For the last few years my wife and I have been simplifying our lives. Basically, we’ve been getting rid of a bunch of stuff, and downsizing wherever possible. Here are some examples:
In West Virginia our house sat on 15 acres of land, and it took me over 10 hours to mow everything using a fairly large John Deere tractor. Now our house sits on a small city lot, and I can mow the lawn in about 10 minutes.
We used to have two pick-up trucks and a car, but now we have one car and a scooter.
Our library of books was once rather impressive, and I in particular was quite proud of my extensive collection of reference materials (probably because I thought it made me look smart, although the books only collected dust year after year). We have given dozens of books away over the last few years, and now we are more apt to borrow books from the library than to buy them.
Same thing with CDs – Why did we need dozens of CDs when we listened to them only while on road trips? I sold several of them on eBay, and many more we simply gave away.
Sheri in particular has weaned herself from a large collection of clothes, and now participates in “minimalist” projects such as the selection of a limited wardrobe to wear for a couple months at a time. It sure makes getting dressed a whole lot less complicated.
I should be embarrassed to admit that I could only wean myself of 10 of a total of 40 screwdrivers, but hey – that’s 25 percent! I expect that someone will have to pry my tools from cold, dead hands.
We recently cancelled our DirecTV service and telephone landline, which not only simplifies our lives but saves us over $115 a month. Now most nights you can find us sitting in our comfy IKEA lounge chairs, me happily studying Spanish while Sheri is happily knitting away or reading.
Many of us hold onto way, way, way too much stuff … and life really is simpler with less. And simpler is better.
So go ahead and start going through all your stuff, all the stuff piled in your garage and in your basement and in your attic and in your closets. Figure out what you need and what you don’t need any more … and give away everything you don’t need. I recommend giving it to smaller thrift stores that directly benefit the community, for example my preferred recipient here in Utah is Crossroads Urban Center.
By giving away all that stuff that is just collecting dust you’ll make your life simpler, plus you’ll feel good about sharing some of your abundance with others. But of course you can keep some of your most cherished items … for example my Spanish language learning resources are staying right here with me, together with my tools in my still warm hands.