I’ve written about bringing less into your house, how you can do more with your life when you have less, and simplicity and its connection to minimalism. And now, a few thoughts to share on the concept of “a life with less.”
In a podcast by The Minimalists, this important fact is shared, “The easiest way to organize your stuff is to get rid of most of it.” I totally and completely agree.
I have had people argue with me on this point. They maintain that technically you can have a lot of stuff and still be organized. But I ask you, “What is the point?” If you are on a mission to have a more organized life, then why not make it easier on yourself by having less?
The key to having less is to want less, buy less, and keep less. It’s wanting less that is going to be the road to success. Trust me, I speak from my own personal experience. I, too, struggle with wanting to buy “stuff.” It gets easier and easier all the time to resist buying stuff, and I find myself wanting less and less.
Just a few weeks ago, I was in a store looking for a toaster oven for a client. As I walked by the linen area, I noticed a sale on towels. For some reason, I love new towels. Without really thinking about what I was doing, I started to choose the colour I liked, and before I knew it, a new set of towels was in my shopping cart. And then I stopped to ask myself if I really needed new towels. Of course, I didn’t. Otherwise, I would have gone to the store to buy them intentionally. I put the towels back on the shelf and left the store with what a came for, a toaster oven for my client.
The most important tip I can give you is to have a conversation with yourself when you stand in front of whatever that thing is that you want to buy. I made a laminated ‘cheat card’ to help my clients remember the conversation. It’s the same size as a credit card, and it lives in their wallet next to the credit/debit card they use most often. When they see something they “want” to buy, they pull out that trusty little card. Here is what it says:
Before every purchase, ask yourself…
- Why am I here?
- How do I feel?
- Do I need this?
- What if I wait?
- How will I pay for this?
- Where will I put it?
You can never have enough of what you don’t really need.
By asking yourself these questions regularly, you will find that you have less and less urge to buy things. Enjoy the freedom that comes with wanting less, and enjoy life more!
I’m always interested in hearing from you and learning from your experiences.