Are you the owner, or the owned?

Too much stuff © Constantin Opris | Dreamstime.comI’m continuing with the idea of a simpler life today.

We have recently moved three times in four years – once 2000 miles, and another time 700 miles. That’s a real good way to find out what you have, what you need, and get rid of things you don’t need. We also spent a couple of years of that time with about 700 sq foot of living space, not including kitchen and bathroom, but including our home office. That’s another good way to learn to get by with less. We were not, and are not, minimalists, but I did get enough of a taste to understand the appeal.

Stuff costs us in many ways, and if we have too much stuff, it starts to dictate what we do. At that point, it owns us rather than the other way around, and that’s no way to live. The more we have, the more we fear losing what we have. We have to clean stuff, move the stuff around, and maintain stuff.

Then there’s the storage nightmare. More than 10% of all US families have a “storage unit”. Some use them as short term storage while moving or making other transitions (we did when we were in 700 sq feet!) but more than half of those units are rented long term – for years, and years, and years. The cost of this is rarely under $1000 a year, and often far greater. Sadly, many folks send more on a year’s storage than the purchase cost of the items they store! How is that sane?!

If you have a long-term storage unit, or a significant amount of stored stuff in your home that has not been used in more than a year, ask yourself why this is the case. Is that stuff really worth so much? How much of it could you get rid of and never miss? Why do you hang on to the stuff?

If you are interested in reading about or becoming a minimalist, check out the e-book Simplify

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