11 Reasons to Own Less Stuff

Tired of feeling like your stuff owns you instead of you owning it? Here are 11 reasons to own less stuff and take back control of your life and your home!I have been on a complete purging rampage in our house lately.

Considering I’ve been in the process of hardcore decluttering our possessions for about a year now, I have been completely shocked by how much stuff still left that we never use.

It all just keeps getting shoved into closets or my office (doesn’t everyone have a signature room where they hide crap when guests come over?).

And I am sick of it.

We are by no means hoarders, but I feel like going through this process of simplifying our possessions, our home, and our lives in general this past year has been really eye-opening to me. I now want to simplify even more than we already have.

While I have no desire to live in a 234 square foot tiny home with kids, I’m just so tired of the excess that exists in our current home.

I feel like I’m constantly picking things up or organizing… and spending precious weekend time doing so.

And wondering why the hell my child has 1,289 stuffed animals when just a few will do.

Or  how I’ve managed to accumulate boxes upon boxes of Christmas and Halloween decor in the three short years we’ve lived in this house. Most of which I’m not even completely in love with!

I’ve been slowly but surely getting rid of the excess, and feel myself getting lighter and more free with each box that hits the donation pile. I wouldn’t consider myself a minimalist, but I’m striving to live my own version of simplicity in a way that fits my family in this season of our life.

Today I wanted to share a few huge benefits I’ve discovered lately in owning less stuff. I hope this inspires you if you are seeking out some motivation to pare down your own possessions!

11 reasons to own less stuff:

1. You’ll spend less

Once you make the conscious decision to own less stuff, you automatically stop seeking out new stuff to bring into your home. It’s just a given. And by desiring to bring less stuff in, you will be spending less as well. A huge benefit!

2. You will be a great example to your children that happiness doesn’t come from consumption

I think that too many kids these days value their possessions a little bit too much. Heck, even we adults value possessions too much! While I think that consumption to a certain point is inevitable and can make for a more comfortable and fun life, I certainly don’t want my daughter to think that her happiness level is based on the amount of Barbies she owns. Probably a shallow example, but I think you get the point.

3. You can afford higher quality items

When you purchase less things, you can afford to purchase more high quality items. Things like quality clothing and bedding last much longer than their cheap counter parts and is a great way to save yourself money over the long run.

4. You’ll have more time

You’ll be spending less time tidying up, organizing, and maintaining your things. This will leave you with more time to do the things you actually want to be doing. Sounds pretty great, right?

5. You’ll have more freedom

You’ll have a sense of freedom when you no longer feel like your stuff owns you (because let’s face it, to a certain extent it does). And also freedom from comparing your stuff to what others have. Simply because you just won’t care anymore!

6. You’ll stop living in the past

Allowing yourself to get rid of the guilt or baggage that accompanies certain items can be really refreshing. Perhaps it was a gift given to you that you were never really in love with, or something that you inherited from a family member who passed away. Donating or selling those items doesn’t mean that you didn’t appreciate the thought behind the gift or that you are going to forget that family member. If an item isn’t serving your current needs or isn’t something you completely love, it’s okay to get rid of it. You don’t have to feel guilty or hang onto something just because you feel obligated to.

7. You’ll be less likely to lose things

Having less stuff is so convenient, and is something I discovered when I decluttered our kitchen cabinets and drawers about a year ago. We had so many duplicates of measuring cups and even tupperware with missing lids. We basically had a lot of extra kitchen tools that just weren’t necessary, so I got rid of them. I haven’t missed anything we got rid of, and find that I’m able to enjoy the process of cooking and baking more now that I’m not constantly rifling through the cabinets trying to find what I need. It also takes a lot less time to put everything away!

8. You will cherish what you do have

I think it’s only natural that when you have less, you appreciate what you do have even more. You’re more likely to properly care for and maintain things like your shoes and clothing when you don’t have as much of it to worry about.

9. You’ll have less stress

With less stuff, comes a lot less stress. I feel my stress lessening more and more as we continue to donate the unnecessary, and it really feels fantastic! I am someone who gets stressed out pretty easily, so this was a big benefit to me. I am not someone that can throw a box into a storage room and then completely forget about it. I feel uneasy where there are things in our home that we no longer use, typically accompanied by some guilt-induced stress knowing that we own things we aren’t even using. Especially when others could benefit from these things a lot more than we could.

10. You’ll have more flexibility

Having less stuff around your home really opens you up for the ability to be more flexible. It is easier to have last minute guests when you don’t have as much stuff to put away or dust before they come over. And easier to enjoy a Saturday afternoon out and about when you don’t have as much cleaning and maintenance required at home.

11. You’ll feel more energized

Just dealing with so much stuff makes me feel exhausted. It’s liberating not only getting rid of things we no longer need, but also completely energizing since I no longer have to worry or care for those items.

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What reason(s) to own less stuff resonate with you the most?

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Comments

  1. Love this post!!!! Decluttering our house when we moved last year was so incredibly eye-opening, and we honestly didn’t even have that much stuff to begin with! Now, we upsized our home but have no intention of collecting “stuff” just to have stuff. I want all the rooms to be clean, open and minimal….in due time 🙂

    Hope you have a wonderful day, girlie!!

    • Thanks Sarah! I’m starting to be more in that mindset as well. I always thought that a house had to be filled with some level of “stuff” to be cozy, but that’s really not true at all. I don’t think we could ever actually downsize our square footage since both the hubby and I need a home office of some kind, but that doesn’t mean that we have to fill it up with junk! 🙂

  2. This post totally speaks to me right now. In fact, tomorrow’s post is all about stuff that I purged from my kitchen. I spent so much time acquiring stuff, now that I’m trying to get rid of it, I realize how anxious all the excess makes me. And it’s not like our house isn’t tidy. It’s just that *I* know where all the extra stuff lurks, and I can’t wait to be rid of it! Thanks for this motivation.

  3. I can totally relate to this post. As of late, my husband and I have been a complete decluttering rampage to help us pay off our debt. As you stated, when you have less you buy less. And of course, buying less means having more money to put towards student loans. Furthermore, I just feel so much more relaxed when I walk into my home sans unnecessary items.

  4. Great Post ~ I love the 11 reasons! I have started a more simple life style in the pass 8 years. My daughter never had a favorite doll because she had 10. My son never had a favorite bike to ride because he had 3. I was in that fast pace mode that I work so I got a new car every 3 years, had 30 purses, had 20 pairs of shoes and a closet full of stuff! I envy you young families that are happy to save, happy with what you have and work towards your better life that isn’t all about material stuff. I have gotten to that life style and I have to say that I enjoy life much better! With less stuff it is just easier all the way around from paying for it, gathering it and taking care of it!

    • Thanks Lisa! I think it can be so easy to get stuck in that mindset, it’s honestly a very easy trap for anyone to get into so I wouldn’t be hard on yourself about the past.

      I’m happy to have discovered that I enjoy a simpler life more at this point too. It’s easier to live this way now that we just have to train ourselves and not our kids too since Little Miss is too young to tell me not to donate her stuff ;).

  5. Yup. This. All of this. I decided yesterday that even though we decluttered a bit this spring, it’s time for round two. We got rid of a bunch then, but my parents are having an estate sale in a few months and it’s time to get rid of even more. We have been keeping our eye on places on the market we’re considering if the house ever sells (bleh) and we keep looking smaller and smaller ha So more needs to go!

  6. I agree with all the above. I’m currently trying to declutter as well. I’m currently working on my closet. I really needed to break it down from rooms to sections of a room. I’m definitely enjoying the process as well as the money from it!

  7. I’m also on a decluttering rampage! And, yes we have a room we stash everything in – it’s supposed to be our home office, but it doesn’t function as one. It’s my goal to have it completely organized by the end of the month!

  8. I completely agree with everything in this post. I have recently just felt the need to purge everything. I really wanted to change my lifestyle and like you said I don’t want to hold onto the past. I have been focusing more on my clothes and closet though. I have been so happy with the size of my wardrobe ,and I don’t feel guilty for buying stuff! I love this post and your blog.

  9. Linda Cross says:

    I agree with all but number 7. We live in a 300 square foot RV. I still manage to lose things. I imagine it has more to do with age than amount of stuff at this stage ofmy life. I do applaud all of you that are making this committment to simplfy while you are young and have young families. It is am important lesson to pass onto your children.

  10. Your words resonate with me Christina! Every bit of it! We have so much clutter to clear out that it’s unreal. I don’t even know how this much stuff came into our possession!

    We went from a 1200 sq. ft. house where we felt crowded and cramped. So when we moved to our new house, I went overboard. I sorted properties by sq. ft.; biggest to smallest. We ended up with a 3,300 sq. ft. monstrosity. Not fun. Cleaning, maintaining, empty rooms. The only thing positive that we’ve got to say is we like our bedroom, the living room / kitchen combo, and the attached garage. Everything else is just too much. We didn’t know then, but we know now. Ah! Luckily, we stuck to our budget. But we definitely didn’t need this much house. Lesson learned!

    • I hear you on that! We went from a 700 sq ft apartment to a 1800 sq ft ranch house + basement. That paired with the fact that we have an enormous full-sized storage room in this house, I went NUTS when we moved in. We all live and learn, right?

  11. Good list. Another one for us is that by simplifying it allow us to be more content in a moderate sized home. The more stuffed our home feels then the more we are prone to want something bigger. By decreasing the clutter then our present home feels more accommodating to us and our needs.

  12. I definitely feel that when I have less stuff, I really cherish the things I do have. I’m learning to keep only the things that really have meaning. This really makes me question every new thing I buy, too–I have to think long and hard if it’s going to “fit in” with the few other meaningful things I have.

  13. I totally agree with you. One interesting thing that I realized since moving into our new house is that there are a ton of books, DVDs, etc. that we put in the basement and literally haven’t touched in 3 years! That can mean only one thing: It’s time to purge!

    • Oh yeah DC, we found ourselves in the same predicament. Sounds like we bought our homes around the same time and have both managed to accumulate way too much stuff. The problem with basements! hah.

  14. Great post Christina! I’m going to give away most of my clothes and shoes to charity this holiday season. I have so much stuff I don’t wear and there is no reason live in clutter.

  15. I thought I left a comment here but it didn’t show up, so sorry if you get double comments that don’t exactly match!

    I really loved this post Christina. I completely agree with the way you wrote about simplicity and its purposes– and I’ve seen these changes in my life, even if my quest for simplicity only began about a year ago!

  16. All of these points are so true! I like to have a clear and open living space and the more stuff I have, the more stressed out I feel. I think it’s also a great way to teach your kids that they don’t need a ton of stuff around at all times in order to be content.

  17. If anyone has advice on how to get this message across to family that would be great lol. I always try and explain to my parents that iam trying to downsize but they never seem to care or understand, they are always buying unnecessary itemsitems and decorations for gifts and holidaysholidays. I recently sold my house and moved in with some family until I find a new home in the next few months, I donated so many things mainly clothes, and it felt great!!! And I hope to downsize alot more while unpacking in my new place. Great list Christina!!

    • Such a message isn’t easily understood by many. One practice is to see the monetary value of what is received, keep the item in its original box and unopened if possible and then return it for cash back if possible, but more likely for store credit. Appreciation can be shown for another person’s desire to share, but given one’s preference for less clutter the item can then be converted to cash or a card.

    • That’s a tough one Jolene!

      I try to express my desires for less stuff as well, and some people just have a difficult time understanding my mindset. The way I see it, everyone has a love language that they use to express how much they care for those around them.

      For some people, that means giving physical/tangible gifts to their loved ones to show that love. Over the years, I’ve realized that the over-gifting that some loved ones tend to do is purely an act of love. It’s not meant to be a detriment in my effort to simplify, but rather them just showing that they care.

      I think if you start to see it as that, and then just deal with the gifts as they come (without guilt for returning/selling/donating after receiving), you’ll likely have more peace with the whole situation.

      That’s so great that you de-cluttered so much, you go girl! 🙂

  18. Ugghhhh… I’m working on this. Slow and steady doesn’t seem to be having an impact though so I think it’s time to stop thinking and start throwing!

  19. This makes me so excited to declutter this winter when the snow falls and we’re stuck inside. I remember reading an article once where the author said that before each purchase she asks the question, “Do I really want to take care of this, bring it out, put it away, etc.?” I love that question because it adds the dimension of care to the equation. Like you said, having less stuff brings more time. Sounds wonderful!

  20. I love this list. They are all right on the money! My favorite part about getting to the extreme level I’m at right now is the freedom to pack up the minivan with everything we own, (except for the few pieces of furniture we’ve acquired since we moved down here, in about an hour’s time. I”m sure putting the furniture at the end of the driveway would go fast. This is such a transient area. Great post, Christina! I especially love the ones that promote the joys and simplicity of minimalism! 🙂

  21. I love this post! I have been on the same path for almost a year now as well. It’s so freeing, and the more I get rid of, the lighter I feel… yet I still have SO much stuff in my home.

  22. Amen to this entire list! Wanting less is so freeing, and after owning less and less for the past five years (wow, I didn’t realize it had been that long…) I could never go back to the way I lived before…
    http://currentlylovingsimplicity.wordpress.com

  23. First off… You crack me up!! I mean, reading your article is like listening to my own inner dialogue. LOL!!

    I really appreciate how frank you are about trying to achieve a balance between too much and too little. Your listed steps are a GREAT reminder of why we declutter in the first place!

    So thank you for making me laugh and reminding me of why tommorow morning I’m going to be back at it.

    Cheers!

    • Haha you are too sweet Ania!! I definitely think there is a fine line between owning less and owning so little that you are making life with kids more difficult than it needs to be.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, you totally made my day. Cheers to a great week and getting our decluttering on! 🙂

  24. Great post! We are also going through a decluttering process! I feel almost smothered by all the “stuff” we have laying around. It’s a slow but steady process but I am starting to see a few signs of the open and simple I crave! I am always looking at things in my home and asking myself “Does this make you happy?” Many items have now been donated using this process.
    I will admit this does not work well in my craft room, because well – it’s my craft room and we all seem to be able to justify our craft stuff!!!! But I have even been forcing myself to go through fabric piles and other stuff that I have not touched in a very long time and making small steps towards more room in my small space! And as you said, I find I don’t want to bring extra stuff into my home just because I have a cleared space!
    Thanks again!

  25. Yes, yes, and yes. I feel the same way. I have been on a purging kick for about six months, but my house still feels SO SO SO full of STUFF. And half the time, I don’t even know what to do with that stuff. My garage is my catch all and it is FULL right now. So, in 2016 I am really committed to cleaning the house out…and getting control of what comes in. So, thanks for the good reasons to keep me going on that.

  26. This is a great post. I really like #2 about being a good example to your children. Even with all of the gifts my daughter received from Christmas she still sees toys that she wants from ads on tv or in stores. I feel like we are sending mixed messages to our children when we ask them what they want for Christmas or help them make a list for Santa. Now the holidays are over and I’m trying to teach her to appreciate what she has and to stop asking for more. Its a tough balance.

    • Thank you Alicia! 🙂 It really is a tough balance, I give you credit for trying to teach your daughter that lesson. Mine is only 18 months so I know I will be dealing with this soon enough!

  27. Deb Hernan says:

    I like that you said “getting rid of excess” because sometimes the word “clutter” makes it sound as if we are hoarders. But your advice is spot on; Letting go of possessions so they don’t possess you, buying better quality so they last longer, less stress, more freedom, more money and most importantly MORE FREE TIME! I begun purging the excess a little over a year ago in anticipation of downsizing for retirement, which is less that 10 years away. It is never too early to begin FREEING yourself from the clutches of excess/clutter.

  28. I love this post! There’s such a freedom when you’re not a slave to possessions!!

  29. EVERYthing you wrote is exactly how I feel! This is quite possibly the best thing I’ve read about clutter! I am currently living as minimal as we can for this season of our lives. I love to read posts/blogs about de-cluttering, minimalism, and money management/debt elimination!

  30. I have been thru the same cleaning/de-cluttering for sometime now and what I found out is that we are a society of consumerism that is brainwashed to shop till you drop. You have something, but you want more, and you buy bigger. No wonder why Europeans think of us as spoiled and wasteful. I realize that it is easier to have only what you need vs what you want. Mentally and emotionally you feel free not to mention maintenance-free, when you don’t have to dust, clean, find additional storage,etc. I truly believe in living a much simpler life.

Trackbacks

  1. […] >> 11 Reasons to Own Less Stuff Excerpt: I’ve been slowly but surely getting rid of the excess, and feel myself getting lighter and more free with each box that hits the donation pile. I wouldn’t consider myself a minimalist, but I’m striving to live my own version of simplicity in a way that fits my family in this season of our life. Today I wanted to share a few huge benefits I’ve discovered lately in owning less stuff. I hope this inspires you if you are seeking out some motivation to pare down your own possessions! … […]

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