I own some items I truly love because they are attractive, useful or improve my life in some way. I have decluttered over the years and am pleased to have parted with many items. However, I am not even going to try to reduce my possessions to 100 items as I have read some individuals have. Today I read of someone who is homeless by choice. He owns only 15 items, a total of about 4kg in the suitcase he carries with him as he travels the world. No, I am not that extreme. But I have found there are advantages in not being overloaded with too many possessions.
How many possessions you feel you need depends on factors including-
Attitude to life
People who, by choice, own only a few items may access other things by borrowing from friends, hiring items or making use of libraries.
Okay, so you aren't into extreme minimalism but are thinking of decluttering and culling unnecessary items from your home.
You may be unsure about parting with furniture, clothes, books, kitchenware, ornaments and so forth. After all you worked hard to earn money to buy what you've got. Some items were presents or handed down to you. Why would you choose to own less?
Advantages in owning less Advantages may include -
less to clean
easier to organise your possessions
less to keep track of and insure
more money for activities you love doing
Less to clean The more furniture, ornaments and bits and pieces you have, the more cleaning there is to do. Ornaments need to be moved so you can dust or wipe the shelf they are sitting on The items themselves need to be dusted if they are on open shelves. Furniture needs to be moved when you mop or vacuum and this is more difficult in a cluttered space.
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It is harder to sweep or vacuum a room that contains numerous pieces of furniture. Therefore less means more energy to put into other activities.
Easier to organise When you have less things you don't need as much storage. It is easier to remember what you have and where it is. You get to use up consumable items before they deteriorate.
Less to insure If you have fewer pieces of furniture and less electronics and technology there is less to insure. When you don't have floor to ceiling shelves housing hundreds of DVDs and the like you don't have to calculate their replacement cost when updating your insurance.
More money for activities you enjoy You may make some money by selling items you no longer need or want. That money could go toward hobbies or a holiday. If you no longer buy lots of stuff you don't really need, the money saved can be spent on experiences you will remember for years to come.
Less guilt I found I got rid of a lot of guilt when I donated craft materials I no longer wanted. Some went to an op shop and some to an aged care facility looking for materials for their lifestyle program for residents. I gave my neighbour's granddaughter an assortment of craft equipment and things for making cards during the school holidays. At last I could stop feeling guilty about the boxes of things I was never going to use.
If you need to move house it is easier with less things.
You appreciate what you are left with.
You make greater use of the things you keep.
You need less storage space.
It is easier to maintain what you own.
Everyone has their own approach to material possessions. Some feel liberated by living a very minimalistic lifestyle. Others are more comfortable, physically and emotionally, if they have a greater number of items but not too many.
Some feel there is no such thing as 'too many things' but at the same time they may feel overwhelmed by all their 'stuff'. If their 'stuff' is making them unhappy perhaps they need to talk about this with a professional.