…”. We’re in our 40’s, hardly kids, and this feels better all the time.

Be charitable:

Shopping is fun, and what if having extra money leads to helping causes you care about. Start a foundation to touch people and needs with care. Do the work only you are meant to do.

Be Creative

I am not saying you don’t need to buy things. Plenty of people need a house. I think people need a place to live that doesn’t own them. For my family a house is a liability, not an asset. We move often. I wouldn’t call us nomads, but history says we move every 4-5 years. If that means selling a house in a downturned financial cycle then we have a lot to lose. Luckily, we sold our house while the market was high. Now we get to plan next steps. If you enjoy living in a house as part of the American Dream, that’s great. Hopefully the house fits your income. Dave Ramsey suggests no more than 40% of your income be tied to a house on a 15-year term, fixed rate mortgage.

You don’t have to furnish it with big box high priced things. Shop second hand if possible. You don’t have to furnish it with big box high priced things. Shop second hand if possible. Find Furniture sales in your area. Visit a garage sale. A little elbow grease and paint can make furniture or decor something you love with a great story. Tell your story.

Open your mind and be free

On Dave Ramsey’s program he allows people a debt free celebratory scream. “FREEDOM”! It’s based on William Wallace from the movie Braveheart:

Don’t you want freedom from stuff, debt, and clutter?

Tell us how you plan to become free in the comments.

Freedom from debt

Nicole, owner of WeTalkHealthy, lives a healthy decluttered lifestyle. Her main focus is as a health advocate and mom of 2 who studies food, and general wellness. It’s her mission to help you live a healthier life by learning about the dangers in the food you feed your family. Whether it’s meal prep or creative exercise without setting foot in the gym, you don’t want to miss her tips. Connect on Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or the Facebook group.
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Win a free copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up!

Win a free copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up!

Marie Kondo is about to rock your world and any clutter you may still be hanging onto.

Was decluttering your life a part of your New Year’s resolution? Now is a good time to check in with yourself and see how that’s going!

Review The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Whether you think you’re already fairly organized or you could use a good kick in the rear, I’ve got a GREAT book to recommend. It’s called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

Amazon Giveaway: Win a free copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up!

The opportunity for one lucky reader to win a free copy of this book ended in 2016, but Kondo is still going strong. I truly recommend you check out this book to help you find motivation to declutter your own home!

Benefits of Decluttering

Make the space for your joy to find you. There are so many perks to removing the clutter from your home or office! Overall, though, it all comes down to one thing – granting yourself the freedom to live life on your terms.

Start with one space and grow from there. Whether you focus on your main living space, your bedroom, or your home office, every bit you remove helps.

Clutter can be incredibly overwhelming sometimes, but it’ll help if you focus on the joy you’ll find once it’s done. Trust that the most successful people are not ones to allow for chaos.

And while it can be difficult to declutter when you’re a parent, know that the sooner you do it, the better off your whole family will be. Goodness knows that any time clutter threatens to creep in our house is when our children tend to misbehave the worst – a coincidence? Or is it just what happens when you’re 3′ tall and all that clutter is at eye-level?

There are many benefits to removing the clutter from your home, but whatever your reason, it’ll only get better if you start now. And if you’re struggling to do it, check out Marie Kondo’s book!

Win a free copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up!

The Benefits of Decluttering

The benefits of decluttering are important to keep in mind, but it’s no surprise when we let it slide. That said, whenever the New Year approaches (aka the first “I’ll start Monday…” excuse of the year) I think forward to what I want to accomplish this year. Obviously my big goal for the year is making a success of this blog so that I can stay at home with my children, but another big one is to finally declutter our home.

We bought our house two years ago and while I can say we’re “unpacked”, unpacked mostly means “shtuff shoved into the spare bedroom.” I have two weeks off for the holidays and I plan to make the most of them. It’s my goal to be clutter-free before the new year, one final resolution for this year if you will.

Being clutter-free is important for a number of reasons, especially if you have young children who are at eye-level with the clutter. I can almost guarantee that if you have toddlers, their tendency to tantrum is directly related to the amount of clutter they’re surrounded by.

That said, if decluttering falls to you, then I very much encourage you to focus on YOU.

Decluttering will go a long way to help your mental and physical health.

Living clutter-free means…

Less stress. Less stress means a stronger immune system which means less doctor visits (and bills).

Making money

Making money selling stuff you no longer need. I have a post on how to hold a successful garage sale, but there are many other avenues to explore. Resale groups on Facebook are a favorite of mine, but there’s also Amazon (great for reselling books), Ebay, and Craigslist.

Benefits of Decluttering

declutter benefits

More free time

Just pause for a moment and think about how much time and energy you spend dealing with the clutter. Exhausting, isn’t it? By taking the time to declutter, you’ll not only have less stress ,but you’ll have far more time. More free time means either more time with your families or more time to find ways to live thrifty– a win either way.

Letting go of the past

Many of us are nostalgic to a fault (myself included!), but the more that we hang on to, the less room we have to keep bits of new memories. By letting go, we’re able to focus more on the future and lead a more purpose-driven life.

[clickToTweet tweet=”By letting go, we’re able to focus more on the future and lead a more purpose-driven life. #declutter #organize” quote=”By letting go, we’re able to focus more on the future and lead a more purpose-driven life.”]

Motivation to declutter more

Being motivated to tend to other parts of our lives. Once the house is clean, I know I’m always then eager to clean out our minivan. Similarly, once our living space is decluttered, we are then inspired to “declutter” other areas (whether they be physical or mental).

Make room for the good things coming your way and you’ll find you have even more energy to do other things that’ll keep you moving forward.

Have VS Need

Knowing what you have versus knowing what you need. Can I share a bit of an embarrassing story with you?

The morning before my son’s birthday party, I received a bulk toilet paper order from Amazon. Due to the mad chaos that was trying to ensure the house was “party ready”, I ended up tossing the box into our spare room instead of putting it away like I should have. When it came time to needing it, I knew I had it, but had no idea where I’d put it. Time and money were both spent before I stumbled across the box in the spare room.

Mental energy

When you remove the clutter from your home, you grant yourself the energy and space to focus on what’s truly important in your life. Clutter, even just a small amount, can be mentally draining. When you’re already overwhelmed or overworked, losing the stress that is clutter can make a world of difference.

How’s the clutter situation in your house?

Is it a goal of yours to rid yourself of the mess or have you resolved to “just deal”?