The average western home could be emptied of 1/2 its contents, and then 1/2 its contents again, and there would still be more than enough. If only we just had enough.
Having too much stuff has its costs. Not just the initial hard earned cash that you forked out but other costs. Costs like stress, mess, and a lot of time spent on maintaining unnecessary stuff.
Scaling back to the bare essentials is extremely freeing. Less really is more. There may be some signs in our lives that show us it is time to stop and scale back, at least a bit.
The signs that it’s time to scale back.
Several times a week or day someone in the family can’t find something and it causes stress.
The kids find it hard to put away the dishes as the cupboards are crammed and it is hard to know what goes where.
Sometimes /often you feel overwhelmed or even paralysed at the idea of tidying up. You don’t know where to start as there is too much to deal with. The kids feel the same about their rooms.
When you walk in the door after work you do not sigh with relief and joy to be home.
Resting on your sofa doesn’t feel restful. You have a headache, quite often.
If someone needs a battery or a torch there may be a LOT of them, in many places, but all are flat and none actually work.
Your closet is heaving with clothes from many eras of your life and you have forgotten about the clothes you really love or the ones that actually make you look great as they are lost in the cram.
Your car is full of miscellaneous items as your overwhelm extends to the car. Lets not talk about the shed or garage.
If you invite friends over it means a tense busy-bee session for the whole family for a few hours before to get the place looking respectable.
If you resonate with 2 or more of these symptoms above, then it could be time for change. Time to consider seriously paring back and time to stop bringing stuff in.
How about starting with one room. Start removing anything in that one room that isn’t essential for life. Get some garbage bags and donate or discard as much as possible. Take any donation or garbage bags out immediately. Simultaneously one must stop shopping. Whenever you are in a shop, tell yourself ‘I have more than enough’. Remind yourself when you exit how awesome it is that you hardly bought anything. Remember those times when you used to feel great when you hunted and gathered a whole load of stuff to go home with? Well now you need to invert that way of thinking and be thrilled at your accomplishment of not buying anything. You are not getting sucked in by the powers of marketing when you walk through those shops. In fact, just don’t go to the shops. Go spend time with someone great or tiny, in your garden of the beach. Or get something productive done.
The lounge/living room is a great room to start a scaling back as everyone can enjoy the change and get inspired too. A living room only needs about 12 things (not counting books). A couple of sofas, a few cushions and maybe a blanket, a bookshelf or two, a coffee table, and maybe a basket for magazines. Right now you maybe thinking that is ridiculous as you can spot a couple of hundred items in yours. But what if you took out everything and left only the bare essentials. Just enough. It would be a room in which to breath, to relax, and a place to start a scaling back journey.
Having just enough, is really enough.
Less really is more.