Donate the twelve pairs of shoes lying in your closet, unworn for god-knows-how-long.
Stop getting a new phone every few years.
Recycle the newspapers, magazines, gift wrap, old notebooks that you swore you needed as keepsakes.
Strip away all the unnecessities, and you may be surprised to find yourself feeling cleaner, more free, and ultimately happier. In this consumerist economy, we forget that less can really be more. We buy without regard, thoroughly believing that the more stuff we acquire, the better off we will be. Our hedonist tendencies encourage us to buy, buy, buy. But instead of feeling elated amidst a sea of possessions, we’re finding ourselves in debt, stressed, and not at all happy in the long-run.
So how can we live with less while pursuing happiness?
1. Think before you buy.
I like to treat myself to nice things here and there, but with most of my purchases, even the most mundane ones like a specific toothpaste brand or type of tea bags, I ask myself, “Is this really worth it, and will it truly make me happy?”
This way, the things I buy become items I will love and take care of and not simply things that take up space.
2. Refine ruthlessly.
Edit and edit and edit again. Watch all the excess disappear and trust me, you won’t miss any of the old sweaters or paperback books you decide to give away to the local shelter or library.
3. Increase functionality.
We live in a time where our phones double as our laptops or our electronic books double as a gaming device. So buy things that have multiple uses. Sure, at first glance they may seem more expensive, but if they are gadgets that you’ll use every day or often enough, they’ll come in handy and you’ll save money in the long run. If anything, at least you’ll be saving some space by buying an iPod speaker that works as a radio nightlight, and alarm clock all in one!
So, ask yourself, “can my life use a little editing?”
Because once you admit that and act upon it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that less really is more.