Less is More
I viewed a documentary called Minimalism, focusing on living simply in a world of I Gotta Have It Right Now. Very inspiring and eye-opening with interviews of many people, including people with PhDs discussing the poor social state that many of us are in. Less is more. Why have we let the marketing industry brain wash us into thinking we must have __________ to be happy? Thinking about people trampling others at Black Friday sales makes me sick. At the end of the documentary, one of the authors of the minimalist blog said, “Love people, use things, not the other way around.” That is a mouthful! As believers we are called to love others, but I’ve never thought of it like this before. So, instead of “listening” to someone talking while you are using a smart phone, put down the phone and invest in that relationship!
The Love of Material Things
We are living in a current society where many people do not want for anything; they buy whatever they want whenever they want it. Living simply isn’t even a thought. You don’t have enough money? That’s fine; there’s a credit card, or store card that you can charge. This is SOOOOO unhealthy! Instant gratification has spoiled so many of us. I remember growing up and saving up my birthday AND Christmas money to buy things that I wanted. Those wish lists that I created so my friends and family knew what I wanted……. that has all gone by the wayside.
Living simply doesn’t even make sense to so many people. Who needs anything? It makes me sick to think of the hundreds of dollars that I have spent on clothing! Fashion that changes every month is too much to keep up with and not even worth the time or energy. Many people are trapped in this state of keeping up with their neighbors, or showing up their family, or outranking their friends. We can’t even enjoy our lives because we are working so much to pay for things that we don’t need and to live in houses that are too large. For more information about clutter, click here.
Living Simply is a Process
We have slowly made small changes over the course of 2 years. First, we slowed down our spending. Just because Apple launches a new product, doesn’t mean that the old one stops working. Why is it that we feel like we have to have everything the second we want it? Three and four generations ago, people worked hard for everything that they had and I bet they were more grateful and lived happier lives.
The next step my family took was looking at some of our larger furniture and knick knacks. Do we need all of these tables in our living room? No. Do these little figurines serve any purpose? No. Do we ever use that? No. Is it necessary to have 3 of one thing? No. Having lawn sales was extremely helpful in getting rid of things we didn’t value and making some extra cash. We are living simply and are actually happier with less stuff.
Learn more about de-cluttering here.
We are currently in the process of moving into a one bedroom apartment from our 3 bedroom home. This is not something that will happen overnight, and it will not be easy to begin. However, once you begin this process, it is SOOOO FREEING! You feel free when you simplify and downsize. It helps you focus on what really matters in your life. I want to spend less time cleaning my house and more time with my family.
And don’t forget about your digital life. Click here.
Not only are these habits and thoughts unhealthy for us and our families, they also affect our society. I am a teacher, so I see the next generation on a daily basis. Talk about struggle. Talk about frustration. I can see it in the kids and the adults. It almost seems like we are speaking different languages. So much time is spent on social media that face-to-face conversations, social etiquette and common courtesy are becoming nonexistent.
Communication is breaking down because people don’t have the life skills to function around other human beings! It is so aggravating when you are talking to someone and they won’t put down their phone/tablet/whatever the newest gadget is! Human beings are relational. We are wired to function as collaborative groups, relying on each other and helping each other. This love for material things has made us so selfish and introverted that we’ve lost something along the way that I think is detrimental to the species! It is so encouraging to view other people snapping out of it and realizing that the best things in life aren’t things.
Make a Change Today! Less IS More!
Be intentional. Live Simply. Enjoy life. Love who you are, regardless of what you have or what you are wearing. Evaluate how you are spending your time and money. Are those things that you have in your closet really worth anything to you? Could you get rid of some of your clutter to eliminate having to pay someone else to store your stuff? Start small. Tackle one room (or closet) at a time. I like to give myself challenges. Eliminate the need for one shelf in your closet, or fit everything into one box. We just went through our Christmas decorations and have everything other than the tree fitting into one tote.
Don’t go to work just to make enough money to pay the bills, or to pay for the things that you don’t need. Life is so much more than stuff! Slow down and pause to smell the flowers in your garden. Listen to the animals chattering in your backyard. Spend time with your kids. These are mood-boosting and “bucket” filling. (If you haven’t checked out the book, Simplify, I strongly recommend it!) These are the important things in life to focus on, not cleaning your 4 bathrooms in your huge home. As the minimalist said on the documentary, “Love people and use things.” How can you love someone today?
Read more here.